This video by Ethys Asher represents a thoughtful, substantive approach to the issue of whether or not the developers behind Final Fantasy XIV should implement paid level jump potions with the upcoming Stormblood expansion. Not all of the discussion in the forums is as eloquent.
A 3-Sided Discussion
A Final Fantasy XIV forum thread titled, “Add Level Jump Potions and I will quit,” was started by a user named ChewieFlakes. Like Chewie, many people believe that implementing the potions would mean they wasted their time grinding to end-game content the old fashioned way. They argue that the game is, after all, a Final Fantasy game. This is a franchise whose legacy for storytelling is set in stone. If people want to skip through the entire main story and get right to raids, then maybe they should be playing a different game.
There are also a number of people who are essentially the conscientious objectors in this movement. They will not use the potions themselves, preferring to put the work in to level each of their characters. But they won’t mind at all if other people use them. User Yeol says, “The potion in the end is optional. And that is not P2W. The player is buying time, he is not buying skills or gear that makes him different or stand out from others.” At worst, they’ll vet potential party members before heading anywhere particularly dangerous.
Then, of course, there are those that would gladly use the potions. For them, it would be a welcome relief from the mundane grind that is most of MMORPG game play across the board. TiaHariberux3 says, “Leveling potions arent really that bad. I currently level a alt and I would love to skip the msq+ unlocking all the instances again.”
A Debate For All MMORPGs
The issue raises interesting questions about the future of the genre. How much value will players of the future see in the process of leveling up, in the face of the proliferation of MOBA, RTS and shooters where, with any sort of skill, it’s much easier to hit the ground running. Level jump potions represent a mitigation of what was originally the entirety of MMORPG’s, when end-game meant being a townie, and adorning your character in the richest, most useless fabrics in all the land.
The genre is advancing, and leaving certain aspects behind. Will that be a welcomed relief, or a crying shame?