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SE has an opinion about the lvl 75 capFollow

#1 Apr 21 2005 at 4:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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I posted this originally in another thread. Subsequent posts indicated to me that people that would have benefited from this information managed to have missed it entirely.
Since it's such a popular topic at the moment I figured I might as well make it into its own thread. Perhaps some of you may find this interesting. I did.



Link:

World Report

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This is SE's latest comprehensive strategy guide. There is an interview section where the FFXI senior development group answer several very popular questions.

I can only paraphrase what was in the book, so take what you will...

When asked if there were any plans to raise the level cap beyond 75 they replied that there are no current plans to raise the cap. However, they will consider it if such a step becomes necessary.

They go on to explain that they actually design the game from the standpoint of a level 100 cap.

Also, they bring up the old level 50 cap and explain that all the NMs they had designed to be difficult for high level players during this time are now far too easy for the game's current high level player base.

They would prefer to keep the game interesting by encouraging players to develop clever strategies to overcome obstacles and raising the cap would render much of the current content obsolete. (this last paragraph is heavily paraphrased)

As such, they believe developing more level capped content would be he way to go.

They also talk about the difficulty (necessity?) of creating new zones and monsters to cater to new high level players should they decide to raise the cap.




Thats the gist of it, do not take this verbatim since much of this I had to take from memory and my roommate had to translate this for me.

If there are other people out there that have read this section of the book, please feel free to clarify anything I may have misrepresented.
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#2 Apr 21 2005 at 5:04 PM Rating: Excellent
It all makes good sense really.

I like the level capped stuff a lot. I only wish my vast assortment of gear was more managable.

I have an idea. Make it possible to upgrade a set of gear to where it gains a morphing type ability, so that you can still wear it in a capped zone, however its stats are prorated accordingly.

For example, if a lvl 60 body piece has a DEF of 30 and you go into a lvl 40 capped zone.... you still get to wear it, only it now has a DEF of 20. Same would go for all of the stat bonuses.

Anyway, I kinda thought of that on the fly so i'm sure there are good reasons why it wouldnt work. Just a thought.

#3 Apr 21 2005 at 5:34 PM Rating: Good
The only problem I saw with the level capped content in CoP when I first came across it, was one of storage. Though, the last two version updates have gone some way to address this, and the addition of another Gobbiebag. I think, eventually, raising the level cap is the way the development team will have to proceed; there is only so many variations of capped missions, quests, BCNMs, ENMs, etc.

There are several points to think about before the level cap is raised, but also counter points.
Firstly, to all those who say that raising the cap to 80 (for example) would break the game balance, I do not believe that this can be a valid argument. For a start, these changes in the sub job combinations would only take place at these extremely high levels. The example I have seen banided about on these boards is Red Mage, with people decrying the ability to gain Convert or Refresh (forgive me, I forget which one is below level 40 and which is above level 40). Some topics said Red Mages would become utterly irrelavant at high levels. The beauty with an online model is that Square can make new necessities for the Red Mage job; new spells and abilities which the party will have need of.

I do think that level 75 characters will eventually (and some already have started to) tire of the current endgame content. I am sure that Square have a very careful eye over Vana'diel and know the exact implications over yesterday's Experience Point System modification. I would not begin to suggest what reason Square have for every decision they make, but I am certain that they make them for the good of the community as a whole. The mention that the game has been developed with a level cap of 100 in mind shows the enromous scope still left in Final Fantasy XI. The plan with Rise of the Zilart (in my view) was to push the boundaries in one direction; upwards. Chains of Promathia (if you'll put up with this clumsy analogy) was designed to push the player base outwards as well. The effect of both of these is, I think, to make a platform of more high level people. From this platform, a new expansion pack would come forward to push upwards again - towards level 100. Think of it this way; when we all started back in Autumn 2003, we all started from the beginning. Some players rose quickly to level 75. Others, like myself who have only just hit level 50 for the first time, took a longer period of time. I think this is Square's first step to a new expansion; they try to level out the playing field at a higher level, and then when a new expansion appears, those who sped through from level 1-75, will speed onwards to the new 'endgame', whilst the rest of us will stick to our snail pace.

