Final Fantasy XI: Starlight Celebration 2012

The starlight celebration is Vana’Diels annual Christmas event. This year I set out to get some items I missed in the past year and whatever might be new. I was quite successful. Details and screenshots after the cut.
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Review: Tales of Graces f (PS3)

The “Tales of” series has also a strong following and is one of the last few JRPG similar to Final Fantasy. It might not be turn-based action but it is a beautifully crafted RPG which focus is heavily on story and character development. In the past the action based  combat of these games always turned me off but somehow I couldn’t resist this one. A good decision.
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Final Fantasy XIV: Instanced Dungeons (Alpha)

The latest Alpha video is here and gives us a brief glimpse on instanced dungeons. We see the formation of a small “light party” that enters a dungeon. It looks like as if the task is to destroy some seals to reveal the cocoon where the dungeon boss is sealed within. Combat seems to be fast and dynamic without being hectic.

I think right now it suffers from a problem some already faced in FFXI: combat log spam. The combat log and the screen damage numbers are too much. There is just too much information that obscures the scene. Most of the information is not necessary. I think later this will look much better if players can use a palette of options to choose which messages and pop ups they want to see. Depending on your role in a group or your play style much of the information is simply never useful for you.

I believe once that is optimised combat and group play will look absolutely awesome. The road to the reborn realm is clear. Lets get a speeding ticket.

Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin

The latest trailer for the fifth FFXI addon-on was just released together with the release date: March 26th 2013. I am looking forward to it. The trailer sparks my interest to explore a new country in the game and to experience new stories.
 

News media and shootings

Usually I stay out of this topic but I want to address it this time in a general approach to news media and shootings. In our age almost every time when there is a shooting the news media of all kinds are quick to blame it towards violent video games. But why?

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Final Fantasy XIV: Levequests and Party Combat (Alpha)

The latest alpha video was released to show examples of levequests and group combat. The quests look much more organized and easier to start and return. At the beginning of each phase you hear some kind of fanfare and see some big overlay text highlighting the phase. While this can give it a touch of heroism I assume once you heard it 100 times you get sick of it. I hope they add an option to disable this “feature”.

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The MMO Market 2012

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Final Fantasy XIV: Gathering and Crafting (Alpha)

A new video from the Final Fantasy XIV beta is there giving a brief example of the revamped gathering and crafting. In the initial version this was a complete mess, absurd, boring and it took way too much times. Also the number of clicks from starting a synthesize process to its end were far too many.

In the video below you can see that especially gathering is much better now. You can now pick the items you want to get. Crafting/Synthesizing still requires a number of clicks in order to actually make an item but the process is faster and and got more flow. I really like those changes. it looks like the reborn real is shaping up very good.

The Secret World goes Free to Play: You Don’t Say?

Funcom recently announced that it will drop the subscription model from its MMO “The Secret World”. That is hardly news. It was just a matter of time. In my July review of the game I already called it. In the short term I believe this will indeed help the game.

However if you consider that until recent past Funcom always confirmed to stay true to its business model and they changed plans contrary to their announcement and so early in the lifetime of the game you must question the long time success of this title.  Reception of the game was always mixed and its a niche title. Can it survive if it has to go trough such changes so early on?

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