Global Chat: Sucked into Shadowbringers

    
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It’s hard to deny the fact that this July, half of the online gaming population seems to be immersed into FFXIV’s Shadowbringers expansion. And it also seems like everyone is talking about nothing but the excellent tale.

“This might be the best storyline that Square Enix has produced for this game so far,” wrote MMO blog Shards of Imagination. And Kaylriene is inclined to agree, saying, “Shadowbringers is the absolute pinnacle of MMO storytelling, as far as I am concerned, and it beats a lot of single player games I have played in my life.”

“I hear a lot of people say Shadowbringers was the best Final Fantasy game we’ve had in a very long time,” said Aywren Sojourner. “I’m inclined to agree – from start to finish, it is a full, whole and wonderful offering to players and fans alike.”

Inventory Full: Running Shai in Black Desert Online

“The Shai are too small to ride horses so they get a choice of three donkeys, all of which as an MMO Blogger I am contractually required to describe as “adorable“. Mine has tiger stripes and a blonde mane that reminds me of Billy Idol in his pomp. You get to name your mounts and I almost called mine “Billy” but fortunately I thought better of it.”

Going Commando: Lessons learned from Elder Scrolls Online

“Some of my favourite ESO memories simply have me thinking back to those days of wandering around aimlessly and marvelling at the beautiful trees in Auridon. Without wanting to change the game into something it isn’t, this does make me wish that SWTOR rewarded random exploration like that a bit more too.”

The Ancient Gaming Noob: That EVE Online starter pack controversy

“It is hard to stand up to any incremental change because it can be argued away as not being radically different from what you had accepted before.  But in the face of an ongoing march of incremental changes that set a pattern that appears to lead to an unhappy conclusion, it doesn’t seem exactly radical to reach a point where you can see the pattern and feel the need to push back on it.  At some point the frog realizes that boiling is in its future.”

Superior Realities: Astellia impressions

“It’s also probably worth noting that the Astels didn’t really seem to do much. Maybe they feel more impactful when you’re in more challenging content and/or have leveled them up more, but in the time I played it felt like I could have ignored them entirely and nothing really would have changed. Not a good sign considering this feature is the Astellia’s chief claim to fame.”

Virtual Bastion: Thirty hours and counting in Fallout 76

“Speaking of which, at several hours in, we finally encounter another random player. We had just discovered a farm when they showed up. It was little jarring at first, but no funny business occurs. They’re just there looting along with us. We go off on our merry way and so do they. It bears mentioning that I can count on one hand the number of other players we’ve encountered in thirty hours, and we’ve never had an issues. They’ve all been high-level, helpful players.”

Yeebo Fernbottom: The Secret World is a fantastic horror RPG that happens to be online

“In SWL I have found an absolutely fantastic single player horror/adventure RPG that happens to require you to be online. Despite playing largely solo, I know I wouldn’t enjoy it as much if it were offline. The other players I randomly run into make it feel more real to me than an offline game would. The presence of a functional player economy also helps a lot.”

Mailvatar: I love scavenger hunts in MMOs

“While that probably doesn’t sound like a lot of fun it actually was, at least to me. It shouldn’t have surprised me either because I’ve always liked scavenger hunt type quests in the games I’ve played. The main reason for this is that they make me look at those worlds with different eyes. When I have to search for something I see so much stuff I’d never noticed before.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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Jiminy Smegit

Was just thinking about FF14 in relation to that other article about GW2’s living story being a barrier to entry. I think the living story is fairly mild in comparison to the bloated sections of story in FF14 that exist between expansions, especially the post ARR stuff.

I really, really want to like FF14 but I find the need to watch videos (or learn by dying a million times) to pass trials/harder dungeons quite tedious. It begins to feel more like I am playing dance dance revolution rather than high fantasy. There is also the fact that leveling alts requires me to run POTD thousands of times or do a dungeon roulette and log off till the next day. Can we get some other way please? I would like to see Shadowbringers but I feel like I have to endure way too much boredom to get there.

It is probably just me though, I am one of those rare people that despite loving RPGs my entire life, hated the Witcher 3 with a passion even though it is apparently the pinnacle of gaming *shrug*

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Toy Clown

I’ve played a lot of MMOs over the years and I’ve never been entirely riveted by a story such as I have Shadowbringer’s. I’ve even been doing all the side quests and have set a slow, devouring pace of the story. Like a rare awesome book find, I’m sucked into it and it’s hard to put the game down.

I’m still not done and honestly, the thing that’s kept me from finishing it by now is I got hung up for a week while I tried to plow through my anxiety to do the first trial. I’m not looking forward to the second trial, but I’m grateful for the Trust system, or I’d be hung up waiting days getting my “stranger danger” anxiety levels before I could do the dungeons. It’s the only damn downside to this game, the forced grouping.

As a side note, I took time to play with Shai in BDO, but it’s so hard getting my head into it right now!

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IronSalamander8 .

I’m still on Stormblood but enjoying it still as I started playing again. I really want to go tank but I hate PuG tanking so much, even in FF14 where people actually talk to each other and usually in complete sentences, I’d rather not, so been focusing on machinist. I need to get a FC again.

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Sarah Cushaway

:| Ya’ll need to read more books if you think FFXIV has an “excellent” story.

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Sorenthaz

Shadowbringers, not the entire game as a whole.

Alyn
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Alyn

Hmmm, tis true it isn’t The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, The Sword of Shannara, nor The Phantom Tollbooth. Final Fantasy is as compared to other modern gaming mmos very strong writing.

I find myself wanting to experience the story more than once and that’s not bad for any massively multiplayer online game.

My experience only and I shall not judge others. Fair thee well Sarah.

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Sleepy

I’m sitting here thinking the same thing. There wasn’t enough cringe in the world for the 30 or so levels I’ve played. I guess not only does the ‘real game’ begin at end-game, the real story does too!

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Sorenthaz

The kind of sad part about Shadowbringers is that because its story was so good it’s hard to see how it’ll be matched with the 5.x storylines.

Also to me (and apparently enough folks over on the FFXIV subreddit at least) it makes me want to stay on the First because of its higher fantasy setting and interesting variety of scenery/music/etc. and I don’t really look forward to going back to focusing on the Source. Maybe that’ll change with time, but I’m curious to see where the 5.x story goes with how much happened in 5.0.

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Toy Clown

I was feeling this way too, and chatting about it to my friends. Stormblood felt like a slog to get through because it felt too enmeshed in the real world, whereas Shadowbringers has a delicious fantasy feel and it’s great escapism in its current form. I don’t want the fantasy part to end! Even the new armors and glamours feel fantasy-like and I love it.

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Hikari Kenzaki

I feel like the header image is calling me out… just really can’t get into FFXIV. It might have a chance to draw me in if it was F2P beyond small trials, but I’m not paying that much when I have plenty other games to play.

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Sorenthaz

From what I understand there’s an unlimited trial up to level 35 now, deep enough to let you encounter the first two? Primals, a handful of dungeons, and then unlock the ARR Jobs.

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Vincent Clark

We live in a strange gaming world where $15 a month is too much to pay for unlimited access to hours and hours of content. I pay more than that just to see one movie at the cinema.

And, thankfully, the game will never go F2P.

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Bruno Brito

You live in a world were not everyone pays the same price. To play FF14, i need to shell out four times the cash required to play.

Money doesn’t have the same worth all around the world, sweetie.

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Vincent Clark

Sucks to be you, sweetie.

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Bruno Brito

Yeah, still, you were the one saying that 15bucks wasn’t much. Sucks to be me, but i’m at least not a full blown asshole. Just half way there.

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Vincent Clark

That is because $15 a month isn’t much. I specifically said “gaming world” in my comment–meaning I was talking specifically to those who have the access, means, time and money to play these sort of games.

