Saturday, July 17, 2010

Final Fantasy XIV - Possible UI/Mouse Changes?

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 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.


Pai said...

Excuse my ignorance, since I haven't followed this game at all, but is it optimized for a game pad?

Why would they release it for PC without decent mouse/keyboard controls?

Aspendawn said...

Yeah it's recommended to be played with a gamepad. It's my understanding that most Japanese players play their games on consoles rather than PC's, so the game was designed first with the console in mind and PC is a secondary thought.

I believe the previous version they actually released to the console first and the PC came afterwards. But in this case the console won't be released until next year and it's being built for the PC first so still don't quite understand why it's not optimized for the PC. They just really love their gamepads I guess.

Anonymous said...

It has been maybe 6 years since I played FFXI now, so my memory is not so clear on the controls. I don't remember having much trouble with them (played on PC), only that they may have been a bit different.

But sometimes when I have gone back to some of the older MMOs I played the interfaces in general felt a bit clunky, so maybe I would feel that now if I went back to FFXI.

Pacifista said...

In fact, the whole game has a "work in progress" sign attached to it. It's not just the controls that are not finished, everything else from UI to combat mechanics is still under construction. They don't seem to prioritize any feature over other, but work on everything at the same time.

It's just that the first thing you notice and the one that annoys you most are the controls. There's a lot of stuff to do to make the game ready for release.

Check back in few months and see where the game is at that point. You might be surprised, or confirm your fears. Everything is possible at this point.

And yeah, I'm in the beta.

Aspendawn said...

I wouldn't mind slightly clunky like DAOC. Some people just can't play it because of the outdated interface, but I can deal with that. It's just the lack of mouse use in FF along with the clunky interface I couldn't get past. I never did figure out how to attack anything in FFXI since I struggled with the movements so much.

Do look forward to seeing what changes they make the next couple months.

Pacifista said...

Yes, it's quite likely that the controls will not be as good as in other games. Hopefully they can get close enough to not be a game breaker.

There's a quality game underneath all the current problems, after all.

Yeebo said...

I fear that they will shoot themselves in the foot if they release this on the PC first, and the controls suck for PC gamers. I'd hate to see FFXIV become the jillionth MMO to never make it out on consoles because the developers launched a game that was designed for console gamers on the wrong platform, and screwed the pooch with the PC launch. The built in FFXI fan base may be enough to mitigate some missteps.