Square have already mentioned that the effect of higher level players upon the economy has been a factor in their decision to change the Experience curve. Perhaps Square are trying to get the player base to shift the focus of the economy to provide for themselves at this higher level. I do not claim to be an economic expert, far from it, but I believe by letting more players have influence upon the high-end level of the economy is a first step towards a new stage in the progression of the game.

So I hope that makes some sense; it certainly made sense to me while I was writing it, but things I write tend to have a habit of not making sense upon re-reading. I hope this will spark debate about why Square Enix have done what they have done, rather than berating and criticising them. At the end of it all, it's safe to say Square know this game better than any of us, but it can't hurt for us to speculate on the next big direction it might take.

Edited, Thu Apr 21 18:37:14 2005 by Mieck
#4 Apr 21 2005 at 7:16 PM Rating: Good
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It all makes sense. In fact, that really the only sensible way for SE to be looking at this.

Of course SE is open to the idea of raising the cap. Why on earth wouldn't they be? It's not like they're going to ignore an entire avenue of game development just because they currently are going in a different direction.

The "problem" with level-capped areas is that, well, they can be difficult. I think that not too long from now we'll see the "uber" players being the ones who've gotten through all the capped CoP stuff, and not the ones who've reached 75.
#5 Apr 21 2005 at 7:55 PM Rating: Good
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It's nice to finally read a thread on the issue with some intelligence. All of this "OMFG MY XP PTS R GON!!!1111" crap is retarded. SE doesn't make blind changes to the game, they're planning something. I told my linkshell to mark my words; in the next or next-next update (maybe later, it will after all take months for the xp change to take effect) there's going to be some major endgame additions, and there's a slight chance the level cap will be raised (however I still feel that is months off). Greedy as SE may or may not be, there are people there that care about their games working for them, and the changes were done to do something positive in the game. They're an awfully tight-lipped bunch and I'm sure there are things planned we haven't even imagined yet.


Thank you for posting this OP, if there is any more interviews with the developers I'm very interested in hearing about it!
#6 Apr 21 2005 at 8:12 PM Rating: Default
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Gutspraygore wrote:


They would prefer to keep the game interesting by encouraging players to develop clever strategies to overcome obstacles



Yea, thats half the reason I bet SE hasn't raised the cap. The players are all "OMG LETS throw more X JOB at it and OMGZ WE WIN". This is boring to 90% of players, and they either just quit, or switch to X job.

Please, people, THINK REASONABLE. You cant just pull X job out of your ***.
#7 Apr 22 2005 at 12:26 AM Rating: Default
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plutoknight wrote:
Gutspraygore wrote:


They would prefer to keep the game interesting by encouraging players to develop clever strategies to overcome obstacles



Yea, thats half the reason I bet SE hasn't raised the cap. The players are all "OMG LETS throw more X JOB at it and OMGZ WE WIN". This is boring to 90% of players, and they either just quit, or switch to X job.

Please, people, THINK REASONABLE. You cant just pull X job out of your ***.


And remember, you can solve almost any level-capped problem by throwing summoners and rangers at it. :->
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#8 Apr 22 2005 at 12:56 AM Rating: Decent
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As I've said many times, there is a very simple solution to the "raising the level cap will make end-game too easy" argument.

Impose a level cap of 75 on the following areas:

- all current Dynamis areas
- the region of Tu'Lia
- Attowah Chasm
- King Ranperre's Tomb
- Uleguerand Range
- Valley of Sorrows
- Behemoth's Dominion
- Dragon's Aery
- all uncapped BCNMs would have a level 75 restriction added

This would ensure that even if the level cap was raised beyond 75, current end-game content would not become too easy. Lesser HNMs like Serket and Aquarius would become easier, but they're easy enough as it is, and I see little harm in making them even easier.

