Report: the Utility and Relevance of Socionics in Final Fantasy Legacy
I recently undertook to complete Final Fantasy Legacy, a near perfect fan clone of Final Fantasy IV. It's an MMORPG which is played with others. You may review the game here:
Final Fantasy Legacy (FFL) has a very interesting system of play. By trying to stay true to the dungeon-based advancement system used in the original series, FFL forces players to cooperate to survive. There is none of that hanger-on mentality you find in games like EverQuest, where a weakling can grow strong quickly just by picking of monsters weakened by stronger characters. In FFL a player can only defeat a boss once. Period. For another player to pass a square with a boss their character must defeat it without the more advanced player's assistance. This, among other inhibitory features prevents players at different stages of the game from assisting each other.
The class system is interesting. Not all of the classes are designed for solo play, meaning that to play classes which do not have good defense and healing ability one MUST partner with other players to advance. The alternative is spending absurd amounts of time raising levels to increase the vitality stat which augments defense, and even that is not an ultimate guarantee. Players who choose to "solo" play typically choose one of the high defense characters, which function similarly to Dark Knight Cecil and Paladin Cecil from the original game. The price of solo play by this means is exacted in the fact that neither has a strong multi-enemy attack, meaning that the player must hack and slash their way through every monster to get to the end. What one player can accomplish in 20 hours, a team can accomplish in five for exactly this reason. Thus, to have fun with the game introvert players are compelled to seek out party members, even though teaming with other members is not strictly necessary.
In my experience playing the game, extroverts were most likely to choose armored classes, for the simple reason that they preferred to advance at their own pace and at such times as they chose. There aren't many players on FFL (60 is the highest I've seen), thus opportunities for companionship are not guaranteed at any given point in the game. It is common that someone will appeal for the aid of others who have progressed to the same point, and if unable to find this aid they will grind for a while or simply log off. This is particularly true of low defense classes such as mages or support classes (like bards or ninjas). But the truly fascinating aspect of the class balancing is that it is natural enough to make socionics genuinely relevant. Because introverts want to advance at their own pace, typically, they prefer armored classes. Extroverts, in contrast, will only play with a partner due to the sense of loneliness which comes from not having others to depend on. Thus, they lose nothing from choosing low defense classes which are dependent on armored classes. And there is the magic: introverts and extroverts are compelled to find each other and rely on each other.
My first party experience was with a ninja and a white mage. I played the Paladin due to its self-sufficiency. My entry to this party was quite by accident: the ninja asked if they could join my party and I agreed. I had the sense that I was dealing with a dominant subtype because I felt as though I had lost control, that someone was pushing me in a certain direction and I could not resist. Although it made me uncomfortable, I wanted to show that I could be a team player (everyone was watching), so I went along.
I played through several dungeons with this team. I quit after reaching the town of Mysidia. A few days later I logged in again. My party had moved on. I fought the boss of the next dungeon and was faced with a decision. A mature caller (black mage/summoner) whom I had briefly partnered with at the beginning had advanced to my level and needed help. Due to the low physical defense rating of their armor, they could not withstand the boss' physical attacks without (again) leveling to abnormal heights. I was confused and went with my instinct to defeat the boss, knowing that by defeating it by myself I would be denying the mature caller my help. I partnered with the mature caller later only to see them get slaughtered by the boss. The caller got frustrated and quit.
I kept playing and completed another dungeon and two more bosses. Another armored character was coming up and they needed help. I sensed this player was an ESFJ due to their enormous exuberance and use of "" emoticons. (I've seen more than a few ESFJs rely on that one!). I got the sense he was alone and struggling and decided to help out. I had come to the threshold of the underworld stage, and realized that although I could go on alone, I just wasn't having any fun beating up on bosses for a half hour at a time. The slice/heal grind was getting to me, and I thought, "wouldn't it be more fun to watch TWO knights hack away against those tall men in cloaks?" The idea of a partner "having my back" definitely appealed to me. So I went back and helped the ESFJ dark knight character grind. It doubled our grinding rate and so was useful to both parties. I watched my partner take on solo the two bosses I previously defeated and noted that it was as fun as I had imagined it being.
From there we grinded in preparation for the next boss for a while, until the dark knight logged off and I was alone again. Then the mature caller returned along with a white mage, two ninjas, and a songstress (support class). Being bored I watched this party fight through the bosses I had already defeated. Then the mature caller had an announcement: the songstress was logging off and there was space in the party for another character. I was, according the caller, "in luck". So I signed up with this new party for another round of adventures. We grinded for a while and even took on a boss. As paladin, I played a combination offense and support role, taking damage for the other characters and providing healing support as needed.
We stopped outside the Tower of Zot dungeon, planning to regroup in five hours. Once we did so, the caller didn't return. Repeated attempts to get in touch with the caller were ignored. My suspicion is that the caller was an ENTP who was indulging their PoLR a bit, asserting what was and wasn't fair for them while keeping their actual views on fairness close to their chest. This explained their erratic behavior. The ENTP was apparently not very pleased that I had left them behind earlier, and seemed not to be having a lot of fun with the game.
The next morning we regrouped and waited for a few hours for the caller. When a new character joined up the white mage took charge and said we would not waiting any longer. The white mage was hungry to advance and to experience the rewards for finishing the game (as we all were). We completed the Tower of Zot and advanced into the underground, obtaining the esteemed airship character transport vehicle by which the world map could be traversed in an instant.
While all this was happening I got to know the party I was with. Of the two ninjas, one was a sock puppet controlled by the white mage. The other one was something of a silent figure, a clear introvert and very probably an INTp. We also recruited another paladin, an experienced player who was playing in two parties at once with different characters. I happened to learn that the white mage was interested in becoming a dermatologist. I realized this correlated to creative Si EM and possibly, interest in type relations. I gave the white mage a crash course in socionics, and found in short order that they were Fe dominant. I feel mostly certain that their type is ESFJ, particularly after learning of their hesitancy to make plans for others. I discussed duality with them. The white mage confided that they felt a gut feeling that they should stick with me, a feeling that they could not explain.
More as it happens.
Last edited by tcaudilllg; 09-10-2010 at 12:02 AM.