Final Fantasy XIV is a game that both Jon and I are very excited for. Earlier this week, however, my excitement for the game faltered a little bit. Why? Because of a new system that Square Enix introduced a few days ago. It is called the "fatigue system" and it basically limits the amount of play time one can have with their characters.
For each class and character, you will get normal experience for eight hours, followed by a slow drop-off over the next seven hours that ends at no experience gain. This goes for both class levels and physical levels, which means that after 16 hours of play, your character's physical level cannot advance further until a week has passed from the start of leveling.
For more information on the game's leveling system, hit the break.
Director Nobuaki Komoto mentions the reasoning behind the system in the full letter on Square Enix's website, as well as the several ways that the team is working to adjust it. Although it's nice to have the system spelled out in full, because this isn't something that Square Enix ever does, the phrase "you can only level so much" won't sit well with a large part of Final Fantasy XIV's expected player-base.
Personally, I have my feet in both camps of the argument. On one hand I am against the system, simply because I am not one of those people that can play for a few hours here and there throughout the week. I simply don't have that much time in my day so I often save a day for some good ole' rest and relaxation and play the bejesus out of a game for hours on end. For people who are used to and enjoy "the grind," I see some problems in store for them. Another problem people have with this system is that they don't want a game telling them that they shouldn't be playing anymore, which is sort of like a "if I wanted to be told that I would have gone to my mother" syndrome.
On the other hand, it is nice to know that after 10 hours I can get off the game and not worry about missing out on experience points or questing. This is also a good system for people who like to do some gaming with their friends. Something that I have often encountered was that I would get a new MMO with a few of my friends, and whether its that they have more free time or just no social life whatsoever, said friend would end up getting an insane amount of levels ahead of me, and then I would have to play the catch-up game. Another reason why this system is a great idea is because it eliminates the desire for using power leveling services. Gold farming, on the other hand, seems to still be a possibility but it wouldn't surprise me if Square Enix has got themselves a fix for that problem as well.