Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

A grand social experiment: Final Fantasy XIV's monster hunts

9:30 PM on 07.11.2014 // Chris Carter

How long does it take for humans to cooperate? About three days

For those of you who haven't played Final Fantasy XIV, a new patch just arrived that implemented a major mechanic into the game -- worldwide monster hunting. The concept is simple enough. Across the world in each zone, various rare monsters randomly spawn throughout, granting those who kill them extra bonuses and rewards.

These encounters are not instanced -- or -- they do not take place in separate locations for each party. They are on the same world as every other player, leading to conflicts, jolly cooperation, and everything in-between.

They're also one of the most fun things I've ever played in a game.

Here's how hunts work in A Realm Reborn's patch 2.3. There are three sets of rare monsters that can spawn in each individual world map zone -- B rank, A rank, and S rank. B ranks spawn roughly every half an hour, A ranks spawn roughly every hour, and S ranks spawn at an unknown rate, estimated to be three days or more (similar to prior world encounters like Odin and Bahamut).

The developer's ideal situation (as explained by them) involves players cooperating together to only find out where these monsters are located, but eliminate them as a server-wide team. Let's see how it actually plays out.

When I first joined monster hunts, I completed the quest to unlock them, and found two special objectives -- daily and weekly hunts. These are "marked bills," set forth by in-game NPCs that task you with killing certain enemies within a specific timeframe. At first, I was completely taken aback at the fact that these monsters seemingly did not exist. I searched far and wide, used all of the clues given to me by the game, and went completely on my own. It wasn't very fun, and I listened to many people in world chatrooms sharing that sentiment.

Then I found out how to really hunt.

Over the course of three days, I experienced a crash-course that could only be possible through a group think-tank of some of the most talented MMO players in the genre. Through random chance, I decided to check out a learning party for Ramuh Extreme -- the new boss fight that arrived with the patch. As the group started to fill, the leader suggested that we all get into a Mumble channel (a third-party voice chat program like Skype) to coordinate our efforts.

Apprehensive at first, I meandered my way into the channel, and was greeted by one of the nicest people I've ever met online. I had very little intentions of shooting the breeze outside of speaking specifically about Ramuh, but this merry band of players made that conviction impossible. As the group started to learn more and more about the fight, a seed was planted -- someone suggested that we leave, and start doing hunts.

Thinking that they were a pain, I begrudgingly accepted the invitation because I liked the group, and set out to, in all likelihood, not have any fun. But then something amazing happened -- I found out I was doing them all wrong. Thanks to the skills of one of the players in particular, we were educated on the process, slowly picking up the ins and outs of hunting as we went.

You see, you don't have to pick up the bills and look for certain monsters. You can freely roam the world, coordinate with others, warn them of enemies, and take them down together as a group to reap the same rewards. The bills are merely a suggestion. Instead of aimlessly wandering or camping certain areas hoping things would spawn, we actively searched each area, often in tandem, scouring the zone for rare hunts as we discussed life, politics, religion, the game, and many more subjects.

Slowly, we decided to create a Linkshell (an in-game chatroom) to facilitate the process for people who weren't comfortable speaking, or didn't have mics. That Linkshell grew so large that it actually filled up -- something I didn't even know could happen. Our small eight-person group soon grew into a small army, all coordinating together by way of voice chat. We were all picking up new tips along the way, sharing them together, learning together. Then the "others" came.

Of course, there are people who don't share the same ideals as others. It's inevitable, and not exclusive to gaming. There were people who didn't want to coordinate. They would find hunts and not tell anyone, killing them in secret, or grab them before everyone could get to the enemy, starting chaos, finger pointing, blacklisting, and gossip.

You see, there were two fundamental styles with hunts. "Team wait," and "team go." We were team wait -- we all decided to give everyone an equal chance at hunts, waiting as long as possible for as many people as possible to arrive before we killed the target. Team go's philosophy is "if you wanted the monster, you'd get here within a certain timeframe." That number was of course arbitrary, but the idea is that you can't wait for everyone, because you'd be waiting all day -- which is absolutely true.