Now, taking what you said at face value, I absolutely agree that paying the equivalent of $60 a month is too much for any game although I have no idea why you, specifically, would have to pay that much for the same game I’m playing.

/shrug.

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Bruno Brito

I specifically said “gaming world” in my comment–meaning I was talking specifically to those who have the access, means, time and money to play these sort of games.

Yeah, we read minds now, and why the hell gamers should only be rich people? What the hell kinda elitist bullcrap is that now?

Now, taking what you said at face value, I absolutely agree that paying the equivalent of $60 a month is too much for any game although I have no idea why you, specifically, would have to pay that much for the same game I’m playing.

Monetary rates and taxation. One buck is worth 4/5 reais right now, and my country is in a financial crisis. I have to pay 4x/5x times the worth of anything international.

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Vincent Clark

“why the hell gamers should only be rich people? What the hell kinda elitist bullcrap is that now?”

Do me a favor and dial back the rhetoric a bit. Calling someone “elitist” because they can afford $15.00 a month on entertainment is ridiculous. Moving on…

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Hikari Kenzaki

Good for you that that is an acceptable monetary investment for you.

It is not for me. Subscriptions are not something I choose to support. And you are also choosing to read only part of what I said. It is not worth $15 when I have plenty of other games to play

And I know a lot of gamers who haven’t been able to go to a cinema in years, so maybe check your privilege.

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Vincent Clark

Yes, I am very privileged that I can afford $15 a month for entertainment. And all I had to do to afford that extravagant luxury is serve my country for over two decades. My sincerest apologies.

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Bruno Brito

And all I had to do to afford that extravagant luxury is serve my country for over two decades.

If you served with the same level of respect here, it wasn’t that much of a service.

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

And, thankfully, the game will never go F2P.

Curious what your objection to F2P is. Is it because it lets “poors” play in your sandbox or is it because it keeps out the predatory monetization?

If the later, I hate to break it to you but FF:XIV double dips. Industry standard $15/mo, a cash shop and a very painful level/story grind that encourages players to pay to skip.

If the former… well that’s your issue.

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Sorenthaz

and a very painful level/story grind that encourages players to pay to skip.

That’s subjective though. It’s only really painful if leveling up to current content is a priority over experiencing the rest of the game.

Also you only need to ever do it once since you can do everything on one character.

The game currently is more than big enough to do fine without free players, and quite frankly F2P games regularly compromise the quality/integrity of the game for the sake of pushing cash shop purchases like exp boosts and whale bait galore. Content stops being about producing the best gameplay experience possible and more around how they can tie monetization into it.

The mog station offerings are no different than shenanigans WoW or others do, and the prices tend to be in line with other MMOs (if not cheaper). Only real exceptions have been the two-seater Moogle mount and the Fanfest mount that normally wouldn’t be available beyond the Fanfests.

Bereman
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Bereman

They had the story requirements and length in long before they ever decided to even consider selling the skips/boosts, and that decision only came after seeking feedback on it (acknowledging that if there was enough pushback from the players they wouldn’t implement them in NA like they had in Korea).

The idea that they have the “painful” (subjective) leveling and story process there to encourage players to pay for the skip simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

They believe in telling a long running narrative. They also acknowledge that, for some, they just want to catch up to their friends and so use the current market’s approach to that.

No need to don the tinfoil hat today.

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IronSalamander8 .

I hear you on the subs. I’ve played several of them over the years despite originally finding the idea outrageous and I feel the sub model is one we should move away from, especially in a game with a cash shop like FF14.

It can be a little hard to get into, I can’t really place it as I was able to play WoW (albeit often half-heatedly) a game where the ogres look cuddly and elves ears are so long they should get carried away in a light breeze, so it isn’t the aesthetic, at least not for me, but while I find it quite good, I gave it a pass at first as well.