Continuous Improvement and Rewarding Loyalty [FFXIV]
It has been a while since I’ve spoken about Final Fantasy XIV. Ever since they announced they were making major changes to the game leading up to version 2.0, I decided to watch from the sidelines and monitor the progress of the game.
For a while now, they have been introducing a lot of content to the game. This includes a healthy amount of quests, so players did not have to grind it out in the wilds since there was nothing else to do once you completed the daily quests from the levequest system. On top of that, they introduced dungeons for mid and high level characters; each has their own story to tell. Notorious Monsters have made a comeback and drop unique loot. Also, avatar battles are in the game. So far, it is just the Ifrit and Moogle fight, with Garuda on the way. A number of quality of life adjustments have been made to the game.
Players can now have their own personal inn similar to the mog houses of old as well as, an armoire to store gear and the marketing system is drifting closer to that of an Auction house. The retainer system is slowly becoming an element of the auction house.
Some of the new content left me scratching my head. The job system for instance brought specialized classes fit for group content but it forces the player to play two of the already existing classes to a certain level before they can unlock them. For example, if you wanted to unlock the White Mage job, you have to play Conjurer to level 30 and gladiator to level 15. I know they want people to experience the armory system but forcing a player who wants to be healer play a tank-like class does not sit well with me, good for learning but an unnecessary hump in my honest opinion. There should be other ways to incentivize players to explore the other classes. My one hope is as they progress to version 2.0 they open up the system a bit more to allow players to do whatever they want without requiring too many prerequisites.
Initially this post was brought on by the fact that they revealed information that would benefit players that are currently playing the game. If you have pay for at least 90 days of cumulative days of subscription between January and the start of version 2.0 beta testing, which should be in testing near the tail of end of this year, you will be eligible for the legacy subscription price when version 2.0 is out the door. Instead of paying $14.99 a month, you pay $9.99 the current subscription cost. In tandem with the announcement, they are running their own welcome back campaign. From May 9 to May 20, players will be able to activate old accounts and get back into the game to see if it is worth spending money on. I personally will be going back to see some of the improvements firsthand and seeing the fruits of their labor.
I do not know if Yoshida is responsible but, Square Enix has done something I have never seen them do in all the years I played FFXI and that is clear communication. Since the changing of the guard way, the new team has really been making a concerted effort. Yoshida and crew routinely pin a blog post talking about upcoming changes, addressing feedback, or just keeping people in the know. Regardless of how the game shapes out, they deserve a lot of credit for doing a 180 and really trying to fix their flaws and create a game worthy of the name. Only time will tell if they will be successful or not.