I don’t want to fight worms in MMOs!

So I have canceled my pre-order for Square-Enix’ upcoming Final Fantasy 14 two days ago, being utterly put off by their intention to limit gamers playtime via diminishing returns on XP gains. Or rather, they are trying to control character progression by forcing you to switch class every few hours.
No thanks. While I can understand SE’s endeavor to keep their player base closer together by limiting the time you can spend on your character’s base level each week, I don’t think it’s up to developers to regulate communities in MMOs in such ways. I’m totally aware that this is just my opinion and probably an interesting topic for debate, but I want to level a caster when I feel like it without having to go and knit socks because it’s suddenly “Crafting Time!”.

The fatigue feature is however only the last straw for me. I admit to having hyped this sequel on other boards, partly because I did play Final Fantasy 11 before WoW and was really excited to hear SE’s focus on more solo-ability in the upcoming game – and also because me and Square-Enix RPGs go a long way back. If there’s any other videogame company besides Blizzard that I trust to design a well-rounded and well-designed MMO with a genuine feeling for fantasy worlds with a unique atmosphere, top graphics and soundtrack to go with, it’s them. They’ve been delivering true fantasy RPG experiences for over 20 years now. If someone knows how to tell a story and deliver polish at the same time, it’s them. After reading the initial FF14 overviews and previews, I was looking foward to see their new concept that aims to learn from previous errors, but it seems that their intention to create a different, more ‘mass market’ MMO is taking it too far for me.

The combat system in FF14 will not feature the typical real-time action based MMO experience, but rather a mixture of real-time and classic round-base / strategy junction that is apparently inspired by FF13:

“Contrary to what people thought when news of the game first emerged, battles will occur in real time but will not be ‘action-style’ battles which require on timing and a high tempo. Instead, the new battle system will be heavily strategy based. This is furthered by the Armoury job system which allows players to change classes on the fly thus allowing them to adapt to many different situations.”

If you watch combat videos from the FF14 beta on youtube, you will notice that the mobs actually wait for their ’round’ and that the combat is going real slow. I’ve talked to several beta testers and they’ve all confirmed that the combat system is horribly boring and clunky at the moment. We’re talking about a game that is due to launch this September 2010. I really can’t relate to this type of slowed combat in an MMO which reminds me too much of the more scripted encounters in round-based offline RPGs.

And then there’s the worms. Have a look at the following picture:

This is myself and my party sometime in 2004 trying to battle down a worm. Yes, we are trying to 4-man a single worm. I might wanna add too, that this is inside a dungeon and that we were around level 25 at the time. Which in the original 1.0 version of the game was at a much higher time/level-spent ratio than for example in vanilla WoW. From the very beginning you were battling not just nightcrawlers, but bees, beetles, bats, rats and goddamn sheep! And as if that wasn’t bad enough, these critters aren’t restricted to your newbie areas but will actually re-occur frequently on higher maps of the game with different colors.

WOW, I get to fight a blue worm with purple stripes this time!!!
Thanks so much Square-Enix!

Duhhh… this is really screwed up. I don’t want to fight worms in MMOs, I want something that feels a bit more epic or at least ‘authentic’ to what I, as powerful magic-wielder in a fantasy world, would deem worthy to kill. Let alone with a party. Having watched all these clips on youtube recently, it seems absolutely nothing has changed in that department.

While we’re at it: I would really like to see Blizzard implement more multiple-mobs fights in World of Warcraft too; I appreciate their effort to create harder mobs in Cataclysm, but I still don’t think a party of 5+ lvl 80 heroes should be hitting on a single target unless it’s a dungeon or raid boss.

Apparently the devs of the upcoming Star Wars the Old Republic MMO have made this a focus for their featured ingame combat. Too bad the game looks like something Blizzard chewed up and spit out 5 years ago.

Yours truly,


  1. I’m not a fan of trying to force gamers into certain patterns. I’m not sure of the intentions. Probably they’re ever so good, trying to help people into some healthy balanced gaming habits, not consuming the content to quickly or getting too addicted. But the thing is that people have so different schedules and it’s impossible to make such systems fair. What if you have a schedule where you can’t play at all three weeks out of four, but the fourth week you’re off duty and can – and want to – play all day long? Why should that be punished?

    We’ve seen similar systems in Wow, where you can’t save the dailies during the week, making them several times in the weekend instead.
    Everyone is supposed to play the same way – for a little time, but every day. I hate that kind of management and I wonder if they won’t have to back on this eventually.

  2. I’m pretty sure they will Larísa. It’s utterly silly to try to control what you can’t control imo – they’re only hurting themselves this way because the more progressive gamers will stay away from the game now entirely. so I could imagine they will reconsider this at some point.

  3. DragonQuest online would have you fighting Slimes all the way to the KING slime!!!!!!

    Japanese computer games suck in general anyways. Unless you play it on a console, Japanese games suck. Even then, most of their computer games are dating sims.

  4. @Pangoria

    hehe I cannot agree there, I grew up with japanese console games and I dare say they have influenced all the genres from the 80ies onwards and set worldwide standards in terms of gamedesign and gameplay. SE, Konami, Taito, Capcom, Hudson Soft, Nintendo, Sega – just to name a few. Japan is a great videogame nation. the greatest RPGs I ever played were from SE.

    it’s true though that they do not care as much for the PC market. And the issue with FF online as an example is probably, that they are still creating MMOs that are very close to their console RPGs. They need to ‘grow up’ and realize this isn’t the 90ies anymore. I think they try too.

    and that sounds horrible about DQ – eugh! I believe I have a collection somewhere, maybe then I can let it rot on the shelf? 😉

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