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Thought Experiment: Entering the World of Eorzea


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So between the upcoming release of 2.2 and just finishing the first season of Log Horizon (excellent show, btw - if you haven't watched it already, you should, especially if you're a big fan of MMOs), this idea came to mind.

 

It's very simple, but the details are a bit complicated: What would happen if you were suddenly thrust into the world of Eorzea? And not the game world, but the world itself.

 

Allow me to elaborate: let's say you you get thrust into Eorzea, becoming your player character in the process, effectively taking over their body (you only have your own thoughts and memories, however). This world is not the abbreviated game world that is provided to us in a compact format for ease of play, but the actual, fully-realized thing, with cities full of hundreds of thousands of people (instead of simply hundreds) and a landscape that is to scale with our own mother Earth - the world only glimpsed in the pre-rendered CG cinematic intros.

 

What I mean by this is that the NPCs become real people, with their own thoughts, goals, and motivations. You are your PC, and a part of the world as much as anyone else, and the people are going to recognize you as such. You may even have a history with many of the world's NPCs that goes back dozens or hundreds (to their perspective) of in-universe years. Unfortunately, since you haven't actually lived in Eorzea before, you will have to gain your bearings gradually as a newcomer to the world. You will not be alone, however - everyone else on your server who logged in has entered with you, and you can turn to them for aid if need be.

 

In fact, you will probably have to band together with at least a few others to really find your footing in this new world, for while you may have been a powerful and influential adventurer before, you are now working on a completely different scale. Monsters that were once little more than roadblocks in the past are far more terrifying up-close and personal. Even a simple giant turtle that once seemed only slightly impressive in the past now towers above you. How do you deal with that? How would you react? Not to mention you must now fight with your own two arms and legs instead of working by proxy with key presses. Now, entering and clearing a dungeon is more than a rote, everyday thing, but a struggle against your own fears and emotions.

 

Adventures become more than what they once were - now that all of Eorzea is open to you, you will venture into places unknown and unfamiliar, even if you had already seen the entirety of what the game had to offer. You may see new creatures, new flora and fauna. You might even become lost and, absent a convenient overhead view of the entire area, may have to rely on more old-fashioned methods of navigation to make your way back. You will have to carry food with you always, or else rely on living off the fat of the land itself. Making camp and traveling overland becomes a very serious consideration. Your chocobos, once a convenience, are now a necessity of life.

 

Perhaps you might choose to retreat from combat and seek a more peaceful lifetsyle. (Perhaps you already did this as a disciple of the land or hand.) Since the cities are now full-scale, you could probably find yourself a nice shack somewhere in the three major cities. In fact, you will probably need to do this, unless the inns have an excessive number of available rooms (and they probably won't - with at least a few thousand players coming in on each server, they will be hard-pressed to keep up with the sudden influx). And of course, you will now need to acquire food and sustenance through the channels available to Eorzeans rather than Earthlings.

 

Those of us who have jobs will now have to contend with the fame and notoriety that they entail. Suddenly Eorzea has hundreds of white mage adventurers entering the land. How do they deal with that? The potential for catastrophe is enormous. Dragoons, warriors, paladins, scholars... while we are still relatively rare compared to the population of NPCs (who likely number in the millions across the entire continent of Eorzea), even a few hundred of each of these jobs introduces new problems for the world (not to mention plenty will be questioning just where they came from).

 

Being an adventurer isn't without its perks, of course. As an adventurer, you are functionally immortal, capable of rising from death time and time again, though your equipment may be worse for the wear (and you will now have to wait for the NPC to actually physically repair your equipment instead of simply instantaneously fixing it on the spot). This allows you to face situations that would, indeed, give anyone else pause - though the pain might tell you otherwise. You also have the power of the Echo, which, unlike the in-game representation, may give you visions of things completely unrelated to your tasks as a Warrior of Light, and that at inopportune moments. Speaking of Warriors of Light, yes, you are one of them, like any of the other thousands of adventurers who entered the world with you. And as such, you will likely possess information that breaks the fourth wall - knowledge that even the major NPCs do not possess, knowledge that would get you in trouble if anyone knew what you knew.

