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Welcome one, welcome all to the splendiferous, fantasamal, lugubrious, mitochondriatic, supery duper Mailbag number one hundred and fifteen.

I don't think all of those words are applicable.

Maybe not, but they still fit!

That's not...

Anyways, I've had this topic in mind for a while now. In fact, I've considered it ever since I first took over the Mailbag. I always knew I wanted to do this one. A follow up on Macc's topic. Now we can, and what better way to leave then with a topic I've known I would do even when I didn't have a topic in mind before.

Fitting, I guess.

Indeed it is! On with the show! On with Dragonessa!

I tried out FFXI for a coupla days, on someone else's account. (Teehee, I didn't pay a penny!) It seemed pretty decent, but I can never get myself into the whole MMORPG thing, so uh, yeah. My only valid complaint is that they shouldn't have made it part of the numbered series, they should've called it "FF Online" or "Chocobo Pals" or "FF game that never ends" or some shit. Otherwise, from what I've seen and heard, it's pretty neat. ...Yeah.

:3 984.

:3 yourself. I can understand what you mean with the whole MMORPG thing. I've tried some of them before and never really got into them.

You tried one...

And I didn't get into it. Your point? As for the naming, I would have to agree with you on that. I would've preferred it be named Final Fantasy Online or something similar. It just doesn't seem like it deserved to fit into the numeral system. Or maybe that's just elitist. But if Tactics and Mystic Quest can't, then 11 shouldn't! Or something.

You just love Mystic Quest don't ya?

Best damn Final Fantasy EVOR.

I doubt that.

Doubt it all you want, you know it to be true!

Nice game, sort of. The game itself is pretty lousy. It's the friends you'll make and people you'll meet that makes it worth playing; not the half naked mithras or the more or less nonexistant plot, nor the expensive armours and weapons or the spell casting effects. So if you're afraid of people: Don't buy this game. You'd run and hide inside the cupboard or beneath the bed; wherever you usually hide. Worst case pee yourself. If you're not afraid of people, you might want to look into FFXI. Or not. You could hate people.
You owe me a cookie. An evil cookie.
-- Nulani t'Acraya.

Ah, anti-socialism. The bane of MMORPGs everywhere yet a stereotype of RPG gamers. Ironic, really.

Is that stereotype really applicable though?

Dunno. I've never met any anti-social RPG players.

That doesn't really give credence to it being untrue...

But it doesn't support the stereotype! Or something. As for the evil cookie, Kagon will have to handle it.

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but 984 has forced asked me to send in a reply, so I figured why not?

That's a lie! I forced nothing! It was consentual!

Well, it may be a bit odd for me being one of the community's old diehard Ragnarok Online fans, to have ended up playing the game I swore I wouldn't get into, but it happens. It's actually very addicting and offers a nice amount of variety instead of the usual point, click, watch things die.

You mean like RO?

Unlike a bunch of other MMORPGs, FFXI's got a lot of varied missions and quests that you can be sent on for some rather nice rewards. Plus, there's an actual coherent plot (or so I've been told everything gets more pieced together later on, damn you Bastok mission 2-3) instead of some silly backstory the company had to create 10 minutes before the game was released to make it appear more legitimate.

You mean like RO? :P

Plus there's the community. This factor is easily one of the most important in my opinion. If the community sucks, you're going to have a hard time playing a lot of the time due to various griefers, scammers, or what have you causing hell everywhere. Now my previous experiences, especially with RO, showed me a nice community that went not only to the dregs of being awful but far below that. Almost any map you went to was filled with people botting, there were constant problems with scammers, and there were just the usual idiots trying to get others killed. So far, I've experienced very little problems in FFXI. The community tends to be a lot nicer in general, and the players (for the most part) tend to be more intelligent. The game forces you to party really, so people have to interact with each other. Since the community tends to be better in FFXI than I've seen elsewhere, it doesn't end up being a real complaint. That and a White Mage can get another party if he really needs to quite easily >_>

There's another aspect of the game that I enjoy- the job system. So you tried out Warrior and hated it. You don't have to delete your character- just change your job to Black Mage, Monk, or whatever. This also increases the amount of time you end up spending on your character since there's the 6 basic jobs, plus the others you can unlock, all of which you can get to level 75. That'd take just a tad bit of time, including the fact that Squeenix may eventually up the level cap. Plus with subjobs, you can add more variety to what you're allowed to do, strengthening your character and expanding their uses.

