I think it's a bigger problem than people realize. Right now, no one cares as much because servers are still up for the moment. But let's look at Final Fantasy XI that was intended to be ported to mobile which was canceled and also supposed to have a single-player spin-off title. What happens when FF11 is gone and there is no alternative version to play it other than hacked versions like Phantasy Star Online?
Game preservation is definitely part of it. One thing they could have done was named FF11 and FF14 "Final Fantasy: Realm" or "Final Fantasy: Realm 2".
I understand what you're saying here. Even though I agree, I do think this type of thing can happen with any "platform" we play the games on. What if Steam stops supporting it, what IF Sony throws in the towel. While this is much less likely to happen, it's definitely something that can happen.
I like that companies have different options for their audience, but mainly stick to what they set out to do, which I do think is a focus on single player JRPG games.
The different options are good> But why should they be numbered FF games?
The core problem I have with it though is I see Final Fantasy as a series that offers very character driven stories, so to play as a created character removes that key aspect from the experience for me. This is not something that bothers me about just MM'Os either. I have tried to play many other JRPG's in the past and sadly a key feature of JRPG's is to have a silent protagonist! Dragon Quest, Persona, Breath of Fire, Chrono Trigger and so on. So many, JRPGs I like the idea of but as soon as I begin, I see this lifeless avatar in the way of the experience. I understand the concept of having a blank character for the player to step in their shoes but for me, I just see a bland avatar who is mute and has shallow involvement in the scenario - It's even worse when characters talk around this avatar or have to respond to a nod of the head...
This is the common problem I see all over Reddit and I guess now even in this forum: There's a strong form of apathy for those fans who just can't get into MMOs and can't afford it but want to delve into another FF game.
The advantage is that FF11 and FF14 have the benefit of having "ONLINE" attached to their name. This means, there was always a backup plan to make them single player by removing the "Online" portion of it and making single player. "FF11: offline edition" or something like that. OR FF11 remake, and FF14 remake. Similar to ff7.It’s not always that people are apathetic and dismissive of people who wish they weren’t numbered titles. I’m sorry if I myself came across that way, as I was trying to say I understand why it upsets people. While I do enjoy the MMOs and see their value, I do understand how it can be a problem for collectors.
Ultimately though, it is out of our control. Square Enix have already made the decision, for whatever reason, to include the online games with the numbered mainline titles. Good or bad, that was their decision and we can’t now change it. We’d need a time machine to fix that issue now, or to somehow convince them to remove FFXI and FFXIV, rebrand them, and then also rebrand FFXVI as FFXI and any future FFXVII as FFXIV, but then the chronology would all be messed up. That would be a mess, as well as a marketing disaster, since the identity of these games wouldn’t be clear to the general consumer.
I like the idea of releasing a singleplayer spin-off or trimmed down versions of the MMOs as separate titles. Maybe not for some time, but in the future when the risk of the MMOs being unavailable becomes very serious then they might like to do that so that the stories can be preserved. It would take a lot of work to rework these games, so perhaps instead an original story set in those universes but titled Final Fantasy XI: [INSERT TITLE] or Final Fantasy XIV: [INSERT TITLE] would enable people to purchase a copy of a version of these games which they can stack on their shelves and play without worrying about the MMO aspect. There's plenty of lore in these worlds to cover in a unique game just like Final Fantasy XII expanded upon the lore of the Tactics franchise, so that could be a way to include the setting and maybe some of the characters of the MMOs, and keep their numbered statuses, whilst offering non MMO-players the chance of a singleplayer experience.
Final Fantasy XI’s mobile version being cancelled is a blow to the game’s longevity, but it is still going. Apparently the community is still pretty strong to this day. The game is still receiving updates with new story content even today.
Final Fantasy XI/XIV: Solo Adventure or something to that effect could be another option.The advantage is that FF11 and FF14 have the benefit of having "ONLINE" attached to their name. This means, there was always a backup plan to make them single player by removing the "Online" portion of it and making single player. "FF11: offline edition" or something like that. OR FF11 remake, and FF14 remake. Similar to ff7.
Honestly, reworking an MMO into a single-player experience is not as hard as you think it is. The resources are there, the only thing that might need help is how to recreate cutscenes. What was harder was revamping an MMO into a whole new one while retaining the original player base and FF14 seemed to have pulled it off. The problem is that MMO is too profitable for SE (at least FF14 is). SO of course they would never make a single-player edition because it would be consumer friendly.
FF11 still going strong? It has roughly the same numbers as Runescape, but about 10K more average players in Runescape. And at first, you might suspect that Runescape has big numbers. But it's only about 1million people play Runescape (on average). Runescape is also a game with less maintenance required. At this point 1M is low numbers for an MMO like FF11. FF11 would at the very least "break even". but profit? I'm not sure.
Difficulty can be adjusted. But I think you nailed on the real problem when it comes to making mainline games MMO. Now that they introduced it, if they were ever to be consumer friendly, the split between fans is just as bad.I don't know how much demand there is for that though, and if they did it there would be many people frustrated about that too. Comments like "Why have I been subbed to this game for five years for someone to play everything I did without the blood, sweat and tears?" could be anticipated. There are already comments like this targeted at people like myself when they adjust settings to make the game easier for 'casuals' that might primarily be interested in story rather than getting their kicks from complex game mechanics.