 

Of course, since you are now part of the world, you will have to contend with many competing interests. Where before the NPCs were merely a backdrop aside from those involved with the core storyline, now they are proactive agents of their own. The Syndicate, for example, may have been little more than a background element in the story, but they are now something you will likely have to contend with if you intend to take up residence in Ul'dah. Those in Gridania must contend with the Wood itself, and of course Limsa Lominsa has more than its fair share of troubles. Those pirates, thieves and cutthroats may now be targeting you, personally, for your riches or even simply for slights you caused to them in the past. Keep your hands on your coinpurse, always.

 

It will certainly take time for you to adjust, and it may be painful, for you will be vulnerable during this period. Your body alone may take some time to get used to, especially if its size and weight (or even gender) are completely different from your own. With alien hormones running through your veins, you might find yourself surprised by the things you do and are capable of (particularly for those Miqo'te out there). There will be many looking to take advantage of you, for who couldn't use the great wealth, intelligence, or martial prowess of an experienced adventurer? And that is to say nothing of the machinations of the Ascians...

 

The Scions of the Seventh Dawn will likely find themselves shorthanded for quite some time, as the adventurers get used to their situation and settle. Many may never show up for active duty at all, if they cannot get past their own fear of death which they did not have to contend with when the world was merely a 'game'. How does that change the balance of power? Can Eorzea truly sustain itself without a powerful cadre of adventurers at its beck and call?

 

What say you, Roleplayers of FFXIV? What would you do? The possibilities are innumerable, bordering on overwhelming. There are many paths you could take, should you choose to do so. Share with me your thoughts on this hypothetical adventure.

 

(I'll make my own response later in this thread)

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Before there was Log Horizon, there was .Hack//sign, and this question has come into mind, not just for this game, but several others. With the question of Immortality out in the open, then I would definitely continue adventuring, gathering up my band of allies, and attempting to continue the fight for Eorzea.

 

With everything becoming a reality, than the concept of primals destroying the world is now a very, very real problem. But on the same token, we don't need just 4 adventurers any more to fight the primals. All of that sudden influx of jobs could all be focused on fighting off the forces invading and threatening Eorzea, and of course, once the primal was dead, they would be dead until summoned again, not until the Queue pops up again.

 

So then you could focus on passifying the beast tribes, and eventually bringing peace to a once war-torn game.

 

Then I'd pick up fishing.

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I think I'd probably spend my time trying not to die.

Pretty much this. Kage is capable, but would I retain his muscle memory? His aetheric proficiency?

 

I'd be one of the smallest adult male Lalas in the world. And the world is a cruel, cruel place for non-adventuring Lalafell. All those fates and stuff to put down creatures that eat and prey on them? Oh. Boy.

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I think I'd probably spend my time trying not to die.

Pretty much this. Kage is capable, but would I retain his muscle memory? His aetheric proficiency?

 

I'd be one of the smallest adult male Lalas in the world. And the world is a cruel, cruel place for non-adventuring Lalafell. All those fates and stuff to put down creatures that eat and prey on them? Oh. Boy.

I suppose I should clarify that you would at least possess the same talents your player character possesses, though you will probably have to take some time to learn to utilize them properly.

 

Anything related to your character's combat skills, for example, would be innate to your character and thus to you. Any knowledge that they have of Eorzea that you do not, however, would not be transferred to you. The difference between muscle memory and conscious thought, basically.

Before there was Log Horizon, there was .Hack//sign, and this question has come into mind, not just for this game, but several others. With the question of Immortality out in the open, then I would definitely continue adventuring, gathering up my band of allies, and attempting to continue the fight for Eorzea.

 

With everything becoming a reality, than the concept of primals destroying the world is now a very, very real problem. But on the same token, we don't need just 4 adventurers any more to fight the primals. All of that sudden influx of jobs could all be focused on fighting off the forces invading and threatening Eorzea, and of course, once the primal was dead, they would be dead until summoned again, not until the Queue pops up again.

 

So then you could focus on passifying the beast tribes, and eventually bringing peace to a once war-torn game.

 

Then I'd pick up fishing.

Well, the primals would definitely not be our only problem. The Ascians are still around, and of course every city has its fair share of ne'er-do-wells (who likely outnumber us adventurers 10:1 or more). And since these individuals now have actual intelligence rather than the simple rudimentary "AI" routines that they used to have, they are considerably more dangerous and unpredictable.