An alternative way of handling it would not be to place a level 75 the above areas, but upon engaging certain HNMs, the player would become restricted to 75.

The lack of viable exp zones could be addressed by adding higher level monsters to some zones, which Square has done in past updates. Dungeons like Crawlers Nest and Castle Zvahl did not have level 60+ mobs in them when the level cap was only 50.

Edited, Fri Apr 22 01:56:28 2005 by elkins

Edited, Fri Apr 22 01:58:54 2005 by elkins

Edited, Fri Apr 22 02:00:23 2005 by elkins
#9 Apr 22 2005 at 1:55 AM Rating: Good
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This is just personal opinion, but i really, really hate capped content in FFXI. It drives me nuts. I understand the literal need for it as far as playing experience goes, but within the game, I can't seem to wrap my brain around the idea of my character getting weaker, in order to make things more of a challenge. It's so illogical to that regard. Also, i'm never thrilled with the idea of buying back or storing outdated equipment, in case I ever need to weaken my character to go out and fight something so that i can do other stuff later when i'm strong again.

I suppose its a necessary evil though.
#10 Apr 22 2005 at 2:12 AM Rating: Default
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I think it would be nice to see the cap raise again
#11 Apr 22 2005 at 3:24 AM Rating: Decent
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Seriously... the lvl Cap crap is what's kept me from even purchasing CoP. I don't need to spend more money to buy gear I shouldn't need. I also didn't lvl my job this high just so I could go back and try and fight in BC's where I'm not even useful because my job hasn't hit it's prime yet.
#12 Apr 22 2005 at 5:10 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Seriously... the lvl Cap crap is what's kept me from even purchasing CoP. I don't need to spend more money to buy gear I shouldn't need. I also didn't lvl my job this high just so I could go back and try and fight in BC's where I'm not even useful because my job hasn't hit it's prime yet.

Without capping levels, SE would basically be left with two options: 1) leave the capped content as it is now and simply remove the cap, or 2) make all of the expansion content geared for level 70-75.

The first option would allow people to breeze through everything (one of the biggest problems with the original country missions -- no challenge at all), and the second option would only cater to high level players. But if you have a better solution to this issue, by all means, share it with us.

I don't really mind the level caps. SE more than made up for the level 30 Promyvion caps by making the missions fun and graphically pleasing, and they even provided a bunch of new, useful equipment right before level 30 for all types of classes -- the Nocht, Seer, and Eisen sets. People complained about storage space, so they introduced the NPCs that store full sets of armor.
#13 Apr 22 2005 at 3:55 PM Rating: Default
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I'm not sure I entirely agree with capping all of those areas you listed. I might agree with capping the battlegrounds where you fight Kirin, Byakko etc. at 80 or so, and perhaps capping dynamis at 80, but not the entire areas, and also not capped at 75. (although I agree whole-heartadly with capping the uncapped BCNMs currently at 75 (and enms)) The reason is, with the raise of the cap, new gear would be introduced, making current "uber" gear less "uber" or even obsolete. It makes no sense for it to be just as hard to get level 75 gear as it is to get level 80 gear.

Think about it like this. Back when the cap was 60 and AF3 was like the most awsome peice of gear around for each job, they were a relativley challenging thing to obtain. The coffers before them were the same way. Thesedays, you can do coffers with 1 or 2 people if your going back to level a second job, or if its your first call a friend or two who are 70+. And as for the AF3, if you have higher level friends it only takes a small group, where it would have taken an alliance.

SE did not implement caps on the areas with these fights, because, if its not easier to do these types of things when your a higher level, it takes away a large part of the purpose behing being a higher level. I really like the addition of the new level capped areas, and I beleive boss battles should always be capped (or intended for the current overall level cap), however I do not beleive that areas neccesarily need to be capped at always. There should be a balance, many people find it enjoyable to get high levels, so that they can freely explore new areas, not go through the difficulty of finding 5 other people who would like to go through these areas and fight monsters just for the sake of exploring.

