Square Enix is introducing a “fatigue” system to upcoming MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV which will apparently see players hit with crippling penalties if they play more than an hour a day, with those daring to play more than 4 hours having their XP reduced to 0.
Square Enix acknowledge the existence of the system in an interview and in previous comments, but are strangely reticent about providing specifics:
Tell us about the “fatigue” and “dormancy” systems please.
We wanted to introduce a system to reward players who don’t have a lot of time to play. Maybe it looks as though we are placing long playing users at a disadvantage, but the idea is really to let play for short periods be viable.
Won’t that cause some concern amongst players who play for longer?
We want these players to try different classes. If you change class the fatigue doesn’t affect you, so you could try non-combat classes as well. You actually have more play choices now as you can make more characters.
“Some concern” may be a colossal understatement if early reports of just how draconian the limits are turn out to be correct:
Fatigue goes up to about 50% in 2 hours, and it takes 2 days to go down! So, if you play 4 hours you have to stop playing completely for 2 days!
Only 1 hour a day!
What’s really amazing is that you have to pay a monthly subscription for this…
They can’t get away with this on a subscription game. They’ll be sued!
So you get bonuses for staying logged out – the servers are going to be nice and quiet, aren’t they!
More on the “dormancy” system:
Recovery takes time.
2 hours of combat or 1 hour of craft will induce “dormancy.”
The dormancy is actually shared over different characters.
It will decrease gains to 0% in the end.
It seems to be proportional to the amount of XP you earn.
Both light and heavy player are going to weep...
Such systems are not unique, but Square Enix appears to have taken the system to an extreme likely to either completely eliminate its “hardcore” player strata – to say nothing of its high-handedness in dictating to players that they can only play an hour day.