07 May, 2009

My responses to the Japanese's questions.

Elmerthepointy has posted up the second round of questions from the Japanese, fired at us, the non-Japanese speaking community in an effort to bridge the cultural and language barriers. I figured this time around, I'd offer up my own answers on my blog, even though they're in the comments on JPButton.

First off, if you're not familiar with the project, what Elmer did was to gather a sample of questions from the NA players (NA in this case meaning "Not Japanese." :P), then translated and posted some of the questions onto Japanese forums for Japanese players to answer. He then reversed the roles around, gathering questions from the Japanese to ask us, translating along the way in the hopes that each side gets greater understanding of the other.

The first EN/JP questions project can be found here.

So, without further ado, here are the questions to the second round of questions from the Japanese. Questions are in bold, my answers are in plain text, and any additional comments I have will be in italics. ^^

{START button}!

1. Do foreign players have a lot of interest in joining social Japanese Linkshells? (Especially ones with only JP members) I ask because when I recruit for my shell in Japanese, I get a lot of tells from foreigners looking to join. Personally, I feel like even if they could understand my /shout, it still would be hard to keep up with regular conversation. They wouldn’t understand pop-culture references to old TV shows, for instance.

I was personally interested in joining a Japanese linkshell, if only because it allowed me to keep in touch with my Japanese language.

That being said, you are right in saying that even if foreigners did study Japanese, we wouldn’t get all the pop-culture references. However, that applies to any foreign language student that’s trying to take his language skills to everyday conversation.

Now that I am in a Japanese linkshell and I understand most of what’s going on, I get headaches after a while, and will switch into an English linkshell to relax. I assume most Japanese feel the same way too when put into an English environment.

Keeping in touch with my Japanese was indeed one of the reasons why I applied to TK, although now that much of the EN side has gone due to the Salvage bannings, the impact of what is essentially a Japanese only linkshell is hitting me. Honestly, I get such headaches trying to keep up with the chat sometimes, I just stop paying attention and come to once I realise my linkshell leader's scolding me for not reading the chatlog. :P

2. Parties that cycle in replacement members seem to be popular amongst foreigners, but a lot of times the party will just disband once the replacement arrives. Of course, there are times when the replacement is contacted before they get all the way there, but there are many instances when no one says anything. There are also many cases where inappropriate jobs are invited and the party can no longer function well.

To me, this is a big reason behind some of the negative images Japanese players have about foreign players. What do you think about this?

Ah, I was wondering when this question would get asked. ^^

I am personally not a fan of “replacement parties,” though I understand why some would do it. To some, they might think why they have to stop the xp party just because one person has to go, so they find someone to replace the leaving member and keep the party going for those that want to stay.

Unfortunately, what happens a lot of the time is that people get tired around roughly the same time, so one person leaving usually leads to a chain of other people leaving as well.

I honestly don't blame the Japanese for this kind of impression that they have, because I've only very rarely come across Japanese players that will look for replacements.

I've accepted it as just the way of doing things with English-speaking players, and try to accomodate, such as not expecting to stay as long as I might otherwise in a new party, or asking the existing members how long they plan to stay before looking for replacement members.

I'm not saying it's overall a bad thing- I've been in excellent parties that were both good xp/hr and were long because of replacements, I've just found that it's usually more trouble than not.

In my experience, the unspoken guideline is that xp parties last around two hours from when you start fighting, so I plan around that.

3. Why does it seem like many foreign players don’t bother to bring medicines and potions to Missions and BCs? Many Japanese players make sure to have Vile Elixirs, Hi-Potions and/or Reraise Earrings.

From my observation, it’s accepted here that everyone has food and Reraise, while mages have Echo Drops in addition. I generally would not expect anything else, and if I really wanted Hi-Potions, Yagudo Drinks or something else, I’d specifically mention it in party chat before setting off.

I'm also going to call on some of the claims here, because I honestly do not remember an instance where a Japanese player came extra prepared to a mission. Honestly, taken to extremes, I can ask why you're not prepared with Opo/Sleep Pots or Icarus Wings. I know there are some people that carry around a Vile Elixir just in case, but to expect one is too much in my opinion.

As I mentioned in my answer- I will plan assuming members don't have these items outside of food, reraise and echo drops for the mages. I will say if I want other specific items before setting off.

