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Thread: Bit of a pet peeve

  1. #1

    Default Bit of a pet peeve

    When somebody complains the the FF8 Junction makes the game too easy and boring and when somebody complains that the FF7 Materia system makes the characters in battle dry and less fun- err, nobody in Square forced you to Junction like that, nobody forced you to use the Materia like that. You could make Cloud a "White Mage", if you wanted ? These systems have a lot of choice and freedom about them, nobody is forcing you to break them or make FFVII more tedious for you.

    Just watched ProJared's video on FFVII and he was complaining about this, even though he even said that you can "Make Tifa a thief" if you wanted. How can you get the point and then miss the point ?

    It also reminded me about the complaints about the Junction in FFVIII. Nobody is forcing you to do these things.

    Oh, FFVIII is too easy now because you broke it ? Oh FFVII battles are boring now because you didn't "Job Class" the characters ? Oh, FF12 is playing itself ?? I'm using the "attack the main characters " tactic in FFII even though nobody is forcing you to do that ?

    That sounds like a you problem, pal.


    Grumpy Boomer vent over.


    Thoughts ?


    Also if somebody from SE is actually holding a gun to your head to break the FFVIII Junction system or whatever can you tell us about it ? What's it like being held hostage by them ?

  2. #2

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    Not really. They all seem like legitimate complaints to me, even if I don't agree with all of them. Why would you go out of your way to junction poorly? Just because it's technically possible in a lot of these cases to overcome the problem of the complaint doesn't mean it's not a legitimate complaint. Yes, you can play FF2 without hitting yourself, but leveling is generally slow and unreliable if you just play as you would any other FF game. Could you make Cloud a white mage? Maybe, with great difficulty, and probably not early on, because you wouldn't have enough white mage type materia, and even then he'd be a badass with a sword who could pretty much attack his way around most obstacles. Does FFXII play itself? Honestly, not as well as it probably should (I've mentioned my complaints about available gambits frequently before), but choosing each character's action, if not impossible, at least definitely comes with the cost of lost time of canceled actions leading to suboptimal play.

    What it comes down to is the complaints are directed to the natural playstyle that comes out of the systems as they were created. The workarounds are possible, but they take dedication to working around the natural flow of play. Just because you can do something doesn't make it illegitimate to complain about unbalanced design.

  3. #3
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    I guess if someone prefers characters to have set roles, it could bother them. While I do like the Junction system (I actually have more issues with Materia), I do agree that games like IV and IX that have characters in set roles do a bit of a better job integrating story and gameplay because what you know about a character has relevance in battle, whereas in the others nothing is stopping you from making that tiny 6-year-old girl from being the main tank. On the one hand that kind of freedom is cool, but I can also see how it can be immersion-breaking.

    Also, I still cant help but laugh at the “FFXII plays itself” argument. XII will literally only ever play itself if you, the player, do your job very well. Setting up gambits correctly take practice and when you finally reach a point at which you can just move the characters around and everything dies, it actually feels satisfying instead of disappointing.

  4. #4
    Not a Banana Mo-Nercy's Avatar
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    I am huge fan of FFVIII precisely because it seems to actively encourage game breaking.

    The typical RPG player is almost always a hoarder. We always save that awesome item for that next boss because we don't want to waste it on something we could otherwise still overcome. And before you know it, we have 27 of that item by the end of the game.

    FFVIII's Junction system allows us to improve our character's stats so much that it makes less sense to not have 100 of every spell. We don't even need to grind Draw, we can do it easily with refining items and cards. Combine that with the fact that actually casting what we've junctioned makes us marginally weaker, and the hoarder within instinctively takes the reins.

    So yeah, I guess I don't feel that SE is holding a gun to my head and making me play this way. I make me play this way. xD

    To me, playing FFVIII this way is equivalent to setting up your gambits smartly in FFXII. Though it may not have necessarily been what they intended in VIII's case...

    I also still usually have a designated healer/buffer when I play FFVII or FFVIII though. In VIII's case, it's usually whoever's Limit Break I find the most boring.

  5. #5

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    There's pretty much no reason to have a designated healer in FF8 for most of the game because if you get the right junctions early your HP will be so high it will be a long time before you have to heal in battle (this doesn't even require card modding). I guess if you base it on limit breaks though, you might constantly stay in critical status to use limits which could change that.
    Last edited by Lord Golbez; 07-14-2020 at 01:09 AM.

  6. #6
    Do Myself a Mischief Vermachtnis's Avatar
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    I made Quistis my healer/buffer. Put everything in HP. So even at 4k hp she was critical and could Mighty Guard the others, which gave them Aura, which led to more Limits! And if things got too dicey, White Wind, which is max HP-currant HP, and I kept her low so yea. Like I think Squall at like 3000 HP max last time I played. I like my party as broken as possible.

  7. #7
    Shlup's Retired Pimp Recognized Member Raistlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    I guess if someone prefers characters to have set roles, it could bother them. While I do like the Junction system (I actually have more issues with Materia), I do agree that games like IV and IX that have characters in set roles do a bit of a better job integrating story and gameplay because what you know about a character has relevance in battle, whereas in the others nothing is stopping you from making that tiny 6-year-old girl from being the main tank. On the one hand that kind of freedom is cool, but I can also see how it can be immersion-breaking.
    This is my biggest issue with materia (I dislike FF8 for plenty of other reasons). The materia system makes distinctions between the characters pretty meaningless. Greater distinctions between characters also helps replay value.

    As far as the idea that you could intentionally junction poorly, some RPG players are compulsive grinders that are scarred to our very soul if we don't do something optimally.

