Great Write-Up On The FFXIV “XP Threshold/Fatigue” System

•August 28, 2010 • 9 Comments

Kudos to Cindy, over at MMOvoices, for directing me to this. Super-kudos to Suzaku, at Eorzapedia, for writing this up!

News of Final Fantasy XIV’s fatigue system has hit the web recently, causing a firestorm of controversy.  Translation issues and mass speculation served to light a fire in the community, and a vocal segment is demanding the system be removed.  Such demands, however, stem from not thinking the system through.

When designing an MMO, one of the things that needs to go in is some sort of limit on the possible progression of players.  Developers need to control the rate at which players can approach the endgame, and other milestones along the way.  Usually this is done with an Experience Point (XP) curve.

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Final Fantasy XIV XP Threshold Properly Explained

•August 28, 2010 • 1 Comment

Final Fantasy XI forums and fansites blew up yesterday with the translation of a developer update posted on the Japanese beta site that covered the “surplus system,” or as I like to call it now, the “xp threshold system.” People were going crazy with conspiracy theories and threats of “I just canceled my CE pre-order Square-Enix!” (Onos!)

Today Nobuaki Komoto posted an update on the North American FFXIV beta site addressing these issues directly to the NA/EU audience. No shoddy translations or guessing games. This is what he had to say:

Once again, we would like to thank you all for your participation and support during the Closed Beta. We will continue to take your valuable feedback into consideration as we develop the game during Open Beta and even beyond the official release.

Now I would like to take a moment to respond to the many questions and opinions regarding the manner in and rates at which experience and skill points are obtained in Beta 3.

Firstly, the concept for FINAL FANTASY XIV was to design a system of character progression that offers meaningful advancement for those with limited time to dedicate to playing. We did not want to create a game that forced people to play for hours on end to see their efforts rewarded. To that end, in addition to the Guardian’s Aspect and guildleve systems, we introduced a means of apportioning swifter advancement to shorter periods of play.

In order to achieve this balance, we calculated a value for the amount of skill or experience points that could be earned in a one-hour period. This theoretical value represents an hour spent engaged solely in combat, levequests, or any other activities that earn skill or experience points, and sets a threshold delimiting how many of these points can be earned in a period of play.

Based on this, we have implemented a “threshold value” concept. These thresholds are regulated by a one-week timer that begins counting down the instant you earn skill/experience points. After a week has passed, the thresholds will reset, and the moment skill/experience points are earned again, the timer begins counting down anew.

Continue reading ‘Final Fantasy XIV XP Threshold Properly Explained’

Torchlight is $10 on Steam!

•December 19, 2009 • 3 Comments

I have sucked at anything that resembles writing/blogging lately, but I felt this was needed. Torchlight is 50% (re: $10) on Steam until Monday. Go buy it!

That is all.

UPDATE: It’s just $4.99 on Steam today (12/26)!

League of Legends Beta Giveaway

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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I have a handful (eight at the moment) of League of Legends beta invites to send out and all you have to do is leave a comment with your email or shoot me an email to iWinButton.jt[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject “LoL Beta.”

I’ll update this post once all eight of the invites have been taken care of.

For the less-informed, League of Legends is a spiritual successor to the extremely popular Warcraft III map DOTA (Defense of the Ancients). Check out the LoL site for more info.

First Impressions: Champions Online

•September 5, 2009 • 1 Comment

I could go on and divulge into why I’ve been a ghost for a bit but it’s honestly too complicated, melodramatic, and depressing to really get into, so just take this post and appreciate it! I’m overdue to talk about my recent over-indulgence of WoW, but I’ll save that for another time. For now, let me talk about my first impressions (we’re talking first night) of Champions Online.

I was excited to give Champions Online a try, for if nothing else, to get back into blogging and updating my site. Something about WoW just leaves me completely indifferent towards writing about it, so it’s always nice to play something else and get some actual inspiration and creative juices flowing.

I went into Champions Online retail knowing that performance of the beta client had left a very nasty taste in my mouth, but I was going to try and look past it. About a day into playing, and the game’s performance is really the only knock against the game I have. The graphics are perfect for the style they’re trying for, the character customization is deserving of all the hype (if not more), the depth of character progression and customization (beyond visual) is reminiscent of Star Wars Galaxies level of options, and the combat feels fresh and “actiony,” but still enough of the traditional MMORPG feel to make me happy.

I can’t go into much more than that at this point as I’ve seriously only played an hour hear and there. I’ve been scrapping and remaking characters just to try out a few of the power-sets and I think I’ve settled on the “Telekinesis” powers, which are quite fitting for my psychological-adept, mind-game hero “The Passive-Aggresive.”

A Free2Play Weekend

•July 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A friend and I had one of our monthly LAN party-of-sort (is it honestly a LAN party if it’s just 2 people? Sure) and as such this found me playing a multitude of random games I would normally not play on my own. The plan all week had been to pick up Darkfall or reactivate my World of Warcraft account, but little did I know, what happened at the LAN would change all of this.

We started things out slow with some RTS action in the form of Demigod and the Heroes of Newerth beta (DOTA clone). Demigod can be fun when you can actually find a non-lag match in the short list of online games that actually exist. Heroes of Newerth, well, I am pretty sure it’s under NDA still ( luckily for them), so I’ll bite my tongue.

