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Sell me on an Asian fantasy MMORPG

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
You ain't kidding here. Male power fantasies and trophy waifus ahoy!
Well, trophy waifus and husbandos (is that spelled right?).

"Excuse me, but are you spicy? Because you've got hawt sauce ALL over you."

The action combat turned me off, but I know folks who quite enjoy it.

And yeah, prescripted writing is basically fate saying "nope. screw this guy."
 

PenguinZero

Wark!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Against scripted sequences the gods themselves contend in vain.
That's actually something FFXIV has started to recognize and adapt to. Starting with the Stormblood expansion, if you're in a cut scene, and someone's gravely injured, and you're currently a healing class, you'll actually start casting healing spells on them. It never actually makes a difference to the cut scenes -- either there's other people there who could take up the healing slack without you, or the person's too far gone no matter what healing you can give them -- but still, it's been widely regarded as a nice touch.
 

Afterburner

Remarkably expressive bandages
RPGnet Member
Validated User
That's actually something FFXIV has started to recognize and adapt to. Starting with the Stormblood expansion, if you're in a cut scene, and someone's gravely injured, and you're currently a healing class, you'll actually start casting healing spells on them. It never actually makes a difference to the cut scenes -- either there's other people there who could take up the healing slack without you, or the person's too far gone no matter what healing you can give them -- but still, it's been widely regarded as a nice touch.
How is the FFXIV tutorial/intro session? I feel like I'm on a rail with this Tera Online intro. Started playing today and I'm already level 20 after about 7 hours. Which annoys me. I know that the current MMORPG Best Practices is to level everybody superfast to the end game because that's the content they really want, but I ain't like that. I like to savor my levels. I like to learn areas. I like intro tutorial sequences that turn you loose and tell you to go explore.

Right now it doesn't feel like Tera Online offers much of interest for the explorer. I keep hoping I'll reach some sort of stopping point where the game branches out, or at least get some crafting quests and tutorials. Wondering how FFXIV is in that regard.
 

PenguinZero

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FFXIV's opening is actually very wide-open. You get dropped into one of the three main cities with a main quest and a lot of markers everywhere for side quests that will guide you around the city or take you into nearby zones, and left to go at it. You can level up almost solely through the main scenario quests, and you get class quests every five levels (through the initial release; the expansions are more like every two levels) that often teach you how to use your class skills.

You can play a single class through the game, but as soon as you hit level 10, you get clearance to 'join other guilds' and start learning other classes. It's as simple as switching weapons -- if you're wielding a bow, you might be a level 10 Archer, but if you equip a spear for the first time you'll become a level 1 Lancer. You have to go to the starting city for a class to learn it, which means waiting until the level 15 main story quests to open up the two main cities you didn't start in, but that comes relatively quickly. (There are also some classes that start at a higher level, which you'll have to reach 50 or 60 before opening up, but that's for later.) In the long term you can learn all the classes on a single character if you want, and there's even achievements and cosmetic rewards for it.

Exploration tends to be rewarded in FFXIV. There are world events called FATEs that pop up at various places in every zone near-constantly, which you can use as an alternate source of XP for leveling, and some give interesting rewards like pets (though those are rarer and often require a group). There's a Sightseeing Log you can acquire which gives you achievements for reaching certain places and performing an emote there, based on fairly cryptic clues. And starting in the first expansion, you unlock flying in a zone by reaching certain points called Aether Currents, which require you to basically explore most of the zone to get to.

There are a fair number of side activities that can occupy a lot of your time if you get interested in them. There are randomly-generated dungeons (Palace of the Dead and Heaven-on-High) that are basically an MMO Roguelike. There are Hunts -- rare monsters that spawn in every zone that take a group to kill and reward special currency. There's PvP, though it's not as popular as it is in some games. There are sidequests that have interesting stories and rewards, and may even open up new boss battle instances (such as the famous/infamous Hildebrand quests, which must be seen to be believed). There are special areas like the Diadem and Eureka, where you take a group into an open area and face challenges found nowhere else. There's crafting and gathering, which are classes unto themselves with their own special abilities and gear needed to be truly effective, and which may lead you to going to obscure locations at just the right time of day to find a rare plant when it blooms. And, of course, there's the Manderville Gold Saucer, a giant amusement park/casino where you can race chocobos, learn a card game, play mahjong, enter a lottery, play shoot-em-ups or jumping puzzles, and earn special currency for a variety of cosmetic rewards.

And unlike most MMOs, FFXIV doesn't want you to rush to the endgame, but instead to savor the story. You literally cannot unlock an expansion's areas or content until you've gone through all the main scenario quests of the previous expansion -- there's a coherent storyline running through the entire game, and it wouldn't make much sense if you skipped whole chapters of it. This is one of the more divisive elements of the game -- some people don't like having to work through all those quests, especially if they're leveling a second or later character, but on the other hand it's created the foundation for some amazing storytelling in the later expansions that builds on everything that's come before. There are some plans to streamline the level 1-50 leveling experience a little, based on the lessons their quest designers have learned in the years since the game launched, but that's not coming until next year at the earliest.
 

