I made my guesses about what we were going to see, after all. I did them publicly, so everyone could read them. And I think I did pretty well overall. You can read my predictions before the Las Vegas festival and this past weekend’s Frankfurt festival; I didn’t have a specific prediction for Tokyo, although the aftermath gave me the chance for some speculation.
So how did I do? And how cool was what we actually saw? Let’s go over it.
Jobs: About 90% right
My initial prediction – based on how many jobs we had gotten in Heavensward – did, in fact, contain all of the jobs we eventually got. My second batch of predictions was entirely right insofar as the other new job was Samurai, and as we only got two jobs it was a second DPS rather than a tank. I’m going to go ahead and call this one almost entirely right, with some bonus points for getting the Samurai connection early on.
I actually hadn’t made the Sam Raimi connection when I was first watching, for the record; I just thought that Spider-man could be abbreviated “SM,” which was within spitting distance of the classic SAM abbreviation. It doesn’t really matter, but still.
Of course, this leaves us with a pretty short list of classic jobs for the next expansion that fit the mechanics of the game and have some iconic status… but that’s something to worry about next year. Right now, I’m going to give myself points for not getting distracted by red herrings.
Mechanics: Maybe 30%?
My mechanical speculation was more of a mixed bag. We know that we’re getting a revamp to the battle system, but we also don’t know a great deal about it at this point; mostly what we know is that it’s going to be aimed at shrinking the skill gap between players and that it’s still in development. That probably means more traits, but it’s not a given. It probably also means that there will be new passives.
Still, that wasn’t what we heard about. While some of my predictions brushed up against the right territory, we didn’t hear much about that and this one was, largely, not what we’ve heard about. So it goes into the “mostly wrong” category.
New regions: 100% right, but not 100% of the content
I guessed that we were going to Ala Mhigo, and that was correct. That prediction was absolutely right, there’s no question about it. I did not, however, guess that we’d be going to Othard as well, which puts me in an odd position. I was completely right, yes, but I didn’t completely guess everything. Then again, seeing as how Othard was meant to be a huge shock, perhaps that is kind of the point…
Ultimately, it was the right prediction, but it was incomplete. That, however, is understandable. Up until now, we had thought that we got one new region rather than multiples in an expansion; Stormblood is rewriting that rule. We’ll know better for the third expansion.
More housing: 100% right on concept, 0% right on execution
We absolutely did get more information about housing at Frankfurt, so that’s a good thing. In fact, the core of my predictions was entirely right – we did in fact find out about more shifts coming to the mechanics as well as where the new housing district would be located. However, I guessed entirely the wrong location for the district and I had been guessing about a better form of instanced housing, not just an increase in decorative limits.
Then again, considering our partial information (there was no reason to speculate about Kugane’s addition), I’m willing to call this a partial success. After all, I was right in guessing that it wasn’t in Ala Mhigo, and based on the information I had I made a reasonable prediction. Bit of a shame that Ishgard’s going to be such a ghost town once the expansion comes out, though.
So, all told, I’d say my predictions landed around a solid 75% or so. Not completely right, but mostly right, and some of the things that were wrong were entirely unknowable before the revelations started flying fast and furious.
Oh, and now that we’ve seen all of it…
Right, the emotional reaction. That’s pretty easy to understand, but it’ll require a preamble.
On Wednesday this past week, I started to get sick. This was a bad thing. I got progressively worse through the tail end of the week, and I knew it was going to be an absolutely crushing burden to get up at 4:30 a.m. to write up everything going on during the keynote. There was a temptation to just stay asleep and catch everything after the fact, but I forced myself up (aided a little by sickness) and got in my chair, ready for the keynote and the accompanying announcements.
And let me tell you, I consider it entirely worthwhile. I spent most of the weekend sick, but I also spent it happy because damn.
Samurai is the first new job reveal that does not naturally fit into any of my characters. I had a secondary character who could be Samurai, but none of my characters naturally fit into the mold in-character. And the reality is that I’m still happy with it. It’s a charming design, it matches the aesthetics, it looks cool, and it fills in a spec that had previously sat empty. I may have preferred the idea of a Samurai tank, but this still fits.
Plus, if I can be a bit odd, the Far East is something that Final Fantasy XI waited to see forever. We’re never going to at this point (no, Reisenjima isn’t the same), but this feels like the other shoe finally got dropped. We’re going to see this realm and explore what it contains. I realize it’s in a totally different game, but if we get to hit the Near East with the next expansion, I’ll be pretty well satisfied.
Of course, now we have to deal with the fact that there are 120 days between now and the expansion’s launch. So we’ll have to wait for a while before all of this can be a part of our world. But I look forward to it just the same, and I think I can handle the wait until then. There’s always stuff to do.
Feedback, as always, is welcome down in the comments below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next time around, I want to discuss what we have to look forward to over the next few months before we get the first of several small interquel patches.