In the world of MMORPGs, the players who excel are the ones that have the most time to devote to the game. It makes sense that the longer you have to dedicate to grinding out levels, stocking up on gear and materials, and running dungeons, the more of an advantage you’d have.
While other MMOs give minor rewards to players for resting between gameplay, like World of Warcraft‘s “rest bonuses”, they don’t have any kind of system comparable to what Final Fantasy XIV has planned.
In Final Fantasy XIV, players will be allowed eight hours per class at full experience points. After the eight hours are up, the amount of experience gained will decrease over the next seven hours. Once these seven hours are up, you will receive no experience points for the rest of the week. Players have the option to change classes at any time in FFXIV, so they’d have eight hours of gameplay per week, per class.
Game director Nobuaki Komoto had this to say about the time limit.
“First off, the main concept behind FFXIV is allowing those players with little time on their hands to play effectively, and game balance is based off of that. Furthermore, it is being designed to not give those with more time on their hands to play an unfair advantage. Because of that, systems such as Guardian’s Favor (a bonus to Guildleves) have been implemented to make leveling in the short-term easier than leveling in the long-term.”
Komoto went on to explain how the system was relative to real-world fatigue. Just like no one can train at the gym sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, players in FFXIV have limits the same as real people.
From a player’s standpoint, this system is both good, and bad. Final Fantasy XIV seems to be great for the casual MMO player, who just wants to spend a few hours a week on the game but still have a gratifying experience. However, for those players who would like to spend more than 8 hours a week on a certain class, why should they be penalized? Is it fair for Square to restrict gameplay on a title that gamers pay for on a monthly basis?
The system is still being tweaked, but fans of the Final Fantasy franchise still aren’t happy about this new experience system. Let us know how you feel about it in the comments section while you wait for the release of Final Fantasy XIV for PC this September 22nd and for Playstation 3 sometime in March 2011.