It was all but inevitable, really. Ever since watching the Shadowbringers Trailer the YouTube algorithm has been working its magic on me surfacing up more and more FFXIV videos as I willingly dive headlong down the rabbit hole.
You know the effect when you’ve bought a car or even just thinking of buying a specific car, you then start seeing them everywhere? Even outside of YouTube, it’s been a bit like that with FFXIV too. Feels like every third blogpost or tweet is at least mentioning it, even though this is distinctly not the case. Not to that extreme at least.
In any event, I’ve spent… a lot of time in FFXIV today. I’ve gone the fresh character route again and I’m going with Archer as my main job at the moment to turn into a Bard later. I’ve done healer or tank every other time I’ve played (and in most every other MMO too), so whether I stick to DPS or not we’ll see.
Early Return Impressions?
Despite the length of time in game I didn’t level terribly far, perhaps 13 or 14 on Archer? … But then I also got to ~12 in Leatherworking and Carpentry. Then 6-7ish in Conjurer and Lancer as well. I seem to have a compulsion to unlock every base job around as part of the character ‘setup’.
It wasn’t really needed before and it’s needed even less now that you don’t need to level two base classes to enter a more specialised job, but it still would’ve felt wrong not to. When I get Air Ship access I’ll no doubt unlock everything else too.
Unless…! Unless I end up regretting my decision not to use a previous character and I jump back. I will admit to possibly making this face: D: when I landed my character into Gridania and started remember just how much of the mundane start I’d have to get through again. So far though? It has honestly not been a chore at all. The XP rate has been tuned such that you can for the most part run through the Main Story Quest and unlockable quests, ignoring the rest.
This is quite a contrast to Elder Scrolls Online — where quite often the ‘side’ quests are interesting in their own right, and I oft legitimately struggle to stay focused on my goal: Complete the main story. Here I’m glad for the ability to skip side-quests and will never look back at them.
While reading Wilhelm’s ‘February in Review‘ post I was reminded of an old chestnut; ‘WoW Tourist’. For a while, it was thrown around in basically any MMO you could care to name that wasn’t itself WoW. In the context of Wilhelm and SynCaine’s conversation there was an argument over whether WoW Tourists buying into other MMOs for only a short-term before leaving was detrimental to their longevity or not.1
The most common use of the term in my experience was more against people who would come to the game’s forums, world chat, or anything else and say:
“I think <game’s feature> should be more like <how WoW does it>.”
This sort of commentary was inescapable and people were not very tolerant of it after a while. “Go back to WoW!” was frequently the follow-up.
I mention all this because it certainly seems(?) that this effect isn’t really around any more. Possibly this is more an effect of the MMOs I follow (or don’t follow), but when looking into FFXIV for example it has gone from ‘WoW Tourist’ to ‘WoW Refugee’ — a person to be welcomed in and shown how to adapt to life after WoW.
There didn’t even seem to be any real kind of smug undertone to it either, just a desire to share the necessary knowledge.
Of course, I’ve not really engaged in the in-game chat much yet or even paid it any attention. It’s possible this would blow the feel-good ‘Humanity has progressed’ feeling I got going on straight out of the water. ;)