After reading that Rift interview a couple blogs down regarding customer being king, I couldn't help but think about FFXIV. If anyone has been reading mmorpg.com or FoH forums, it's clear that the controls are worse than FFXI and can be a huge road block for attracting new players to FFXIV. With release supposedly just two months away, I couldn't help but wonder why they'd be so stubborn with this one issue when every other mmo out there is playable with a keyboard/mouse.
Now Gamer released an interview yesterday with FFXIV's Hiromichi Tanaka. Here's a couple responses:
Do you fear that some MMO players, unfamiliar with Final Fantasy, might feel like they’re coming to the franchise too late to join in?
There may be some people who are unfamiliar with the series, and it’s very important that we communicate the game well to them. But our main target is Final Fantasy XI players who have stuck with us for eight years and want to proceed into the next generation of MMO.
How has your approach to MMO development changed alongside the market?
We had an alpha test for Final Fantasy XIV and received a lot of feedback from players in Japan, Europe and America. A lot of them said that ‘because World Of Warcraft works in this way then we also expect Final Fantasy XIV to play in the same way’. We heard that a lot and though we’re not trying to imitate any other games we are taking player feedback into account.
I think it's great that they want to keep in mind their loyal fan base for all these years. You often don't see that as companies only see WoW dollar signs/WoW game play to strive for. But I'm sure they'd love to find a way to keep that base and bring in new folks. I'm not sure specifically what sort of World of Warcraft feedback they've gotten, but have to imagine it's UI or control related more than anything.
I just could not get the hang of the controls in the old Final Fantasy. And when I heard it was the same way or even worse in the new version, I just had no plans to even bother. If this article is an indication they might consider making it playable with keyboard and mouse combination, and it's actually playable on my system (not looking good if the benchmark is correct), then I'd definitely give it another look.