FFXIV is the darling of BlogNation. A lot of the blogs I read are regularly talking about the game and their experiences there and even some bloggers who are anti-themepark MMO have been supportive of the experience that FFXIV provides. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I tried it, but with the sub fee and an expansion looming I really wasn’t in a rush. Much like how I end up early supporting games I’ve been bored, so I downloaded the 14 day trial and began to plan my adventures. Downloading a large MMO takes time, even on my fibre optic setup so I started doing research on classes and races and I stumbled upon the most awesome of information EVER!
The entire Census is linked right here.
This is amazing information, provided by the company, and as I have argued before MMOs should be more forthright with info such as this. I am always a big fan of “play what you like” but who doesn’t like to make an informed decision?
I love information and believe that all MMOs should be regularly publishing information that is only available to them. This would get rid of the “what ifs” and curiosities of the general population. It would also get rid of the mis-information. Is 50% of the “tanks” a paladin in the end game? Why *not* share that information? It seems most companies are overprotective of their population, class, race and spec mix – for fear that it would somehow influence the population base. The truth is, in the absence of true information players will just guess, hypothesize, and collect as accurate as they can – and still make their own conclusions regardless.
This is exactly what I was talking about in my post last April! Also, I can answer that Paladin question in FFXIV, for the past two years.
Now armchair developers don’t have to guess, provide anecdotal information, or their own personal observations on what the numbers are. They can reserve that judgement and hypothesis for why, instead! Look, we all know in MMOs with X number of classes and Y number of races no one will ever be a snowflake. Still, this information is interesting to me and did influence some of the decisions I made. First off, I like big races. I mained a Troll in EQ and also in DAOC. Still, if 90% of the player base played big races I may have changed my mind to just be a little different – thankfully not so here as only 2% of the player base play the Sea Wolf Roegadyn. Nice fit for me! I still went with Guardian because I love shield and sword tanks. I did do research on why Paladins were so common in FFXIV and turns out they are a bit easier to manage on rotation – which is also a great starting point for me to learn how to not only tank a new game, but learn all of the instances and group content at the same time.
Side observation – I was surprised how few play the Elezen (elfish) race – although I suppose that sleek sexy race in FFXIV have ears and tails. I also found it quite interesting that they had the Asian stats as well, and more players play females in the Asian side of FFXIV than in the NA/EU side. Interesting to see cultural differences.
I really hope that Square Enix continues to share this information annually as the game grows. With my love of stats and long standing thought that developers should be more open with this kind of information it really helps me decide to support the game and the developer as well. While it had some influence it was nothing huge and I probably would have ended up making the same choices if I didn’t have this information. Having this information gives me the confidence in those decisions and also thankful that a gaming company feels they can treat it’s player base as adults by sharing.
Go check out the census if only to use it as the standard that all MMO companies should be doing.