Square Enix Nurturing Player Ability In Final Fantasy XIV
I've written quite a large portion of Final Fantasy XIV content in recent weeks but it appears a few people have misunderstood my intentions. Despite the fact that I'm thoroughly enjoying the game the majority of my articles have aired on the side of negativity. In the interest of fairness, and to appease some of the more outspoken Raptr members, this week I thought I'd discuss some of the more positive aspects of Final Fantasy XIV; and they're not in short supply.
I'll be throwing up a few articles that lean more towards the positives over the next week or two but today I wanted to discuss the lengths Square Enix have taken to educate their players and nurture their abilities as they journey through Eorzea. It's not uncommon for today's MMORPG games to feature dungeon content as players progress but seldom do we see any that actually feature serious mechanics. Final Fantasy XIV however takes an entirely different approaching, introducing players to mechanically infused content very early in their adventure.
Although this has both negative and positive points, the benefits such a feature offer to the community are totally worthwhile. I've experienced my fair share of end-game MMO experiences and even once players have reached level cap, it can be staggering to see just how little they know about their class. On too many occasions players will immediately accuse a lesser skilled player of being garbage, when in actual fact they've just not been educated correctly.
We all learn things from others. From the day we're born until the day we die, we pick up knowledge every step of the way. The same can be said for the journey experienced in an MMO game. We ask where to locate certain enemies, what items are best used for our class, where to farm efficiently, etc. However you rarely hear of someone asking "How do I be a tank?". I began my journey through Eorzea with a friend that had literally zero experience in the MMO world. He didn't understand basic terms such as aggro and class abbreviations and he had no knowledge of how the typical MMO plays out.
I didn't feel it was beneficial to flood him with information so I just let him enjoy the game in his own way. It wasn't until we met up for a group quest in the mid level 30 range that I noticed how far he had come. He was able to fully tank an instance without losing aggro on a single enemy and even gave out advice prior to each of the boss fights. I asked him how he improved so quickly over such a short time and the two biggest aspects he mentioned were the community and Guildhests.
I wasn't surprised by the community aspect as it was one of the most defining aspects of FFXI and that trend continues with XIV. Although I was surprised that the Guildhests were actually beneficial for him. I used them as a boost in experience points as the completion bonus is great but after he mentioned their importance I found myself noticing the increase in skill as I progressed through the Guildhests.
People would quite often rush the early ones, paying very little attention to the actual objective but as they get more difficult, such as defeating 5 enemies within a few seconds of each other, I noticed people paying more and more attention to the battle, as opposed to the bomb mission where I saw literally 20+ deaths before completing it.
The objectives borrow elements from many raid-esque boss battles and dungeons, preparing players for the content that's lays ahead. Personally I feel Square Enix are not getting the credit they deserve here as many people, just like me, see them as mere exp boosts. They're great tools to introduce new MMO fans and console gamers to the complex mechanics of boss battles without reading a tutorial for 30 minutes.