Not a fan of FATE Grinding

I’ve never really been fond of the whole public quest things. It all sounds good in theory but every game that tries to do it pretty much fails. Unfortunately FATES seem to be the only way to gain experience later on in the game. Right now Keen and I are 46 and there is really no other way for us to level efficiently.

fate waiting

The Down Time

Most people will probably think I mean the time between fights when you need to regen HP and MP, but that’s not what I’m talking about. You pretty much pick a hub in a zone that has FATES your level and just sit there waiting. Sometimes they pop up often and other times you will be stuck sitting there twiddling your thumbs like an idiot. I find myself jumping around and trying to get to higher places on the various game geometry, which is what I tend to do in every MMO when I get bored. Interesting note: I’m actually typing this article during my time between FATES.

Running Across the Zone

This is probably the part I hate the most… When a FATE does finally pop up you may get lucky and have it be close by but more often than not it’s going to be across the entire zone. Usually you can get there in time if you move with the zerg but sometimes you may only arrive on enough time for partial credit. Sometimes 2 show up at once and you basically have to choose which to do because you most likely wont get to both. And if you finish one and THEN another shows up far away you are screwed unless you wait to pay teleport fees to hit the hub quickly.

Fate Spam

FATE Groups and AOEs

It’s not that I don’t like grouping. I actually don’t mind it. People join up to benefit from chain exp and so on. The problem is that it doesn’t really do anything to help you if there are also groups stacked with archers and blackmages or whoever has the bullshit AoE abilities. They tag it all and it’s dead before you can hit it enough to contribute. Running with a group or by yourself, there is really no difference unless you are in the group AOEing everything.

The Crowds

I never thought a game would make me miss instancing but here we are… Since FATES are really the only way to level up later on (or with other classes) there are an ass-load of people. Way too many people. The problem with this is that it makes everything a giant zerg. The FATES themselves tend to last for only a fraction of their alloted time and getting good participation can be difficult if you aren’t quick. The whole thing is just not fun when it goes so fast. I’ve never liked quick fights in MMOs and this takes that to the extreme at times.  But hey, at least the game runs decently with tons of people.

Except When It Doesn’t

When enough people show up things start to get all screwy. People around you rubber-band and the lag is awful. This mostly only happens when the rare FATES with primals pop up but I’ve seen it occasionally. I’m not sure if the game is fit to handle so many people in one zone at a time. There was a Behemoth FATE a bit back and it almost crashed the zone. You didn’t even need to be near the FATE to feel it’s effects, either. If you were crazy enough to head over there you could see a sea of connection issue icons. You also probably wont be able to load everybody on -screen so the fade it will be nasty. The worst part is sometimes the boss monster itself disappears. It’s crazy.

At Least The EXP Is Good

EXP from fates really is pretty great and that’s the only redeeming feature. Keen told me I shouldn’t bitch about this because people will probably say I’m doing it wrong. Feel free to advise me on this, though, because I’d absolutely love to know how to make this fun.

  • As a White Mage myself at Lvl 45 I haven’t had too much trouble with fates. That may change when I move to North Thanalan, but Coerthas was quite easy. Definitely grouping is the way to go, and using aero on a few mobs and a couple aoe heals should get you a gold medal every time. The key is get enmity. Amount of damage done is irrelevant as long as you get some.

  • I don’t play this game, which may make my comment invalid, but is there no option to hide other players outside your party? It may help a little with the lag issue if there is.

    Ironically in GW2 this “culling” is what angered a lot of people in WvW (pvp against invisible opponents is never fun). With the new setup players (who opt to see everyone) will see a generic pre-fab model for each character until the processing catches up to switch them to their proper detailed selves.

    In PvE though, I would think it should be ok. Apart from seeing monsters dying to thin air occasionally.

  • I pretty much agree with Graev, although I think that Fates bug him slightly more than they do me. My big issue with Fates is that you have to run around too randomly. I wish I could just chill in one little area and have them come to me.

