Gumi gets a lot of flak from their Final Fantasy Brave Exvius (FFBE) players. Sure, some of it is deserved. The company has a history of poor communication with its player base. In some ways, the inherent nature of Gacha games can give their players a predatory feel. Still, the company has shown that they do listen to their players and make improvements based on community feedback. Plus, they are constantly adding exclusive content that the Japanese version doesn’t have, most recently with Zeno of the Beta Star
Zeno of the Beta Star and Why FFBE Players Might Be Too Hard on Gumi
Revisiting the Easter Debacle
Many people dusted off their proverbial Gungirs after Gumi’s latest Easter incident where they got egg on their face and then splattered it all over their fanbase while trying to clean it off. The game announced a Global Exclusive event with some awesome looking characters, Esther and Sylvie. Players waited to see their stats, with data miners doing their usual thing of extracting the data when it was inserted during maintenance.
Most players were in full shock after that. The units were just too powerful. They outclassed many in the Japanese version, which is months ahead. Most expected a change before maintenance happened. When it cleared with the original data, it looked like Easter might be more like Christmas for FFBE players.
Until it wasn’t. At the last minute, both character’s stats were toned down. Some called it a nerf, but most just accepted that they were balanced out so they wouldn’t break the game. Gumi didn’t immediately say anything, and people were ready to move on since the characters were still crazy good. Things took a turn for the worse when the company told players to beware of “unofficial sources” during their live stream.
Many players interpreted it as a direct attack at their community. However, players should try to view this from a company perspective. They’re basically saying, “don’t get mad at us, we didn’t even release the characters yet, so nothing was official.”
For a more detailed summary of the Easter Extravaganza, click here.
Japanese Version Firestorm
But that small misstep pales in comparison to what is going on in the Japanese version of the game, managed by Alim instead of Gumi. It started innocently enough when a limited time version of Dark Fina was released. It was rather odd because usually only characters released during collaborations from non-Final Fantasy games were time-limited. But, she was a powerful unit, and it coincided with season two of the main story coming to a close.
People got a bit more nervous when a limited time version of Rain was released. However, it seemed like Alim was just going to do the three main protagonists, Fina, Rain, and then Lasswell. Players expected that to be the end of it.
But it wasn’t. Yes, a limited Lasswell was released, but between Rain and Lasswell’s release, something horrific happened.
CG Onion Knight was announced, and to every player’s chagrin, he was time limited. A new precedent was suddenly set: all new CG protagonists would be limited time units moving forward. There seemed to be a kind of adjustment when the game announced “Summon Festivals.” During this time, the limited CG units would be available on specific banners.
The downward spiral continued with CG Noctis’ release recently. The game did indeed bring back some of the previous CG units but in nightmarish fashion. King Rain returned on Noctis’ banner, meaning that now not only was Noctis limited, but he was also split between another unit that players may have no interest in. He was also extra-undesirable because Rain did not give any bonus percentage for the King Mog event. Things couldn’t get worse from here, could they?
Yes. Yes, they could. Midweek, Alim gave a surprise to all of their players: a new limited banner with Lunafreya. Like Noctis, she split her banner with an older limited unit (Dark Fina) and didn’t even get a CG limit burst.
This was it for many players. They quit cold turkey. There seems to be no intention of the developers changing course despite the deafening outcry from their fanbase. Many are still wondering if the Japanese version of FFBE is trying to kill itself off after this.
For more information on what is going on in the Japanese version, check out Claic’s video:
Global Has Shown That They Listen
For all the negativity Gumi absorbs, they have at least shown that they are receptive to criticism, and implement changes to improve. A prime example is dating back to last year’s Halloween event. Previously limited units Demon Rain, Grim Lord Sakura, and Dracu Lasswell were made available again, but there was no step-up for them. Since the banner included three five-star bases, it made getting the particular unit players wanted extremely difficult.
But, the team made things right during their next holiday event during Christmas. They decided to limit the rainbows for the banner to Christmas units only, giving players much more bang for their buck. Since then, all reruns of previously limited events have been on-banner rainbows only.
Gumi also caters to their free-to-play, and light spenders. In the Japanese version, the powerful units Mediena, Karlette, and Loren are locked behind a paywall, forcing players to reach benchmarks in spending to attain them. In Global, Gumi decided to not only not make them limited but to throw them in the regular summoning pool as well.
Coming full circle, the same Global exclusive events that have at times angered players, are also a wealth of resources and units not available in Alim’s Japanese version of the game. Characters like Olive made finishers viable far earlier than they were in the Japanese version. Chow was the first base-five magic tank, released months before Awakened Rain. He was also one of the first Global Exclusive units to fill multiple roles as a tank/healer. Since then we’ve since units like Lilith, who are hybrid tank/damage dealers. The Lunar New Year Event in Global showered players in a wealth of Cactuars and Gil Snappers.
Now, in the middle of everything going on in the Japanese game, Gumi has gone even further to separate their game from Alim’s, announcing the first-ever Global Exclusive character that fits right into the FFBE story: Zeno of the Beta Star. And not only that, but they put their own brand on him: Storm Brand. This is now the official name of the chaining family that Esther created when she was released for Easter. Zeno is the second to get an ability in the family.
Last Word on FFBE, Global Exclusives, and Zeno of the Beta Star
So maybe it is time for FFBE Global players to cut Gumi some slack. They aren’t perfect. They still need to improve their communication. There are still some lingering bugs and unfulfilled promises of Quality of Life implementations that are almost six months overdue. (Most were just newly promised to be resolved before the third anniversary.)
But Gumi has shown that they listen to their players, and are committed to maintaining a thriving game. For the most part, they have followed the Japanese version with only minor changes, almost all of which are for the better. But, the longer the game goes on, the more willing Gumi is to deviate and put their own stamp on the title. Esther, Zeno, and the new Storm Brand chaining family are perfect examples of this.
At this point, Global players will have to be cautiously optimistic that Gumi will also change course from Japanese’s limited time CG units. They have long declared that Global is, in fact, a different game than the Japanese version, and the time will soon come for them to really prove it.