My Wishlist for FFXIV’s Move to Quest Progression
I’ve been casually playing FFVI the last couple of weeks. It’s one of those games that I always enjoyed, but never found the time to buckle down and finish. Last night, I reunited my party after plodding through the various scenarios that took place while they were split up. As I was getting everyone’s gear up to speed, it hit me that everyone was in the level 12-14 range.
This much story covered, and I’m level 14?
Such a far cry from the process I’ve become accustomed to in FFXI/XIV. While new quests unlock as you progress in level, standard procedure is to grind to cap and experience what the game has to offer after the fact. In my opinion, FFXI had one of (if not the) best story lines the series has ever seen. Unfortunately, the average player will never see it because of how the game’s set up. There are even endgame players who haven’t bothered, because the story – while exceptionally well done – is presented as a sideline attraction.
But all that could change in FFXIV 2.0. During an interview at Japan Expo, Director/Producer Yoshida told JeuxOnline:
Actually the reps are posting about it on the forums, but we are trying to have the best leveling features, and for 2.0 it is going to be quite different from the current leveling system.
When I started working on XIV, I wanted to make the changes straight away but we couldn’t because there was a lack of contents, and also the system wasn’t ready, but for the 2.0 version I want to make sure once you complete contents, you will get the key to level up your character, so completing content is a key to leveling up in 2.0 version.
Completing the quests, getting rewards, huge experience points, or completing a dungeon and getting experience points, that’s going to be the key thing to level up your character, not like at the moment where you have to do monster camping or farming, that’s not going to work in 2.0.
For the new players, once you make your character then you start going into the storyline, experiencing the scenario, and completing quests, you will not really progress in the game, you would gain experience points and level up your character first, once you’ve experienced the storyline, you will realise that your character is leveling up at the same time.
Of course, this has caused something of an uproar in the community.
“I can’t believe he’s taking out exp parties! The humanity!”
Relax. I really doubt they’re going to completely yank out the option to simply grind on roaming mobs. Keep in mind that this interview was likely translated from Japanese, to French, then to English (and it’s pretty clear that English is not this person’s first language). As long as there are roaming mobs, you will always have the option to grind on them. Yoshida is the one that implemented mob grouping and links as part of his reform, and it’s unlikely that this system will be thrown away in 2.0.
“Boo on quest chaining! If I wanted to play WoW, I would play WoW!”
What exactly do you think Levequests are? Leves are quest chains boiled down to their laziest form. You have an NPC blurb for context, you go and knock out five of them at a time for an exp/potential gear reward. “Sand Yarzons are killing the pilgrims! Help wipe out this threat by killing nine of them.” The only thing FFXIV did differently was give you a middle man that made doing these quests incredibly easy to do.
As a lore-oriented player, I am all for a shift to quest focus for progression. That is, of course, if they manage to do it better than every other MMORPG that tries it. Here’s my wishlist:
- The main scenario alone should be enough to take your first job relatively close to cap (basically anywhere in the 40-50 range). Of course, this would require some heavy expansion upon what we have available now. Which we need.
- Show us why we should care that the wolves are attacking some random dude’s farm. Because we generally don’t give a fuck. Nobody wants to do bare bone quests like this. At minimum these quests should be on par with the class quests we have currently. I was happy to craft 10 gloves for one of my Weaver quests, because the storyline was fucking adorable and it made sense for me to do so. Get us involved!
- If you’re not going to get us involved, leave it to leves. Seriously. That is the perfect avenue for lazy MMORPG questing.
- Give us options, and make them equally rewarding. Let us grind mobs, let us grind leves, let us grind quests. All of the above, but don’t punish us with lower rewards because we got bored of doing the same thing all day long.
- Everyone plays for different reasons. There are many people who are content to solo through an MMORPG, and there are others who insist on playing with others. Ideally, I’d like to see them do the same thing they do with leves. If you want to solo one, you can do so. If you want to bring friends along, you can up the difficulty and obtain greater rewards for doing so.
- On that note, don’t forget that Final Fantasy is about camaraderie. Remember those adventuring companions you introduced and forgot about? Bring them out when we’re soloing content to root that feeling of party play that is such a core part of this series.
It’s difficult to find a balance that will please everyone. Hopefully, Yoshida realizes that leaving options open for everyone’s tastes, and ensuring quality in even the smallest content is the key to a successful relaunch. We’ll see how it goes in a few months, but count me among those looking forward to this.