As WotG has exhausted a fair amount of the good will from ToAU, go back to making geographically based expansions, at least 2 in a row.
* Far East
- One nearby XPing zone is a forest in springtime. Think Bhaflau/Wajaom, only with cherry blossoms
- One nearby XPing zone is a bamboo forest
- Beastmen: Tengu (Yagudo), Kappa (Quadav or Sahagin), Oni (why not)
- Maybe also have Central Aradjiah here (Eastern half of Aht Urhgan Empire and main area for the Trolls). If AU is involved, the war between them would have to be important.
- Tenzens, SAMs, NINs, and MNKs
- Airship flight to get to (from Norg maybe?). Definately have enemies onboard. NMs- one way Doom Gaze, one way Thunderbird (Roc), little enemies like Flies, Birds, Bats, and maybe 1 new monster family.
- There's so much Japanese folklore, history, cultural arts to draw from for story elements here.
- Don't forget, the deadly Habu snake is from here.
* Far West
- Ship route from Selbina. How about breaking up the routine by having an island along the way and the option to get off or board another ship later on? The island would be its own zone, maybe an Atoll or just an island. The Manaclipper is round-trip, but the ship routes are not. All they have is a pirate attack to stop one of them. There's room for innovation in these transit zones. Maybe that island can have a HNM for the Far West region, like a giant Whale or whale like creature, a really, really large monster that would dwarf Wyrms & Yovra. It would also be a unique place to put a HNM, which usually reside in the main zones of an expansion, not small, isolated fringe areas.
- Obviously, what was that, Adoulin Isle where the city is? The continent I imagine a bit like the US Mountain West & Southwest combined with the Veldt. Buffalos, Dhalmels, Wivres, Goobbues, Manticores, Marids, lots of big wild game. Lots of open semi-arid plains or grassland plains. Home of BSTs & BLMs (Igqira), RNGs probably.
- Maybe a zone made up of heavily flowered fields. Lots of bees, flytraps and pollinators, sunflowers, and the like. Maybe also have lots of vines, like overgrowing the few trees of the zone or maybe growing up rock walls built there. Perhaps the local nation harvests some product of those flowers, using it like an orchard or cropfield. Hey, how about having a whole field of Lycopodiums, where you can see them in the ground and they don't spawn until they're done growing, where they literally pop out of the soil?
- Beastmen- dunno, but Ogres from FF1 were very menacing as a kid. Orcs don't quite have that same aura. Ogres would kind of be a cross of Orcs & Gigas, low-tech, but not invoking the shark-like savagery of Orcs, more the quiet menacing brutishness (like a big gorilla, not a pack of vicious chimpanzees).
- Maybe how about having on the main continent of Ulbuka many big zones, open wilderness, and there is no city there, just on the island off the east coast, but there could be a small nomadic settlement, like a trading post used by many BSTs, RNGs (and Geomancers?), and other people who spend lots of time out in the wilderness. Have tents and small temporary structures erected in like 3 or so of the outdoor zones and the post would migrate around like every Vana'diel week (or month?), leaving all but 1 of those camps empty. Rabao is an oasis, not a true nomadic camp, Nashmau is an abandoned city populated by Beastmen.
- Use those exorcists, the weird tribal figures Igqira gear invokes, shamans, and the like. The storyline may incorporate Native American elements, or perhaps even some influence from the Aztec/Maya/Inca.
- We have a whole bunch of transit zones involving the sky (airships) or water (Phanauet, Manaclipper, the 2 sets of ship routes), how about one over land? I envision a caravan or an open-top train of sorts, pulled by choco-motion (it's not a locomotive, it's a chocomotive, maybe chocobos in hampster wheels and crystal power, or a pack of beefed up mega-chocobos). Why the land route? Maybe it's too long and too dangerous (populated by huge herds of monsters) to trek across by foot or on saddled chocobo. Maybe putting 200 monsters within viewing distance of the route would be too much for the servers to handle, so maybe they can just be silhouettes on the horizon, moving, but indistinguishable. Don't forget the dust clouds from their movement. Every now and then a herd can try to board the flatbed cars/open-top wagons by cutting across the route, stopping the train and forcing the passengers to fight them off or scare them off (how about an attack not based on time but by action? Where they need x "points" before they are scared off, like big noisy magic spells (Thunder, Fire, etc), WSes, or other moves any of the 20 Jobs might do to scare away big packs of animals.
* Far South
- Already a lot written about it, I'll leave any comments about it to the side except for a reminder to remember all the geography references we have about it, remember Shiva's small country was down here and all the historical references in that story. Also, take note of the items that drop in ENMs as they explicitly came from the Far South, West, and East, like Rheiyoh, a deer like monster.