It makes sense that right now, things like Kirin's Osode are difficult to obtain, however, if the cap ever gets to 100 lets say, why in gods name would it still be that difficult to get XD.. people would just keep leveling untill they came across a much easier to obtain peice of gear with better stats a few levels up, and the osode would be buried in the sands of time.
#14 Apr 22 2005 at 4:02 PM Rating: Default
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On a side note, I was thinking more about the Behemoth thing, and came to a conclusion.

If the cap was to be raised, and Behemoth's gear was no longer as good as it is now, (which it naturally should not be) they should make the materials easier to obtained anyhow.

Behemoth's are already poached out of existance. Theres always 2 or 3 linkshells there every window, and generally the same linkshell seems to win the pull everytime. For an area called "Behemoth's Dominion" its relativley boring. You hardly ever see a Behemoth around, basically you never see one around just walking around, its usually less then a second before its pulled.

Behemoths just are not the big strong monsters they're made out to be. And lots of people hardly ever get a chance to face off with one of them. If this cap was raised, I think behemoths should pop more often in the zone as a whole, (although KB can have the same pop rate) And if they ever add the northern continent (the one where the orcs came from, thats mentioned repetadly in the story) they ought to have behemoths be much more common up there, as I'm pretty certain that their origin lies in the north with the orcs.

Of course there would be a darastic drop in the value of the gear, but there would be something to replace it for higher levels.
#15 Apr 22 2005 at 4:23 PM Rating: Decent
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RamseySylph wrote:
....It makes sense that right now, things like Kirin's Osode are difficult to obtain, however, if the cap ever gets to 100 lets say, why in gods name would it still be that difficult to get XD.. people would just keep leveling untill they came across a much easier to obtain peice of gear with better stats a few levels up, and the osode would be buried in the sands of time.
{Hmmm...}

So apply that logic to lower level gear: Why do people wear level 30 armor when they could "just keep leveling until they came across...gear with better stats a few levels up"? Because they need to wear *something* at (or close to) the level they're at. If the Kirin piece is the best peice to have at that level, people will still try to get it.

If this wasn't the case, then no one would wear level 30 armor because they'd just be waiting to level some more and get some better level 50 stuff. Yes, the 50 gear *IS* better. There's not doubt about that, but that doesn't mean that you don't wear 30 gear.

And why is it so difficult to believe that the higher level gear would also be "hard" to obtain (even at levels higher than 75)?
#16 Apr 22 2005 at 4:39 PM Rating: Default
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Magesavvy wrote:
It all makes good sense really.

I like the level capped stuff a lot. I only wish my vast assortment of gear was more managable.


Amen, the content is great, but they really need to do something about storage..
#17 Apr 22 2005 at 4:44 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Amen, the content is great, but they really need to do something about storage..

Agreed. SE seems to be working on the assumption that players will just make mules. That's a solution, I suppose, but rather than forcing players to dodge storage problems by making a whole new character, SE should really just design the game so that it's not necesary. Leaving gear with an NPC is a good start, but the gear you can leave is so restricted as to render the option almost unworkable. Except for AF, how often does someone own a complete set of any gear, with no odd pieces and no hq?
#18 Apr 22 2005 at 8:12 PM Rating: Default
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So apply that logic to lower level gear: Why do people wear level 30 armor when they could "just keep leveling until they came across...gear with better stats a few levels up"? Because they need to wear *something* at (or close to) the level they're at. If the Kirin piece is the best peice to have at that level, people will still try to get it.


Acctually, you missed the logic completly. I understand you need gear at that level, but Kirin' Osode is NOT a neccesary peice of equipment to exp. If the cap was raised much higher, and there were of course, gears better than the osode, but people had to still fight kirin and all the other guardians, and all the pops for them like; Faust, zip, Ugolem etc. at level 75, no one would do it because they could just as easily buy good gear and wait untill something better. And put their time into getting an uber gear at the capped level.

It disgusts me when someone with a different opinnion takes things so incredibly out of context and trys to make that the focal point of an arguement because they cant seem to find anything else wrong with it.

