Community Voice: What can other MMO Devs learn from Square Enix...?By: Dododoro posted at Aug 17, 2012 8:55 am
We all know that when an MMO is dying, (or have crashed so hard that the possibility of reviving is null and void) the Devs/Publishers of those MMOs pull the plug or go free to play (And sometimes shut down afterward).
When Square Enix rushed out the newest online game in the numbered series 2 years ago (When it was being developed through Himorochi Tanaka's team) Fans lapped it up, like bees to honey, but later realized that the game wasn't as great as it seemed, their cries of content fell on deaf ears, and favoritism was rampart (AKA JAPAN OPINIONS ONRY)
Fast forward to a half a year later and the team has been replaced and the new director Naoki Yoshida, takes the helm.
Not only did he listen to his fans, but he listens to his fans WORLD WIDE, he takes their feedback and implements them into the game, making improvements to almost all of the problems the game had.
We know Sqaure Enix won't give up on a numbered Final Fantasy title, but it goes to show that if changes can be made to an MMO (No matter how drastic the changes must be) that mmos CAN be saved if under the right supervision.
A month ago Star Wars: The Old Republic announced a FREE TO PLAY OPTION (with LIMITATIONS) to content, although problems still exist and patches are used for "Quick Fixes", TERA has been having problems since launch (And not just in North America), En Masse's forums are littered with topics regarding problems with not only the game, but with the company's workers as well, EME usually closes the threads with "Were looking into it", but nothing is done about the underlying problems and constant overcharges of the game.
FFXIV could have crashed and burned, it could have went free to play, but it didn't, because someone saw potential in a game that was doomed to obscurity and raised it from the dead like a Phoenix from the ashes and built it back from the feedback of it's audience.
Other companies would slap on a quick fix patch and never go through the lengths Square has gone (From the very core of the game) to make the game better than it was 2 years ago, and has marked one of the rarest things ever done in MMO history.
99% of MMO developers won't admit that they screwed up, give their community a year of free to play time, nor communicate with them constantly and keep them up to date with upcoming information.
Old systems removed:
- Stamina (Your battle actions were determined by this bar and refilled slowly after each action)
- Fatigue (A system made to limit how much you played the game and tried to encourage the use of other classes)
- Physical Level/Rank Level (now a single level gauge)
- Battle Regimen (A combo system that has been revamped as the LIMIT BREAK SYSTEM)
- Skills (Skill TP useage had been reduced and a number of skills have been removed that were deemed useless)
- EXP based on weapon use. (Experience was gained through the way your weapon was used IE: Blocking)
- UI Lag improvement (UI lag completely eliminated in 2.0)
- Changed EVERY recipe in the game for more realistic crafting approach
- Guild Marks system (Removed entirely, this was currency used to by skills at higher levels)
- Guildleve System reliance (Guildleves were used as a main way of farming money or rare items)
Small list of 1.xx and 2.0 additions:
- Mail/Delivery system (a standard feature, needed to be done)
- Jump (another MMO standard needed)
- New combat system (TP is able to be used at the start of battle allowing skill usage from the get go)
- FF Job system
- Limit Break system (The party is able to fill a gauge to use a limit break, and it's effects depends on the player who triggers it)
- Materia System
- Completely revamped Craft system
- Primal Summoning System (After Primals ie: Ifrit, Garuda, Shiva; are defeated, players are able to summon them that lasts a week through the open world)
- Free Companies
- Complete Map redesign (Maps were re-designed due to the copy-paste concept of the old designs)
- Quest Based Progression (elimination of mob grind)
- Content Finder
- Instanced Content
- Final Fantasy-esque battles. (very evident in the final parts of the 1.xx storyline)
- Chocobo Companions (more than just a mount, but a combat buddy)
So to the community:
What can other mmo developers with dying titles learn from SE's persistence and determination?
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