Square: FFXIV’s playtime-limiting system in place to keep certain players from having an “unfair advantage”

Thursday, 26 August 2010 08:07 GMT By Nathan Grayson

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Life is all about balance. Unless you play MMOs; in which case, life is a series of marathon play sessions that culminate in you sitting atop an ever-growing pile of virtual loot that’s always just seconds away from becoming obsolete.

Square, however, is implementing a system that eventually takes away players’ ability to gain experience points if they don’t take a breather every once in a while. Hooray, right? If you said “yes,” you clearly don’t understand MMO players.

After an irate swarm of players minimized their FFXI windows for a whole five minutes in order to voice their dissatisfaction with Final Fantasy XIV’s experience-limiting system, game director Nobuaki Komoto explained why he thinks such a system is necessary to maintain balance.

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,” he said on the game’s Japanese beta site (as translated by a member of FFXIV Core).

“To achieve this balance, the amount of possible skill/experience points earned after a certain period of time has a threshold. Think of it as real-life ‘fatigue’ from working at improving your skills via battle.”

That threshold is eight hours. After that, it’s pretty much all downhill, and after an additional seven hours, you’ll be raking in a big fat zero XP no matter how many big fat baddies you bring down.

“This system is on a weekly timer. After a week has passed since you began skilling that particular weapon, the timer will reset. It will start anew when you skill up again,” he added.

15 hours each week? That barely even qualifies as a part-time job. Jeez, you’d think they were trying to make this enjoyable or something.

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