How many resumes have you sent out in your life? How many times have you updated it? Was it worth all that effort?
Chances are, it wasn't. If you're lucky, maybe it was! But that's just it, it's luck based isn't it? You may or may not have what your employer is looking for, chances are they may not have even looked at your resume. I remember someone telling me that they didn't even look at all the applications (since their company didn't use recruiters it was just one person looking through all of them) and randomly picked a few of them to look at.
Here is one of my recent resumes (one of many I've updated).
Regardless of what you think of my formatting or wording, etc. this resume doesn't even give you a remotely decent picture of the kind of person I am.
"Well, isn't that what the cover letter is for?" You might be thinking.
Zety says "...about 26% of recruiters read cover letters and consider them critical in their decision to hire. Another study on employer preference suggests that 56% want applicants to attach a cover letter to the resume."
That means only 74% of recruiters don't read cover letters, and there are 44% of employers who don't even want them. And even though 56% of employers want them, they don't necessarily read them. Which means they're wholly relying on your resume.
What my resume will probably tell you is that I'm an amateur artist, I know how to work in admin, and I was once a teacher.
What my resume doesn't tell you is that I have experience in a culmination of fields, it doesn't tell you...
Sites like LinkedIn do give the option for you to share more of your work history and achievements which I think is a step forward. But you would think we would have come up with a more innovative idea in the 21st century.
I think of the TikTok resumes that have been viral and companies like chipotle have been taking advantage of them. In a sense, a demo reel makes sense since we do create videos for the arts. And yet, companies would probably still think this too tedious.
Reality is, companies do need a way to review a million resumes in a time effective way (thus recruiters were born). But maybe instead of resumes and cover letters, we could do like a fusion of the two. Something that is easy to read that screams why you're a good fit for the company but not in a boring bulleted way. How about a digital resume with a video inserted of accomplishments (10 seconds or so) or something that moves and keeps attention?
The thing is, it would probably still be unable to tell my story. I can only give a bullet list and hope that somebody is interested enough in me to bother talking to me.
Obviously, I'm not the one coming up with the million dollar idea. But maybe you are. Have any ideas or thoughts on resumes? Maybe you love them and think they should stick around. Would love to hear your thoughts!
I don't see too many Au'Ra when I'm playing FFXIV, but maybe I'm just not paying too close attention to those around me. I definitely see lots of cats though... yup.
I'm sure that will change with the bunny boys arriving in Endwalker, but at the moment, cat boys and girls are definitely the popular ones. I wonder if there's a way to see how many of a certain race exist in FFXIV. It certainly would be an interesting number to see.
So when I created my female Au'Ra, she was modeled after an Invisible Sun tabletop RPG character I created. Recently, she's become her own character and personality with the same name so she's received some hair changes since the beginning. My hubby also designed his Miqo'te (cat boy) after his Invisible Sun character. He too recently had a makeover as our characters have kind of solidified their place in the Final Fantasy world. It's fun to run around together, and it's fun to run around with our other friends who play too.
If you read my first post on FFXIV, you'll remember I dragged a friend into hell... I mean into FFXIV with us. He created a beautiful cat girl with a pompadour who we affectionately call Fish. Since we started playing, we also managed to drag two more friends onboard (one of whom I'm still convincing to pay). The first friend, he made an Au'Ra girl (we'll call her RV) and the second, she made a male cat boy (we'll call him Bum)
Fish and RV argue that since you're looking at the character, it's better to look at a cute girl when you're running around. Bum and I create characters who live the story. It's similar to immersing yourself, but instead of you, you've created this baby of yours that runs around in their story. They have their own personality and interests. My hubby immerses himself completely and considers himself the character. He also bases answers around the way he thinks.
The main group who plays is hubby, me, RV, and Fish. We've ran Palace of the Dead together, and I'm hoping we'll run Heaven on High once RV and Fish catch up in the story. We also dungeon together which means more often than not, there's a gaggle of girls running around with my hubby's cat boy, his own harem if you will. Granted, two of them are actually guys but, details. I actually just shot them all a message saying, "Let's play FFXIV together. I want more screenshots of hubby and the harem."