Because of these two fundamentally different ideologies, conflicts arose. People who killed enemies early were blacklisted from certain Linkshell hunt groups. People who pulled early were shamed, called out by in-game shouts like "LET IT BE KNOWN! PLAYER [X] PULLED EARLY!" It was absolute chaos, as hunts were completely new, and the unpredictable nature of humans was hard at work making a mess of things. One of those "trolls" was even in our group, and was mistakenly identified as someone who was screwing with people, despite the fact that he was helping us.

This chaos went on for a few days, but on day three, something else happened -- more coordination was born. Instead of waiting or going, both groups came to a compromise -- we would wait for each other. Our Linkshell grouped up with another Linkshell, who grouped up with the server's largest and most influential guild, and roughly 200 players were now one. Why did we try so hard? Because the rewards for max-level characters are immense. There's also no weekly cap on said rewards.

It was insane. Three days. That's how long it took for our group leader to broker a truce between the other groups, a process we jokingly referred to as "uniting the clans." This might sound absolutely mental to some of you who don't play MMOs, but throughout the entire process, I was having a blast. I wasn't playing a shooter with random people online, round by round with players I would never see again, much less have a meaningful conversation with.

I learned a lot about essentially everyone I interacted with on that virtual level. I learned about people's lives, their philosophies on certain issues, how they cope with specific events, and the many ways to solve a problem -- from the perspective of a 15-year-old kid to a wisened 50-year-old with grand-kids.

At the end of the day, we were just a bunch of people hanging out, with completely different backgrounds. I met a woman from Boston who currently moving to Australia, and is probably one of the funniest people I've ever talked to. I've met schoolteachers, ex-professors, people who are expecting children, and those who have many of them. I've talked a lot in the past about MMOs can often bring out the best and the worst in people, and no matter what side of the fence you're on, you can't deny that they are one damn interesting social experiment.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

  Apr 27

Check out the new Final Fantasy XIV Direct X 11 benchmark here

Some in-game footage and Au Ra character creation

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Have you ever purchased a game only to regret it later and then sell it/give it away, only to even later regret selling it and wind up purchasing it again?
gajknight avatargajknight
A decadent staircase adorned in gold rises into infinite darkness. Writhing beings beyond comprehension lurk in the shadows, their mere presence encroaching on the edges of human understanding. A blood moon glows . I am losing my mind. I need more eyes...
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
We need to be implanted with microchips because I'd really like to know how much time I've spent playing different video games my entire life.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Today's agenda: job-hunting and startup of a second playthrough of either Phantom Dust or Front Mission 4. I can't decide. I'm on a sixth-gen kick.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If there are rainbows in Xenoblade Chronicles X, Reyn must be in it as well. You can't have a rainbow without Reyn, baby!
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I really hope Xenoblade become it's own franchise, it has way too much potential to simply being reduced to 2 games.
Sotanaht avatarSotanaht
Touchable Holograms? When this eventually matures and hits market, almost all our regulars will vanish for weeks.
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Xenoblade Chronicles Wii for €10? Sure, Nintendo, don't mind if I do!
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Super Smash Bros. 4 has too much content. So much so I almost don't want a sequel. I honestly hope that NX gets a "Super Smash Bros. For NX" port rather than a new installment. It could be a GOTY edition and come with all of the DLC.
Batthink avatarBatthink
Flegma avatarFlegma
Bought my first full-priced physical 3DS game ever - New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward. I'll try to write a post on the previous game at some point before doing the same with NSB2.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
How do you guys manage to buy all these games at day 1 with such huge backlogs?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys if I were to do a thing, how many of you would watch my thing because I was thinking of doing a thing but I dunno if people really like that kinda thing so I just wanted to know if you liked that thing because I'm thinking of doing a thing, you know?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Bayonetta 2 is 40% off in the EU Nintendo eShop today. If you have a WiiU and don't have this game you are a horrible person and I want nothing to do with you. You can amend your errors by buying it. Xenoblade Wii is also 50% off as well.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Protag shipping is best shipping. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My dreams are really weird and scary, so I hope it's okay if I let them be dreams.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Finally played the last two Shantae games. Risky's Revenge wasn't bad, but Pirate's Curse was damn good.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Memo to self: spend your time cleaning before wasting ten or so hours on a cblog you'll end up just scrapping because you're incompetent and incapable of writing on the subject.
Is there an occupation out there for people who want to give up and not worry about shit for a while until they can recompose themselves before going back into society?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -