Sunday, August 24, 2008

How do we kill that which has no life?


This article has been floating around the net for the past week or so. If you don't want to click and read it, I'll sum it up. Final Fantasy XI has a Notorious Monster(NM) boss that a guild spent 18 hours trying to kill. Now, this is just for the boss fight alone. This isn't doing other trash pulls and what not. To give you a little idea of how NM's play out in FFXI, I give you a comic by Penny Arcade.



This event has drawn many comments from all facets of the gaming community. Most of which are people just saying that such an encounter is absurd. 18 hours is pretty unreasonable. However, I began to ponder a couple things while reading some of the other readers comments.

First off. Did anyone in that raid ever stop and think that maybe, JUUUUST MAYBE, there is some sort of gimmick to the fight that makes it doable? I mean, I know Asia is known for mega grindfests for games, but requiring people to work as a group for a single encounter over a marathons length of time sounds a little off. I mean, granted Square-Enix did do Final Fantasy XII with bosses that did take over 10 hours of gameplay to defeat. BUT! They at least had the decency to give you a save point right next to the boss so you could save while fighting.
I found this interesting post from petfoodalpha.com. The one part I'd like to point out is:
"... it has been deemed that the combative techniques for weakening these NMs are too difficult. As a result, some players have engaged these enemies using unanticipated methods which led to extended battle times."

This sets of an alarm in my head. Does that mean that this fight is a gimmick fight? Were people just too stupid to figure out how to debuff the boss in such a way that it would make it killable? Or was it that the way to weaken the boss was never explored/explained/occurred to anybody in the game?

If it was a lack of research, I don't really blame the players in FFXI. For example, World of Warcraft new instances and encounters get player tested and ravaged to all hell and back. Guilds sit in the same instance and wipe for nights at a time trying to figure out how to beat a certain encounter. Final Fantasy XI players aren't given as much of a luxury. A single wipe in FFXI is insanely unforgiving. Chances are you'll de-level and you'll have to grind your way back to cap before you can attempt a boss again.

Most comments were pretty much along the line of "That's an unreasonable amount of time for a boss in any game." But I did read a few comments from wow raiders. I saw a few saying things like "Oh my guild raids 8 hours a night every night and we kill Illidan and blah blah I like dicks." Most of them didn't say "I like dicks" but I usually think that it's implied when you write crap like that. Then again, I'd say that would be more insulting to Homosexuals. First off the comparisson between games isn't even close. It's like comparing assholes and oranges. Secondly, You don't fight Illidan for 8 hours straight. If you did, then you'd be called a retard.

And I'm spent for this rant.

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