SQUARE LIMITING FINAL FANTASY XIV TO ONE HOUR A DAY
When you are paying $15 a month to play a game online, let’s assume for the purposes of this that it’s going to be £10 for UK, you expect a certain level of quality, polish and features to make your subscription worthwhile. Some games have of course flourished under subscriptions; Eve online, Final Fantasy XI, Lineage II and …oh that little MMORPG, can’t quite remember the name. It was World Of …something. Bah it doesn’t matter, all that does matter is that these games provide addictive gameplay that keeps you coming back for more and more.
Whether you are playing a game like Final Fantasy XI that uses it’s insane difficulty and extensive class/job based system to keep you coming back for more. Varied and ever changing game and government/currency landscape ala EVE or just a giant world of questing, raids, battlegrounds and places to explore (WoW), each game in it’s own way brings about a huge player base.
MMO’s are places a gamer can completely immerse themselves in a distant world. They can lovingly attach themselves into the lore and fantasy only that world can provide… take upon a new face and body, all without the hassle of actually dressing up in cosplay and getting beaten up at your local leisure centre on a Friday night.
So why Square Enix think it is a good idea to limit up-coming MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV (that’s 14) to only one hour a day, well it’s a tactic that it beyond my comprehension completely.
Final Fantasy XIV is supposedly implementing a “Fatigue and Dormancy System” if a recent interview with Famitsu is to be believed.
“We wanted to introduce a system to reward players who don’t have a lot of time to play. Maybe it looks as though we are placing long playing users at a disadvantage.”
Maybe? Maybe might be the understatement of 2010. In reality what the Fatigue system means for players is this,
“Fatigue goes up to about 50% in 2 hours, and it takes 2 days to go down! So, if you play 4 hours you have to stop playing completely for 2 days!“
You want to play for more then an hour? Tough – if you even dare try and play for four you are crippled, punished! Your character will be out of action for two days – what a nice way to spend £10 a month.
That isn’t even the worst of it. While it is supposedly in place to encourage players to try different classes, The Dormancy System comes into play if you decide to do too much of any one thing during your session. “2 hours of combat or 1 hour of craft will induce “dormancy.”
“The dormancy is actually shared over different characters. It will decrease gains to 0% in the end.” So… if you even try and beat the system have fun with getting your XP gains reduced to a big fat zero.
If you put this in perspective with oh… I dunno World of Warcraft. On average it would take say 2 hours to go from level 1-10. Two days to get out of the starting area. My housemate is currently in the WOW: Cataclysm beta, he averages that it is going to take him 9 to 10 hours to level up from 80-81. Right now you might be shocked…wondering how you will ever level up in Square Enix’s cluster fuck of a game, we take this into account now,
Final Fantasy XI was hard. Like teenage boy accidentally discovering porn hard. You die? Good bye XP. It took hours to level up in that game, and you die it punishes you by ripping away any achievement and progress you could have made. It was a game where a rabbit had a better chance of killing you during the early levels, regardless of what giant as fuck weapon you were wielding.
So if you think in a week of FF XIV, you might level up, in fact you could end up only being allowed to play for 7-9 hours a week – I’m sure in 12 months someone might eventully reach level 20.
Whether Square honestly believe that all players in the world are basement goblins that burn at the first sign of daylight and cry at the first sign of any lag – should they be allowed to monitor how much a player is allowed to play? After dropping £40 on the game and then an extra £10 a month – maybe not. Maybe they are covering their asses, scared they will get sued like the recent case where a guy is suing the developers of Lineage II because he has sunk 20,000 hours into the game in 5 years and says it’s too addictive… and cant function…<cough>
Whatever the reasoning behind it, it’s kind of like going on a really expensive holiday to a really hot country. If you try and enjoy your holiday by taking a nice walk along the beach or visiting a nice village market –you would collapse, left to fry in the heat for two days eventually causing your very painful and slow death. If you try and trick the sun by say, wearing a fat suit or a big hat – you would get attacked, sexually abused, robbed and have your bank account reduced to 0% money… causing you to stay stranded on the island where you are doomed to live in darkness for 23 hours of the day.
It sounds about as fun as it fucking sounds.