The main questions here are...For a battle to be epic, does it need to be battled? Is the battle itself more important than the lore involved? Is the combat the only way of taking part in an epic event?
If you ask me, the answers to all these questions would be “No”. I really liked the concept this FF brought to MMO world…the “Play however you like” one. For those that don’t know, the main concept is that the player will be able to fully enjoy the game even if he has only one class and even if this class is a disciple of hand or land.
So I was thinking about this the other day and came to a conclusion…there is a pretty simple way of doing this, where the story and the lore are way more important than the battle itself…the Calendar Wheel.
Instead of you having a certain mission accessible in a certain level or by a certain class (this would be valid still…but not for the main scenario quests/missions or other important quests), they would be triggered based on ingame Calendar.
An important info…eorzean calendar is composed of 12 months of 32 days and each day lasts around 1 hour. So one month lasts 32 hours and one year 384 hours (16 days).
So the basic is that it would work similarly to FFTA calendar wheel system, where a certain even would trigger only in a certain period of the year…who took part this time, do it and those who didn’t can take part the next time they happen.
So, as example, we can have events like that festival in Ul’dah (first main scenario quest) with a set day, separating the tutorial quest from it. Maybe making a tutorial part more like Limsa and Gridania ones, not involving the city itself…maybe starting at hamlets…the possibilities are countless!
Think that every event of these would have 2 versions…the first time experience and the repeatable experience. Still using the festival as example…the first one you do would be the rampaging goobbue one…but this wouldn’t be the only one…if the festival happens to be from 11/08 to 12/08 (an ingame month) then if you go to Ul’dah during this period you will always see the festival…even if you already completed the main scenario quest…sometimes you would have different quests related to the “default event”, being then only for those who already completed the main scenario.
Imagine we having branching quests…like garlean invasion to Gridania as example…they trying it from 03/01 to 05/01 (2 ingame months)…during this period we having large-scale garlean attacks around all Black Shroud and Gridania…in the end of these 2 months we having a tally based on results…if garleans won then Gridania would be seized and later on we would have another event, let’s say 09/01 (and, if they fail, 03/01 again…an attempt to free it every 6 months), to try and free Gridania.
We could have active events regarding freeing Ala Mihgo from time to time, having tournaments in Ul’dah, characters being jailed and having to stay a few time in prison (break away attempts being valid too), temporary conflicts between beast tribes and nations or even between 2 beast tribes or 2 nations…
FFTA has shown how good this kind of event would work! And, with a set time, we could have really epic, large-scale events for people regardless of classes! Heck! We even have nice constellations…how about the classic star aligning that could, from time to time, bring some kind of event…like they aligning every 10-20 years (every 160-320 real days) for extra rare events like opening portals to certain areas where you can find special aetherial gates (gates so it’s an individual warping…no free ride for those who lost the event =P) or certain NMs awakening only for a limited time…
FFTA and FFTA2 have shown how well this system can work…and I believe it would be great for this game not only regarding battle content but any other kind! Those who played it know that we had many events that weren’t battle related!
Also, seasonal events would be also cool, like we having the harvesting seasons, rain seasons and the seasons themselves (spring, summer, autumn and winter…but obviously without the real events…these would match our calendar and not ingame one…also, would be nice the seasons lasting from 6 months to one year (I like the 1-year season idea) so we could also having events related to that seasonal period only…like having areas only accessible during winter due snow and frozen lakes, certain items only harvestable during spring, etc) so the game would look way more alive!.