 

One of the things Log Horizon does so well that intrigued me is how it handles the subject of adventurers integrating into an old, pre-existing society with its own norms and rules. It becomes quite apparent very quickly that doing so is not a simple matter of going about your usual business - you will have to adapt on some level.

 

In fact, for particularly powerful and/or famous adventurers, living a quiet life may not actually be possible. Perhaps if you kept moving around a lot and avoided the major cities... but how many of us actually have the fortitude to live such a nomadic lifestyle?

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I would try to keep the Miqo explosion under control by starting a game show in which contestants guess the price of things, and the closest guess without going over gets to participate in mini games.

 

At the end of each episode i'd remind people to please spay and neuter their Miqo's o:

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I suppose I should clarify that you would at least possess the same talents your player character possesses, though you will probably have to take some time to learn to utilize them properly.

 

Anything related to your character's combat skills, for example, would be innate to your character and thus to you. Any knowledge that they have of Eorzea that you do not, however, would not be transferred to you. The difference between muscle memory and conscious thought, basically. 

 

IC or OOC combat skills?

 

Though either way, I imagine I would still have my IRL personality, including my IRL fears. Nope, not going anywhere near combat!

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Going to answer this in two ways. The first way will be for the character Rakka'li, and the second will be for just straight up game mechanics.

 

Before that though let's consider how many people are stuck in this Log Horizon type situation with me. Assuming there's about 6k players per server, and assuming that perhaps 50% of the player population is on when the change happens, and given what we know about class distribution there's going to be anywhere from 350-500 more White Mages running around than there was before. Also we have to consider how unbalanced Miqo'te male populations are going to become, while it's likely that the adventurer population is going to be a drop in the bucket compared to the total offscreen Eorzean population, there is going to be a sudden influx of Male Miqo'te - particularly of the Sunseeker variety. We could spend a whole topic devoted to how that would shake things up.

 

If I'm in Rakka'li, the character's, shoes then I'm not exactly powerful or influential. In fact I won't be doing so hot because of the situation he's left me in. I'm borderline destitute and not exactly well liked, though I am lucky in that I've got moderate Healer talent so that I can at least be valuable to the Stillglade Fane. No echo and little combat skill beyond some self defense training means that I'm probably not fit for anything heroic. Overall not a terrible place to be in since there's security in obscurity. With a more level personality at the helm rather than Rakka'li's less than stable personality controlling things, I could build a fairly safe, decent living.

 

If I'm Rakka'li, the level 50 White Mage, then things are way different. On one hand I've got access to forbidden - and potentially dangerous - powers via White Magic, and my forays into Coil and battles against the Primals have left me with numerous powerful artifacts and a reputation for taking down the big baddies. However just because I have this stuff doesn't mean I know how to use it, I've  pretty much been put in the seat of a high performance racing automobile even though I barely understand manual transmission. I'm going to have lots of enemies and perhaps expectations to take on responsibilities that I'm just not able to handle. It could be a very dangerous situation that's only made bearable by the fact that there will be many other adventurers in the same situation, so there will be some safety in our numbers and our ability to organize.

 

I think my best shot in that case would be to work with the Stillglade Fane and use my clout as a Whitemage to align with Gridania. Needless to say I wouldn't be doing any dungeon delving for a long while.

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First off, full-scale Eorzea would be a sight to see.

 

I'd probably try and find some work in Limsa Lominsa involving imports / exports. But, barring that, I'd likely leave with a few friends ( assuming we were able to find one another, which is where linkpearls could come in handy ) and find a spot to settle for a bit. Something like Swiftperch, Wineport, or maybe even near Costa del Sol.

 

If that didn't work out, perhaps a shift out to Ul'Dah. Although...the place would likely hold less appeal than before given the new nature of the former NPCs and all the other adventurers.

 

Which brings up another point - other adventurers. The non-RP types could easily turn into the worst threats. Picture roving gangs that try and rob others of gil and gear since they never were much for "settling down" or "living" in Eorzea in the first place. They could even join / create their own criminal syndicates alongside NPCs. And since everyone is more or less "immortal" they wouldn't be above killing other players for profit or resources.