4. Sometimes I see foreign pick-up parties recruiting for members using Auto-Translate, but then when I join the party, all the conversation and battle planning is in English. I’ll ask for them to {Please use the Auto-Translate function.} but nobody ever does. If you are going to /shout for help with the Auto-Translator, why not use it in the party? It feels like I was tricked.

Interesting point. I wasn’t aware full auto-translate shouts were even effective in recruiting Japanese players! :D

Sorry I can’t really help out here- personally, if I’m doing a mission and have both English and Japanese players, I explain what’s going on twice- once in English and once again in Japanese.

I honestly had never considered that Japanese could actually accept an auto-translated /shout invite and come face to face with a wall of English characters only, with little conscientious effort to translate the battle plan, etc.

That being said, it does strike me as odd that the question claims that even after he/she asks {Please use the Auto-translate function}, there is no noticeable improvement. It may be that we are so used to using the translator more as a shortcut function (like Sau"TAB key") as opposed to a translator that we're just not used to, well, actually using it to translate!

5. How many NA and EU players do Campaign? Any thoughts about the recent nerf to Fortifications?

I don’t do campaign, unfortunately, so I can’t comment here either.

6. What equipment do you think has great stats but horrible looks?
What equipment do you think has the best graphics?

Ugly: Zenith Mitts! The green gloves are sooo ugly!

Pretty: I personally love seeing all the classic FF costumes, so I love AF. In fact, my first job was WHM just because in my newbie days as a BLM08, a taru WHM rode past me on a chocobo, and I saw his Healer’s Briault, and I thought to myself, “I _must_ have that!” I was so disappointed when I found you couldn’t buy a briault off the AH. T_T

One thing I've noticed is that all the jobs I've leveled have a very striking piece of AF, be it the WHM or RNG body or BLM, RDM or SCH hats or SMN horn that really exudes the classic FF feel, and also why I didn't level say, WAR or MNK whose AF I do not identify as well with. Because of that, my first melee job will probably end up being DRG, despite my protests. :P

7. Outside of your normal party gear, is there any equipment that you go out of your way to get strictly for looks? What are your favorite pieces of casual equipment?

My Goldsmithing equipment. In town, I walk around in my Goldsmith’s Apron, Shaded Spectacles and a Vulcan’s Staff. I really wish I could get my hands on a Nomad Moogle cap though. T_T

I'm proud to be a Goldsmither even though I don't actually synth for gil. In fact, I fully understand why people would use their guild aprons as town gear. Apart from advertising, it feels good to show off the fruits of your hard work, especially for a craft like Goldsmithing! >_<

8. I’m a Mithra, and I find that a lot of foreigners seem to be into Mithra fashion. They examine me and ask where I got my equipment and such. Do you think male players enjoy dressing up their Mithra in cute outfits?

I’m not a Mithra, so I can’t comment. TARUTARU FOR LIFE!

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with playing a character who is of the opposite gender that you are in real life, if anything, it might even provide some insights into what people of the opposite gender may have to consider.

I wish I still had that bookmark on some university conducting a class in WoW, where one of the assignments was to create a new character of the opposite gender and observe how your own behaviour changed. I remember finding the student's paper quite interesting, but unfortunately, cannot remember for the life of me where it was now. :(

Second, did I mention TARUTARU FOR LIFE? ^^

9. I wonder if you calculate the XP/hr of parties, and if so, do you think that Skillchain/Magic Burst or Weaponskill spam produces the best results? Before parsing became widespread, Japanese players used to think Skillchain/Magic Burst was the best.

I think it’s been quite conclusively shown that weaponskill spam parties bring in the highest xp/hr rates, especially in merit parties. That being said, don’t neglect the power of a skillchain, but skillchains now are things that are done when the opportunity arises, rather than being something you’d plan a party’s strategies around.

Parsers did one very good thing- it gave you cold, hard, numerical results, which in turn allowed us to conclusively say that if you wanted to maximize your xp/hr, this style is better. I personally pay attention to the xp/hr gained in a party.

10. How come it seems like so many people don’t utilize Search Comments properly? Why don’t they write their camp location for others to see? Also, it’s strange to see so many people seeking without basic information written like available jobs and where they can access. Don’t you want an invite?