Rabbit Éclair

high in vital bunnytonium
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And unlike most MMOs, FFXIV doesn't want you to rush to the endgame, but instead to savor the story. You literally cannot unlock an expansion's areas or content until you've gone through all the main scenario quests of the previous expansion -- there's a coherent storyline running through the entire game, and it wouldn't make much sense if you skipped whole chapters of it. This is one of the more divisive elements of the game -- some people don't like having to work through all those quests, especially if they're leveling a second or later character, but on the other hand it's created the foundation for some amazing storytelling in the later expansions that builds on everything that's come before. There are some plans to streamline the level 1-50 leveling experience a little, based on the lessons their quest designers have learned in the years since the game launched, but that's not coming until next year at the earliest.
And once you're at the endgame, it seems pretty content to let you play on your own basis, without many pressures to log in every day or something.

... although it took me about 280 hours of gameplay to hit the current endgame, so, y'know. That's a long-term kinda concern.
 

Afterburner

Remarkably expressive bandages
RPGnet Member
Validated User
My Tera Online character! Let me show you him!

Spoiler: Show




Just LOOK at those abs! Talk about my male power fantasy right there, it's having abs like that. Look at how insouciantly he sits! He is the kind of guy you don't want your daughter bringing home!

He is a "Castanic", which is a race genetically predisposed to be glam metal rock stars. Wearing leather and spandex comes as naturally to them as breathing.

I mean, look at THIS guy (not my character, he's the Archer archetype character for Castanic):

Spoiler: Show


PURPLE LEOPARD PRINT SPANDEX, ladies and gentlemen and distinguished guests of non-binary gender. Also, the picture doesn't quite do him justice because he's animated, and at the beginning of his animation he unslings his bow and does this total arched-back goth-bad-boy rock star pose. Only thing that was missing was a Fender Stratocaster.

And then there's this. NSFW, so click with caution in corporate environments:

Spoiler: Show


Not just ANY armor, mind you! That's the HEAVY PLATE ARMOR! Maximum protection, right there.

Tera Online is certainly living up to its rep.

I am...well, I guess I'm enjoying it. How's that for a ringing endorsement?

I am having something very closely approximating "fun". I am trying to determine if my issues with Tera are because Tera itself is substandard, or if they are because I am just an old fogey who prefers the grindy, forced-grouping, crippling death-penalties style of Everquest over the streamlined, fully-soloable, lots-of-handholding MMORPG products that we have today.

I want to adventure in a world which feels like it exists independently of me. Tera does not give me that feeling.

However, the combat is actually fun. It's not the first real-time combat MMO I've played. That honor would go to the relatively obscure post-apocalyptic MMO Fallen Earth. But the fact that I have to aim my attacks, and the fact that the MOBs behave in ways designed to thwart simple tactics, makes it challenging. (At least when I'm not super over-powered like I am now. I just steamrolled a dungeon where all the critters were two levels below me. I one-shot most of 'em.

The main quest feels very railroady. I prefer games that encourage you to branch out and experience more of the game than just combat, but so far Tera does not do that. Feels like I'm on a very breakneck race to reach the level cap. I keep waiting for something like an "Introduction to Crafting" quest, but so far no dice.

Overall I give it six out of ten. It's a good thing it's free.
 

TheGrog

Registered User
Validated User
Tera is very action-y. You can do a lot if you are good, which is important since the giant monsters are really intended to take at least 2 people. And that's rare after launch.

The tiny fae girls with giant weapons were hilarious. though.

The problem with the forced-grouping paradigm is that it makes the game mostly unplayable more than 9 months after launch. Not enough population. After the failure of Wildstar I don't think we'll ever see another such game, and Wildstar only barely fit the critera. I don't think even Actual EQ 1 is still like that.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
You characters make money on the side by serving as living sushi platters? A nigiri on each ab :p

Glad you're enjoying the gameplay! Pad or keyboard and mouse?
 

PenguinZero

Wark!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
While I don't really have much interest in Tera, I do have to applaud them for at least getting the overly-sexualized men into the same general ballpark as the overly-sexualized women -- though the images provided suggest there's still some distance between them. At least they're trying, though.

On the other hand, it did remind me of one of the few things I'd heard about Tera back in the day -- that their 'cute childlike' race are just as oversexualized as the races that actually look more than ten years old, and they'd even had to be covered up a bit to make the game more palatable for the US market. I kind of dread to look for images of that...
 

Rabbit Éclair

high in vital bunnytonium
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Validated User
On the other hand, it did remind me of one of the few things I'd heard about Tera back in the day -- that their 'cute childlike' race are just as oversexualized as the races that actually look more than ten years old, and they'd even had to be covered up a bit to make the game more palatable for the US market. I kind of dread to look for images of that...
Yeah, I played it a bit much closer to launch, and... you could pretty much set your watch by the zone chat arguments over 'should people who play Elin be preemptively banned from going within 500 feet of a school?'
 
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