Massively OP Podcast Episode 268: Second chances in the apocalypse

    
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On this week’s show, Bree, Colin, and Justin suit up for Phantasy Star Online 2’s PC launch announcement, roll with some Wastelanders in Fallout 76, phase ahead with World of Warcraft Classic, identify gaming canaries, and munch on Final Fantasy XIV’s dungeon problem (assuming it has one!).

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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engineeeeer7

Maybe I’m alone but I love the player dungeon requirement?

If you don’t like playing with other people then there’s a whole world of games to play. And maybe that’s harsh but people who hop on FFXIV or other MMOs and just complain about doing things with others are in the wrong place.

Also queue times are so, so much shorter than 20-40 minutes. That’s nowhere near accurate.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

I didn’t take from it that anyone was actually opposed to playing with other people in general. I think most people play MMOs knowing and expecting some optional or endgame group PvE or PvP. The problem described was in being forced to do a specific type of content with other people in order to progress along an otherwise solo progression track, especially when there’s a queue – obviously, your experience with the queue will depend on your play time, location, class/role, and game.

If an MMO is unnecessarily bottlenecking newbies and having to bribe veterans to solve that bottleneck, the problem is in the design, not in the players. It’s a relatively elegant fix, but then not all MMOs are XIV.

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engineeeeer7

As long as you’re not playing in the middle of the night queues are consistently less than 20 minutes as dps. I’ve very frequently had less than 5 minute queues as dps. I think it’s disingenuous to call this a bottleneck currently in ffxiv. And only seem to hear that from non-players.

I kinda disagree. I think the mandatory interaction is a key part of why FFXIV is good. Having teamwork be a part of the core experience is a good thing to me and is likely part of why the community is as generally helpful as it is. So many MMOs are just single player experiences with no player interaction. And they suffer for it usually as their dungeons end up being poorly populated and not very good.

Also, making dungeons a thing throughout ensures players learn to play semi decently so they don’t hit endgame being entirely incompetent for combat. Was

That said, there’s a few story instances in FFXIV like the end of ARR that should be solo for story purposes because they’re very, very long. But dungeons are like a 15 minute commitment.

Once again I think the elegant solution is one of the best parts of the game as it forces interaction and assistance and growth. I’ve had no meaningful interactions with another player in any other mmo I’ve played.

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Minimalistway

I did the dungeons for ARR then half of the Heavensward then i stopped playing the game, and waiting for dungeons could some times reach to 60 minutes, this is my experience.

It’s not the dungeon i’m against, it is the group requirement, in Shadowbringers a player can go into a dungeon with a group of NPCs as i understand, i wish this system worked for older dungeons.

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engineeeeer7

When were you playing? I’ve leveled several dps to 80 and longest I’ve seen is 20 minutes. Now if you queue at 2am you’ll have a wait but that’s to be expected.

Most of my dps queues are 5ish minutes lately.

The newer system with bots is apparently very custom and requires a good bit of work to implement from what I understand.

Eliot Lefebvre
Staff
Eliot Lefebvre

If you’re going to say “if you don’t like doing dungeons, FFXIV is not the game for you,” that’s perfectly valid. This is, as with many other parts of the game, a point wherein the developers have designed a game which begins as it means to continue. If you’re not having fun with it in Sastasha, you’re probably not going to be having fun with it by the time you get to Norvrandt. This is the game, and if you don’t like that, it might not be for you.

But if you’re going to say “if you don’t like doing dungeons this way, this isn’t the genre for you,” that’s a bridge too far. There are lots of forms of socializing along lots of different points (someone should do an article about that), and it’s entirely valid to say that you don’t like this way without painting it as a problem in the choice of overall genre to play within.

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engineeeeer7

Never meant dungeons are a requirement for MMOs.

My point is that if you never want to play with others and actively avoid it in MMOs consistently you may be in in the wrong genre.

I’ve known many players who log onto MMOs and just complain about other players and the idea they have to to things with others. There are a surprising number of these players and they always seem miserable.

I don’t think everything should be soloable. That, to me, is not the point of MMOs. Then it’s really just an O or Online game.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Neither the person who sent in the podcast email nor the hosts ever suggested never wanting to play with or actively avoiding other players. Or proposed that everything should be soloable, for that matter. The topic was a very specific problem with story gating.

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engineeeeer7

In ffxiv the only solutions to the proposed problem is to sideline dungeons out of the story or make them soloable. Neither is a good solution for this game.

Soloing I described previously.

Sidelining them has a lot of other problems to pacing and experience and leveling.

Sidenote: it’s really weird how few people on an MMO podcast have played one of the biggest MMOs with any seriousness.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Ah I see now, you’re new here. OK. MOP has 17 staffers, all with different specializations. Eliot above, for example, is our FFXIV columnist; he has written our FFXIV column for something like 10 years. Colin was our guest this week; he covers GW2 but also played XIV (and didn’t like it). Justin and I play a lot of MMOs. He has actually played XIV (also doesn’t love it), but he focuses more on other titles. I focus more on classic MMOs; I have no interest in XIV, but fortunately dozens of other MMOs have appealed to me over the last *checks notes* 23 years of playing this genre. This is why we addressed the question in a much broader sense, discussing how multiple games have identified solved the same exact problem – that’s far more interesting to more people than merely fanboying about XIV.

You arrived here and in your second breath misrepresented the argument to insult the emailer and defend a video game. Every comment you’ve made afterward has been tinged with some sort of slight for the people trying to gently explain this to you. Maybe consider why it is you believe you’ve “had no meaningful interactions with another player in any other MMO [you’ve] played” – except the one with forced grouping.

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sophiskiai

Solo story mode for dungeons (and an easier and/or smaller group story mode for raids) is something I will never stop advocating for, even where those dungeons & raids aren’t story requirements. If the devs want they can release it later on so that the normal dungeoneers and raiders get first look, they can not let story mode get the shiny achievements and cosmetics and special loot, but let players experience your game’s content!

Not only does it make more of the playerbase feel catered to and included, it can help them feel more invested in the game’s setting and lore, help them build confidence to try dungeons and raids in “normal” mode, and familiarise them with the basic structure of the dungeon or raid so they have less risk of being yelled at by elitist speedrunner types if they join a normal group.

One of the things Secret World Legends did right was incorporating a story mode for the dungeons, in TSW I never touched dungeons but in SWL this eventually led to me even grouping up for the Manhattan raid a bunch of times!

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

I so wish ESO had a solo/story mode for dungeons.

Like many games – you can queue for a dungeon with a group, but you will most likely feel like you are impeding on every else’s time at best, and get yelled at/kicked at worst, if you want to experience the story aspects.

LOTRO did this the right way a long time ago.

I thought for sure with the popularity of open world scaling that dungeon scaling would soon follow…but nope!!!

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Phubarrh

You want to solo dungeons? Everquest II. Load up a mercenary and familiar, make sure the content isn’t five levels above you (or chronomage yourself down if everything is grey by now), and judiciously slice your way through the instance. So many other games where I wish I could do the same thing.

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Minimalistway

In SWTOR story mode is solo dungeons, for people who want more rewards and leveling social levels they can join a groups to do different difficulty, i like this design because it allowed me to do the whole thing without stopping for dungeon finder.

In FFXIV and just for the first part of the game, A Realm Reborn, i have to do 12 dungeons and 10 trials to finish the story, and each expansion have more dungeons, yesterday i noticed that i haven’t touched FFXIV for about a month now, so i removed it, maybe i’ll come back later.