Cut scenes, cut scenes, cut scenes!

[Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft] This is my mantra. Yes, I am going on to bash World of Warcraft again. Well maybe not bash, but point out why it is not all what it is cracked up to be. Last night, I completed Rank Mission 5-2 in Final Fantasy XI. Rank Mission 5-2 was the last mission of the original release of Final Fantasy, and is the beginning of the first expansion. After completing the battle at the end of Rank Mission 5-2 I was treated to near a half hour of amazing cut scenes. I can’t really describe just how epic they make the game feel, and just how involved they make the player feel within the online world.

Sadly, WoW has none of this. There is nothing beside the scratching of a quill to make you feel involved in the world, to make you feel that you are not just a part of the world but also have some impact on the world. Now I have heard that Blizzard is working on cutscenes to be introduced in the expansion, but I dont understand why they are not in the original version. Another example of a rushed product that shouldn’t have been on the market for another 6 months to a year.

FFXI should have set the standard for MMO’s by using cutscenes. Truthfully, I do not know if another game used cutscenes before FFXI but the level of detail and writing involved in the cutscenes in FFXI are just amazing. They are so vivid and deep as to make you feel like you are actually playing a game in the Final Fantasy series rather than just a break off MMO that stole the name. Why other games, especially a game like WoW that was developed to eliminate the weak points and emulate the strong points of other MMO’s, didn’t pick up on this is beyond me. Maybe the cutscenes are too far into the FFXI for other developers to grasp the importance of them, maybe they were deemed unnecessary for a game built around the ADHD generation, but in the end WoW is less of a game for it.

So to Blizzard: get working on some cutscenes. From what I understand, Blizzard used them in most of the Warcraft games before this one. Why stop now? Why stop with your biggest creation yet?


24 thoughts on “Cut scenes, cut scenes, cut scenes!”

  1. Pardon, but you are advocating having half-hour cut scenes added to games? That seems like adding television episodes to your gaming experience. I imagine it would be frustrating to lose group members after significant quests because some folks want to stop and watch the videos, while everyone who has already seen them just clicks through. Please tell me that you can cancel the cut scenes, rather than being required to stop playing for a half-hour.

  2. First, it was collectively 30 minutes of cutscenes, most were opennings and didn’t require anyone to wait on me.

    Second, you obviously haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying one of these cutscenes. I believe your attitude would change if you got to see one.

  3. while i wouldn’t mind cut scenes here or there in WoW(definately need the option to skip them as well), it would be a ncie feature. it certainly is not somethin that is hurting WoW. i’ve experienced FF and compared to WoW it is very bland, has way too much downtime, both of which just equate to boredom for me. WoW may be lacking cutscenes but it by far, more entertaining than FF will ever be. and i actually do feel like i belong in the world… everytime i lay down another horde

  4. I dont know if its hurting WoW to not have cutscenes, but it would definitely enhance the game and it is something that Blizz has already said they wish to have in their game.

  5. Although WoW doesn’t have the same type of cutscenes as other Blizzard games or the type that FFXI has…there are some very nifty scripted events that trigger during or after quests.

    Try delivering the ammo in the dwarven newbie zone. Completing that quest leads to an absolutely hilarious scripted scene with some sharpshooters and the dwarven morter team.

    Have you ever been in Stormwind when someone is on the stage of the Onyxia key quest where the Marshall returns and confronts {spoiler}? I saw that when I was level 12, myself and a few other folk followed the level 60 who was doing it.

    The cutscenes that play when you roll a new character…you realize, those are live shots, right? You see actual players in the game as the camera zooms around.

    Just a few thoughts.

  6. Cut scenes add to the game, no doubt about it. Sure, you need to be able to cancel them if you don’t want to see them at the time, but make sure you can look at them later. This is something Asheron’s Call 2 did. All cut scenes can be seen at any time, you just open a menu and click on the one you want to watch and it plays.

    Guild Wars has some cut scenes as well, and you can choose to cancel out of it, but if you are in a group and just one person wants to watch them then you all have to sit through them. Good thing it doesn’t tell you who the person is that wanted to watch them.

    Any time I feel like getting fired up for WoW, I watch the cinematic trailer. Cut scenes can have the same power as that trailer if done properly. It pulls you into the story. Some people like the story. Some don’t and just want to get back to the grind.

    I like story, give me more.

  7. I have to agree, the cut scenes in AC2 really made for a nice experience. While they were nowhere near the complexity of the FFXI ones, it was a nice touch.

    Eventhough I quit FFXI almost 2yrs ago, I still get a chill thinking back on the one cutscene I loved the most. I forget the mission, but it was in an area with all the birdmen. It was not an easy mission… you had to kill some guy and his dragon if I recall right. The cinematics upon entering the instance had me drooling.

    All that said… cutscenes still are not enough to keep me interested in a game (I personally) find boring. But that’s just my opinion.