    Also, I still cant help but laugh at the “FFXII plays itself” argument. XII will literally only ever play itself if you, the player, do your job very well. Setting up gambits correctly take practice and when you finally reach a point at which you can just move the characters around and everything dies, it actually feels satisfying instead of disappointing.
    I definitely agree with this. Unless you spend a lot of work on it, at best the gambits can be set up to "play itself" through easy fights with minor enemies -- which if anything, is a change any critics of random encounters should be wholeheartedly endorsing.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Golbez View Post
    There's pretty much no reason to have a designated healer in FF8 for most of the game because if you get the right junctions early your HP will be so high it will be a long time before you have to heal in battle (this doesn't even require card modding)
    Yeah but you don't have to max out everybody's HP via Junction. That's the point. You can choose to do that or keep it even and have a White Mage, or just do whatever you want.

    Nobody is forcing you to break FFVIII or forcing you to make it so FFXII is playing itself. You are doing it on your own will.

  9. #9
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Maybe the issue here is that there are a lot of gamers who are preoccupied with playing optimally. And while itís usually the best to play optimally when thereís a more traditional system, perhaps these unique FF systems are there so that even suboptimal players is rewarding. Perhaps thatís not a bad thing.

  10. #10
    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
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    "You can just intentionally handicap yourself" is never a good argument in my eyes.

    Granted I don't particularly care how easy or hard a game is, so in this case to me the whole thing's kind of moot, but I see where they're coming from.

  11. #11
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Idk to me it doesnít seem like handicapping yourself when youíre just playing the game normally instead of focusing on grinding. If you grind you choose to grind. Itís like complaining that a more traditional RPG is broken because you cal level up to max level at the very start of the game and make the rest of it cakewalk. Itís tedious and youíre effectively ďhandicappingĒ yourself if you donít do it. The Junction system works pretty much the same way, just from a different angle.

  12. #12
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I feel the complaints really come from a combination of preferring "hard classes" versus "soft classes" that these systems promote, and the optimal argument. I feel most players will try to play optimally the first (and usually only) time and thus the experience can be a let down if it's a bit too easy for them. Usually blank slate games with high customization or ones where the cast is purposefully balanced to make any character useful for any situations tend to have highly abusive and easily breakable systems. But I also feel these games are usually designed to be more tailored for a wider group of people, whereas games with more complex rules and character builds are really only tailored for a niche crowd. Not saying you can't do both of course, but I often feel complaints against things like Materia and Junction comes from people like myself who prefers gameplay that requires more effort on my part to be good. It's not even an issue of making clones of everyone for me in games like VII and VIII, it also comes down to the fact that there are too many optimal options to win the game, so just choose your poison.

    Though I guess my other issue is the soft vs hard class dynamic. I grew up on games with stricter classes, so I tend to like that more because I like the characters combat capabilities to be a part of who they are overall. It's hard to get that in VII, VIII, XII Vanilla, and even FFXIII to some extent. Sure you can build a tank, healer, and DPS unit in those games, but anyone can be them; and what little reason we can argue why so and so is better in this position than others is kind of negligible in the long run because the characters are all interchangeable by design. It just hurts the immersion for me cause I know their load-out are more important than the characters they are attached to. While this whole process exists so players can stick to who they like, it also means I almost never touch characters I don't like. I feel part of the reason why VII's cast never worked for me was because I had little incentive to use anyone beyond who I liked, and even ignoring them for most of the game doesn't hurt you since their materia and gear are more important than anything else.

    I feel the real problem with the argument of "just don't build them that way" is that it too often falls into the issue of "why not, since it's there and easy to do?". You don't have to give characters max HP in VIII but it's so easy to do so, why wouldn't you? You don't need to teach every character in VI magic, but it's not going to hurt you if you do so. Sure you could try to build classes in VII, but the game throws materia at you in such a disjointed way, it's not a problem to give everyone magic even if they aren't going to use it because at least you would be leveling them all evenly. It's not even about optimization at this point, it's really more of the fact the bar is so low to do these types of things that there are few arguments to make against doing it to begin with.

  13. #13

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    I've got to throw support to Raistlin and Fynn with regards to optimal playing, I think that hits it pretty well. I think many of us are made that way, and that more is on the creator to provide more obstacles to it.

    As to Raistlin's argument about the materia system and replay value... To me that is an interesting and respectable opinion... While I agree that it hurts storyline consistency not to have fixed classes, to me, FFVII was THE most replayable game, in large part because of the materia system. I was able to never have a similar party twice! Whether I wanted to have different "semi-fixed" jobs, or just jumble up materia combos differently, or focus on leveling different characters in different ways and for different reasons, I found each playthrough of FFVII unique because of all that. So, I thought that was a fun difference of impressions of that system.

  14. #14
    Recognized Member Jessweeee♪'s Avatar
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    It's a personal choice of playing "optimally" or handicapping. Interestingly though playing "optimally" in FFVIII still nets you at least one black mage in Rinoa. It takes a bit of planning but you can set her Angel Wings to do Meteor almost every turn, netting up to 100,000 points of damage per cast, and contrary to popular belief you don't have to toss out all her other spells to do this. She'll have mostly offensive magic equipped and the majority of her turns will be spent doing magic damage.

  15. #15

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    I actually kinda like having options to break a game in half, or challenge myself in different ways. I feel like if they nerfed the system, then optimal play would be one of the only and/or best options. I'm with DeadRinger, though it helps that there was so many materia options. You could have roles, you could dedicate types of materia and change out party members as necessary and get a taste of everything without handicapping yourself too much, and the option to handicap is always there. With broken systems it's usually possible to do crazy things like solo runs or item-only runs and stuff. That's a little harder in things like FF9



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