Just a moment ago you were talking about whether there was demand for something to happen but when it comes to ff11, it's not about demand? Ff14 can carry the weight of ff11 maintenance cost?Therefore an original story set within that universe might be the safer way to go about it. If the FFXIV tv show is still going ahead, they're already working towards telling new stories in FFXIV's world at least.
As for FFXI, by going strong I did not mean as strong as they have ever been. Things are definitely winding down, which is understandable for a game that is now nineteen years old. They don't need to profit from it anymore since FFXIV is carrying the load instead. Passion and a dedicated fanbase are keeping it alive now, even if it isn't as active as it once was. Now would be the time to consider preserving the FFXI story though, either by consolidating parts into a singleplayer experience or opening up the MMO one day without a subscription fee and adjust things to make it soloable.
What you call "Pull" feels like an "obligation" to some fans.I do feel like making these games part of the mainline series was done specifically to appeal to existing fans as a way to pull them in. "Final Fantasy Online" or "World of Final Fantasy" or "The Final Fantasy" - whatever sort of title you could think of for a long-running MMORPG - really just wouldn't have the pull of "Final Fantasy 11" to me. From a marketing perspective, it makes sense to leverage your existing IP brand rather create a new one, which is risky even for the most seasoned and experienced teams. There's a reason why we're getting a new Witcher game and we see existing franchises go through major transformations rather than launching a new IP.
The good news is that the assets such as environments and dungeons are all set in place. The only thing that could be reworked is the battle system. Maybe even add more NPC that drives the story or a side story. The task would not be as hard as everyone seems. They would definitely need to simplify things or re-focus certain things that seemed like an MMO.Now, I feel for the people who are completion focused mega fans of the series whom want to play every game or collect playable versions. Leaving out the fact they're under the thumb of servers being taken down, you can't _really_ play through them without other people. I know Shadowbringers introduced AI dungeon pals but other than that, it's all a group effort (hence, MMO). Maybe if you were rather technical you could write the bots required but really, your ability to work through the game is rather tied to the existence of others who want to play the game with you... which sucks if you're not in an environment to bring those players in. The Internet is the great equaliser for fangroups and enthusiasts to find like-minded people of course but, well, there's only so long a community stays active without new content.
Because they would have done that instead of making FF14 into an MMO if that was going to be profitable. heck, they would have done that if it was going to be more profitable than remaking FF14 into a Realm Reborn.Rewriting a game intrinsically tied to a multiplayer experience as a single player game, especially when it's tied to a nineteen year old codebase? Gonna be honest: I can't imagine that being anyway easy and it's not a job I see many people wanting to take on. Profit wise? Unless you really wanted to overhaul the game as an entirely new platform, I don't see it happening especially when the demand for these other versions hasn't been enough to stop them being cancelled (and at that point, why not just remake 11 and re-release it as a MMO or a gacha game filled with financial transactions?). There's a reason why the wider tech industry, as an entity, began to move to subscription or non-flat fee based services - it's regular income in every quarter that just looks better to investors and propagates the constant hunger for growth, like Chronus and his children (you like that Dionysos?????!!!)
Ultimately, I think 11 is just going to be chucked in the bin with 14 eventually following when the next MMO installment is released.
What you call "Pull" feels like an "obligation" to some fans.
I don't see why they couldn't use an existing mainline series that has already established its own universe.
You don't think that an FF7 MMO would sell more and fans don't have to feel like they're in chains.
Or make a single-player FF11 and FF14 first, then make their MMO counterparts after. I think the appeal is that there is no alternative to SE. There is no other form of experiencing these games by owning them. You will forever rent.
The good news is that the assets such as environments and dungeons are all set in place. The only thing that could be reworked is the battle system. Maybe even add more NPC that drives the story or a side story. The task would not be as hard as everyone seems. They would definitely need to simplify things or re-focus certain things that seemed like an MMO.
It will definitely be work. But they won't be starting from scratch. Creating a battle system, NPCS, and maybe some additional cutscenes.
Because they would have done that instead of making FF14 into an MMO if that was going to be profitable. heck, they would have done that if it was going to be more profitable than remaking FF14 into a Realm Reborn.
No, remaking ff11 into just an MMO is trying to mine more out of the MMO vein.
Selling FF11 as a brand new experience for older and newer fans will gain a new appeal and be profitable.
After all, Why play the FF11 MMO remake when FF14 is already available?
Are people really going to be able to sink another monthly payment for two MMOs of the same franchise? Some hardcore and high-income players may be able to pull it off but not the vast majority.
FF11? Never played it because it was an MMO or on older consoles. What's that? they are remaking a single-player version of it? And on a console I already own? Sure, let me see what I missed out on.
FF11 at this time makes the most sense to turn into a single-player experience.
Make a new series that sets in FF11's world, and make sure that the offline version is now the new main-line representative of the series. Regardless of the story not matching up.
