Gaagaagiins I’m sure we could have a long and involved conversation as to the plethora of ways that their penny-pinching management of FFXIV has negatively impacted the game.
Player housing scarcity is the main one that has, like, made headlines in gaming press, but it definitely includes more subtle things like the comparatively poor amount of options for presenting your character as black through faithfully rendered physical features in the character customization.
Sometimes it seems like no small part of Yoshida’s job is to delicately mask the game’s technical limitations as something that are impractical to overcome, when, in fact, unless I’m totally mistaken about how these sorts of things work, a lot of it would be practical with, just, you know, the FFXIV team having access to deeper pockets. On one hand, I get it, Final Fantasy XIV did begin its life as a game that was intended to capture and re-capture the dormant FFXI audience, and whether you liked 1.0 or not it’s still pretty hard to deny most people did not, and so it was decided that it was necessary to basically make the danged game again, which, well, can’t be cheap! So from the beginning A Realm Reborn was saddled with quite a lot of financial responsibility. However, I can’t imagine that there has not already been a point in time, after subscriber counts climbed and eventually soared, or after the release of the first expansion, or at least after an unbroken sequence of now four critically acclaimed and beloved expansions, that FFXIV surely must have justified its unconventionally immediate soft reboot. When exactly it was, maybe no one who actually knows for sure would ever publicly admit it, but I just can’t imagine that it hasn’t, basically.
So, at some point, the delicately framed apologies and taking-of-responsibility by Yoshida and other leads on the development side turn from apologies for only being able to accomplish so much with what has been allotted by corporate (even if the rationale for financial prudence makes sense), into apologies for corporate unwilling to re-invest in something already profitable. Gotta love the profit motive!! Truly, capitalism breeds innovation, so long as you include the art of making shit up to justify stagnation or a glacial rate of progress.
Now that I think about it, just the other day I was just explaining some other aspect of its design, specifically that increasing any given character’s excess inventory storage space, is something that is mainly granted with a nominal increase in your monthly subscription to be able to hire additional retainers. Now, for anyone who doesn’t play FFXIV, that might sound more exploitative than it actually is–retainers have more functionality than just extra storage, some of which may be able to be exploited by in-game currency farmers were it to be less limited, and the default storage space is pretty ample and should meet most players’ needs. It’s not quite like the game is hamstringing basic functionality and then selling you back the whole functionality. But, like, saying it out loud, at least relative to other games with similar feature, it’s a weird limitation to charge real cash money dollars for.
At any rate, just as @Syzygy expressed in the other thread, let’s all hope for some of this and more to be addressed in the impending foundational improvements that have been promised with 7.0 and beyond. Still… I dunno, there’s a lot more than just graphical fidelity or character customization flexibility that I would be way more excited about were it to be a priority for 7.0 and/or beyond. I kinda wish they’d just go ahead and say we’re going to just go ahead and make Final Fantasy XVII (or Final Fantasy XIV-II? (or Final Fantasy X-2IV? (or _Final Fantasy XIV: The Middle Years?))), older even than A Realm Reborn is the whole MMORPG gameplay style with a mosaic of buttons on screen and a rigid global cooldown system and such things. Although I am also deeply invested in the setting and narrative, especially with how well I, as the main actor behind the performance of the narrative’s main character, have been incorporated into all that, of which I’m far from alone on.