Note: At the time of writing this entry, the most current episode of SBXIV still has not yet been published. I haven’t re-listened to the episode, and am going mostly based off of memory and other such things.
When my boyfriend tweeted something about GBTV, I immediately knew what it was about. It’s hard not to be able to tell, since it is the same thing the forums are going on about and that we had just talked about on our most recent episode of SBXIV: the bloody quest/battle footage from Alpha. I am bolding those words, because let me stress that 1.) this is Alpha and 2.) its of very limited content. As far as I remember, battle in WoW hardly seemed as interesting during those early on levels. Tera? I was staring at my panty clad ass too much to actually remember. GW2? Ok, you might have me there. Maybe.
A lot of comments have been directed at how supposedly boring and bland the content is based upon five minute videos of the Alpha and that the game isn’t following the direction of one game or another such as Tera or Guild Wars 2. Of course, as far as I am concerned, Guild Wars 2 has a declining population and I don’t even know many friends who are currently subscribed to Tera vs. the amount of friends I know who have unsubscribed long ago. Does XIV REALLY want to completely follow their path?
I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and TRY to think of them wanting to see XIV succeed. I know I want SquareEnix to succeed and most importantly for XIV to do well, but I know that some people are just so full of hate and vitriol and that they can’t see past their own blinders or what could be the bigger picture. XIV has already taken a lot of inspiration from these games, as can be gleaned off already published interviews, letters from the producer, and videos. There is also the fact that very solid reasoning has been given against mages being able to move during casting, and that was for balancing reasons in PvP. One can also argue that the game conventions in regards to PvP is most likely going to be based more upon Team vs. Team vs. one singular Player vs. Player. One looking for a more one-on-one action will most likely be utilizing a ‘duel’ sort of feature that may be implemented in the game at a future date.
A Team vs. Team setting is really nothing new; other MMOs have utilized this sort of game mechanic in their game as a form of PvP for a long time. The problem is that it appears Western gamers can’t seem to wrap their mind around the aspect of a TEAM battle in an MMO setting. For an Eastern audience, this is nothing new as their culture is based upon people working together in harmonious ways to reach goals. It is my belief that this is a reason why they tend to do better at games such as LoL and SC because they know how to work as a unit vs. trying to get their own personal glories. Such a theme is also very frequent in other FF titles, despite each series having its own main character(s). Without the unit as a whole, shit wouldn’t get done and the story as a whole wouldn’t progress. You could try, but it would be damn hard to do so, no?
But for a Western audience who think more of what can one do to elevate oneself vs. the group as a whole, I think this is a barrier of entry to think of how the mage can be utilized in a PvP setting with their disadvantages of being unable to move vs. being able to move.
Granted, we don’t know all the details. We don’t know how much damage the casters will be able to do on a whole vs their opponent, but with the inclusion of weapon skills it isn’t hard to imagine that it won’t be a significant amount of damage. Already the preview trailers have shown the BLM contributing to the all powerful Meteor within a group setting. Again, team work vs a single minded player is what I feel will help tide over a PvP match in XIV. Not just mindless team work of mashing buttons either, but more thoughtful actions that will most likely result in *gasp* communicating WITH your team to work WITH them versus against them to pull off well executed and deadly limit break attacks.
Do I think its impossible for the Western audience to do this? No, hardly! I know there are very capable groups out there who are able to keep the Japanese playerbase on its toes in XI in regards to its version of PvP, and I have no doubt that the same thing can and will be done again in XIV. My problem is the greater populace who can’t seem to wrap their head around other possibilities and seem stuck in their tunnel vision of what will make a great MMO. What fits for one, doesn’t always fit for all. Lets just hope those trying to shoehorn their way into XIV aren’t looking to ruin what already looks like a promising game at this point in time.