Yes, this has been frustrating me too. Most of the time though, I’m only really concerned with what camps are taken, so I can figure out where to go, or whether to even start forming a party in the first place.

As for subjobs, it’s rare that I specifically want a certain subjob (although I have been asked to merit as WHM/DRK before) and as for areas, unless the camp is really somewhere that people might not be able to get to (like [S] regions when WotG just came out), I’ve found it a same assumption that people can go to camp, so I don’t bother looking at those in search comments, nor do I see how excluding those comments would affect your party invites.

I don't remember when the last time I invited someone based on their subjob availability was, with the exception of ignoring those with underleveled subs. Concerns with areas do crop up occasionally for me because of Campsitarus where I am usually found trying to explore any new areas (I was trying to party exclusively in WotG areas when it was released), but other than certain times like that, I'd only ask if there really were some definite barriers to entry.

11. If you know you are going to be busy, how come you don’t alert people at the beginning of the party instead of surprising everyone at the last minute?

I have no idea- this is not something I practice, although I have been the victim of such things before. If anything, I’d say this is a rather unfair generalization.

I can see where the question comes from though. Sad to say, while I have had my fair share of people suddenly leaving the party without any prior warning, the majority of such cases are from EN players.

Perhaps it's the idea that I have the right to leave if the party is bad, etc. After all, if we're stuck in a company we hate, most would say "quit your job!" or something to that extent (well, maybe not in these days...)

In the end however, these cases are few and far in between, so I do feel it's an unfair generalization of the entire EN playerbase.

12. Honestly, the largest difference in thinking between Japanse and foreign players exists in the Merit party. You often say 5 DDs and a RDM is so good, but having a single, solitary healer is hard on the RDM. Japanese realize that healers can be in short supply, so we make sacrifices to lighten their burden, like subbing a mage job, or using Utsusemi. I feel like many people don’t show proper respect to healers.

When we say JP ONLY, it isn’t always an issue of language, but the fact that we feel there are other dangers and demerits associated with a non-JP party, stemming from our different play-styles, that we wish to avoid.

This key difference in thinking, more than any race or language issue, is what really sets us apart as players. They are just looking to sit back, relax and earn some decent XP.

Please feel free to provide your own insight and thoughts.

I agree that the difference in merit parties might just come down to mentality. Personally, if I join a merit party, I want the fastest xp/hr rate, which means I expect to be pushed to my limits, mage or melee. I don’t expect it to be relaxing at all. I am there for merits first and foremost. If I really wanted to relax and get some xp at the same time, I’d party with friends exclusively, where the aim is more on socializing than getting merit points.

That being said, where’d the 5 DD and 1 RDM come from? I’ve never seen that formula around.

I was surprised to see that the OP saw merits as something relaxing, although I'll admit it's not too far fetched. I've already spelled out my thoughts on merits and how I generally don't view it as something to relax to.

The interesting point here is what is the disservice being done here- pushing the healer, or making the healer's job easier at the cost of limit points? From a WHM or RDM's perspective, as a healer, I cannot easily solo or get limit points by myself, so I'm personally out for merit points first and foremost! Thank you for the consideration towards possibly making my job easier, but I really don't mind you taking more damage if it means I have to work harder and get more xp.

I will definitely agree that if the "meripo is for relaxing" mentality is prominent throughout the Japanese community, then this might be why there is such a difference in style. On our side, merits can be seen as a chore, so get it over and done with! Besides, we all like being part of that uber party that pulls in 20k/hr, so why not work towards it? In other words, why settle for being good when you can be great?

Bonus question: What type of sushi do you like best?

Salmon! My host family in Japan were laughing at me because I love salmon, but don’t really like tuna. I hear salmon is really cheap while tuna is expensive in Japan, so my host parents were happy, too. :D

I looooove salmon. Actually I like fish in general although I'm not so hot with tuna and sardines for some reason. But salmon..../slurp.

Imagine my surprise when I found out salmon is the cheapest fish in Japan, too! :D

And that's it! Hopefully you found these answers insightful.

Picture lifted from vgcats.

1 comment:

Ringthree said...

You overuse "honestly" and "definitely" as much as I do! I approve! :)