Also, I beleive I said, cap it at 80 or so, but just the acctual battlegrounds. I have nothing against it being "hard" to obtain these level 70-75 gears even if the cap is raised to 100. But having them take huge HNM LSes with members all storing level 75 equips, just for killing these NM to get more level 70-75 equips just wouldnt function well at all. The HNM LSes would move on to more current mobs to fight and drops to get, and if they made it neccesary to get as many people as it is now to get things like the Osode, even though the Osode is not the greatest gear (as the cap would be higher, and there would be better stuff to take its place)no one would ever want to get it.

Edited, Fri Apr 22 21:18:53 2005 by RamseySylph
#19 Apr 23 2005 at 5:11 PM Rating: Default
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Bump
#20 Apr 23 2005 at 5:36 PM Rating: Default
Only a tiny percentage of players have reached 75, so S-E would be better of spending the money to attract new level 1 players than to retain a tiny number of level 75 players.

For the level 75 players, I suggest that S-E open up a brand new server where people have to start out at level 1. This would allow people to play the game over again.
#21 Apr 24 2005 at 9:10 AM Rating: Default
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I seriously hope that last post was a joke.
#22 Apr 24 2005 at 10:53 AM Rating: Default
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the problems with storing gear has been largely taken care of by the new npc storage closet. granted, you cant store hq gear but at least you Can be outfitted in gear appropriate to the level requirement. check it out :)

they added numerous storage sets apart from AF that could be stored. granted, its 400-1k to remove that set to play in but it really makes a huge difference imo. can't tell you how happy i was when i stored by full RSE set yesterday. :)


cheers~
ss
#23 Apr 24 2005 at 10:57 AM Rating: Default
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It definatly helps, however, to store the gear, most people will be forced to purchase peices that they have not previously used, or downgrade from HQ. Excluding AF... I don't think I've ever been wearing a full set of anything post teen levels, as any of my jobs. It is a step in the right direction, but it could still use some work. Not to mention the insanely large amount of accesories that I have to keep... in like 4 mules.
#24 Apr 24 2005 at 12:29 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Only a tiny percentage of players have reached 75, so S-E would be better of spending the money to attract new level 1 players than to retain a tiny number of level 75 players.
Actually, there are more level 75 players than any other level except level 1 (because of all the mules). Far more than "a tiny percentage" have reached 75.
Quote:
the problems with storing gear has been largely taken care of by the new npc storage closet.

It has if you are in the habit of playing in completet armour sets, with no hq gear at all. In my entire time playing, AF is the only time I've ever done this. The current system forces me to replace hq gear with rq, and buy an unused extra piece or two to complete a set, just so I can store it.

I don't understand why SE doesn't seem to want to give us more storage spaces. There's presumably no gameplay imbalance, since we can all make mules anyway. I'm sure that the extra $1/month per mule adds up to a pretty large number, but if storage quests are hard enough people will still cheerfully use mules.
#25 Apr 24 2005 at 1:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Yea, thats half the reason I bet SE hasn't raised the cap. The players are all "OMG LETS throw more X JOB at it and OMGZ WE WIN". This is boring to 90% of players, and they either just quit, or switch to X job.

Please, people, THINK REASONABLE. You cant just pull X job out of your ***.

As a random note; wouldn't it be cool if they added an area or HNM that could only have 1 job of each type in it. You know, 15 portals on the ground, each allowing 1 job type to go in it before it would close. If they made this new HNM or whatever have good drops, it would make a lot of the jobs left out of high-level content happier. (generally non-Ranger DDs)

...being forced to high an HNM with 1 of every job would be a neat challenge.
#26 Apr 24 2005 at 9:19 PM Rating: Decent
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the 1$ dosent even bother me, its the huge ******* waste of time it is to mule stuff. IF they are going to run on the greedy-*** assumption that everyone will just hand them cash for more space, they should at least make it more convinent, shifting whole sets of gear through that stupid 8 space bottleneck mailbox all the time is beyond frustrating, and running between MH and box.
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