Posted by : Wendy B Friday, 4 October 2013

I was doing very well with my resolution to not not be tempted by Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn officially launched a few weeks ago, yet here it is almost October and I didn’t have it yet. Many of my friends, including former FFXI LS mates have been posting wonderful things about it, but I’ve resisted! My will is strong!

On Friday, my friend began his ruthless campaign to break my resolve. It’s got a community vibe like Guild Wars 2, he said. Oh I do like that. And mining is a job, he said, knowing that would inspire my husband as well. The quest names are amusing and look at that outfits, he said. Outfits, you say?

From his description, I got the sinking feeling that SquareEnix had read my blog and created my dream MMO. But in spite of this and my friend’s silver-tongued texts, I decided that I did not need to play. If I want to MMO nowadays, I need to do so casually, like I do with Guild Wars 2. This precludes subscription MMOs. Not that I am hoping FFXIV goes free to play. I know what SquareEnix can do with an MMO and would be content to support their decision to go subscription in an F2P world, but I can’t waste money on a game I have no intention of committing to.


But you get a month free trial and look, there’s a coupon, he said.


One week later, I’m kinda regretting my decision.

I’m barely out of the starting blocks, but I am so very tired of the game’s reliance on tedious fetch quests. Yes, I am well aware that these are MMO standards, but there are ways to successfully integrate them such that they aren’t quite so glaringly “oh look an exclamation” obvious and not quite so “omfg-go-get-your-own-damn-raptor-beaks” monotonous.

Apparently there is a story going on in here. Possibly two, with one related to your job. But whatever that is has devolved into an unengaging blah blah blah click blah blah blah click for me. The only motivation to do them is the XP gain. That ought to be enough, you say. FU, I say in return. I don’t want my only motivation to do something be the numbers. Take, for example, Skyrim, where I am blissfully unaware of my level and skills because I’m too busy exploring, picking locks and stealing books. I’m gaining experience points, but the process is secondary; a nice little side bonus to everything else I’m doing. I sincerely hope The Elder Scroll Online follows this format to avoid falling into the MMO grind standards. Guild Wars 2 encourages levelling through exploration, events and daily/monthly challenges. SWTOR has obvious fetch quests, but they are so heavily entwined with the already strong, engaging story, that I don’t mind doing most of them. And if I do choose to skip them, I have several other levelling options to make up for the XP loss.

My husband is still enjoying FFXIV though. He loves crafting and I think the game has done an excellent job with that, allowing crafters to level their skills as actual jobs. If you never want to cure someone or beat things with an axe at all, you can do that! I am also happy that SquareEnix kept one of the best things about FFXI, with a dash of Tactics: the ability to change jobs and use abilities levelled within other jobs. They’ve improved on this drastically by allowing you to change jobs on the fly when not in battle, and they’ve made sure there’s enough storage to handle the multiple job possibilities.

Lots of other friends are enjoying it. Most of them are getting up there in level and are working on endgame goodies. I’ve not heard much about the process of getting to level 50, though my husband seems quite content and has long ago surpassed me. I would like to believe it doesn’t remain this boring for too long. Consequently, I’ll suck it up and be patient and hold out to see how I feel about it when my trial month is done.

WHAT IS THIS?

This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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