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Top Final Fantasy XIV Devs Replaced, PS3 Version Delayed 89

After Final Fantasy XIV's troubled launch and subsequent attempt to placate angry fans, Square Enix has decided that the game's leadership needs to be replaced. They've asked players to patiently stick around until they're ready to unveil their new plans for the game, extending the free trial period to compensate. Square also announced bad news for PS3 owners who were still somehow interested in the game: "Regarding the PlayStation 3, it is not our wish to release a simple conversion of the Windows version in its current state, but rather an update that includes all the improvements we have planned. For that reason, we have made the difficult decision to delay the release of the PlayStation 3 version beyond the originally announced date of March 2011."
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Top Final Fantasy XIV Devs Replaced, PS3 Version Delayed

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  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday December 10, 2010 @08:27AM (#34513010) Journal

    FFXIV was and is a disaster but at least Square is dealing with it, not in outright denial like some companies *cough*Funcom*cough*.

    The problem with the games might however be beyond fixing. At its core the current game is a Korean Free to Play style grind-fest. NOT a western quest/story MMORPG. And yet they price it very high, the 10 or so bucks is only for the base game, without ANY character slots. You need a character to play and those are extra. An extra charge EACH and EVERY month. 3 chars is 18 euro. EACH month.

    And what do you then get? A rather bare world designed on the idea of MORE OPEN SPACE WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN IT TO RUN BETWEEN, some lovely animation and lots of scripted scenes.

    The combat itself is moronic and for a long time (until I stopped) unplayable. Take an action, wait minutes, see it hit. This wasn't lag anymore, this was insanity.

    There are no quests and the story while intresting isn't related to the quests. It is more gain X levels, see a cut scene.

    Anyone expected a western style MMO was deeply disappointed. This was a korean grind-fest with cat-girls. They are cute but there is only so many times you can /fume before it gets old (20432 times to be exact). Only fun thing in the game.

    FFXIV is game that gives you the feeling it was designed by people who never ever played a MMO or a PC game and setout with a blueprint of the previous FF MMO and went, grind is good, content is bad. The game has so many wrongs in it, it is beyond believe. The cat-girls look nice. The ONLY good thing.

  • Disaster management (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Friday December 10, 2010 @08:27AM (#34513012) Journal

    The game in its current state is barely playable. Even if you stick with it past the gruesome interface and crippling performance issues, you're going to run head-on into over-complicated and badly explained class and tradeskill mechanics, boring combat and a serious lack of anything to actually do. Oh, and with all of the servers concentrated in Japan, Western gamers can expect fairly heavy lag even at the best of times.

    There have been a number of updates since the game launched, but for the most part, these have been window dressing. There is, apparently, an update to the UI incoming, which is something, but even if this patch ushers in a new era in UI-perfection, it will still leave many serious flaws in the game that would need to be fixed before this could even reach the stage of being a low-quality, content-light WoW clone. Believe me, that's a stage that FFXIV can only dream of right now.

    Anecdotally, the problem seems to be that Square-Enix resorted to that tried and tested technique for delivering high-quality, cutting-edge software. They drew up a loose, under-defined spec and pushed it at a Chinese outsourcing house. Given the spotless track record of this technique elsewhere, you can imagine their shock on getting back a shoddy, under-developed, non-cohesive game that even Square-Enix themselves didn't understand properly. It's a good thing for gamers that they just decided to push it out the door and hope for the best.

    Sarcasm aside, heads do indeed need to roll over FFXIV. Going for the lead developers is a start, but they need to go much higher. They need to go for whoever decided that they could do a modern MMO with the budget, development time and support resources they wanted to make available. They also need to go for whoever decided that Square-Enix should become a kind of Japanese EA, grinding out a constant succession of low-to-middling quality handheld titles, which seem to be locked into a cycle of commercially diminishing returns. As little as 5 years ago, Square-Enix were a great company putting out great games. It pains me to see what they've become.

    And as for FFXIV, as it stands, it is dead in the water. A few fiddling-at-the-margins patches and a PS3 version won't save it. I would say that unless they want to flush good money down the drain after bad, they have two options. First, they could pull the plug now and forget the game ever happened. Second, they could close the game down on an interim basis and push it back into closed development for at least a year. Re-release the game when it's actually in a competitive state, ensuring, of course, that those who bought it first time around get a free-pass for the rerelease.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday December 10, 2010 @09:50AM (#34513460)

    In that case, fire the designer and the people responsible for making those shitty decisions, not the guys who had to implement it, most likely against their own better knowledge. But don't fire the only people who know the friggin' code! They're about the only ones that could possibly pull the cart out of the moat.

    I've been trying my hand at FF14. And I was appalled that a game like this can make it to the release in 2010. We're dealing here with a game that is not even on par with the standards of 2002 MMO gaming. You nailed the main problems quite well already:

    1. A console game ported to PC. It feels, smells and plays like a console FF game. Which may be good considering the FF audience, but looking around my friends, few die-hard FF players jumped onto the game. It was rather the MMO players amongst my friends who tried it. And of course quickly tossed it, because of tedious gameplay. Everything you want to do contains a friggin' 5-10 seconds animation you have to endure. I say endure because that's what it becomes after the n-th time. Take gathering. It's not even the usual "We now watch our figure for 2-3 seconds while it does something" kind of animation. It's "5 seconds to get the tool from the back, 2 seconds for the interface to finish loading, 1 second to play the "hit the button at the right time" minigame, 5 seconds watching gathering animation, repeat from minigame for 5 times, then repeat the whole sequence 5-6 times". THIS IS NOT FUN! This is tedious and boring to the extreme. This was acceptable in 2002 when crafting in DAoC was a little like that. But even back then it was less tedious because at least you could do something sensible in the minute it took for your character to finish crafting that bow or staff.

    2. Actions are handled by the server. A good idea to prevent cheating (hehe, as if... but I ramble), but it means it's HORRIBLE to play unless you have an insanely good connection... and even then it mostly depends on how much load the FF server has to suffer under. Let's keep it at that, you'd have to try to notice just how "sluggish" it feels. Imagine running on ice.

    3. No AH, no sensible group finding tools, nothing to facilitate your interaction with other players. Sorry, but this is just not acceptable in 2010 anymore. Even in 2005 MMOs noticed the need to give their players an easier way to gain access to other players and cooperate, find groups, find sellers and buyers and so on. It needn't be the proverbial ebay AH system, but at least SOME way to facilitate interaction. Right now, if you wanted to buy something, you'd spend hours trying to find someone selling it. Or you keep watching the spam in the trade channel for a few hours. Either is just not what MMO players would accept anymore this time and age.

    In short, the game is stuck somewhere a decade ago with its gameplay. Even free-2-play games have better player interaction tools by now. A full price game certainly must not be worse than that. And FF14 is worse.

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