Congratulations to FFXI for a New Innovation in the MMO Market

Reading through the news today revealed this gem: http://www.playonline.com/pcd/topics/ff11us/detail/3599/detail.html. This is a new system designed to help attract newer players to the world of FFXI. Basically,

The FFXI development team is proud to announce the “Level Sync” system, a revolutionary new feature in the upcoming version update that will allow all players—grizzled veterans and novices alike—to adventure and gain experience together regardless of level differences!

The Concept

The development team has been listening intently to feedback from players, and working hard to address concerns such as the following:
“I can’t party effectively with my friends or linkshell members because our levels are too far apart!”
“I invited one of my friends to play FFXI with me, but we can’t party together because we don’t have any jobs at similar levels!”
“I can’t find anyone close enough to my level to party with!”

The new Level Sync system is the result of extensive discussions on how to resolve these concerns, while preserving game balance and avoiding abuse and power-leveling by RMT groups. It addresses the issues that have resulted from a steady stream of new, low-level players joining an existing game world populated by scores of high-level veterans, and is part of the ongoing effort to clean up the FFXI community and remove players in violation of the users’ agreement.

As an avid MMO gamer, I know that when it comes to helping people level as a higher up character, it’s just not fun, and I’m not really interested in starting a new character. Being able to temporarily level down to match a friends level is a fantastic idea, and I’m surprised that nobody has looked into it before.

Atlantica Online: A Turn-Based MMO?

Reading gaming industry news actually brings up something interesting from time to time, and being a big fan of the MMO genre, I decided that this would be noteworthy. Today’s MMO is Atlantica Online, and it’s unique in the fact that it claims to be a turn-based MMO. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular type of game, turn based generally means… well… your characters and the enemies they are fighting take turns during combat, a la Final Fantasy X, or any of the Final Fantasy Tactics games. Most MMOs of today are real-time, in the sense that you walk up to something and can just start beating on it without fear of how many turns each attack will cost you.

Either way, the game is being produced by Ndoors Interactive and takes the form of your standard Korean MMO (expect some hardcore grinding). In my policy of initially judging a game by how much work they put into their website (yes, it actually helps to filter out some of the horrible games), this game actually impressed me with the design and layout, and thus qualifies for further inspection (plus beta testing is free!).

Check out Atlantica Online to register yourself for the beta.