Friday, 27 August 2010

The FFXIV protest movement

Whats the point?
FFXIV could be a really great game and I want it to be a really great game, but three features of the game are going to break it and Square-Enix don't look like they are going to change them so it's up to the FFXIV community to get the game we want.

Why should I join this protest, there are loads going on?
Theres the problem right there.  You have polls on FFXIV Core and Eorzeapedia, and stuff going on over here and over there.  Everyone needs to get behind ONE movement if we are going to make a difference.  By combining our efforts we are stronger as a community.

So how will this protest work?
Well at first this site will use a petition to spear head the community's feelings.  Once the final game is released, if still by then Square-Enix refuse to do as we ask then we'll be calling for 'No play days' when we'll ask all the FFXIV community to not log-in and play on certain days.  I have a feeling that after about a month or two if we don't get what we are asking for people will start to quit playing FFXIV in big numbers anyway.

So what are we protesting for?
OK, players of the FFXIV beta test will have first hand experience with what I'm talking about here, and FFXIV open beta players will learn soon enough.  Lets break it down into three points.

1)  Surplus EXP is a bad system.  It punishes players for playing, and steals game time that we pay for.  If I am paying to play FFXIV, I should not be told when and for how long I can play for.  Sure, I could do crafting but see points 2 and 3 to see why that's messed up too.
The surplus EXP system should be removed altogether.  Its like doing overtime at work, you do it to earn more money.  There are people that want to go home at 5pm and people that don't mind going home at 10pm so they can earn some extra cash.  But why work overtime if you are not going to be paid?  You wouldn't and the surplus EXP system is annoying everyone.
If Square-Enix are hunting the casual audience then this is the wrong way to go about it.  World of Warcraft got a lot of people playing because word of mouth spread that lots of people enjoyed it, thats how it got popular.  But its the hardcore players that spread that first wave of praise, and if FFXIV gets slammed by as many people as its getting now, the casuals will never come because everyone is giving it bad reviews now.
So point 1 of this protest movement is that Square-Enix get rid of the Surplus EXP system and let players play for as long as they like without getting surplus EXP penalties.

2)  FFXIV must have an Auction house sytem like in FFXI.  An MMO's economy is built on the Auction house system and the retainer system Square-Enix have put into FFXIV is awful.  It takes ages to find an item that you are looking for, then once you have found what you are looking for, you have to spend even more time looking through the other retainers to make sure you are getting the best price.
This process takes ages and to buy a handful of items needed for crafting can take a couple of hours by itself.  Not only that, prices of items vary so much from different retainers its creates a very unbalnced economy which is not a good idea for an MMO.

3)  Guild Leve cool downs being 48 hours.