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Sell me on an Asian fantasy MMORPG

Afterburner

Remarkably expressive bandages
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Heh. Never fails.

<AB> I have arranged my circumstances in such a way that I will have ALL DAY OFF TOMORROW to play my new MMORPG!
<Game> We will be coming down at 9am tomorrow for scheduled maintenance. Expected downtime is 5 hours.
<AB> Welp.
 

Afterburner

Remarkably expressive bandages
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Think of it as the universe suggesting you try that FF14 trial....
The universe is sending me mixed messages, because a few of my old guildmates from EQ have started playing ESO now, and they want to get the band back together.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
The universe is sending me mixed messages, because a few of my old guildmates from EQ have started playing ESO now, and they want to get the band back together.
The universe does not give a damn about your free time or responsibilities.
 

Goodsport

Adventurer
Validated User
The universe is sending me mixed messages, because a few of my old guildmates from EQ have started playing ESO now, and they want to get the band back together.
Great choice, albeit it not being an Asian MMO like you asked for. :)

Nonetheless, while ESO is currently my main MMO (along with WoW), I just recently downloaded and started playing the free FFXIV trial as well.


-G
 

Afterburner

Remarkably expressive bandages
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The universe does not give a damn about your free time or responsibilities.
If only the Universe could help me get more disk space on my laptop, because right now I don't have the room to install ESO without uninstalling things I don't want to uninstall.
 

dreamfarer

Man of Two Worlds
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'll put in a good word for FFXI. For a game that came out originally in 2004 in the US, it's held up amazingly well, and adapted to the changing landscape to stay fun and interesting.

Since the graphics and game engine still bear some of the limitations of having been available on a PS2, it doesn't have the super-polished look that FFXIV supports, but the art team was masters of making what they had go a long long way. There are areas in some of the zones which manage to look on par (via simple, well presented graphics) with anything in later MMOs.

The character models as well are nicely setup with the armor ranging from simple to pleasingly ornate, and with far less of the cartoon-ish aesthetics other games have adopted.

Gameplay-wise, the game is really split into almost two games at this point - there's the "old content" which is everything from 1 - 99, including some of the early post 99 content. This is the stuff people who played years ago will remember except various changes over the years have made it all incredibly solo friendly.

Gone are the days of slowly grinding out levels after waiting hours to get a party. I started a fresh character a year or so ago to try leveling from scratch and made more progress in a few months than I made in the 14 years previous.

Thanks to NPC party members called Trusts, and a boosted rate of xp from mobs, you can solo up to the level cap in a job with casual play and in the process play through any of the old expansions and stories that you want. There's even a sort of meta-story arc called "Rhapsodies of Vana'diel" which was released as it looked like the game was heading towards a shutdown (and as they did shutdown the PS2 side of it) which ties together all of the different expansions and gives a true *FINAL* Fantasy feel to the narrative (my character's quote: "If becoming a god isn't enough to save this world, THEN I'LL JUST HAVE TO BECOME TWO GODS INSTEAD!")

Beyond the expansions and all of the general content in the game though, there's still a thriving end game community. This is where, you can either go back and level each of the other 22 jobs to mix and match to your hearts content, or look up a Linkshell (aka guild) and start playing through the high level group content to accumulate more and better gear.

One of the most impressive things about FFXI to me at this point though is just how much its developers love it. When the PS2 side of the game was being closed down, a general notice went out saying basically "no new content will be created, but we'll keep the servers running because we know you love playing".

Apparently the developers got the "love playing" part but kind of decided to ignore the "no new content" bit. We've gotten monthly updates since then which have including new battle fields, new loot, job changes the community actually likes (is that possible in an MMO??), and even video dev diaries talking about what's in each update to try to connect with the players.

A unique element to FFXI, which I'm guessing FFXIV may share since they both allow for job switching, is the degree to which you can evolve different strategies and be called to play different roles based on the needs of the fight before you. In a game where your character has one job/class only, you might be able to shift from one role to another but you'll always be a "Warrior" or a "Hunter" or a "Mage". In FFXI, being able to switch from "Bard" where you spend all of your time buffing, to Thief where you're in the front lines stabbing away and setting up skill chains, to White Mage where you're in the back keeping everyone healed and status-free means you can approach each battle with wildly different abilities to draw on.

An example of this was the Summer Event "After Party Battle". I tried it out with my Dancer first, who's probably my best and hardiest damage dealer and couldn't make it to the end. The boss started spamming high tier spells and stealing the resource I needed to power my own healing. So I went back as White Mage, a healer type, equipped a hammer and some melee enhancing armor and proceeded to beat him to death while outpacing his damage with my heals. If that hadn't worked, I was could have gone back as a Summoner and thrown avatars of the gods at him while I stood safely out of range and watched, or gone as a Bard and used my songs to provide incredible resistance to elemental damage. Any of those strategies might have worked, or might not have, but with the versatility of FFXI characters it feels like there's a lot more room to experiment with what works for you.
 
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Snumpus

Registered User
Validated User
Well I don’t know about Afterburner but you’ve just sold ME on FFXI. I skipped straight to FFXIV because I thought FFXI was impossible to solo, and while I like grouping, as an introvert I find it too tiring to do all the time. I will give it a go now.
 

Balac

Registered User
Validated User
Well I don’t know about Afterburner but you’ve just sold ME on FFXI. I skipped straight to FFXIV because I thought FFXI was impossible to solo, and while I like grouping, as an introvert I find it too tiring to do all the time. I will give it a go now.
It used to be an utter nightmare to try and solo so skipping XI may have been the right call at the time. I played, briefly, back in the day and very early on you couldn't do anything solo and getting a group was awful unless you had the 'right' class and the 'right' gear. I wanted to love that game so much but it was just punishing to play without a group. I've thought about going back with all the changes just to see what it's like but finding time to play any games let along a MMO is a challenge these days.
 
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