Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Too Many Options Make My Head Hurt

The License Board is like having a million paths to choose from instead of just two. Kat Bailey over at 1UP’s RPG blog The Grind is spending the month of March with Final Fantasy XII.  Her recent ruminations on FFXII’s License Board echo sentiments I expressed a few weeks ago.

Bailey rightly describes the License Board as the bastard child of the Sphere Grid and Final Fantasy’s recurring Job System.  However, the License Board is simply too open-ended.  A friend of mine recently started playing FFXII for the first time.  I asked him how he was enjoying the character customization, and he told me his whole party had swords.  And not because he has some weird blade fetish, but because it was easy.  Exploring the immense checkerboard of skills was simply too daunting. 

As I said in my afore-linked post, I would appreciate a return to character-defined skills.  If most of the game is going to be spent killing monsters and the designers want to have characters with unique traits and characteristics, maybe we should look at the different ways they can kill monsters instead of just letting me choose.

Oh yeah, and go read Kat Bailey’s post.  She, along with others, posts regularly at The Grind, which I find a refreshing source of RPG news and discussion.

P.S. I do actually enjoy Final Fantasy XII, despite the number of times I’ve ripped it on this site.  I simply have no qualms pointing out the flaws in its character progression system.