 

Imagine a massive hoard of these "adventurers" descending upon Fallgourd Float after finding their way back from Revenant's Toll... ( Which without the duty finder would essentially be an under-construction area in the middle of nowhere ).

 

Of course, I suppose there would be military personnel and guards, but in any society I think we can agree that law enforcement types are usually outnumbered ( or, in the case of Ul'Dah, corrupt ).

 

Whatever the situation, I'd recommend staying out of high population areas like cities until things settled down - unless there was some sort of SAO rule where there are "safe" zones or "sanctuaries".

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First off, full-scale Eorzea would be a sight to see.

 

I'd probably try and find some work in Limsa Lominsa involving imports / exports. But, barring that, I'd likely leave with a few friends ( assuming we were able to find one another, which is where linkpearls could come in handy ) and find a spot to settle for a bit. Something like Swiftperch, Wineport, or maybe even near Costa del Sol.

 

If that didn't work out, perhaps a shift out to Ul'Dah. Although...the place would likely hold less appeal than before given the new nature of the former NPCs and all the other adventurers.

 

Which brings up another point - other adventurers. The non-RP types could easily turn into the worst threats. Picture roving gangs that try and rob others of gil and gear since they never were much for "settling down" or "living" in Eorzea in the first place. They could even join / create their own criminal syndicates alongside NPCs. And since everyone is more or less "immortal" they wouldn't be above killing other players for profit or resources.

 

Imagine a massive hoard of these "adventurers" descending upon Fallgourd Float after finding their way back from Revenant's Toll... ( Which without the duty finder would essentially be an under-construction area in the middle of nowhere ).

 

Of course, I suppose there would be military personnel and guards, but in any society I think we can agree that law enforcement types are usually outnumbered ( or, in the case of Ul'Dah, corrupt ).

 

Whatever the situation, I'd recommend staying out of high population areas like cities until things settled down - unless there was some sort of SAO rule where there are "safe" zones or "sanctuaries".

 

***********Spoilerish (LH Metaplot details)****************

 

Seriously, if you haven't, and plan on watching the series (which I highly recommend) then you might want to skip this post till around episode 15 or so.

 

If it was like LH then yes, player killing would be pretty common. In that world, death only costs XP and sends you to the last Cathedral you were bound to (which is a big deal cause fast travel no longer works in that setting). Later it becomes clear that there are other detriments, basically you lose little bits of your memories every time you die. It's a small amount, so it wouldn't really do much after even a few dozen times, but it's noticeable. In the series it hasn't really come into play yet It could lead to some unique roleplay situations if you were able to figure out a system to track all of that in FFXIV.

 

Some friends of mine and I have played around with some ideas, but only really focusing on Table-Top play thusfar.

 

Basically the way its structured (based on what we can figure out from the series thusfar) is that most of the memories lost are minor, at least at first. For instance, forgetting the name of your cat. Later it probably becomes more severe. The way we were envisioning is a kind of chart that's basically nodes and connections. Nodes are BIG memories, important stuff, like your first kiss, or the death of a loved one, etc; basically all the things that actually form the foundation of the individual's ethos. From those nodes, you'd have lines (events/people/situations) that somehow link that node memory to other node memories. You'd lose connections first, and once a node is exposed then you stand a chance of losing a node, which would make big changes in the characters. We don't have a fully developed system for it yet, as it's kind of snarly in the details.

 

After that, in series examples kind of run out so we posit that if you lose those big memories, the psyche will probably break for a bit and then repair itself, replacing old memories with more recent ones. That would continue until your old life before becomes like the memory of some old tale a friend or family member told you once, not sure what would happen once you run out of "real world" memories. Big personality shifts would probably result from that kind of dynamic. The system we were coming up with seems too fiddly for something like MMO Roleplay, but I'm a n00b when it comes to MMO RP so that would require someone with more expertise on that end.

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Would you treat it like in LH (or SAO) where the idea is that the players (us) are trapped there?

Something like that. There would be no getting back to "the real world". I imagine many would look for a way back, but they would eventually have to adapt to their new lives. It is likely that some people will panic.

 

First off, full-scale Eorzea would be a sight to see.

OH, YES.

