Skip to main content

Moping, A Realm Reborn, And Fostering New Habits

"Rough day at the work?"
"Naw, just the same old grind."
In closure with the issue I mentioned at the end of the last entry, it is ever the case that I'm my own toughest critic.  I am fleeing from the situation because my fear of mistakes has been heightened to an extent that it is causing me to make more mistakes.  This is a spiral of inevitable failure, and so I'm getting while the getting is good.  I don't know if fleeing from what I considered a no-win situation was the right thing to do, though, because I'm extremely disappointed in myself for being unable meet everyone's expectations.

A note for if I ever become a boss of somebody: don't immediately raise the stakes to, "Stop making mistakes or you'll lose your job."  It's already implied that gross incompetence is bad for your job security, so mentioning this is just indicates to them the gravity of how close they are to the chopping block.  It might be a good move if that individual is slacking off, but when the individual is already doing their best and just making honest mistakes, this simple warning only transforms the sword of Damocles into a pendulum.  Nobody wants that.

...

Nevermind what's on the right monitor.
I reorganized my computer desktop last night.  Now, my desktop icons are simply a few games (Skyrim and The Bureau among them), a few productivity apps (Game Maker and You Need A Budget go right in the middle of the desktop), a few cloud storage solutions, the recycle bin, and few text documents I use to keep track of my work obligations.

There's one more thing: a folder titled, "WHY DON'T YOU PLAY THESE."  That folder has the icons of games that were on my desktop, prior to the organization, and I never make the time to play..

... it contains 90 items...

Yeah, I sorta need to stop buying games.

...

Perhaps seeking escapism, I tried playing Final Fantasy XIV: Realm Reborn today.  It's a relaunch of a game  had bought in 2010, Final Fantasy XIV.  I actually get to play the game for free... at least until September 9th, 10 days from now, at which point it will require a monthly subscription: how old fashioned.

First impressions with me were ruined because getting logged in at all is going to be torturous for a bit.  Just penetrating the server screen was quite difficult, as the game seems to have a massive number of players hammering it right now, about ten times the number the developers were expecting. 

In time, they plan to expand their server farm.  However, at the particular moment, the solutions they've implemented are far from satisfactory:
  • To disable players from having the ability to create characters, at all, on crowded servers. 

    Sure, this is actually a Final Fantasy XI tradition, but nobody likes being separated from their friends.  It's a dumb idea; it's better to just warn players that overcrowded servers will have degraded performance and to have a mechanic available to move them to less crowded servers.

  • To disable the server queuing mechanism.

    At least, I assume it's disabled.  I heard that there was a login queue, sometimes I ever see one.  However, for the most part what I see is an "error 1017."  The players are essentially shown the door when they try to log in with their characters.  Turning away customers is not a good policy, and queues exist so people will never need to be turned away (instead, they'll be allowed to stand in line).  So what is happening here?
Several attempts later, I managed to log into a server that I did not want to create a character on but it was the only choice I had, with a character who had a terrible name because I honestly did not expect to succeed in logging in.  However, after giving the game a spin for a few hours, I currently believe the relaunch will be better received than the original because this is actually a pretty solid game now.
The GUI, which was once the main point against the game, is now something it can display proudly: it flows like silk and features innovations that no one else in the industry utilizes. 

For example, the "armoury chest."  All of your loot and consumables goes into your inventory (now with a handy 4-tab organization), but all of your equipment goes into your armoury chest, and this serves to make it much easier to switch between gear for different jobs.  As before, you can cultivate a character who has multiple classes (depending on what weapon or tool they are currently holding), but now all the extra equipment that goes into that is not a genuine burden on your character anymore.
Another rather nice touch is this nicely minimal display of your currently worn
equipment status and their inventory status.  The players can see just how badly worn
their gear is, and how full their inventory is, at a chance to their hotbars at any time.
The combat flows quite a bit better, but I'm worried it might be a tad overly vanilla.  Call me spoiled by TERA, but Realm Reborn does not feature a great level of visceral involvement in combat.  Instead, it owes a lot more to the World of Warcraft methodology, simply tapping out an order of the appropriate hot keys as quickly as the global cooldown allows.  There is, at least, the relatively new innovation of enemy power attacks being broadcast on the ground, giving players a chance to dodge them... it's better than nothing.

I also found combat to be too easy.  I understand that starting monsters obviously should not be too hard for fledling players, but the ones I encountered in Final Fantasy XIV (up to level 6, so far) were so laughably easy that I could harvest an entire field of them at once if I wanted.  In fact, I don't think it would be possible for my Thaumatuge character to die as long as he has mana, because I can simply out-heal the enemies.

Maybe it gets more challenging at later levels?  I can only hope.  If they're going to go traditionalist in their combat approach, perhaps they should go all the way by creating deadly monsters that can only be defeated by the coordinated efforts of many players with roles in taking damage, healing damage, doing damage, and supporting abilities.  I've read some things that suggest that this is, indeed, the case.

I'm also not so sure about the crafting system.  Final Fantasy XIV did one thing very right: it had a completely player-driven economy.  Nearly all gear was created, and maintained, by player craftsmen specialists.  This created the potential for an extremely virtual-worldly experience that was unfortunately hobbled by the overall difficulty of transferring equipment between players.  Realm Reborn seems to have backpedaled significantly: there's still a crafting system, but now players don't need to seek out the products of craftsmen to gear gear because quests drop plenty of gear for them!

Many of these judgements are premature, though.  Until I really get a good look at the end game, I can't say for sure exactly how involving the combat is or how in-tact the once magnificently player-driven economy is.

All I can say for sure is that Realm Reborn's graphics have aged reasonably well.  Where Final Fantasy XIV's graphics were significantly ahead of their time in 2010, Realm Reborn's are less cutting edge, but still extremely well done.  There's a real sense of place in the locations in Realm Reborn, and I'm glad to see it.

Perhaps I'll give it another spin later, but right now I'm wondering if I'm just too old for this kind of game... I don't have much time left, I need to invest it better.

...

Lately, I've been putting some serious thought into quitting gaming entirely (or at least cutting down on it significantly).  The problem is that there's just not enough novelty left in the entirety of gaming kind to entertain me all that much.  Ever since my dabbling with game development in BYOND, I learned that it's far more exciting to make games than just play them.  I'm just having a hard time starting, and the reason why?  Distractions, such as forums, or playing games.

Making a game has become too important to me.  Creating a tangible artifact such as this is no less than a validation of my worth as a human being.  Yet, it's not happening.  It's not happening due to 6-day work weeks.  It's not happening because I'm failing to properly invest the time I have left.  Perhaps, deep down in my subconscious, my fear of mistakes is a fear of failure that is preventing me from getting started, or finishing, my life's work.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Greasing The Grind: Adding Lasting Appeal To Virtual World Sandboxes

Game design, being about entertainment, is not as much science as art.  We're coming up with interesting things that the human mind likes to chew on that "taste" good to it.  Different people find different things, "Fun," and a game designer is tasked with coming up with fun, appealing things.  As pertains to virtual world sandboxes, I identified three of them.

Challenge Appeal.

Dwarf Fortress and Fortresscraft Evolved have the same end game appeal preservation mechanic: wealth equals threat.  The more money your Dwarf Fortress is worth, the bigger the baddies who will come for you, including a bunch of snobby useless nobles who do nothing but push dwarves around and eat.  The more energy you make in Fortresscraft Evolved, the more and bigger bugs come to shut down your base.  Rimworld does something a little different based off of which AI Storyteller you choose, but it generally adds time to your wealth accumulation when deciding what kind of threats to throw a…