How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love an MMO

As a gamer, I’ve long been interested in MMOs, but I’ve never really given one a shot until now. I’ve known many people who enjoyed MMOs, primarily World of Warcraft, but beyond just an awareness that the games exist and the vague fear of adding another subscription to my budget, I had always talked myself out of even giving them a shot. Particularly since I know I am prone to just endlessly grinding on RPG games and Sims-style games, I was concerned the MMO would be like a sandbox where you could do anything or wander aimlessly doing nothing. With my recent lack of interest in games without a strong overarching story, I was concerned I would hate it due to the lack of a central story. And since an MMO is a social game, I was concerned

After receiving a key to FFXIV in the Humble Square Enix Bundle 3 at Christmas, and armed with a nice new gaming PC, I got sucked into FFXIV hard.

Beginning the journey

Beginning the journey

I was concerned that I would not be able to make friends or that the community would be as toxic as in some games I am aware of, especially towards someone new to MMOs. In reality, after a false start in Brynhildr, I joined some real life friends on Cactuar, who helped me join my FC, The Tabard Cloud. Even though I play way more than my real life friends do currently, I was able to make great friends through T.C. and meeting other folks around Cactuar.

I was also concerned that an MMO would have a weak or nonexistent story and lean on the social aspect or the open world to make up for it. I mean, if players all started at different spots, how strong could the story be? But in reality, Final Fantasy XIV Online had a wonderful Main Scenario storyline, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey through Eorzea and Ishgard so far and look forward to what future expansions may hold. The world is also beautiful, expansive, and a wonder to just take in. It took me longer than I expected to get through all the story and to the current endgame because I kept getting distracted with sidequests, exploration, hunts, and spending time goofing off with my friends and Free Company.

Important work for the warrior of light.

Important work for the warrior of light.

Ironically, I was not concerned about the game play, and that gave me my first trip up. The class I started on, Warrior, which I chose only because I wanted an axe, ended up being a tank, a concept I was largely unfamiliar with as a newbie to MMOs. I still remember my poor first party and the learning curve I had when getting started as a tank. Despite my total inexperience, the party explained some concepts for me and helped me learn the basics of an MMO (This was before the Hall of the Novice and the Mentor system, so their first tips helped – after which I spent a lot of time online researching how to tank.) After finishing the A Realm Reborn storyline on Warrior and becoming a much better tank, I leveled up my second class, Arcanist, which gave me access to jobs belonging to the other two types, DPS and healers. I played a little bit of everything, but I found Warrior and Scholar the most appealing classes.

I was able to improve from there and by April had started pugging Midas Savage (the most difficult content available) and looking for a static group. I started with one group as a Scholar, but some challenges I was having with responsibilities that my group assigned to the Scholar caused tensions in the group, which eventually disbanded because the original 5 who started the static basically quit the game to play Black Desert Online.

Wiped again

Learning to raid requires patience, teamwork, and a willingness to spend time on the floor.

Fortunately, just a few weeks later, I was able to find a permanent spot in a group I like a lot more than that first group, and despite some roster changes and challenges, I’ve been enjoying raiding with them ever since. Just recently, we were able to clear A6S, which had been a thorn in our side for awhile.

I hope to continue to improve as a Scholar and a raider, and I can’t wait until the next patch this fall and new expansion next year. And also, now that I’ve gotten to a bit of a plateau in terms of the gear treadmill and available content, I hope to be able to get back to my backlog for basically the first time this year šŸ™‚

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