What do you expect in terms of world - linear vs open?

#1sawploPosted 7/11/2013 12:20:15 PM
Just want to get a feel of what most people are expecting from FF15. The last two installments were more extreme than any other mainline FF in terms of linear vs open world (not counting the MMOs).

To be clear on what I mean by linear vs open world, here are the definitions:

Linear - I definitely did not understand the meaning of this word until someone proved to me that no FF was ever truly linear. But, for lack of a better word, I still use "linear". By linear, I mean well defined pathways in pretty much every area of the game. There might be different paths going different ways that end up leading to the same place, but these paths don't allow for "open" exploration. You pretty much can only go forward or backward. Note that if there is an area (like the Calm Lands in FF10) which is open, this wouldnt contradict it. The idea is that the general design is of linear defined paths.(With the exception of FF12 and obviously FF11/FF14, most other FFs were "linear" according to this definition).

Open - Free roam. In other words, you can pretty much go in any and every direction (except perhaps up and down). Some people say sandbox when referring to this. I would partly agree, though a "sandbox" does imply some eventual borders on the "openness". A real open world would go around and come full circle. Still, the essence of what I mean by "open" is that free roam format often found in sandbox games. Pick your direction and go explore. Having some sort of "impass" to explore further into the world depending on the current progress in the game wouldnt contradict this. Neither would a dungeon set in a cavern with pathways, or a town with alleys and streets. These are naturally occurring linear areas. The idea is that the world and its explorable areas provide free roam exploration in any direction. (TES games are a great example of this type of open world).

I personally see FF15 as being more along the lines of linear. I definitely do not see it being "open" as I describe above, with perhaps an exception of a few areas (like an open field). I think towns, dungeons and most areas will have nicely defined paths, some that may split and go in a different direction, but they will not allow for free roam.

Both designs could allow for backtracking or accessibility of places that arent in the current progression of storyline. Both may or may not have a "world map" to walk on, though it does seem that a world map is highly unlikely.

I certainly would prefer a more linear design and I expect it in FF15. I dont personally like that free roam design, and it is the biggest thing I disliked about FF12 (and what I hate about games like TES). I also think linear worlds lend themselves better to "action", battling in particular, but also platform "action" like jumping, ducking, crawling, scaling, etc. Just my opinion, of course.

What do you expect? And, what would you prefer? Obviously, you might expect one thing but prefer the other.

Also, note my descriptions above are not meant to be "factual definitions", but rather my own take on linear vs open. So, if, for example, you define "linear" as only a straight line with no split paths and no ability to backtrack, that is fine, but that is not what I am comparing here. I am really comparing "open free roam" vs "not open free roam", and I am using the word "linear" to mean "not open free roam." So, please, I am not looking for an argument on actual definitions here.

I just want to see what most people expect and what most people prefer.
#2kupo1705Posted 7/11/2013 12:38:22 PM
It's already confirmed to have an open world in which you can ride around in cars, airships and other vehicles. How open 'open' is, I don't know.
#3XenilPosted 7/11/2013 12:45:03 PM
I expect there'll be some linear sections mainly for story progression coupled with some huge open areas to explore. Thinking about action games almost all have linear progression and I don't think XV will stray too far from this formula but it might try to mask its linearity by having more optional content and more backtracking.

Also, I don't mind whether a game is linear or not and I definitely think it's an overstated criticism that's not even a good one to begin with. For me it's Quality > Quantity, games can have an open world but still come across as completely bland and uninteresting; this was my biggest problem with XII, on paper it should have been great but 15-20 hours in I just didn't give a s*** about where I was exploring as none of the locations were coming across as interesting or memorable and the places I did want to explore and see like Rozarria I didn't get to. If XV is to have open areas I just hope that it's not the overused "here's a huge desert / plain, now go run around it" as nothing would bore me more.
#4adnancool13Posted 7/11/2013 12:48:57 PM
Nomura about the game's world, "If you try to go all the way to the end, it's truly far."


http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=399165
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#5SugarBoogersPosted 7/11/2013 12:49:39 PM
Mostly linear with sidequests and a big world. You can get to areas earlier than you're supposed to but there won't be much to do there besides some sidequests that you might be able to start early.
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#6Teeleaf57Posted 7/11/2013 12:52:31 PM
TBH I don't think any of the FF bar 12 have ever been truly 'open' even the world maps just gave the illusion of freedom.

I don't mind linearity as wide open areas usually translates as 'lots of unavoidable random battles' just as long as not as suffocating and painfully obvious as FF13, it should still feel like living, breathing world.

Also just some constructive criticism, the wall of text really wasn't needed.
#7FreshSushiPosted 7/11/2013 1:39:02 PM
Amazingly detailed well thought our open world > Linear > crappy filled with nothing (skyrim) open world.
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#8reeja19Posted 7/11/2013 1:43:30 PM
If it's like 12 I will be very happy!
#9ZeroCalsPosted 7/11/2013 2:11:33 PM
FreshSushi posted...
Amazingly detailed well thought our open world > Linear > crappy filled with nothing (skyrim) open world.


I don't know about you, but I couldn't go more than 100 yards without running across some ruin/cave/altar/etc in Skyrim.

To each their own...
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#10j-fielding95Posted 7/11/2013 2:15:22 PM
I don't expect anything. I just stay optimistic until the game launches and buy it regardless of whether it's linear or open. I like both types if games, and I like how different FF games are, so I don't mind which direction is taken and am not about to limit somebody else's vision because of what I expect.
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