Back from the dead! I've been incredibly busy as of late. Getting married will do that, I suppose, coupled with some pretty serious financial problems. Given that Final Fantasy XIV just launched, I feel the need to counter some of the negative posting on here, and online in general with some opinions of my own. Now, keep in mind that I am not blindly fanboying the game; there are definitely problems with the game in its current state, and Square knows it too. As if they couldn't, fans are in an uproar.
Furthermore, I know I won't change your mind if it's already been made up, but I feel like I need to get this off my chest before I go sleep, so this may be a bit jumbled. So bear with me.
A long time ago, before the only games with Warcraft in the name were RTSes, people played MMOs. Not very many people, but people played them nonetheless. It was a very niche market, but there were a few games, and fans played them nonstop. Among the games was a little game called Final Fantasy XI, which was released in Japan a year before it came out here. When the game came out, in Japan as well as here, people ridiculed it. No one would dethrone the king of MMOs, EverQuest. It was boring and inaccessible and there was nothing to do. Yet this little game became the only MMO in history to retain subscribers and not have a dropoff in almost 6 years. (You can look it up on http://www.mmodata.net
) This does not make it a good game, as everyone knows that the number of people subscribing does not make something good. However, it means that while the game was not for everyone, it maintained a loyal fanbase, which was not considered small at the time, but pales in comparison next to eleventy million subscribers, or whatever World of Warcraft has now.
People are being ridiculous about XIV, simply put. "Give us FFXI!" some cry. Others, not newcomers, seem surprised that there are no yellow exclamation points, no user friendliness and no jumping. It's not like XI was the most user friendly game either.
"So let's see, I'm spawning in an oft-unused section of a very confusing town trying to find one NPC in hundreds just so I can turn in a voucher for 50 gil." "Signet? What's that?" "Hmm, I can take that cuddly looking rode- *level down*"
XIV, in its current state reminds me a lot of early XI, or games where it wasn't about the quests, it, and I'd like to share some experiences with you.
So, my wife and I finish up some levequests, and rather than getting more, we decide to go exploring for stuff to kill. Well let me tell you, a few deaths, laughs, and hungry monsters later, I remembered what XI felt. Her and I were no longer people sitting at a computer screen, watching our avatars as we control them, no, we were travelling right next to them. Nothing felt pasted or artificial, I felt as if I, as a Ul'dah adventurer, were travelling with a companion out in the wilderness. This was the only shot I could actually get, and it might not be the best thing to illustrate my point, but at least we had fun doing it.
Again, no offense to fans of World of Warcraft, but these two games are polar opposites. Yes, there are some similarities, but at the end of the day one is more like an amusement park, and the other is more like a big open field. Anyone can have fun going to an amusement park, but isn't it more fun to create your own world, and find things you enjoy?
If anything, I hope this post lets you realize how most people in-game don't come to sites like this unless something is very wrong, and they have something to complain about. I've had positive feedback from people in game constantly; very few people have anything bad to say once you log in. I think times have changed. Now, it's hard for MMO players to accept a game where you think for yourself in today's climate, where games largely based on a culture of instant gratification dominate.