The economy of the game also tends (well, for the most part) to be stable through the use of the Auction House. The stability keeps prices from going completely crazy due to sudden inflation or deflation due to a craze over an item that may last for a solid week. Plus it allows it so that anyone can sell their items easily without being almost required to make a character dedicated to selling their excess stuff. The ability for anyone to craft weapons, armor, and other useful items also helps balance things so that a select elite doesn't end up monopolizing everything.

I don't have many complaints about FFXI really. Dying sucks though, as you can de-level if you haven't gained enough experience into your next level. Rather annoying when you have to regain a level a few times due to a few bad experiences but meh, once you get good parties, you tend to gain experience really fast. If you can get past the first few solo levels, FFXI can be really easy to get into and a very enjoyable experience.

Except for the installation process, I presume. ZING

That wasn't that good of a zing.

YOUR FACE isn't that good of a zing.

Zing. *twirls finger sarcastically*

Indeed. Now for Videospirit, whose opinion isn't quite as sunshine and lollipops as Kagger's.

This is my first time writing in to the mail bag. I played FFXI for about 2 weeks and have developed the following opinion of it.

It's rather repetitive. It's not all that colourful or surprising either so i just get's to be the same old thing over again. Most people aren't playing to interact and it's difficult to find a fun party. If you like droning over a fishing rod for hours hunting for certain items for hours or just mercilessly killing stuff for hours it's not so bad but overall the game could be much better.

Most MMORPGs seem to fit into that kind of category. Some people like them. Some people don't like them. I've never found the repetitive actions of MMORPGs fun (yet for some reason I'm obsessed with repetitve actions in single player RPGs...), and if I want community, I'll just head on up to the RPGClassics Chat Room.

Nice shameless plug.

Thanks. I try. Evilmacarena tries too.

Aw man, it’s such a shame to see you go 984.

Yeah, well, I may not be gone for good. The 984 did have some Mailbag connections before hosting, and there's a good chance he'll have some after.

FF Online? Well, through my experiences with it I say that it’s a really slow game (all the more for SquareEnix, that nets ‘em more money). In the beginning, it’s not so bad, because the best experience is the stuff you solo. However, in the later parts of the game, you spent 75% your time waiting for a party that doesn’t SUCK (aka, one w/o a rare and elusive WHM), 20% of your time doing useless chatting, and 5% of your time actually getting somewhere. And “getting somewhere” is defined as “going to another place to kill stuff.” So total plot is: 0%. Object of game: Become the strongest guy when pvp comes out, the date of which is “never.”

Honestly, if you want a better MMORGP, check out City of Heroes.

Ranting over with.

Well, most MMORPGs seem to have that goal. RO did before pvp came out. And then I presume others like Everquest fall into that category. As for City of Heroes, that game looks fun, but I would consider only because of the superhero factor. Plus, if it can work properly, I'd love to make an actual 984 in a game. >.>




Now for something special by Eden.

Hello and welcome, this is an E-mail~

Within this E-mail, I will speak on FFXI!

Some of you may be wondering what FFXI

is all about! Simply- it's very magical!

Much like a fantasy world it is,

Dancing half-naked women all around,

Tight guys in tight clothes- why it is beauty

in it's finest form! Catgirls for you crazy

Perverts. (Not you, maba, we all love you!)

Yes sir-ee bob! It is just that fine!

