final fantasy xiv

PC - square enix, 2010+

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july 18, 2023

the worst thing ESO did to me, worse than getting me to play an MMO for 100+ hours, was making me think about and want to play other MMOs again. i had leftover Squarebux from when i attempted to navigate the Purchasing FFXI Labyrinth, so if i use it to play FFXIV then it doesn't technically count as spending money, like when i buy something with the change in my wallet. i was hesitant to play again because i wasn't sure how to handle journaling a game i've already played for hundreds of hours. for the longest time i've been meaning to play through the main story again, and there are a lot of other things i haven't tried out yet like different classes, free companies, high-level crafting, or housing (the journey to acquire a house alone would be enough to warrant a journal)

there he is....why is he wearing that get back into your level 80 Bard gear dude you're embarrassing me. this is the one game i continue to play as a guy, i've become too attached to him and his stupid name over the past seven years. it's amazing that even after playing for so long there isn't zero urge to start fresh. this game is unique among MMOs (for some reason) in that there is truly no reason to make a new character, aside from roleplaying purposes. i'm glad i've stuck with him for so long that the classic desire to start anew every so often is harder to justify, i can't count the amount of times i've restarted in games like Guild Wars 2 or MapleStory. i do wonder what the deal is with that... like when i log into an old character and just think, i didn't do any of this. none of this is my progress - it's past me's progress, i don't even remember this stuff

here it is: the scene that has on more than one occasion immediately killed my eagerness to get back into this game. the nightmare HUD with the dozens of icons i don't remember how to use, and the realization that getting reacquainted with everything is gonna be a whole thing. i usually played with a controller, but my current one's getting drifty, and i'm now on a small CRT i've been playing a ton of Elder Scrolls with so i'm all in on the mouse and keyboard now

the strangest thing happened as i was spending an hour or two reconfiguring my HUD and re-learning my abilities - the things i always dread about resubbing to the game - i felt super at home again. i was weirdly enthusiastic about making things all tidy and understanding my rotation and mechanics, which i don't think would happen with any other game simply because i wouldn't care as much, as i'm just visiting. i've talked about the weirdo idea losers have of a "main game", which i actually suggest a better and much less lame idea; a home game, which is a very different thing that is much cooler to have. but if i have a main home game it's FFXIV for sure, i've played it a ton over many years and i'll probably play it a ton more over many more years, so it never feels like i'm just revisiting, it feels like coming home

there's a lot about this game that blows chunks. and i've been playing ESO lately, which does many things much better so the things i don't like about FFXIV are more apparent to me now, even though a lot of them are just MMO things. the vertical power creep is terrible, and it's the biggest thing that makes starting over not seem so stupid since so much of the progress i've made just doesn't matter anymore. gear i could've spent countless hours grinding for is immediately outclassed by rewards from initial quests of a new expansion, and that old best-in-slot gear becomes way easier to obtain for cosmetic purposes with the new gear

and speaking of cosmetics, there is no "transmog log"; no "stickerbook" for collected appearances like in other MMOs. i get a very limiting number of slots in which to physically store gear i've collected for cosmetic purposes. and the combat is bad. even for an MMO it's bad, it's boring and rigid and stupid. but damned if i'm not going to study it in-and-out, because this is my home and i'm going to fight for it

here it is: the scene that has on more than one occasion immediately sparked my eagerness to get back into this game. maybe it's because i've been playing the MMO with probably the biggest population of players who wish it was a singleplayer game, but i needed this reminder of why sometimes it's good to play multiplayer, even massively. a lot of people call this "an RPG first and an MMO second" which i disagree with wholeheartedly, i think people only say that because the story is good? i wouldn't even say that about ESO and that game's ten times the RPG this is. but i still haven't delved very deep into what i think makes it an MMO first, such as being surrounded by children giving me chocolate

actually it's funny to write "i will be more engaged with the online aspects of things" when i just created a guild for myself only. i bought a server transfer to EU first and i'm struggling to remember why i originally decided to play on an NA server, especially after acknowledging how much i tend to keep to myself anyway. abilities are so responsive... now i'm home home. the combat is still bad it's just more responsively bad

i had to get three signatures from others to found an FC so i just bribed people 50k. they all left immediately, as i said they could, but aw. it's not that i like having power, it's that i don't like joining big established groups then finding out how much a lot of the people in there suck. i quickly left one i joined in ESO when i saw the absolute facebook boomer chat it had going on

making the best first impression i can on this new server by proving my honor

by "trying new things" i of course mean trying the oldest thing in Final Fantasy

july 19, 2023

playing on a 4:3 screen gives cutscenes some much-needed added cinematography

i'm going through the new game+ for A Realm Reborn and using it to level as a Rogue. this is the one game where i'm given a long list of different classes/skills to train but mainly stick to one because it's hard enough to remember how to play as it is. unfortunately the only XP i can earn in new game+ i think is from bosses, no dungeon mobs or quest rewards, but i'm going through the Rogue questline as well so i'm progressing more than fast enough

i'm taking the story slow and steady now that i can go at my own pace without worrying about unlocking new content. although ~250 hours of story before i can build my own little farmtown....i will be tested

speaking of slow and steady! i can play dungeons with an NPC party now! so i can actually stop and smell a damn wild rose or two!! they even have unique dialogue for dungeons that isn't "stop pulling". i pull to my heart's content now and Eager Marauder my main man does not complain one bit. also it just makes more sense story-wise, later on when it'll let me run through with the other Scions, then it isn't weird when a cutscene plays in a dungeon and suddenly those characters are there instead of my actual party. and i can actually watch that cutscene now too oh man

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