FF14 Design Philosphy

Well, some bits into the overall space. WaPo has an interview with Yoshida about FF14 design challenges and it’s quite interesting. It’s hard to articulate the size of FF14, mainly due to the way it reports financials. Over 20m paying users is nothing to sneeze at, but the apples to apples on WoW just really is two bits. One, they are both extremely large and dwarf the 3rd place. Second, FF14 appears to have a growing user base, as compared to WoW’s which is diminishing.

A further interesting point is that the game director has been consistent since the re-launch of FF14. Yoshi-P has lead that ship for 8 years, and nearly every single design decision has been consistent. There is no A team or B team. There are no objectively ‘bad’ expansions.

Why though? Why is the overall quality in FF14 so high? This is one

when planning expansions, about 70 percent of the work is already expected to be done, and the team leaves 30 percent of its energy to devote to different or innovative feature sets.

This is architecture 101, with a solid foundation you can innovate and create some crazy stuff. If the foundation isn’t solid, you have to continually rebuild as you go. It also allows you to plan things more effectively, as it’s known variables, such as

For creating our instance dungeon, we would need our game design to come up with the actual content of the plan and that would probably take about 10 business days, and then we would report that for proper approvals which cost another 30 days, and then we’ll route that to the programmers, which would take them about two weeks to program in the mechanics. It’s very clear as to how much cost and time we’ll take with each component of the package that we have for our planners and the management.

I’m not in the know for Blizz, and I’d have to assume that WoW has this as a principle, if not a goal. It would take some convincing that this is actually applied in any reasonable measure though. And as a person in a position of leadership, when shit goes sideways, it’s my fault because I approved it. And when it does happen, I’m also accountable to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

This post (and SL in general) are making me wonder why I play WoW when in most measures FF14 is a better fit. I think it has more do to do with the second to second experiences being more enjoyable in WoW than FF14. And that WoW is effectively free to play with tons of tokens and over a million gold in the bank. Still, I think FF14 deserves to be re-explored to see where it’s at today, and see if I do want to take a trip on a space whale in a few months.

Not like I don’t have the time to try it out.

2 thoughts on “FF14 Design Philosphy

  1. FF14 does not have 20m paying users. That number is absurd and would have indicated FF14 had more subscribers than WoW at its peak (12m). The article says “20m monthly players,” but even that is incredibly misleading and unsourced. A press release from Square back in August indicates that FF14 surpassed 20m total registered users. Total, as in, cumulative since release. Meanwhile, WoW achieved 100m accounts… in 2014.

    I’m not trying to diminish FF14 or anything. What Googling I was able to do indicates 2m subs for FF14 compared with 5.5m subs with WoW. It’s just that this isn’t the first time these misleading figures have been brought forward, and I am doubly-annoyed that now the Washington Post is suggesting that 20m unique people log into FF14 every month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If your Google source was MMO-population, even that is absolutely wrong, that site showed that Wildstar.had several thousand active players two years after shutdown That site is just guessing population based on subreddit visitors. FFXIV has a guy called LuckyBancho who regularly scans all characters on Lodestone (FFXIV’s version of Armoury) and checks how many of those are either above free trial and have new gear or more exp than on last scan or have level 80 and have finished recent patch. Based on that, FFXIV had 900k active characters during last scan.

      Liked by 1 person

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