* Far North
- Make a diversity of cold-related zones, icy habitats. I envision no civilization here except perhaps the ruins of a city, destroyed by Orcs and/or Gigases moderately long ago (500-800 years). Probably remnants of an old Viking-esque culture. There's some good stuff in Norse mythology- use Niflheim, Muspellheim as references (yeah, a zone in perpetual fog, intentionally, where it is really hard to see far, but enemies you can't see can aggro you). How about a boat ride up there with an ice flow to dodge with some enemies boarding from the ice? Maybe the general story there could be a Tenshodo expedition using adventurers to uncover the secrets of this lost land. It would be good to break up the standard format because we know there are nations/civilizations in every other direction (East, West, South, Near East) but so far, we have never heard of the Far North having a civilization, just savage Orcs and Gigases. Yeah, we hear Gnoles were Vikings transformed by Demon magic, but do we know when that occurred? There's enough ambiguity in that statement to have their transformation occur hundreds of years ago. Maybe that's what happened to the survivors of the fallen northern civilization, they were turned into savage animals.
- But where would the local city be, the place to trade, to buy items, and so on? How about a sort of floating port or anchorage, like imagine a giant wooden hub, with each spoke a dock, with a set of merchant and cargo vessels there to buy everything from. It would be offshore because there is literally no safe harbor on the northern continent, not to mention its very treacherous weather. It would be organized by Tenshodo and perhaps other backers (like other nations from around the world) that are providing support (like Gil and the actual goods being shipped here to stock adventurers with provisions).
* One new Job in most expansions. These are the last remaining FFI-VI (Old School) jobs. I would recommend not watering down FFXI with the gimmicky jobs created for remakes (FFV Advance) or the many from Tactics Advance. Part of the appeal of FFXI's design is it took the classic jobs, put them all together and defined them (literally, look at FFIII for DS- they took the FFXI definitions of these jobs and applied it to the jobs that appeared in this game), showing how they can all co-exist, what their niches would be. Stick to the traditional jobs. Even ones deemed unusable were found to have a means of being utilized (like Scholar/Calculator becoming SCH).
- Geomancer- was the #2 most wanted job, behind BLU. Blah blah blah, it's not too hard to implement. I've outlined one possible system for it previously on this forum, others have come up with their own systems.
- Chemist- item-based support job. Give it a special inventory like PUP. It can exist without stepping on crafting, by making effects, not items via using basic ingredients. Once again, it's not impossible to invent a viable system. BLU, COR, PUP, DNC, SCH were all invented with different systems from the standard jobs (WAR thru SMN).
- Berserker- it can work if Berserk status was limited to only part of the time and have benefits and drawbacks. Think more of a melee tank.
- Time Mage- I've outlined how its magic can be viable, just needing the same level of modification CHM, or the same SCH got. Needs a new name though as Time Mage is only part of what they do and Time-Space Mage is a little clunky.
- No Mimic (that's PUP, look up how Mimic works in FFV, VI, FFT and compare notes with PUP and remember all the debates previously about the Mimic command/ability itself and the issues with if it were equal in strength to the imitated move and if it were weaker than the imitated move), no Viking (play the original FFIII, it's just PLD because traditional Paladin/Knight blurred too heavily with WAR. I mean, Cecil, FFV Knight & FFIII Knight were killing machines with high offense and defense), no Sorceror (that's RDM, besides Sorcerer was broken in FFV). The 20 jobs + these 4 cover all the classic FFs and even if FFVII is tossed in, the only one with some elements not yet used is Vincent and transformations, but then again, BLU kind of covers that (though it takes more after the Gau version of it than the Vincent version).
And as for Beastmen, somewhere, there can be Liliths, which I envision as pinkish or magenta versions of Lamiae, maybe tweaked to be a different animal, not snake or fish. Maybe give them 1 or 2 extra pairs of arms so they can be modelled off of Marilith from FF1/FF9.
Not sure where else Goblins would be, Qiqirns would be, and perhaps a 3rd scavenger sorts of race in one of the continents. We got goblins, literal packrats, perhaps small bird-like ones, like true vultures, scavengers (use vultures, condors as a model), though then again, maybe not. Maybe an aquatic one, like Remoras, that scavenge, only make them amphibious, more fish-like or salamander-like than shark-like (Sahagins) or frog-like (Poroggo).
Edit: Oh yeah, I remember the Leviathan story referring to Sea Morbols tangling up ships. How about putting those (colored either ocean blue or kelp brown) along the route, tangling up the ship temporarily for the "pirate attack"-like event?
Edit: color added to make it easier to read.
Edited, Jun 9th 2009 5:47pm by zoogelio
Edited, Jun 9th 2009 5:56pm by zoogelio
Edited, Jun 9th 2009 6:05pm by zoogelio
Somewhere out there, there is a road with 2 signs on it. One says "No Trespassing". The sign right next to it says "FREE KITTENS".