The Main Story Quest of Final Fantasy XIV might not be the best thing ever at the lower levels — but removing the most onerous of the prototypical MMORPG side quests the game is guilty of possessing makes a huge difference for the better. The ability to skip all side-quests comes primarily through a buff that all new characters receive which increases XP gained from all sources by 100% until you reach level 60.
I don’t know if this XP buff ends the moment you get one Job to 60 or whether it is job-independent, but I have a fair while before working that out becomes a concern.
As I was playing through today though, it put me in mind of a post of Syp’s I read earlier in the day asking the question, ‘How could World of Warcraft win me back?’
One thing Syp sees as a potential to draw him back is for Blizzard to have a change of heart over the artificial grinds they introduce. More recently with the allied races and over and over again with flight.
I’m with him on this being a positive change, but it wouldn’t be enough to bring me back right now. But then Syp touched the need to change up the story beats to remove the tedium that BFA has introduced.
This second point hardly even registered for me on the first read through of the post, so thoroughly have I divorced the concept of ‘WoW’ from ‘Story’. I keep across the major beats most of the time, but long past are the times I felt any kind of investment in the lore or story.
I don’t know that WoW can ‘fix’ that for me now. I feel like it would almost need a fresh start. And it is this, I think, that Final Fantasy XIV offers me above all else. The MSQ at the point I’m up to isn’t really any better, story or mechanically speaking. But it is without the ‘Grind’ (with capital ‘G’).
In the span of just a couple of hours play, I made meaningful progress in level and story. I’m level 20 as an Archer now and closing in on being able to join one of the game’s Grand Companies. This will allow me to get my Chocobo mount. *squee* or rather, *kwee!* :D