Massive Multiplayer Online games have never been my type of genre. As an introverted person, interacting with other people has always been a challenge for me; more so with one’s that I cannot physically interact with. Most people adapt an online persona to help with that uneasiness, but for me, I like to be who I am upfront and not convince others that I am this big social butterfly. So then why out of all of the current games that I am playing do I keep returning to this one most of the time?
If you have not had the chance to play Final Fantasy XIV, it may be off putting at first, but when you dive deeper into it, it becomes a giant homage to all of Final Fantasy. There are a ton of references to previous games in the series; these include boss fights, music, locations, apparel, and even some characters themselves. There are also references to some of the spin-off games like Final Fantasy Tactics and collaborations with other games like the recent one with Nier: Automata. All of these elements combined may be the reason why I enjoy playing this game. It is familiar to me and thus I feel comfortable “existing” in this world.
The familiarity of the game world is what comforts me. There is an original story with its own characters, locations, and lore, but some of the concepts like the Warrior of Light, primals as the summons from previous games, and the familiar classes you can choose from help make it feel like a true entry in the series. Another big difference that I see differently from most online games, is that a vast majority of people playing are nice and generous to help newer players get a hang of things. There is always someone who will run down mechanics of boss fights to new players and give advice on strategies to use. Even if we fail multiple times, no one is yelling or blaming someone else for messing up all the time. It is normally followed with friendly advice to watch out for certain moves and look for call outs that are made. This cooperative nature is something I don’t see much in other online games that I play.
That does not mean that there are no flaws to the game. I will criticize that the main game up to level 50 struggles to keep players engaged and has a lot of unnecessary content. Most of the beginning quest are all “go here and there” quest and the main story is sprinkled in among the fluff. I know the intention is to get players to explore the world, become familiar with it, and work your way up to level 50, but it becomes a snooze fest along the way. Once you get to the endgame of the first patch, the intensity of the game ramps up and the true appeal of the content is then shown. An easy fix would be to introduce these concepts during the beginning parts so not to throw players into learning their roles on the fly and decrease the amount of experience you need in order to reach level 50. There was a recent patch to cut some content from the post game (another 100 pointless quest before moving on to the first expansion), but it still feels like a long journey that burns you out quick.
I am currently at the end of the Heavensward expansion and just finished the Dragonsong post arc. If you are interested in trying the game out, there is a free version that you can play that allows you to get to level 35 in any or all jobs. It also allows you to transfer your data to the full game if you are interested in continuing. I will continue to enjoy this game just because I am interested in finding all the little references from other games in the series and the community built around this game. Shout out to the Free Company that I am a part of, The Moogle Conspiracy, for being awesome people that I can hang out with even though I hardly talk (I am getting better at engaging).
There are more stories that I would like to share about my time in Erozea and the adventures I go on. I am almost at the second expansion content, Stormblood, and I am excited to see where the story goes and the new content that will become available. I also promise to have more pictures as I have just recently discovered how to take them.
Still working on a signature sign off,