After a food run and a short stint in Warhammer Online (trial accounts) I had the idea that we should test some of the many new “free2play browser games” that seem to be sprouting up more and more now (and of more and more quality). My eyes were set on Battlefield Heroes, Fallen Empire: Legions (Tribes), Quake Live, and the one that turned out to be my favorite, Free Realms. I had dabbled in most of these games in some sort of beta form but had never given them an authentic chance since. Before I get into the others, I might as well just say that Fallen Empire: Legions doesn’t work on Windows 7, so that’s a bummer.

I’ll start with Battlefield Heroes. It turned me off a bit in the beta because I felt like it was just a dumbed-down BF game in third-person, where twitch and aiming skills didn’t really matter. Turns out, I just wasn’t giving it enough of a chance. The charm in BF Heroes is the art style (reminiscent of Team Fortress 2), the classes and leveling/ranking-up system, and well, just the overall “charm” of the game (seeing people running around with tophats on or in their underwear, while wielding a sniper rifle sitting on the wing of an airplane – craziness). My friend wasn’t getting as into BF Heroes as I was and wanted to keep going back to the HoN beta or Counter Strike: Source but I was having a blast. My favorite class was either the Gunner, who is the “tank” type heavy-gunner, or the Commando, your usual “scout” or sniper-rifle wielding class. The stealth mechanic really adds a fun layer to playing the Commando, as it lets you get to and set up your sniping spot without getting mowed down every time you spawn and try to make your way to a safe sniping spot, so your class can actually be useful.

I was never one to play Quake 3: Arena back in the day (I was an Unreal Tournament kid), but Quake Live has had a special place in my heart ever since I first tried it at a similar LAN last year. I feel like you either love or hate the quick-frag-action of Quake Live and it just turns out that I love it. It reminds me of playing the original UT and that hits a special nerve in my gaming-heart. A shot of nostalgia, in a modern-day syringe, if you will. I don’t really know what else to say – it’s Quake 3 multiplayer action in your browser for free. Go play it if you dig that kind of thing!

I capped the LAN night off with some Free Realms (by myself, as my friend glanced over in confusion) and found myself playing it for a good 6-8 hours on Saturday as well. It’s hard to nail down what hooks me into FR so much, but all I know is after a few hours I was a subscribing-member and had 1,000 Station Cash in my character’s wallet. There are so many innovative, refreshingly fun, and charming things about FR I don’t know where to start. The fact that this is a browser-loaded game blows my mind. This could easily be a store-shelf product and it would totally be worth the money, more so than many games that are going for $50 on store shelves right this moment in fact. One of the simplest things that I instantly loved about FR was the name-creator they give you to help make your character’s name. It’s really just there to help encourage cutesy fantasy names and weed out the bad names, but any game that let’s me go as “James Peachmetal,” and actually encourages it, is awesome in my book.

The game is an evil perpetrator of the infamous “just one more quest” gaming hook. I found myself thinking this every time I would start another mini-game or head to a quest objective, yet I would still be playing an hour later. There are so many unique jobs (classes) that I wanted to explore and unlock them all, but then I wanted to try them too!

I really wish it let you take screenshots because I found myself hitting the “Prt Scr” button on many occasions, even after realizing it wasn’t working. I’m pretty sure the FR engine was built from the ground up by SOE, in which case, I really hope they are planning to use it in future games, if they aren’t already. The game is beautiful and runs flawlessly. I’ll have to get FRAPS installed again and get some footage for sure. Speaking of footage, below is some that I captured in game with FR‘s built in video capture. The quality is low because I was pushing out videos that were about 700mb-1gb when I had it on the “high quality” setting. It’s definitely not optimal, but it’s pretty awesome they have it in there and a way to upload it to YouTube with a click of a button.

So as I move forward into this week, I’ll probably be playing a ton of Free Realms and hope to throw some BF Heroes in there somewhere too. I feel like the litmus-test of free2play games is whether or not you feel like buying something in the in-game cash-shop would be worth it and if that appeals to you. If a RMT/micro-transaction game even tempts me to use “real money” to buy something in the game, let alone gets me to do it, I feel like it has succeeded at being a successful free2play game. I’m not sure if BF Heroes has hit that point with me yet, but congratulations Free Realms.

If you want to find me these games, here are my names for each respective game:

Battlefield Heroes: Remove_Nozzle

Quake Live: Remove_Nozzle

Free Realms: James Peachmetal (on Server 4 usually)

Best iPhone App yet? WoW Mobile Armory

•July 15, 2009 • 1 Comment

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Blizzard has just released the World of Warcraft Mobile Armory iPhone app. Mark this up as more proof of why the app store is 90% of the reason to even own an iPhone in my opinion.

With the WoW Mobile Armory you can do pretty much everything you can do on the official WoW Armory website:

  • Search for and view any character, item, guild, or Arena team in World of Warcraft.
  • Access your in-game calander of events.
  • View achievement-point leaderboards.
  • Plan out talent specs using the fully functional talent calculator.
  • And much more!

To view a nifty video presentation of the app in action, screenshots, and even a download link, just head to the official WoW Mobile Armory page. How much is the WoW Mobile Armory you ask? How about free!