One has to wonder if Japan's anime hadn't been so well known if cat boys and girls would still be so popular. I mean we have our fair share of anthropomorphics in America too I suppose. You also have to wonder what it is about playing the opposite gender in video games. I have an alt, of course, with a cat boy as well (though come Endwalker he's getting a phantasia'd into a bunny boy). For me, I like the aesthetic of the pretty boys. Though there was a period where I went with guys because I was tired of being hit on online by guys... that being said, you can be certain I will be purchasing a phial of fantasia as soon as endwalker is out. Not for my main character, but my alt who is currently a cat boy. He is gonna be the cutest bunny boy in the world, because bunny bois~ what's not to like?
What about you? How do you design your character? Did you hit the randomize button? Tweet me screenshots of your WoLs! Bonus points if you have a male viera ready to go!
It seems everyone around me is trying to quit their jobs and find a new one. Unsurprising since this period is currently being called the "Great Resignation". 7.6 million people quit their jobs from April to May for different reasons. I think it's good that people may be seeking better opportunities for themselves. Having previously experienced a toxic work environment, I know what it's like to be in that kind of hell and the desperation to get out of there. In fact, I still have friends who live in jobs full of toxicity unable to get out for various reasons.
While it's great that people are seeking better employment, it also means the competition is rough. My hubby is one of the unfortunate souls trying to find a new job with little luck competing against the other millions of people in the same situation. Having watched him try and try again and after researching next steps, here are some job hunting tips in these trying times.
Did you work closely with a professor in college? Is your grandpa a retired businessman? Does your friend's mom run her own hobby store? Use your connections! So often we are either too proud or afraid to ask for help, but now more than ever, people are the ones who get you into jobs. It's who you know, not what you know. You never know who might actually be looking for someone, and you never know how close they may actually be.
Nowadays, a college degree is just a checkbox (an expensive one), and you and a million others all have one that might be relevant to a job. Or if you don't have one, you might have relevant experience but again so does the guy next to you. So if you have someone who can get you through the door, you've just put yourself at the front of the race. Take a second to look around you and ask if maybe your friend's mom knows someone who needs a hand.
2. Job Boards
LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, Google job... these are but a few job boards that you can access to find jobs. Use all of them, don't settle for one! States, cities, and counties have their own job boards too as most of them are restricted as to where they can post their jobs. The same applies to state universities or other government positions. Certain occupations may have specialty job boards such as National Society of Black Engineers, Latinos in High Ed, Springboard for the Arts, etc. Don't settle and take the time to look up other job boards especially if you're looking for a career in a specific field. Also do your research, don't sign up for anything that looks shady. There are job boards that people pay to use, make sure it's worth it before you do the same.
As a caveat to this, if you don't have a LinkedIn, make one, ASAP. I can't tell you the number of applications that asked for LinkedIn Profiles, and it's almost certain recruiters or companies will look over your LinkedIn. Your resume should be one page, and your entire work history may not fit on that one page. Instead, link to your LinkedIn where you have the luxury of spelling out every job, internship, and school experience you have. Plus, you're going to look pretty behind the times if you don't have one.
3. Cover Letters
Let's face it, nobody likes writing cover letters especially when you have to write dozens of them in a day. To top it off, the formatting and style of these letters changes all the time. For both resumes and cover letters, there is no real "right" way to make them since everyone looks for something different. Though there are general standards and practices for them. For cover letters, they should be short, sweet, and to the point. Read it out loud to a family member, partner, or friend, if they're falling asleep or tuning you out, maybe you need to rewrite it.
As for whether they are necessary or not, here are some numbers from Zety and ResumeLab on cover letters:
The reality is only some recruiter will read your cover letter, but the majority will still consider you more qualified if you submit one. Which sucks, it really does, to put in all that time and effort knowing that they probably won't read it; it's demotivating. But, it will give you the one-up over your competition, so take the time to create a cover letter. Create a template that you can change up, but make sure you individualize it to the company you're applying for!
This might seem obvious, but list your accomplishments in your resume. I have edited a number of resumes, and it's incredible how often a promotion or award is left out because "It wasn't a big deal" or "It was a small thing." Look, recruiters aren't going to go ask your previous company if the promotion from staff to associate staff was a big promotion. They're going to look at it and see a "promotion."