Thinking in FFXI can be a new thing too!

For example: why fish in reality?

Boring! Wet! Smelly! FFXI is none of those!

We all love fishing, you should come with us.

Other new ideas can be hard:

Mining? Smithing? COOKING?! (the girls job >E)

But you to can be a great.... anything!

However, there is but one downside here...

For some reason you can not alt-tab FFXI.

Still, FFXI is a great game enjoyed by all.

Also, with every new order of FFXI,

you get get a frozen yogurt called frogurt!

Is that not the just the best thing ever?!

So come on one and all to the land of

--Please insert another coin to continue this message in iambic pentameter, please insert two more coins after that if you would like to remove the iambic pentameter and save what little shards of sanity you have left. Thank you have a logarithm passing day!--


You would do Shakespeare proud, Eden.

No he wouldn't!

Sure he would. I'm sure old Billy would like the way Eden acts. It's sorta like a Puck.

I never liked Puck.

Neither did Green Mage. :(

I played in the FFXI beta, so it’s been a while since I’ve played. Truth be told though, my experience with FFXI was a mixed bag. It was a really well done game, and I couldn’t complain about any part of it feeling thrown together sloppily. The graphics are good, the music is nice, there’s plenty to do, and there’s nothing you can really complain about at first glance. The problems with FFXI only come up after you’ve spent some time with the game, as they’re more an inherent flaw of MMORPGs than anything that can be blamed specifically on FFXI.

By far, the most annoying point of the game for me was how much of a time drain the game is. It’s quite obvious that Square-Enix wants to keep people paying to play for as long as they possibly can. The fastest way for gaining money, the jobs, is a ridiculous waste of time. Fishing, for example, was the most popular job at the time I played. The thing is fishing requires no interactivity from the player other than just pressing the “enter” button every few minutes. In effect, you’re forced to sit in front of the computer, pressing a single button over and over with no variety except in the time of day. Needless to say, fishing gets boring very quickly. However, to get access to many of the good items, you need a significant amount of money, which can only be obtained though, you guessed it, jobs. This means that 40% of your time in FFXI is going to be spent sitting in your chair, looking blankly at the screen and pressing the enter button every few minutes. That’s not my idea of fun. Why not make fishing a more interactive thing, or at least make it automatic or that you don’t have to sit there baby sitting your character for hours at a time? It’s a horrid, horrid thing, and it really turns me off to FFXI.

Another complaint I have is the severe lack of individuality in FFXI. There are small changes you can make to your character, true, but the only time you see these small changes are levels 1-5. After that, equipment covers up your character and everyone starts to look the same. And since everyone gets the same armor, because they offer the best bonuses, everyone ends up looking like a clone. It’s tough to make a name for yourself when there are 40,000 other people who look just like you.

The battle system is also a mixed bag. Fighting alone is a pretty boring, tough, and time wasting thing to do. Since most your battles while levels 1-10 are going to be fought by yourself, the game starts out kind of slow. But once you get in a party, things pick up dramatically. Parties are the core of FFXI, and they’re where the fun is at. But they also demand that your party members are good at doing their part in the group, something which it’s all too easy to screw up. On top of that, actually creating a party is a time consuming and flaky business. It takes a considerable amount of time to find people who want to group up, and sometimes people will just leave the group after a battle or two, throwing the whole group into disarray. So the battles are great fun when everything works out fine, but it can be a nightmare actually getting TO battle.

So FFXI is a mixed bag. It’s a good game, but it’s far too time consuming for the amount of fun it offers. In order to get any sort of entertainment from the game, it’s almost required that you spend 8+ hours a day playing it. That’s just too much time for too little enjoyment in my book.

Yep. That sounds like the usual MMORPG flaws tailored towards the various features of FFXI.