 

Which brings up another point - other adventurers. The non-RP types could easily turn into the worst threats. Picture roving gangs that try and rob others of gil and gear since they never were much for "settling down" or "living" in Eorzea in the first place. They could even join / create their own criminal syndicates alongside NPCs. And since everyone is more or less "immortal" they wouldn't be above killing other players for profit or resources.

 

Imagine a massive hoard of these "adventurers" descending upon Fallgourd Float after finding their way back from Revenant's Toll... ( Which without the duty finder would essentially be an under-construction area in the middle of nowhere ).

 

Of course, I suppose there would be military personnel and guards, but in any society I think we can agree that law enforcement types are usually outnumbered ( or, in the case of Ul'Dah, corrupt ).

 

Whatever the situation, I'd recommend staying out of high population areas like cities until things settled down - unless there was some sort of SAO rule where there are "safe" zones or "sanctuaries".

This is an excellent point.

 

Even with the full-sized world, a few hundred adventurers in one place would most certainly be able to cause chaos and do some damage. It would take a concerted effort by the Grand Companies to get everything under control after the initial arrival. (Side note: The nearby Castrum would be completely dismantled by the tidal wave of adventurers rushing through their gates, no matter how much higher their numbers are in the real Eorzea.)

 

However, once the adventurers become more spread out, keeping them under control becomes a lot easier - aside from those few free companies with lots of powerful members. Since PKing is now a possibility (as it is, well, IRL) it is entirely possible that some companies may strike out on their own and claim their own territory... and who would stop them? It's not like the Grand Companies have all that much manpower to spare, and when you're dealing with powerful, experienced adventurers, trying to stamp them out would likely cost you unacceptable amounts of resources. A criminal faction of adventurers would be a lifelong nuisance.

 

It is not entirely unfathomable that a particularly powerful company could actually usurp authority in one of the major city-states. A terrifying thought, is it not? Fortunately, there are likely just as many good adventurers who would be willing to prevent such a scenario, but the possibility is still there, especially if they take the initiative before things fully settle down. I mean, let's face it - a hundred players clad in ilvl 100 gear is likely unstoppable without a large, organized standing army to clash against them... and even then, they'd just get right back up again unless you can capture and imprison them at their bound aetherytes.

 

Hmmmm. The more I think about this, the more I think we'd really be fucked unless the Scions could get everyone organized before things got too out of hand. All the internal squabbling could give the beast tribes time to gather boatloads of crystals, or allow Garlemald to stage another invasion, or even allow the Ascians to... do whatever it is they do (okay, the Ascians will do whatever they're doing regardless, but we'd be considerably less capable of responding when they act).

 

***********Spoilerish (LH Metaplot details)****************

 

If it was like LH then yes, player killing would be pretty common. In that world, death only costs XP and sends you to the last Cathedral you were bound to (which is a big deal cause fast travel no longer works in that setting).

I feel compelled to note that, since the mechanics are different in FFXIV, we'd use the mechanics from this game rather than pulling from LH. In other words, the only penalty for dying as an adventurer - well, besides just how bloody disorienting an experience it is and the loss of progress if you were far away from your bound aetheryte - is the damage it does to your equipment, which would actually be fairly detrimental depending on just how long it takes for an NPC or PC to actually physically repair your gear (since it is now a real action rather than something abstracted for the sake of gameplay). This could result in enforced downtime where an adventurer must pursue other activities while waiting for their equipment to be repaired, or else they may keep multiple sets of gear just for this situation (but most do not, for obvious reasons).

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Oh I get the difference in mechanics. I'm simply laying out how it works in LH, the memory thing is interesting in concept but difficult (and pretty unique) in mechanics. Also, kind of approacing the thought experiement from the perspective of how to implement a system like that. Could be interesting as an outside RP mechanic, but of course no way to reflect that in game (and probably a pain in the ass).

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  • 3 months later...

I CAST NECROMANCY: THREAD!

 

So recent discussions on the nature of the world got me to thinking. Specifically, I started thinking about aether. When you stop thinking about Hydaelyn as a game world and more as a setting, aether brings forth a whole wealth of possibilities that we, as players, could tap into in unorthodox and unexpected ways.

