These are just my personal suggestions about Final Fantasy XIV
I love me some Final Fantasy XIV. I've not played it much, for other reasons, but I definitely think super highly of the game. However, there are definitely very real issues with the game not being particularly welcoming to newcomers, and while it's not overwhelming *now*, I think the team is right to be concerned about 4.0 and beyond.
Still, I think a level-boost is simply the *wrong* approach. The story is absolutely one of the strongest points of the game, and while it's a little bit uneventful early on, it's important to have that understanding to provide context for later story developments.
So, I'd like to propose a couple of alternatives, which I think would make the game more welcoming and appealing to newcomers, without making a jarring shift of *skipping* content.
- Make all new Classes/Jobs playable from the start
Listen, I know there are players who don't like this idea, and there are merits to the current system, but frankly, it doesn't matter. New classes/jobs are a huge selling point for new players, and the current system completely undermines this. I bought Final Fantasy XI several years ago, along with several expansions, because I loved the idea of playing the Blue Mage. When I couldn't, I gave the game about three hours before getting bored, and never touched the game again. If someone is super excited to play a Dark Knight, or something else, I *guarantee* they don't want want to put in 60+ hours just to experience it.
Perhaps add low-level "Class" counterparts to new Jobs (ie. "Squire" as a precursor to Dark Knight). Either add trainers to the existing cities, or consider adding a new starting-area with access to the new Classes/Jobs (all the stories converge around level 15, anyways, so it would only be a new *starting* experience, perhaps having you interact with a different Scion initially).
- Speed up the Main Scenario
I think the Main Scenario is hugely important, not to mention *satisfying*. The issue is simply that it takes a lot time, and there's a *lot* of filler-content. I would remove as much filler as possible, and maybe incorporate some fast-travel mechanics (ie. when completing a MS [Main Scenario] quest, having an option to instantly travel to the turn-in NPC). No need to completely gut it or anything, but just speed things along a bit.
Well, consider this: what if they had made the new Jobs playable from level 1, and if chosen, you started out in Ishgard, as part of a caravan entering the city? The entire starter experience could have introduced you to Ishgard, but the quests could have taken place in the slums, or even the sewers. At level 15, you're accused of a crime, but are rescued by a nobleman who tells you to seek out the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.
It's too late now, but it's just one route they could have taken.
Another is to simply add new trainers to the other cities. I could see any of them working in any of the cities (ie. Dark Knight could start in Gridamia through some connection with Odin, in Limsa for their code of honor, or Ul'dah as rebels against the constraints' corruption). Not sure what new Jobs await us in the next expansion, but they could also just add a new City-State there (Ala Mhigo?), and shoehorn all the post-2.0 jobs there.
I would be totally fine with them indexing cross-class skills completely, and just making new baseline abilities in the cases they are necessary.
Ultimately, I though, I think by making new Jobs playable at creation, removing the filler Main Scenario quests (just repurpose them as optional quests to flesh the setting out for those who want to), and having a fast-travel for quest turn ins, I think the game would be awesome for new players.
I might actually change the 2.1-2.55 quest chains to either be optional, or hit at an earlier level (ie. the original Main Scenario wrapping up around lvl 45,). Also, all Dungeons should unlock at certain levels, removing that whole barrier of "How do I unlock this next dungeon?".
Let's say one of those jobs is Samurai; pretty unique job there, and a lot of people might consider buying the game JUST to play as a Samurai. Well, if they're unable to play a Samurai until they're 60+ hours into the game? Well, they might opt to just not even try FFXIV.
Like I said, that's exactly what happened to me with the Blue Mage in FFXI. If you're already max level, I think it's awesome to give them a head start on leveling a new job, but newcomers still want to be able to access those jobs. After all, New Jobs are a major selling point to any expansion, and if the buy said expansion, they're going to be eager to play then right away.
There's no reason they couldn't add Classes that are precursors to the Jobs later in the game; they were clearly designs to be played at low level, given how they scale down for guildhests and dungeons. Like on said, just add something like "Squire" as a precursor to Dark Knight, Musketeer as a precursor to Machinist (there's already a guild in Limsa for them), and... Something to precede Astrologian.
They might mechanically be the same, but at least then, you get to play then, without sacrificing that "moment" when you finally get your Job Crystal.
It's not like the game has massive issues or anything, but some of the content could be tidied up a bit. Like someone else said, no need to REMOVE quests, but maybe make some of them optional. Also, using the linkshell to turn in quests would be excellent, although I've always wondered how exactly it fit into the game's fiction.
Biggest thing, for sure, is just making new Jobs (or Class counterparts) playable for new players who buy the expansions.
The point is to appeal to different types of players. I don't like the squeaky-clean "knight in shining armor". I do, however, love Black Knight styled characters. Thus, the Dark Knight is incredibly appealing to me. Consider that player who loves the Machinist, using a gun and tinkering with robotics. Sure, a Black Mage can also fill the role of Ranged DPS, as could an Archer, but it doesn't cater to the FANTASY that player wants. You're essentially telling him to play a character he doesn't like, on the chance that 60+ hours in, he can change to one he MIGHT like.
It's not about "putting in the effort" or having anything handed to you. It's about creating a more enjoyable experience, that doesn't feel SO overwhelming that a new player feels like they're too far behind to even bother starting.
NONE of us want a level-boost. However, FFXI made a lot of mistakes in regards to newcomers, and I think it's important to learn lessons from that, and other MMO's (and which solutions didn't work, such as WoW).
That nobody NEEDS to be max level. Except, with the current New Jobs, they actually do, if they want to actually experience the new jobs. My intention isn't to try and zoom players to the end game super quickly, but to make sure that they can experience whatever "fantasy" they bought into, sooner rather than later.
As far as cutting out the "filler" content (or at least, making it optional), that's just cleaning up some hurdles that I don't think really add anything of substance. Just my opinion on that.
Anyways, these are just my personal suggestions, but I think they would both serve the game well in the long-run.For more gameplay suggestions, faq and tricks, please visit www.ff14gilhub.com where you can also find cheap Final Fantasy XIV Gil service with quick delivery and top class service.
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