Back into FFXIV, backwards

This weekend i decided to get back to Final Fantasy XIV “early”- i planned to re-enter the game in may, so that would have been next week. Although the plan is to have it as “side MMO” this week, i have some things to do already.

The backward project

When i re-entered, i had four options on how to do it:

  • the reasonable way: continue my character, stay in the FC and the server i was in
  • the american way pt.1: continue the level 6 archer on cactuar, try and join Belghast’s FC
  • the american way pt.2: create a new character on Faerie, join quite a well known social FC over there
  • the backward way: find an FC first, join their server with a new character

As you can guess by the title, i went in backwards. The thing is, a good player community is essential to my enjoyment of an MMO. The old server was Shiva, which is what the german community chose to be the “unofficial german server”, which isn’t so much of a problem if there was an FC that really stuck out. There wasn’t. On Faerie, there is the FC “Orange Pekoe” i was interested in joining, but in the end i was simply afraid to join an FC and a server that operates outside of my timezone.

In the end, i found a nice-sounding FC on Phoenix, coincidentally the biggest EU server population-wise, created a character, applied to the FC, was accepted, joined up and received a very warm welcome. One of the reasons i joined that FC was the tone of conversation which seemed nice, open but also pretty direct and the fact that they don’t use voice chat. It turned out that they recently have set up a voice chat server, but i think it won’t be much of a problem because the FC’s culture is already established without one. I liked what i saw so far.

New plans

Of course, that means starting at level 1 and pretty much give up on being ready for the expansion content-wise when it hits. There were a few mistakes i made on my last character that i’d like to avoid this time. Concentrating on one class/job to get it as far as possible isn’t my play style, so gathering and crafting will be included in this round as it has always been.

Elezen in Gridania

For now, i’m picking the main story quest line first in everything i do- i’m level 9 now and have done maybe 3 or 4 quests that weren’t storyline quests. There are two reasons for me to go at it this way: first, i don’t want to outlevel the storyline quests as much as i did last time- it was a pain to get the story from level 20 to level 24. The second reason, of course, is that FF14 gates content behind the story; the faster i progress there, the earlier i can pick up a gathering and crafting class, get a retainer, a chocobo and so on.

While it is somewhat…hm, stupid to do all that again i feel that if the new FC turns out as good as i hope it to be it’s worth it. Also, it’s still almost two months until the expansion hits, so there is hope i’ll be able to level to 30, at least.

Another painful experience was to get the gathering/crafting jobs up to par with my adventuring level- i think part of the reasons why my excitement for the game went down was that i basically played catch-up from all directions. So this time, i want that gap to be smaller. So i’ll pick up the botanist class as soon as possible and directly join the level of the adventuring class. I’ll do the same for weaver as soon as i have access to the airships. So my goal this time around is to have class quest, story quest, adventuring level, gathering class and crafting class at about the same level all the time. If it turns out to be hard to do, i’ll immediately get a second adventuring class up to the level of the storyline.

Overall, i have to say i had a great time- again- in Final Fantasy 14. It’s fun, the community is nice, Phoenix is packed with players and feels very much alive, the FC is fun and even though i do the same stuff i already did at least twice it feels good.

MMO setup for this week and may

So, in line with my plans to have one main MMO and two side MMOs, this week will still see SWTOR in the top spot, with FF14 and ESO as additions to play when i’m not in the mood for SWTOR. In may, the focus will shift to FF14, SWTOR will become a side MMO and will be accompanied by Elder Scrolls Online, again. The last one is tough, since GW2 was also close to getting a “side MMO” spot, but right now i’m betting that the expansion won’t hit in may and that i’ll have ample opportunity to put it in the rotation before it is released.

Right now i’m very confident in this way of doing things- choosing one main MMO and two side MMOs for distraction and different moods will work out just fine for me. Of course, there is a ruleset: i’ll allow myself to change side MMOs on a monthly basis. The main MMO is allowed to switch, as well, but it would move from main to side MMO before dropping out of the rotation. And it should also be fixed in its position for a longer time (3 months?). This way, i can experience one MMO in as deep a way as possible for me while still having a way of picking other MMOs to play and having somewhat of a focus there, as well.

It also occured to me that in search of an MMO home, there aren’t many possibilities really. An MMO home has to offer so much, but in the end, even for me, it’s the “endgame” that counts- but not in the usual sense of dungeons and raiding. On the contrary, if it’s just that, it’s not enough.

5 thoughts on “Back into FFXIV, backwards

  1. I have to say II’m impressed with your ability to switch through MMO’s like that. I can only focus on one at a time myself. I have a couple of single player games I like to work on but they are combo turn based/RTS in nature so I can knock out a couple of rounds, save and return later. I would like to hear of your experiences with ESO though. I’v eheard good and bad with it.

    1. Oh, there’s nothing to be impressed about. Until now, it didn’t work out, at all. Rift remains the only MMORPG i saw the max level in. I plan on adding a few entries to this list this year, though, and SWTOR is one of them (FFXIV and GW2 would be the other ones).
      On the contrary, i envy you- it’s the experience you have in one game i try to emulate and make work for me with my choice.

      Regarding ESO, i think it’s a good game with a few unique twists that are interesting. Like the lack of the auction house- i’m undecided on whether i like that idea a lot because you have to enter the community to trade or if it is shortsighted because trade guilds are something like auction houses, only smaller. On the other hand it is very solo friendly in day-to-day play. It offers a great way to build your character by utilizing skill points rather than a linear progression. And by now, it has a great business model, although it’s too early for a final verdict,since it has to mature and we’ll have to see content and prizing on DLC.
      It’s unfortunate they sell it at new release prize right now; in january you could get it for about 20€/$ and i’d say it’s a done deal for that prize- for 50€/60$…well, personal choice. I’m also not clear yet if they still “force” your character through all the levelling content for all factions, which is extremely alt-unfriendly and – to me- a huge barrier to a deeper commitment, since you’d have to play about 300 hours before reaching “the end”- and i don’t have any idea what “the end” looks like. That’s why i’d put it into the “play-to-finish” category of MMOs- lots of questing content; and then, there’s Craglorn and PvP.

      1. For ESO, the use of skill points over linear progression reminds me of old SWG, if it’s true then awesome. As to the Auction houses….guess we will have to see. Player economy is still important. IF they do local trades, it may stimulate player travel and give reason to have to go from city to city. Especially if there are traders that are savvy enough to put their goods across the world. But yes, final verdict must wait. Do keep me informed!

  2. I’m glad to hear that you still think FFXIV is fun. To me, that statement means simply even if you grow bored of it, you’ll at least have good memories of it and leave on good terms to maybe return to someday.

    I think that’s important for an MMO player – especially a game hopper – because it means you aren’t jaded to the genre you love and can find the good in other games. Optimism with a dose of realism is how players need to go into their games after all, and I believe you are doing that.

    May you always walk in the light of the Crystal. 😀

    1. Yeah i love the genre and FFXIV is a lot of fun- i need to focus on the fun parts, though, and i feel this requires a deliberate action. Last time, i’ve been “focused” on catching everything up…it was a mess. And slow…so slow. That’s why i’m putting the storyline in front of the queue this time although i know i’m going to outlevel it again before too long- but i hope it won’t be by 8 levels or something like last time. So last time i had multiple hours-long sessions of either playing storyline missions, gathering like crazy or crafting like a madman. After a while i just didn’t want to do one of those three things anymore but they seemed “necessary” to me. I don’t know how i’ll handle that this time because it’s still going to happen in some ways, but i sure hope i will be doing better.

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