FFXIV Tab Targeting

Can we talk about the tab targeting in FFXIV? And when I say "talk" I mean "rant" and when I say "we" I mean "me."

The tab targeting in FFXIV is the worst I have ever seen. It makes absolutely no sense. When I hit tab to switch to the next target, I expect the "next" target to be somewhere in the same vicinity as the first target. But for some reason, when you hit tab, suddenly you’re targeting some monster a mile away from everyone else who isn’t even attacking. Then you have to hit tab fifty more times to get to the mob you want to hit, and you usually overshoot it because you’re tapping the tab key really fast because you’re in a hurry, and then the whole thing starts over again. By then you’ve usually pulled fifty new mobs into the fight by accident. This is especially annoying in FATEs where you have monsters attacking in packs.

I’ve seen that there are target "filter" settings in the options, which is an awesome idea, but I can’t seem to figure out how to get them tuned the way I want them. In other games, tab targeting usually just "works" and you don’t have to think about it.

Ah, I found a Reddit thread which claims it targets from left-to-right instead of close-to-far like we are all used to. Because obviously the tried-and-true method needed to be changed.

WoW, Relaxing Trinquility

Perhaps as a result of a post on Inventory Full and a post on Herding Cats, I found myself playing WoW over the weekend. It was not one of my better weekends in terms of getting productive things done in my life, but I choose to think of that as the cause of playing WoW, rather than the effect. Anyway, I made a number of observations about WoW as compared to more modern MMOs.

It’s Huge. The game world is enormous, and there is a lot of running from place to place. That, I think, is the primary cause of people spending so much time in WoW. It simply takes a long time to get things done. You can’t just jump in and spend 15 minutes knocking out a few quests. You have to commit to spending some time in the game. My original hunter is now level 61 and on that Hell Penninsula I swear I must have spent twenty minutes just riding hippogryphs to get to the places I needed to go. (Once I accidentally clicked the wrong destination and had to fly somewhere and back. Talk about a groaner.)

It’s Grindy. WoW is quite grindy at times, particularly on the quests where you have to get X number of items from monster corpses. Because on those quests, the item only drops from the monster a certain percentage of the time, which never seems to be more than 50%. So if you need to pick up 10 foozle feet, you have to kill at least 20 foozles to finish the quest. Most modern MMOs don’t do that anymore, and boy are we glad.

It’s Difficult. WoW is actually kind of hard, if you’re not in the swing of it. You can’t just go walking out into the wilderness without a plan, particularly on the character I was playing who was a lowbie gnome mage. It’s hard to run away from monsters, it’s hard to see monsters, and it’s super easy to aggro other monsters. Sometimes you’ll be walking along and run right into the aggro range of a super elite boss, and next thing you know you’re doing a corpse run.

Respawn Is Slow. Along with the grindy bits above, the respawn rate for monsters is extremely slow. So say you have a quest to kill 10 foozles. If someone else has already been to the foozle camp recently and killed them, you have to stand there and wait for them to respawn. God forbid someone else is there waiting with you, because then you end up in a competition to tag the foozles when they spawn.

Classes Are Limited. You would think that a game that’s fifty years old would have limitless class possibilities and gameplay options, but it doesn’t. The classes are quite rigid, and there aren’t very many to pick from. It actually seems to me that some of the classes (eg. the mage I was playing) are not suitable for solo play at all. I haven’t played a warrior much lately but historically I also found it hard to play solo. Generally I’m only comfortable soloing with a pet class. Back in the day, I had to roll a hunter because it was the only way I could get anywhere in the game.

Addons Are Mandatory. Good lord there are a lot of addons, and you really need them, because the native WoW interface is kind of bad. Almost everything you’re used to in a modern MMO is missing in native WoW. You even need an addon for the dead simple core action of comparing an item in your inventory to an item you’re wearing.

I left out some other problems, like constantly running out of inventory space, and the inconvenience of banking. After that list of complaints you might wonder why on earth anyone would subject themselves to WoW.

It’s fun. :) The repetitiveness has a relaxing tranquility to it.

Whoa, Elder Scrolls Online Character Creation

From what I can tell, the two most anticipated MMOs “coming soon” are WildStar and Elder Scrolls Online. WildStar I can only assume because it’s made by some former WoW developers, and ESO because, well, it’s Elder Scrolls, man, come on. Anyway, a video was recently posted showing ESO character creation options, and wow, it looks pretty awesome. I’m not sure why I thought this but I figured ESO would be a lot more graphically simplified than Skyrim, but it actually looks pretty similar. It does appear that there are fewer customization options than Skyrim, which to me is actually a bit of a relief. I’m not fond of fiddling with hundreds of sliders to get cheekbones exactly right. I’m fine with broader adjustments.

Warhammer Online Comes To An End

I found out from all the gaming blogs that WarHammer Online is shutting down in December.

WAR ran for five years, which seems like a pretty decent run for any game. I was there at launch, struggling through the bugs and lack of content with everyone else. The biggest problem I remember was not being able to play for several days because my pre-ordered copy of the game was late and I couldn’t put in my game code. Other than that, I thought it was a pretty good MMO, but it was heavily focused on PvP, and that’s not really my thing, so I drifted away from it.

Here is what I originally wrote about it way back when:
WAR First Impressions |
WAR Report, Day 6 |
WAR Report, Day 7 |
WAR Report, Altdorf |
WAR Report, Day Something |
WAR Report, Fizzled Out |
WAR Report, Cultivation

Reading back over those posts, maybe I didn’t think it was so great after all.