But spin-off content indeed existed.Square Enix had not begun making direct sequels to continuities at this point - the first of which was FF X-2. They may not have even considered that you should have sequels in a game's continuity, which may have become a design idea newer teams came up with (Ivalice with Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy Tactics is less about connection and more about Fan Service).
Also, the context in which FF11 was developed is important here. FF 11 was in development from 1999 and, as such, was in development alongside FF X and FF 9; the point being a trifecta of classic single player experience, modern single player experience and a revolutionary multiplayer experience. You're talking about this in hindsight after FF 11 has been a success; the mentality at the time may have been totally different with the unique selling point of "an MMO Final Fantasy" being
rather idealistically opposed to the single player experiences of previous entries. Any boon to help here would make the difference.
10 years ago I would have agreed. But FF7 is still a profitable series to this day.You can grab a wider group of people with "The next Final Fantasy game in the series" over "the next Final Fantasy VII game"; the fandom itself is rather huge. I know people who just do not play the Sci-fi era Final Fantasy games; I myself have never bought a sequel outside of FF X-2, which is my favourite game series in the franchise.
I'm not asking for a 1 to 1 remake. I'm asking for a new alternative for when servers eventually will close. And this argument contradicts the idea of remaking FF11 altogether which you seem to think they should...but only if it's an MMO. Even though there will be changes to anticipate.There are also some design aspects to keep in mind: character race diversity for customisation, which wouldn't fit in many of the previously designed worlds in the franchise, gear and job systems that may not match exactly how it should and, to be frank, not limiting the team's own vision by having to deal with the shadow of another game and its fandom. Sure: there are quite a lot of references to Final Fantasy 3 in 11, but it's clearly something incredibly unique and different compared to the rest of the series.
Assets and dungeons of which many are 18 years old and follow design principles from that era; some of those designs might not even work properly when applied in newer engines or design practices. Along with this, you're asking for a game which centred itself around parties, with dungeon mechanics focused on multiplayer. You move one of the bars slightly and the entire deck of cards becomes misaligned as for what the game can and should do - that itself comes with major drawbacks and technical debt. It goes beyond just a battle system, NPCs and cutscenes: you remove the netcode, which could handle everything; you refactor out the multiplayer design of a dungeon (bots or no bots) and it simply stops being fun. I think there's more to it than you're trying to represent.
To simplify your point: We don't really know what it takes to make it into an offline game. But I think you fail to understand that I don't want FF11 to be an MMO that is accessible offline. I"m genuinely asking for a remake/remaster/remix that is similar enough and has most of the same plot but still a different game, as an alternative option.To rebalance FF11 as a single player experience is to rebalance an online game into an offline game - namely, what exactly the server handles for you when it comes to the game itself. Since the source code is clearly private, you wouldn't really know what is and isn't run at the server level rather than the client level! Even when people revive classic servers for games, unless the source code is made public they're really taking pot shots at it - you really don't know know how much of _that_ work would have to be done.
Online still required, still on previous-gen consoles unless you play on PC, and it's still a game you "rent". you will never own. You may own the box with the disc, but one day it will do nothing. Its not ideal for being part of a mainline FF is still supporting single player entries.Also - from going out and doing some research on what the game is actually like, much of FF11 has been modified to allow a single player experience in the MMO similar to what FF14 does in Shadowbringers (automated party members called Trusts), which enables a single player experience within an MMO; they've clearly thought about the single player experience with this game and justified that redefining it as solely a single player experience isn't in their interest.
Because why would anyone think Gacha mechanics is a good idea for the consumer?They're in the business of making a profit here - that's the goal they made. I notice that you ignored the second point I made - the gacha suggestion. If there was an issue with FF14 and FF11's playerbase being overlapped, they'd likely go for the gacha alternative. To reiterate: sources of income not based on single-purchases of games are usually met with better reactions from investors due to their ability to be profitable all year round and the lack of loss of sales from second hand copy sales - an MMO avoids this gap too.
How is this a strawman argument if you just proved the very point I was trying to say? The fact that you would choose one over the other, but usually not both at the same time is the problem with the FF11/14.Next: sinking subscriptions into TWO MMO's at the same time is a strawman argument; in the majority of cases, you're going to subscribe to one and unsubscribe to the other depending on what you are playing. Most people would not and will not play two MMOs at the same time.
And that was ignored intentionally because I'm not requesting for a 1 to 1 remake of the game in single player. I'm requesting the best single-player they can make out of FF11. Newer graphics, newer or more focused story. maybe fewer areas and fewer dungeons. Whatever it takes.There's also a very red, glowing spot here that has perhaps been ignored purposely: the MMO design of FF11 could be the defining factor of the game that makes it such an enjoyable experience. The entire package could be spoiled by removing that aspect, even if people are soloing the content with automated bots(whom themselves do not cover the EndGame content), these people still might link up and connect with others in linkshells and just general tomfoolery.
Just my thoughts, really. I get the points you're making and I understand the source of them. I'm sorry you don't really get to experience ff11.