Just some questions to get an idea of how big a deal free character customization is to us compared to certain alternatives.
1. You can either (a) change mounts at any time, or (b) take only one with you at a time but each has different movement traits (jump height and distance, climbing ability, top speed, acceleration, turning, etc.).
2. You can either (a) glamour any piece of gear of the same type (plate/mail/leather/cloth/any) with zero additional effects, or (b) blend stats between the glamoured item and that of the glamour itself, meaning that your appearance has real effects. New ways in which a, say, a tank may maximize evasion or speed at cost of passive defense by wearing/glamouring lesser armor classes. All classes use all primary stats to some degree. There is now a trade-off for increased Defense (via Armor Class). Class restrictions reduced to “optimal” classes.
3. You can have (a) your customizable house in a housing area, or (b) fewer doodad options, but the ability to create guild housing (out of mini-zones) in the open world. Want a hidden canyon base? Take the area in South Thanalan.
4. You can have (a) complete freedom of customization, or (b) a degree of impact matching its appearance.
5. You can (a) have Egi glamours, or (b) push for more Egis outright (and greater distinction and broader usefulness among each, old and new).
I realize these aren’t all (remotely) fair questions. I’m mostly just looking for your thoughts on the subject generally. These questions were just to get the ball rolling, of course. I invite all parallels to hub vs. open world content, real vs. intrinsic rewards, or whatever you feel is related.
Totally fine. Throw in a D, even, if you like, for a particular amount of each that you describe after.
Also, if anyone wants to throw up their own question, I can sticky it here.
None of these are being recommended as changes. I’m just looking at general opinions for my own knowledge and am trying to figure out what might have some opportunities to try to bridge the gap between the convenience, instancing, customization, etc. on one end and the sense of real differences between the options (hopefully without closing any of those options off, aiming always greater variety in playstyle with minimal disparity in numeric output) or living, breathing world on the other, where those two may come into conflict. Where does immersion, community, etc., come from and what might it require us to sacrifice from convenience to some extent in order to capitalize on it? To what point is doing so worthwhile?
If balancing issues are the primary reason for your decision, it’d help me a lot if you’d write as much. Even now there are many such issues that reduce the real options available to use—skill speed being fairly terrible outside of certain plateaus compared on most jobs to Det or especially Crit, Spell Speed being shit on SMN, hard accuracy cap with zero use for any excess but too great a cost to skimp at all where frontal-caps are needed, etc.—and I’d rather face those issues head on and discuss how they might be fixed rather than assume that they cannot be, if you’d allow us the chance.