WAR did introduce the world to the concept of the public quest, which in my opinion has been a huge addition to the genre. For that alone they deserve a place in history. (I say introduced, but I really don’t know if they were the first to do it or not. They were the first that I saw, at least.) I also feel like they had a lot of good interface ideas that have become fairly common, like sorting and filtering your inventory.

It’s very tempting to download it, log in, and screenshot my characters one last time. :) Maybe they will do a cool end-of-the-world event or something.

P.S. I downloaded the client and tried to log in again, and that’s when I discovered it still requires a subscription to play. I grumbled a bit but I still wanted to see it. Unfortunately getting to my account in order to actually setup a subscription was so complicated that I eventually gave up. There are four different accounts mixed up all together now: A Warhammer account, a Mythic account, an EA account, and an Origin account. I couldn’t figure out which one I needed to get into to find a “subscribe” button, and I couldn’t remember my passwords to anything except the actual Warhammer login window. Multiple attempts at resetting my password led nowhere. (It let me set a new password, but then on the next screen where I’m supposed to login with that password, it wouldn’t accept the password!) Gah! No wonder they are shutting down. Nobody can figure out how to subscribe!

Tequatl’s On The Juice

I usually stick to one MMORPG at a time, play it until I get bored, then move to the next one. This week though I’ve been firing up a different one every night. The latest one was Guild Wars 2.

I got sucked into this session right away. I had last logged out in Sparkfly Fen on the beach where Tequatl attacks. I went there to see the new-and-improved Tequatl event I keep hearing so much about, but it wasn’t running when I got there, so I just logged out. Well it was running this time, and damn.

Previously, it only took a few minutes to blast him down to nothing. All you had to do was run in and stand next to him and whack away, then collect your loot. Nobody ever got hurt unless they were extremely unlucky. It was so easy I used to stand around and take screenshots of it:

Say cheese, Tequatl!
Say cheese, Tequatl!

It’s definitely not like that anymore. :) I don’t know the lore behind this, but Tequatl sure did buff himself up. Now there are players running around everywhere, Risen everywhere, from Normal ones to Veteran ones to Champion ones, and Fingers everywhere, and damage circles everywhere, and corpses everywhere, and a vast roar of noise from every angle. The difficulty has been multiplied by about one thousand, and that’s without even getting anywhere near the actual dragon.

Tequatl

Though we had what seemed like thousands of players in the area taking on the Risen hordes and the dragon, when the time limit ran out and we failed the event, I would say that Tequatl still had about 90% of his health left. Holy crap.

Hey, don't tread on me.
Okay, you won already, you don’t have to stand on my corpse.

Great fun, though. Massive dynamic world events are the greatest addition to MMOs since the dancing emote.

What Is EQLandmark?

I read on Inventory Full (still an awesome blog name) about this thing coming out called EQLandmark. I do not know what it is, but it sounds like some kind of new game in the EQ universe.

Bhagpuss then mentioned something about making a Heroic character in EQ2, and I got sidetracked. Because I have some EQ2 characters too, and I figured I’d better log in and make my own Heroic characters, too. Because everyone’s doing it apparently. Well, one person is. I don’t know why I needed one, because I haven’t played EQ2 in years, and found it only a fair game while playing it, and I don’t even know what a Heroic character even is, but if somebody else is doing something in an MMO, obviously there must be something cool going on there that needs to be checked out. MMO players have a herd mentality, and they are perpetually looking for “the next new thing.”

So I went to click on the EQ2 icon and get patched up, except I hadn’t played it in so long I didn’t even have it installed. A couple of hours later, I was looking at my character selection screen.

I saw where I could make a Heroic level 85 character from scratch or “upgrade” any of my existing characters to 85, at a cost of a bunch of SoE currency. I didn’t have nearly enough. (I probably still have the default amount you that you got at the beginning.) It was not at all clear why I would want to have a Heroic character, except I assume to get right to the level 85 content. Seeing as how I haven’t seen anything above around 40, I don’t see why I need to zoom ahead to 85.

Then I looked closer at my characters. What happened to them?

Dohashio, the weird-faced

I do not remember Dohashio looking so weird in the face. I never would have picked that face. Did somebody punch my dude? Did he fall in an acid vat like the Joker? Is it a mask? Did the game models change? I have no idea. Anyway. While I was there, I logged in, and found myself standing in a wooded area that was completely unfamiliar to me.

Some Woods

I mean, I remember spending a lot of time in a wooded area similar to that, but not that exact place. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I had some stuff in my quest log, but I didn’t feel comfortable risking death just then. Besides, I had to invert my mouse again–who knows what other input challenges I would have had to face to beat a monster.

So instead of moving, I marveled at how bad EQ2 looked. Sorry. Maybe I need to adjust my settings, but it was like logging into the year 2000 again. I was never keen on EQ2’s sort of washed-out watercolor look to begin with, but at least it was tolerable. But now, having just come from FFXIV, it looked awful. The ground looked like a pixelated 8-bit Minecraft thing.

So I logged back out.

Then I got back to that EQLandmark thing, which I probably should have done first instead of wasting all that time logging into EQ2. I see what it is now. It’s a way for SOE to crowdsource building their EQNext game world. :) It sounds a bit like Minecraft, except you build pieces for an MMO game world. Some people are probably drooling about the prospect of doing that, but to me it just sounds like a ploy to exploit gamers for free labor.

Naturally, I signed up for the beta.

I’ve thought for a long time that any MMO that finds a way to allow players to add things to the world will be wildly successful, because most games that allow gameplay mods or addons usually have a lot of longevity (like, say, Counterstrike). And MMO players are always ravenous for new content. Neverwinter made an attempt to do this with their player-made modules, but I thought it fell a bit flat. EQNext looks to be trying to do something along the lines of a player-alterable world, and EQLandmark looks to be their first step in that process.