June 30, 2010

I fear the Moogles are conspiring against us.

By now, everyone knows about the magian trials, right? I changed my opinion about it when I took up the task of getting the Athame OAT dagger, which I've yet to complete due to a lack of T3 VNM help, but that's a tale for another time.

Now we have our first upgrade to the Magian paths, and it's got me wondering: Is SE using this as a means to keep people playing longer? Truly, these trials are no simple task. Sure, not every trial is a battle of epic proportions for a very obscure upgrade item, but each one can be a challenge in its own right. On top of that, each weapon has a very long path until you reach the end, and we're only at the first extension of presumably four until we've reach the final tier of trials.

Granted, FFXI is not the first game to come out with an upgrade system for existing equipment, but they do seem to be the current innovators of trivially minuscule upgrades on the path to perceived greatness. One could argue that each upgrade is better than the previous, but I'm fairly certain everyone can agree that each one is not particularly useful.

When this first came out, these trials seemed 100% optional. To an extent, they still are. We aren't being forced to do them. At the same time; however, I'm noticing that the new gear they've introduced doesn't seem to outperform the magian weapons. If so, it's not by much, especially considering the potential to upgrade your weapon with the next update. Take the elemental staves, for instance. When you look at the magian versions, you'll notice that none of them completely outdo the level 51 counterpart. They do in certain aspects, such as Magic Damage +4 or Magic Accuracy +4, but not both. Not even a MD+3/MA+3. This means that you'd have to do a damage path and an accuracy path....for each elemental staff you'd want to replace. Even if you don't have to do this for all eight staves, the simple fact that you should need to do this at all is beyond words.

Seriously, it's bad enough to go through these trials to begin with, so can we at least have a mid-range option for these? Something that is moderately useful, and not just a slap in the face until we reach the end of the current path? We're low on inventory space as is and have to resort to extra characters just to hold our stuff, but now you toss this at us too?

Someone once said that SE has a fair amount of contempt for its players. I think they simply hate us, and enjoy watching the hamsters (us) running on their wheel that we call FFXI.


Evilpaul said...

The stave upgrades are just retarded. For one thing, meleeing as a mage is painfully awful. Second, if you're a Red Mage and want an uber Wind or Ice staff of awesomeness +1 you need to kill shit with a weapon you don't even have any skill with.

I'd like to get a better Monk weapon, but the trials for that are of course super tedious and we don't know what the upgraded weapons will upgrade to down the line. So yeah.

Jacinda said...

Exactly. If anything, I really wish they would've made the trials so that the tasks you do to complete the weapon are in line with the actual reward.

Honestly, I shake my head in shame every time I start back on my dagger trials. I don't know why I'm doing it, but I've come this far and there's no point stopping now.

Purple Popsicle Stick of Stabbiness, go!