    @Akarin: I find the Aero strat to do well for me. I can usually get gold on a fate my level or below by spamming it. I’ll try group healing to see if it really is just enmity.

    @joseph Skyrim: I know spell effects for others can be turned off, and the game naturally has the culling effect when hundreds of players are all in the same area.

  • I have to agree on the down time aspect of it all. It just plain sucks and illustrates bad design decisions.

    They need to either OVERHAUL the whole quest system including classes resetting it or just reduce xp gain per FATE and increase their density, or just bump dungeon xp to change the current most efficient xp gain mechanic. Jumping around like an idiot in the center of the map is certainly not good.

    Imho there should always be at least one FATE out.
    Boring players is hopefully not what was intended and will likely attend to it.

  • I made a similar post in :

    Fates shouldn’t even exist in my opinion…they need to do 2 simple things

    1)Greatly increase xp from dungeons and reward Grabd Company seals upon completion

    2)Side quests can be completed again by your sub classes

    Leave only the fates with primals that are very difficult to do and something awesome. Fates are slowly killing the game…all the rest of the content is obsolete.

  • Isn’t this just the inevitable side-effect of being in the immediate post-launch bubble? In a month or two the flood of people doing these FATEs will have dropped to a trickle and the issue is more likely going to be how to win one at all not how to get there in time.

    In the low 30s where I am there’s already plenty of evidence of that happening. In a hot-spot like Costa del Sol it can get a tad frenetic but more often I find myself the first at a FATE and it can be minutes before anyone else turns up.

    Rift and GW2 were both like this early on but it soon calmed down, to Rift’s detriment and GW2’s benefit. From what I’ve seen of FATEs so far I think they will be more fun and make more sense when they pop less frequently and fewer people are doing them. They scale well because if there aren’t any players around NPCs appear to take up the slack. I soloed a level 30ish one yesterday for the best part of eight minutes before more players finally arrived and the NPCs and I were doing just fine!

  • When I’ve done the lower end fate grinding (1-30) they typically make a full raid group and instead of camping at a local town, the group moves as one across the entire zone, chain killing everything that moves, then when the fate pops we run to the closest one.
    By keeping the bonus XP timer running you get great XP no matter if it’s a fate or just random violence. Having said that, the longest stretch I’ve been able to do was 4 levels around lvl 20.
    Once I hit the 40’s I’ll probably just shoot for one level a day. (hopefully!)

  • Haven’t played FFXIV, but from the games I have played I’ve yet to see public quests implemented that actually help build community. It always feels more like ‘here’s a way to keep soloers happy, so they don’t have to fight over tagging mobs.’ Not a fan.

  • I’m in agreement with Bhagpuss on this one: I don’t think the Fate groups issues will be a long term problem. After the initial glut passes through in the mad rush to endgame, it should slow down to a non-issue for everything except the Primals. Those’ll likely be even more of a nightmare with so many more people able to participate.

    The scaling issues are affecting everything to some degree at the moment, just look at the glut of low- and mid-level crafted items on the Market. They’ll fade as everyone settles down.

    Scaling issues aside, I think SE started in a good place for balancing their various progressions:
    Want to level crafting or gathering optimally? Do Leves. But you have to balance their finite number of runs along with the fact that they’re a shared pool. You have to make a choice. Use them up and there’s still progression available that takes longer to “grind” but create commodity items. The Leves don’t.

    Want to level your combat class optimally? Fate grind. But if that’s all you do, when you finally stop and try to do something else, you won’t have the gear to do it.

    Want the best level-appropriate gear available? Run dungeons and hope that the RNG god favors you today. Alternately, a good crafter can pretty easily combine a few gathered mats to make you a HQ item and put materia into it to reach the same numbers. If you’re “good enough” gear you can quest for it, get it occasionally as a reward from a combat leve (shares the pool with crafting and gathering ones,) buy it from the market or gear vendors, or even craft it yourself.

    Point is, there are “optimal” paths to whichever goal you have in mind, but each of them seems to have some kind of downside with it. Choices and balance. I love it.