So, now, one last reply. And it's a doozy. No quips by me afterwards. So, we'll end it with a reply by a new Mailbagger. Take it away paladinxiv.

hey, guys, this is my first time doing this, im going to cut and paste an actual essay i wrote on the game for a sociology essay asking about the culture of mmorpgs, or some bs like that. anyway, dissect as you see fit, it had to be a couple of pages, anyway, here it is, thanks.

On the one hand, FFXI is an extremely well designed game. The job system is maybe the best it has ever been: each job has advantages and disadvantages which truly allow the players to make their job choices equal to their preferences. The support job ability also creates the potential for unique job combinations, which both make the game more interesting in party fighting, and more fun to the player, as they have more abilities from which to choose. The job system's genius is finally realized in party fighting, when each person must use his or her character in the best way that they can be used, and the strengths of the job and the player mix to create a very unique fighting experience.

A second advantage of the game is that it, to my knowledge, is the only MMORPG which attempts to create a story, which is pushed forward by the player's completion of quests (small side quests which raise your fame; which lowers the cost of items/ weapons/ armor in stores) and missions (given out by the government to advance the main story for the character and actually change the environment, eg: if enough people complete a certain mission, countries will actually ally themselves in the world.

On the other hand, most people who play the game, at least on the lower levels, are pretty mean and greedy, and most of your party members will leave you for dead, even if it was their fault that you died (eg: a white mage didn't heal you, and you were tanking for him/ her.) Also, people have a tendency to run in to fights and do dumb things. "Let's attack the incredibly tough monster! It's ok that our party doesn't have a white mage!" Also, aggressive and linking monsters (who pick you out and attack first and attack together) are extremely dangerous; especially when parties decide to set up camp in the middle of the desert, where multiple enemies spawn repeatedly. Trying to go against this reasoning will get you ridiculed, and even booted from certain parties.

A really neat feature of the game is that of the linkshell, which allows all members to keep in constant contact with each other, like a constant chatroom that continues through and during your gameplay. Two huge advantages of this feature are as follows: you are able to meet high level people, who will hopefully offer to help you out, as I've seen happen, or will make fun of you for being a noob, which I've also seen happen. You also get to meet people of levels close to yours, which allows them and you form a party and hopefully do much better in the game than forming a party with random people. Every once in a while, though, the chat that goes through the linkshell reminds me of when my friends and I were in an AOL chatroom for the first time. While I am fighting, the oh-so-familiar conversations of drugs and sex permeate the damage I deal to the monster. Even though I don't mind the latter topic (duh), such conversations make me wonder if the people talking are actually playing the game.

Would I recommend this game? Most definitely, provided you are a fan of MMORPGS. Maybe, if you are a FF fan; maybe also, if you can get friends of yours to play the game with you. As I said, the game has a lot of strengths, it's really well designed, but maybe all of you should take my ideas given the fact that I have a bit of bias: I'm new to the world of MMORPGS, but an old friend of FF since the very first one came out on Nintendo. I just haven't figured out how the two mix yet. I guess I just wish that more than 1 out of 20 people you meet were cool and reasonably good at the game. Anyway, that's what I think.

Well, that ends the replies session for The 984. But, as a little special treat, I wish to link to a VGCats comic that seems applicable. So, just mosy on over and look.

I don't think that plugging is allowed...

QUIET MONKEY BOY! And so, Armin Tanzarian's reign of terror is over. Now let us welcome our new Principal Skinner... Principal Seymour Skinner!

Wrong reference.

Oh. Right. Well, the Mailbag is now being handed over to Charlemagne. And for his first topic, he's going with the lazy route of a Mailbag Free For All! Great way to set a tone for a new administration. Anyway, send in the replies to Charlemagne. I'm sure he'll appreciate it.

So... We're done?


I don't know how to feel... I'm so conflicted...

About what?

Whether to be sad or be glad that I'm free of this Hellhole?

Well, you're not free yet. I'm sure I can find some good work for you.

Yippy skippy?

Yippy skippy indeed.