Dear Square Enix – Give Players The Tools To Handle People Problems In-Game Or Stop Making MMOs

I figured it was a matter of time until this happened, but I finally quit a dungeon group in Final Fantasy XIV for the first time, and a little research has revealed perhaps one of the most glaring flaws of the game that places it squarely behind World Of Warcraft – the game’s terrible UI when dealing with people issues.

I already mentioned the gold spammers running amok right now because reporting gold spammers in the game is an absolute chore.  You can’t just right-click their name and click “Report Spam” like in World Of Warcraft.  You instead have to remember the name of the character (good luck with that when spammers use weird names on purpose so that their names are hard to type), then open the social lists interface and type their name in to blacklist them.  Unfortunately, this glaring oversight also applies to bad players as well.

I’ve been running into some really stupid people in dungeon groups lately, including a horrible Marauder “tank” with the wrong gear for melee combat who took damage all over the place.  Fortunately Final Fantasy XIV’s slower combat to take into account the console people using controllers meant that spamming Cure wasn’t much of a problem here, but in the best groups a Conjurer healer can simply activate Cleric Stance and join the fights because only the tank needs an occasional heal.  Any more required healing and you know you have a group that’s a bit more of a dud.  😛  Really, when done right, Final Fantasy XIV has a better healing model than WoW.  While Blizzard’s talking about possibly removing spammable cheap heals and turning healing into something healers do in-between contributing token damage to their groups unless things really get bad, Final Fantasy pulls it off – at least among the best groups.  Everyone else though…  😛

Stupidity is one thing though – malice is another.  The group I left had a jackass Lancer who pulled aggro from the tank multiple times then we got to a boss that required us to deal in a certain way with using the boss’ super attack against them to kill the boss.  This supposed know-it-all said, “Healer stand next to the tank” so I did….. and got KOed by the boss’ super attack, to which our oh-so-smart friend threw a little hissy fit and I left the group.

So.  What can I do about jerks like that?  Not much unfortunately.  It’s a chore to blacklist players when I should be able to blacklist someone just by right-clicking their name in the chat frame, plus unlike WoW’s dungeon tool having someone on your blacklist apparently doesn’t stop you from being paired up with them ever again.  Thus, what’s the point?  Oh wait a minute.  I hear there’s a workaround where you click to send them a tell and then just change it to the command to add them to your blacklist.  Still too many clicks though.  Version 1.0 of this game had more than enough problems with the game trying to be clever with stuff the rest of the MMO world has figured out for years.  Dealing with jerks of all things should never be one of them.

Some people believe singleplayer RPGs no longer have a place now that MMOs are what they are these days.  I say nay nay.  Unfortunately the stupidity and malice of many gamers playing these games these days pretty much ruins that idea.  😛

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