I’m stopping to look for guilds…and more

Final Fantasy 14

I finally managed to go back to Final Fantasy 14 – as i mentioned, i wasn’t really in the mood to play this game due to a lack of time. When i returned, i had to find out- yet again- that my inactivity led the Free Company i found earlier to kick me out. Well, both of them did that- the international one and the german one.

FF14 is a game that takes time- usually, i’m totally fine with that, in fact, an MMORPG should take its time to play- but it shouldn’t waste mine. FF14 does just that in many ways and that’s why FF14 is a poor game to start playing in times where you know you won’t be able to put a lot of time in. Now, a lot means different things to different people- for me, that amounts to about 10 hours a week, preferably a little more. If i feel confident in being able to put that time into FF14, it’s a great game- if i’m not, it’s a waste of time to even launch it, since it can happen that things one should do in the leveling process take a while to get rolling.

So i haven’t logged in in quite some time- my new Free Company had big leeway- 6 weeks absence wouldn’t do a thing, but after that, you are going to be kicked out of the FC. Of course i could just raise my hand and tell them i’d like to rejoin, but there’s really no point because i know they’ll kick me again in the future. I don’t think i should need to tell the guild that i won’t be logging in for some time- i’m an adult, there might be times when i simply can’t or won’t play and i think good guilds should factor this in.

I’ve always been of the impression that in-game or out-of-game acquaintances are the best way to form and maintain a guild- forum advertising, applications and somesuch don’t really serve for the community of people i’d be looking for. If you’re short on time, like i am, it seems getting into a guild and forming relationships there doesn’t really work. It’s better to get to know someone and join his or her guild because you already have some roots and a contact there. I think Belghasts superguild works kind of like that- know someone of them and they can make a recommendation/vouch for you and you’ll be able to join the tribe.

Watching the sun set over Limsa Lominsa
Watching the sun set over Limsa Lominsa

There will be a lot of other guilds out there working quite the same way- and if i were to found one again, i’d go with the same process. So now, i decided that i simply stop looking for a guild and instead stumble upon one while playing the game. Or not, we’ll see. Of course, this means i’ll have to put the effort i usually put into forum-digging for a guild into in-game relationships, which again might be a good thing. There used to be a time when friendlists were longer than the guild member list, it’s time to get back to that.

Useful links if you’re playing FF14 for the first time

So when i saw that, i decided i needed to create a new character. I know, i know. This is one of the many flaws in my way of playing MMORPGs- i play a game, maybe take a break and have a hard time getting back into that character i used to play. Normally, it’s the skill bar that confuses me, but that is a thing that’s manageable- one can read descriptions and try them out on mobs. With FF14, it’s more than that- since you have threads everywhere, the question i don’t have an answer to when relogging into an old character is her position- what was she doing, what was she planning to do next, where does she need to go? And so on. This can get out of hand and whenever this happens, i feel that it’s just easier to begin a new character since i’ve not progressed very far into the game anyway. The farthest character had her main adventuring level at 26- this is something that can be achieved pretty quickly.

And so i needed to decide on a server, again. But since Heavensward early access was going on, many of the servers were shut down for new characters. However, this is not a permanent or even daily thing- every 3-4 hours, servers opening and closing for new characters switch around. There’s a way to get help with that, namely worlds.nyxstudios.moe . Not only can you see which servers are available for new characters, but you can also subscribe for e-Mail notifications, so whenever a server changes its status you’ll get an eMail.

I don’t know how many times i looked for “essential quests” for Final Fantasy 14. The most basic gameplay features are unlocked by way of the main storyline, but there are some things- like dyeing your gear, forging materia, access to the Gold Saucer and others that you’ll have to unlock through sidequests. Since you can do all sidequests only once while being able to level all classes with one character, i try to avoid sidequests as much as i can for the first class. But i don’t want to miss out on game features- so in the end i found this useful list of quest- and level-locked content in Final Fantasy 14, and that’s a great help if you’re looking for something like this.

