In many games we were able to see some kind of prologue contents…sometimes just text explanations, sometimes small cutscenes…but in my opinion the best way of doing a prologue content is with small scenarios.
In FF serie we saw multiple ways of prologues…from alternative gameplay (like Laguna parts in FFVIII where you had, from time to time, small periods that allowed you to see past content), flashbacks (love those…like the one in FFVII where we actually were able to play with Sephiroth during them) or even full content (FFXI: Wings of the Goddess is, by far, the best prologue content I ever saw in a game…you actually take part of the entire great war!).
Still, FFXIV has an even more special feature though…the echo! Right now we use the echo just to have cutscenes from past, but it could be expanded in many ways! We could not only interact to the cutscenes but actually having them turned into small scenarios!
Imagine we being able to not only seeing a cutscene but, instead, we being able to play with those characters in that scenarios…imagine we being able to play with Stahlmann, Cicely, Y’shtola, mimidoa, Baderon and many other notorious NPCs…or even some of the beastmen! We being able to not only hear about what NPCs did but, instead, we actually take part of it!
It would be an awesome, brand new type of content that, at start, would target strictly solo play but, as you advance at scenarios (yes, it would be some kind of quest chain) it would start appearing scenarios way more complex that, sometimes, would require more players. A way to imagine this is thinking about the main scenario quest r46 cutscene…think that after we completing this quest we being able to use echo to take part of that battle (while we were unconscious) in parties of 4, each player taking one of the characters (Y’shtola, Thancred, Papalymo and Yda) or being able to play during Ala Mihgo fall or even at Sil’dih!
The potential that the echo feature has is nearly unlimited! We could have prologues for each nation, each key NPC, each key boss, each key event…it would be a banquet for lore lovers!
And, if a feature has no value unless players have gameplay reward, so it would be a great way for us to learn signature moves from NPCs or maybe how to access a certain item that is only available after a certain prologue scenario was completed so you can use it to trigger a NM or a bigger event…imagine a hidden, lost or even forbidden guildleve that can only be found after a certain scenario was complete so you saw where the NPC hid it…or a set of NPCs that split a weapon in several pieces and that you need to recover the broken weapon from a NM and then find all the missing pieces, whose position can only be revealed during these prologue scenarios, before you can repair it!
This would not only add some tremendous amount of lore to the game but also some kind of endgame possibility that would be great not only for solo players but also for those who like party play! ^^