Well. It started with sitting down.
See, open an MMO at random and type /sit. Your character will probably plop down on the ground where they are, maybe stretch their legs out or fold them under, sometimes squat or somesuch. That's cool. Now, walk over to a chair and try to /sit on top of it. You will most likely clip through, end up with the chair embedded somewhere in your torso. (That looks painful, by the way. See someone about that.)
Sometimes, in places like taverns, you can click on the chair to play a sitting animation, but you can't do it manually. Can you do that on that ledge over there? No, you probably clip through.
City of Heroes let you do various sitting poses, but even those were (again) clippy and you had to position them very exactingly yourself. People did anyway, because roleplay.
In Final Fantasy XIV, you /sit (or click the left thumbstick) and if you're near a chair, your character sits down. Or on a bench, or tree stump, or some ledges even.
This blew me away. Completely. ... No, you probably still don't get it. Let me keep going.
To do this requires rigging every sittable thingie in the game world the player might want to sit down on with a script that notices they're trying to sit, notices they're near a sittable object, and animating that seat. There are five races (and two genders) of various heights and body structure, so they all have to have the proper animations for taking a seat on chairs, benches, stumps and ledges of varying heights in a natural looking way. And getting up, of course.
You can pan the camera around, go into first-person mode, and even do emotes while you're chair-seated. The emotes all need animations for that.
That is a -hell of a lot of work- for sitting down. So, most MMO devs go "fuck it, why are the players sitting around instead of questing?" and add a single all-purpose /sit command. When I noticed Final Fantasy XIV went the extra mile on sitting down, I started to wonder where ELSE they decided not to cut corners.
I gave it a second chance, did like ten dungeons with people over the course of the beta using their group finder tool, rode a chocobo around gleefully, had a great time and popped for the pre-order.
Look, it's not difficult to find times when I've gone completely nuts over coming MMOs. I keep picking them up, loving them for a while, then putting them down. Right now, I'm loving the hell out of The Secret World while waiting for FFXIV. I've got no illusions that this will be The Big One, because The Big One was City of Heroes and that's gone now.
Still... it feels awfully nice to fall in love with a game and stay that way a while. I don't think I can stop.
This entry was originally posted at http://xyzzysqrl.dreamwidth.org/357055.h