The Mog Log: We all live in a community submarine

This week, like the week before, has seen an explosion of controversy about Final Fantasy XIV. I have not really taken part, as I have been far too busy playing Final Fantasy XIV to care one way or the other. But after a month of people's impressions, it seems like the perfect time to dive back into the meat of the community topics -- much like we did last month around the same time, as a matter of fact.

Sadly, Final Fantasy XI has been fairly quiet, both due to the anger generation systems its successor features and due to a general sense of community burnout. After all, we're about two months away from another version update, and thus far we've heard nothing about what's due for December. Still, jump on past the cut for discussions about Final Fantasy XI as well as FFXIV, with the usual dosage of commentary to accompany each.
Grow UP people

For all that FFXI's open world has its advantages, there is a reason MMO design has evolved away from it. It's not that there's nothing good to be done in that vein of design space, but the simple reality is that as you add tools allowing players to behave poorly, the odds of them behaving poorly rapidly approaches absolute certainty. Such as allowing people to steal a boss from you when you've whittled down the vast majority of the boss's health in the vague hopes of a drop.

Currently, every piece of major equipment in FFXIV seems to be crafted and not dropped, or occasionally handed out as a leve reward. Is this a step in the right direction? Yes.

The coming attractions

Much as I might have wanted to, I couldn't really justify putting this up as a news story, since it's pretty much just wild conjecture. Wild conjecture with hooks in the data files that point to it being one hundred percent true, yes, but that doesn't make it less conjectural. However, in the event that you haven't seen it yet, here's another look at the shape of things to come for FFXIV -- but whereas dispatches from the director have discussed fixing what is broken, this is all about adding new classes, abilities, and even little quality of life touches here and there.

Among the interesting bits to me are the idea that the summons are planned to exist within the game without any indication that the game will include a dedicated Summoner job. That implies many things, not the least of which is the idea that summons will be taking cues from entries wherein they are big special effects and not just a field of magic. Perhaps we'll even be going down the same route as Final Fantasy XIII -- and if that's the case, I will pay a bounty to the first person who equips a pair of glasses and shouts "PERSONA!" when casting a summon.

I just want to level

My girlfriend never tried FFXI during its halcyon days. Despite having bought a copy of the game and playing it with me for a couple weeks, I would still argue that she hasn't really played the game, because her leveling process was chock-full of the unfortunate reality that there was no leveling process left any more. No one wants to bother leveling another sub, and the lower-level areas are so empty that you could set up a love hotel in the Selbina mayoral office without anyone noticing.

I'm happy to see more than a few people chiming in with what I've been saying for some time, that Square-Enix's strategy of slowing attrition is just going to make the game's death a bit more gradual. I'm also happy to see abuse heaped on the generally ill-conceived adventuring fellow. Unfortunately, while I'd like to point to a light at the end of the tunnel, it seems like the game's fate is to slowly lose players until we're down to a core group that doesn't want to bother leveling another job. Unless they add something totally awesome that surprises the entire playerbase.

Look, we get it

Yes, the 1UP review came out, and that's what this thread is all about. But it's really just as useful for a springboard to talk about the same stupid things that happen every single time when a new review comes out. The first thing is to note that it is very possible for a game to have favorable reviews on launch without that meaning much. The second is to ask -- why in the name of everything that involves horsebirds do you care?

If you're fond of the game, play it. If you think it needs work, say so, agree when people mention the game's flaws, and explain why those flaws don't matter to you as much. This is not a contest where everyone who criticizes the game is somehow misunderstanding its sublime brilliance or something. The large number of great parts do not mean that the bad parts are simply hypothetical. I would really hope that we as a community are smart enough to recognize that FFXIV is a great game with some big flaws that need to be addressed.

If you're just now getting to the understanding that this game is not going to be a critical darling on launch, I'm sorry, but welcome to here. It's not something to waste a bunch of your time thinking about either way.

As usual, you can feel free to disagree with me or ask my opinion in the comments, or via mail at eliot@massively.com. I'd talk more this week, but seriously, I'm lagging behind the level curve here and need to get back into FFXIV. But next week is our usual question and answer session, so by all means, send those in!

From Eorzea to Vana'diel, there is a constant: the moogles. And for analysis and opinions about the online portions of the Final Fantasy series, there is also a constant: The Mog Log. Longtime series fan Eliot Lefebvre serves up a new installment of the log every Saturday, covering almost anything related to Square-Enix's vibrant online worlds.
This article was originally published on Massively.