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Understanding the Fatigue Limit

13 Sep 2010

Read on for a transcript of the video!

So what is the fatigue system? simply put the fatigue system is a limit on how fast you can level up.

So why is there a limit? Here’s why: When designing a game, a game developer decides how fast a player will progress from level to level. A common way to do this is to add a leveling curve. Making it easy for players to level up at first and much harder the higher they get. So a leveling curve is nothing more than a time sink.

But here’s the problem: If a developer sets the curve too low, the players who can play 12 hours a day will reach the maximum level within weeks. If they set the curve too high, the players who can only manage 1 to 2 hours a day will take years to reach the max.

This is a major way MMOs retain their subscriptions!

Square-Enix puts a spin on the system. Instead of making someone play tons and tons of hours to reach the maximum level, they made it easier for everyone to level up overall, but still control the rate at which players can progress through the game.

Here’s how the limit works… the fatigue limit is divided into thresholds. a single threshold is equal to the amount of experience points a regular player will gain in an hour, while continuously fighting battles. You will get experience points at a normal rate, until you break the 8th threshold. After that the experience points you gain will gradually decrease, until you reach the 15th threshold where you can no longer gain experience points.

But… Once you stop fighting battles, this threshold will slowly start decreasing, and you will be able to gain experience points once again. Not only that, the threshold will reset once a week, allowing you to have a fresh start.

But getting experience points doesn’t end when you reach the fatigue limit. Here’s why… when you fight battles you will get two kinds of points.
• You will get experience points. Which levels up your physical level, and gives you increased HP, MP, strength, dexterity, vitality, intelligence, mind and piety.
• And you will also get weapon skill points. Which levels up your class or discipline, and unlocks abilities such as Rampart, Provoke, Red Lotus and Phalanx.

Each class or discipline have their own separate threshold. Let’s say you have reached your limit while playing as a gladiator, you can switch disciplines and change into something else, like a marauder. Giving you a completely empty threshold. Also while playing as a marauder, your gladiator threshold will start decreasing.

With 18 Disciplines to choose from, you will never run out of skill points to gain.

But why level more than one discipline? Because in Final Fantasy 14, you can combine and use abilities from other disciplines.

Here’s how it works: when you play a gladiator you can learn abilities like red lotus at rank 2, which deals increased fire damage. And rampart at rank 4, which increases your defenses.
• A marauder at rank 6 learns the ability bloodbath, which converts a percentage of damage dealt into HP.
• and a pugilist at rank 6 learns second wind, which restores HP at the cost of TP.
Under the armory system you can combine those abilities to make your gladiator even stronger.

So there are two ways for character growth, vertically with your physical level. and horizontally with your levels of discipline. Players who can manage to play only 1 hour a day, can still reach and enjoy the max level, at the same time as a player who can play 15 hours a day. But players who have more time to play, can grow more horizontally, and have more options and more abilities. Making it a very fair compromise.

The idea of a fatigue system is so revolutionary that at first glance it sounds ridiculous to most people. But when you really start to look at it, the system allows for more freedom.