What’s with this strange feeling of missing something lost…that I’ve never even had in the first place???
These drops in “expert” dungeons that you have to roll for and are actually simply purchasable from vendors… are quite funny, to say the least.
Something’s rotten in the realm of Eorzea.
In this first issue, let’s take a look at something really major that’s sparked a lot of feedback - good (I suppose) and bad (I know). And the real mind-boggling thing is that so many people believe that those who are voicing their negative opinion only want ‘instant gratification’ and ‘free stuff’. I really don’t see it like that; what I do see, however, is that most people criticising it do have absolutely valid points.
So, here are the problems with THE ZODIAC WEAPON SYSTEM.
1) No sense of progression with atma. In my opinion, this is the biggest issue with the whole concept and it couldn’t be more obvious than when you try to find whatever keeps track of it… oh, wait, that’s right, there is no such thing anywhere! You either use a literal slip of paper you keep somewhere around your desk and tick off what you acquire yourself, or alternatively you can go search for the completed journal entry…somewhere in your journal. Sure, you can say “I’ve (1)1 of the 12”, but does that mean anything? No, because you might get the rest in one day, but you might not find it in a month. That is because…
2) RNG does not favour the bold, RNG does not favour the skilled, RNG does not favour the determined, RNG does not favour the persistent - RNG does not favour anyone. It is what it is: completely random and unpredictable. Some may chase their very first atma for weeks, while others in that same time get not one but two animus weapons. There is no way to influence it at all, and that’s extremely frustrating, especially when even the actual drop rates are so low, I’m pretty sure they converge to zero. I mean, get real, when players ask other players if they’re bots, just because they’re apparently “working” so hard to find one of those crystals (that aren’t even key items, meaning they take up inventory slots), it should be a clear indication that something is wrong. And don’t even come telling me that ‘nobody should be at it for so long’, because for every person who’d say that, there’s at least one other who’d rebuke them if they actually took a few hours (Menphina forbid, a whole day) break instead of being determined enough to grind until they go blind. It’s the core concept here that sucks, not the human factor.
3) The change in direction is way too radical. Getting the actual relic (and zenith) weapon was a long, tedious and difficult task. And there’s nothing wrong with that, that’s how it should be. But you could actually work for it: you knew where it started and you knew where it ended, you knew where you stood with it at any given moment. Many, if not every, player went through with it (and remember, Chimera/Hydra were not always in the DF; a lot less dungeons dropped a lot less Mythology tomes which used to be capped at 300 a week), at least once, in part, I believe, also because it is an extension of the story, in a way. While not compulsory per se, there is a subtle, subconscious pressure to do it. Compare that with atma, which in no way feels like an actual achievement: it should at the very least leave you scratching your head. Personally, I don’t mind challenging things - I don’t even mind things that take a long time to achieve (I even admit they are annoying for those who don’t have much free time, especially with a lot else even just in-game to do, but hey I can still accept it). But with something that used to be hard work, it’s just right.
4) Alternatives are no solution. Yes, I’m aware of the alternatives. I know there’s the Second Coil to do to buy weapons of equal (or even higher, if I’m right) level than atma/animus. I know weapons can be obtained from Leviathan Extreme as well. But they are no real options. For one, from what I hear, even the first Coil can go awry if you don’t have a good group - and you do have to complete that to advance to turns 6-9. Which, then, are still not in the DF, still have weekly lockouts, still have loot restrictions (if I’m right) - so if you don’t have an actual static group with 7 friends and can’t set specific times to do it every week, you’re screwed. For two, Leviathan Extreme might be said to be the easiest Extreme primal fight technically, but you still have to get through Garuda Extreme, Titan Extreme and Ifrit Extreme first to unlock it. And considering even Garuda Extreme is still pretty much undoable via DF, you are, once again, screwed if you don’t have 7 people you know are skilled enough and have the time/will to do it with you. And at the end of the day, the drops needed for those weapons are still just RNG, so even though those drop rates are most probably significantly better than that of atmas, you’ll most probably still end up having to grind for them. Difference is, you can pretty much do the FATEs alone (~with randoms), whereas with Coil and Leviathan (or indeed any primal) Extreme, you do need to hand-pick another 7 people as well. Not to mention the fact that all those people who’ve spent so much energy to get their relic, I think, are rather unlikely to give it up for something different, especially when these same relics are apparently going to be further upgradable via this (very broken) system.
5) As pointed out (amongst others, I think) by razzgrizz3 here, it is the single most obvious recycling of old content to date. SE has been notorious of re-using 1.0 content - in itself that’s ok, after all this is a remake of a game. Under the aegis of seasonal events, doing utterly menial tasks for ‘special’ items that are nothing more but calamity-salvaged stuff from the old game, and in most cases not even storable in the Armoire… The primals, for the story, then again in ‘hard’ mode for the relic, then again at ‘extreme’ difficulty because why not - I don’t believe there’s one person who isn’t yet bored to death with Ifrit and Titan and Garuda, changing the order does not help here. But, y’know, all that is dwarfed by the Zodiac system. It does go way beyond all that with sending you out to everywhere you’ve already spent at least half of the game at, to do stuff you’ve already done a million times over at least once, to obtain an item that looks the same and even has the same stats as the old one (in case of atma). On one hand you gotta admire the devs for coming up with such a simple and easily implementible system, it is amazing, in a certain light, from a certain angle. But on the other, it virtually represents everything that’s wrong with the game in regards to design (cue the clone army of clone characters with automated clone skills and automated clone attributes in clone gear with clone weapons/tools). It is simply terribly awful and does not only use but showcases and highlights the exact features that should be covered up by any means necessary. Aren’t we paying the monthly subs to get new content every three months (as it was put in one of those interviews or live letters or whatnots, I’m sure it can be found)? Because it sure doesn’t really seem or feel like we’re getting it.
It’s not about giveaways or free ~legendary~ items handed out to everyone, without regard to skill or determination or playtime or anything. It’s not about instant gratification. It’s not about making it easier. It’s not against grind-specific content.
It’s simply about making a major part of the game rational. Something more than a mindless grindfest. Make it long, make it hard - I doubt anyone will really mind that. But do not make it feel like an actual job to stress out about. Do not make it feel infinite with no end in sight. Do not make it feel like it’s not worth it because you get nothing to show for it. Do not make it mind-numbingly boring and easy, so much so that pretty much anything else can be done while at the same time “working” for it. Do not give us more FATE-farming (especially in such epic amounts) when pretty much the entire player community, as a whole, has expressed its dislike for it on more than one occasion. Because this is neither good, nor fun - and it is a game, it should be, at the very least, fun.
Think I’m gonna start a Something’s rotten in the realm of Eorzea ‘periodical’… Most things I’ve noticed in all my playtime are just nuances, but this Zodiac weapon system, or to be more precise it’s execution, is seriously grinding (no pun intended) my gears. Lot of different points scattered all over the net too, so hey why not try gather all of them for a ‘first issue’?…
8 Peiste maps: 3 (yes, THREE) bluebirds, 3 dress mats. Another 8 peiste maps: 2 dress mats.
What do I have after 16 maps? 3 crawler cocoons (1 hq), 8 minium, fucking POTIONs and hq felts.
First time I’ve ever actually seen a bluebird drop (think we used up our allotment for the next…6 months at least).