There’s also a basic leveling guide with some general advice to be found. If you’d like to know how to best level crafting, Aywren has put together really great tips for leveling gathering/crafting classes in FF14. She also has some nice postings up with impressions from the Heavensward launch.

If you’re looking for Heavensward impressions, i can recommend these posts:

Aywren – Heavensward Launch day recap (no spoilers)
Aywren – Heavensward day 2 recap (no spoilers)
Belghast – It’s finally here
Belghast – Learning to fly
Belghast – Making story matter
Belghast – Lord of the Hive
Lucek – Heavensward first impressions (possible spoilers)
Nomadic Gamer – Heavensward is here
Nomadic Gamer – Heavensward 1st weekend

Do you remember that NBI talkback challenge? Right now, i really envy all these people playing in the expansion.

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Final Fantasy XIV ARR Release day

Today marks the official release of FFXIV ARR, which is a good oportunity to link to some guides besides talking about my experience in the game.

Progress and falling in love

I managed to play some time yesterday and finished the level 15 story quest that unlocks airship travel. Lavena Weekes is now in Limsa Lominsa and on her way to Ul’dah. I guess i’ll pick up what i want to pick up in Limsa (mainly the arcanist class, but maybe some others, as well) before moving on. I’m also kind of in a hurry to get to Ul’dah, though, because i’d like to explore the city. That’s the great thing when you don’t know anything about a game you start anew: everything is open to be explored. I have no idea how Ul’dah looks, so i’m looking forward to going there.

Getting the airship ticket
Getting the airship ticket

While i haven’t had the trouble Keen and Belghast had logging into and playing the game, i’ve had some issues, as well. Yesterday i got kicked out of the game when finishing the aforementioned quest to get airship access and couldn’t get back in. Over the weekend there had been downtimes and problems with instancing. So i guess this is a rocky launch, but it is to be expected, somehow. We’ve seen better launches, i’m sure, but it is obvious that the interest in FFXIV is quite high at the moment and that will possibly not last forever. While it’s unfortunate for those who weren’t able to play as well as for Square Enix because this might be a missed opportunity to enchant some new customers, this will pass and we’ll be able to play without problems, eventually. I hope there’s something to ease the pain for those who were affected by the issues FF14 had and has.

So i didn’t play as long as i liked, but i got something done. My trouble with the Ixari quest was solved by attacking everybody but their leader. After that, the story quests had contained mainly story, surprisingly. And i have to say: i’m falling in love with the story in the game, as well. It has a mild “Star Wars” taste, what with that landing ship and a Darth Vader type guy talking through a mask (although, many NPCs in FFXIV wear a mask- what’s up with that?), but i enjoy it immensely.

Using the airship ticket
Using the airship ticket

As for my own goals, hm… i might rethink them, again. See, i learned that you get skills of levelled classes when you play other classes, whether you do so in the confines of a job or not. So i might want to pull off a melee DPS character with some healing. But actually, i could do that after pursuing the White Mage or Scholar. We’ll see. For now, my plan is to look around in Limsa Lominsa and Ul’dah.

Guides

If you’re new to the game, it can be quite overwhelming. My general advice is: read the help texts, they’re not just about WASD movement.

Here are some guides worth reading:

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide – here you’ll find just about anything you might want to know about playing the game- it’s a very extensive, but hugely informational guide. I think there’s a mistake regarding the White Mage, though, because it states Gladiator as second class and i think it really is the Arcanist.

Crafting FAQ – a basic guide to crafting with important information (when & how to start and so on)
Crafting Basics – a more extensive basic guide to crafting.
Crafting and Gathering dependency – if you want to know which gathering job feeds which crafting job, this is the link to follow.
Tipps for Beginners – general advice by Massively’s FF14 columnist
Preparing for launch – some general information to get you started
Game information on neoGAF – general information about the game

So, what to do today?

I guess i’ll go with Firefall today- there has been a big patch and i don’t really expect FFXIV to launch without some issues. I might try it anyway 😉