 

For example, classes (and their weapons) are basically schools of thought on how to approach manipulating aether. Knowing this, it's not far-fetched that we could create entirely new classes simply by getting creative with how we manipulate the aether. I would fully expect that one of the first things that would happen if we all somehow fell into Eorzea would be that someone would create a Hadoken made out of aether. (And then MNK would be forever altered...)

 

Of course, it extends beyond simply class abilities as well. Consider that sprinting drains all of your TP in exchange for 20 seconds of fast movement in the game; what if someone were to develop a more efficient way of duplicating this effect? What's more, what if we found a way to enhance this effect to allow us to pull off superhuman feats beyond merely sprinting faster? You know - jumping higher, super strength, faster reflexes and all that stuff. Think FFVII: Advent Children. Or better yet, Dragon Ball. When you remove the shackles of being forced into parity for the sake of game balance, and can manipulate the rules to your own gain... the sky's the limit, really.

 

The world would be constantly changing as a result of our influence. Would it be for better or for worse? It's really hard to say, but it's certainly interesting to think about, no?

 

And really, please, someone post besides me. :(

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Darn, I finish this long elaborate post and the page resets taking it ALL away lol.

The overview of what I said was that I believe the difficulty would be upped and the fact that their was more intelligent NPCs in game would equate to the fact we would become minecrafters in a minecraft world to Garleans. Intelligent Garleans have the tools needed and the ability to completely just blow all of Eorzea sky high but in the 2.0 campaign they made them ridiculously easy not giving them justice to how much trouble they could cause with their massive amount of airships that pretty much have guns on them the equivalent of AC 130's. Even in a world of magic, they have an outrageous advantage and despite not being able to kill the "Adventurers" could lay waste to the land around us especially with the new more realistic dynamics of a living world. And we would respawn, the land wouldn't. We MIGHT be able to fight them off. But I imagine the effects of them ACTUALLY sending massive full scale invasion instead of just a tiny fraction of their army would leave us stomped into dust.

 

Another thing is I don't know if all the servers would combine to make one mega server, that would kind of make sense seeing that the world would become absolutely massive and even if it took all the players from every server we would still be a minority. Of course we would still have an outrageous amount of special snowflakes even if it did individualize by server. While making the most sense population wise, class wise if all the servers combined the amount of special snowflakes would heavily unbalance the worlds natural order. Another thing I THINK I remember from 1.0 is that hydaelyn is not just a infinity pot of aether, it has a limit and I have no idea what all these super powerful aether consuming special snow flakes would do to the worlds natural environment, as heavy changes in Aether can kill whole landscapes and drive all its monsters feral. 

 

What I would do personally is live my life to be best of my ability. We are all immortal now, but I would make it a hobby of mine to protect players from other players who decide to make player killing their hobby. Although if we are able to kill NPC's I don't know if we can. But if we can, then any griefer could easily go on a rampage and take on a whole army of NPC's. Heck if they got a fair group of special snowflakes and could control their class abilities well. Then they could smash through the gates of Ul'dah and claim the throne of sultana for themselves. Player characters are all together way too powerful and that kind of power would go to the heads of the people and the adventurers would destroy the world. I feel many people would still consider it to be a game and while things may balance out later down the road, if no one acts immediately and rounds up everyone under laws and enforces them themselves, it could very possibly be too late to fix any problems caused by the powerful player groups that want to F__K around and do harm to the world of which we live in, we already screw up our real world, and we are powerless here. When you give people power in a game and they think it is a game it will be like giving a child TNT on minecraft and showing them a MASSIVE world in which is beautifully detailed all for them to destory. Only... You can't get anything back.

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For example, classes (and their weapons) are basically schools of thought on how to approach manipulating aether. Knowing this, it's not far-fetched that we could create entirely new classes simply by getting creative with how we manipulate the aether.

 

*shifty eyes* I... actually do this in RP, along with the others in our little circle. Well, not so much new classes as just taking what we know about aether (and... other things) and using that knowledge to come up with different manipulations, different means, different abilities. It's how I thought up Antimony's unique brand of healing, as I had to devise a tradition that would have evolved apart from the Succor of the Shroud or the study of arcanima in Limsa.

 

It would probably piss off a lot of sticklers, I imagine, but oh well. xD

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