    (One other thing: I disagree with heavily buffing dungeons’ rewards. The Aethereal drops don’t read like much of an upgrade until you’re trying to replace them 5 levels later and they’re still stronger than non-HQ pieces. Dungeons do have decent rewards is my point, they just aren’t as immediately, easily measurable as ## XP/ hr.)

  • I can overlook the zerg nature of Fate’s at this time, much like i did in GW2 and Rift. I can’t overlook the Fate’s themselves as being essentially spawned exp pinata’s though. They need to be expanded on to involve more than just slaughtering mobs.

    It’s no surprise everyone is spamming them though since quests are terrible as well and dry up rather quickly and dungeons give subpar exp and gear that you outlevel way too quickly.

  • @Evalissa: Which ones did you do? I’d much rather run dungeons than do Fates.

    @Ald: That’s key. They literally are exp pinatas.

  • Sort of. They are talking about wow type dailies to alleviate some of the money issues once quest dry up. Apparently leves don’t make much cash.

  • I agree. FATEs are slowly killing me. They are fast leveling, but that just makes it worse since they feel like the only way to level.

    As mentioned, they really need to up the EXP you get from dungeons. If they doubled it, it still wouldn’t compete with the speed of FATEs but it would get a lot closer. I would also really like it if they increased the EXP of battle leves. Right now it is pointless to ever do them. Making them a great way to level would also make what you use your leves on a much more interesting choice instead of it ALWAYS being for crafting/gathering.

  • people are talking bout how X activity gives X amount of XP, forget that for me the question should be is it fun?

    if fates are not fun and they are a big part of the journey and the journey is not fun, then whats the point.

  • @KennyG there is no Journey…there is no journey in MMOs the last 10+ years. The leveling to max level is so fast that cannot be called “Journey”. People already downing titans on hard mode

  • @KennyG: That’s true, it has to be fun or else it doesn’t matter. When I consider which course to take, I always weigh the fun factor. That’s why I chose to level while seeing the story instead of leveling the fastest route (fates).

    @Rohirrim: The journey has mutated. “The Journey” as we know it from 10 years ago is certainly not present. The emphasis on story, however, is something I really do enjoy — I just don’t like it as a spoon-fed themepark trope.

  • @Keen The story in Final Fantasy has pleasantly surprised me..I didn’t expect it to be any good but I was still make you the “One hero to save them all” but is well made..

  • @Rohirrim: Does it bug you when the NPCs act like you were the only one taking on the primal? I sorta chuckle as I spend 30 minutes on Garuda with a group and finally beat her just to have the NPCs ignore the fact that it took 5 of us.

  • I agree on pretty much every point. I actually wanted to write a post why FATEs and pretty much every implementation of public quests sucks in one way or another, but there’s not reason now, because I could hardly add much else.

    I think what I dislike most about these types of events is that downtime alternates with extreme hectic to reach a place before the others, to have a chance to benefit from it. And that you have no influence on what happens when. You can’t do these things on your own terms.

  • You can’t really compare the main story quest to FATE grinding simply because the main story lasts once. People are already 50 on their mains if they wanted to get there, especially with the main story. And the main story was great, don’t get me wrong. But when it stops existing it can’t compete with FATEs obviously. For every subsequent class after your first you pretty much choose FATEs or dungeons because there is no other choice.

    (Sidequests technically are probably gonna be around after your first class, though certainly not enough by themselves to get you to 50. And they too dry up by the end of your second class to 50)

  • @Keen

    Of course it does 🙂 I was laughing yesterday, when I had that cutscene where the “bad” people came to Wakind Sands searching for me the Hero and they killed some people there and kidnapped minfilia because of me, the slayer of the Titan. After the cutscene ends, I see 100 people next to me with a symbol on their head that they also have that cutscene lol.

    Why they make a story of 1 hero in an MMO I don’t understand…is the for the people who play for the solo experience? Anyway, I grow up to not bother me anymore, but here and there it makes me laugh sometimes 🙂