  8. WoW approaches things differently. FFXI continues the tradition of FF by creating a very dramatic and flashy storyline. WoW isn’t so much about story but more about you being apart of the world. Someone already said it, but such things as scripted events in WoW are examples of what I’m talking about. You dont’ have scripted events in FFXI. FFXI takes you out of the world and places you in a cutscene filled with dramatic camera angles and such. That’s good. I love FFXI’s cutscenes. However, this isn’t a problem with WoW. Again, WoW goes the route of putting you in the game. When you battle a boss in WoW, everything happens in real time as if it’s actually happening to you. You can move around, you can do emotes, etc.

    They’re just different outlooks. I agree, sometimes things can be kind of disappointing in WoW. I don’t think they need to add cutscenes but perhaps add to the scripted events so that they’re much more memorable.

  9. Cutscenes are a tool to deliver a particular effect (affecting the world, see something happening derailing from the usual). That effect can then be delivered in different ways, even more effective in some cases.

    So the point is not to compare what FFXI does and what WoW doesn’t. The point is to see what the player can do in the game world and if there’s something more to do than just “visiting” a 3D space.

    The “magic” of FFXI is hidden on a huge number of smaller elements. The cutscenes (but in particular it’s what *happens* in the cutscenes to make the difference) being just one.

    If the story then it’s interactive, it’s better.

  10. Ok…I am in the minority on this one. Cut scenes detract from the immersion. My immersion is seeing my player move where I tell him to move…attack what I tell him to attack not sit back and watch him do something without me even issuing a command.

    Cut scenes are ok. They are better for single player games IMO. I am guessing by the subscriber base of 2 million that WoW is doing just fine without them. I don’t know what FFXI subscriber base is but I am sure it is less then WoW. They must be doing something right with immersion.

  11. I really don’t think cut scenes have anything to do with the subscribed population of certain games. You really cannot say that the popularity of WoW says anything about cut scenes. I say is is not a critical piece for success, it is just an extra added item I like. It does not keep me from buying a game, nor does it make me buy a game.

  12. EVE 4TW! (Even though I lost my life savings on the weekend :(“ )

    EVEian Wave
    \\o \o/ o//

    Anyways, cut scenes seem like an ok feature. However they hardly make FF XI’s borefest better than the slightly less boring borefest that is WoW.

  13. Yep, I do, cos EVE is all about what you want to do. You make the choice and you do it. You go where you want to go and be done with it. In WoW and FF XI you go where your level dictates, thats your only choice. You have no choices, and in the end, what makes something boring? Having no choices.

  14. WoW cutscenes:

    Getting on a flightpath that takes about 15 minutes, turning around and watching TV for those 15 minutes.

    I think they should add the ability to drop water baloons from flyers (Gryphs/bats/etc.), and the flyers actually try to fly over the heads of other players. That would be good immersion.

    [don’t ask me if I’m serious, because I just don’t know]

  15. EVE can easily be the most boring MMO of them all, if you chose to let it be so. When you put some kids in a big giant room filled with toys and they sit down on the floor waiting for something to happen, they would be bored too. But if they went and grabbed some toys and invited some other kids to play a game they would have a good time.

    EVE is more of a virtual world than a game to play. I quit playing EVE because I got bored, but I only blame myself for not using my creativity. I left it to the game itself to entertain me and it didn’t last long. Meanwhile, other people are coordinating efforts to make a lot of money, take over an area of space, invade another Corp, build a station, explore space, engage in large battles, etc.

  16. Think of the extra download time for the cutscenes, there patches are already about 40Mbytes.
    I don’t like cutscenes they just waste what (seems like) little playing time I have. As long as I didn’t have to downoad them and cut skip them then fine. Or maybe you could just have them on the RP servers?

  17. WoW built an MMO out of an RTS without learning from the failures and successes of MMORPGS before it.

    Blizzard really failed to produce the product that WoW could have been.

    It has too many fans though, majority of whom have never played any other MMORPG, and thus have no pre-existing knowledge of the genre. WoW really is a poor excuse of a game on blizzards part.

    Yes, FFXI’s cutscenes were always amazing. The newer ones are supposed to be even better.

  18. I was a long time Wow player as well. I started playing FFXI and have not looked back sense. You are right, WOW lacks alot. SOrry the WOW only fan boys don’t see it and are blinded. THE FFXI CS add to the story, and a story is what WOW has and will always lack. Quests with no plot, that is wow.

    I am a hardcore RPG fan, WOW IS NOT a hardcore MMORPG, FFXI is, and sorry FFXIF takes alot more brains and skill. Thank god there are free WOW servers, becuase it is not worth the monthly fee.

  19. IF u want cutscenes play guildwars.. it followas a certain story line until certain point then you are part of the world , u can play it free and yes u can skip cutscnes if everyone votes for it :P if not you are stuck watching the damned movie. plus pvp is great omg I just beat an entire guild with a 55 monk :P lol pwned

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