I once had a client who received employee of the month several months in a row, but because it was a small department and for a retail position, they didn't think it mattered enough to put on their resume. I wanted to scream. Put your achievements on your resume, big or small. Don't put yourself down because you don't think you've done anything relevant in your life. Everything counts!
5. Don't Give Up
Ok, I admit, this one might seem cheesy, but when you're applying for several jobs a day against millions of other applicants, you're going to get a lot of rejection letters. You may also never hear back from a company, and that sucks. Rejection stings. No matter how numb you may think you are to it, it will take it's toll on you. You're going to wonder if you're worth any position, if anybody will ever hire you, if you're ever going to get that dream job... and you will, but you can't give up.
You will get none of the jobs you don't apply for. It's a fight to get the job you want, and you have to give it your all to get that sweet satisfaction at the end. It took me 6 months of applying for 10 jobs a day everyday and countless rejections to get the job that I have now. So give it your all, your hard work will eventually pay off.
If you have any other tips or thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below! Let me know how your job hunt is going and what struggles you have faced.
My background is in education, and let me tell you, education in America sucks. It's built like a business and focuses on the money instead of on the needs of the students, who are always the ones who suffer for it. When I was applying for teaching jobs, it was the time when schools decided to cut teaching English as foreign language because it was not needed (which is wrong, just wrong, how many students will fall through the cracks?). I never landed a permanent position (plenty of substitute jobs though). To clarify, they wanted mainstream teachers to have an ESL license and called that good enough. Because you know, the 5 kids who don't speak English can just figure it out with the other 25 kids.
My frustrations aside (and believe me, I could go on and on about the issues I faced and my kids faces), another subject that was on the chopping block was art. Because art was deemed unnecessary, or it just received the short end of the stick when it came to funds. I saw art and music teachers let go frequently. Sure, most of the time the excuse was, there is no money, but at some point, we lose so much of what is important in schools for kids. They stress the need for STEM, and I understand, those are incredibly important skills to have. Yet how many kids will fall through the cracks, how many kids will never feel success because their passion was taken away from them?
I had this conversation with an intellectual friend, one who's IQ is loads above mine, but he also saw no need for art. He understood it had a place in the world, but from a mathematical standpoint, he didn't particularly understand why it needed to be around.
And I think that's sad. Because art is so important to everything around us. We are a civilization built on art, don't you see? From architects, animators, writers, to designers, artists are everywhere.
I am a creative, and for a long time, this creativity was stifled. It wasn't allowed; it wasn't necessary. I still have scars from how detrimental this was to me. Emotionally I was stifled, and I lost the ability to cognitively comprehend situations around me. Because I couldn't use the emotions that also became stifled with the creativity.
Aside from just how helpful art is for stress relief (I mean we all use video games, movies, TV, etc. to relax to some extent), it is an outlet for many kids and adults. It is in fact possibly the only outlet they have. So to take that away, it does irrevocable harm.
This discussion arose in class, and everyone made good points. Illustration has adapted to the culture and times around it. There was a time where illustrators painted paintings, then moved onto newspaper prints, then to magazines, book covers, and so on until we reached the modern age of technology. Illustration has fought for its place in the world and has succeeded every time. No doubt that art won't lose out even today. It will push on even as some may fight to get rid of it. But my professor made the most eloquent thing on the importance of art, and this is what I'll close with. He said:
"We live in a designed and decorated world.
The ignorant claim that 'we don't need art to live.'
Actually, we do, never more so than now. We don't live in a "natural world." For better and worse, we live in a designed, built and decorated world called civilization. It is designed by designers (sometimes synonymous with "artist), built by engineers, and decorated by artists of all kinds. We've been doing it for a long time.
Some have tried to do without the art - or only real bad art - only to discover that people couldn't stand it.
QED - we do need art to live together, and perhaps to give us reasons for living at all."
Before I breach the topic of husbandos and waifus, let me be clear. I am loyal to my hubby. He's the love of my life, and the only one who keeps me sane these days. But for many of us nerds or otaku, I would say the lines of 3D and 2D don't generally cross. I think of my friend who literally thirsts so hard over every cute video game girl he sees that we forced him to get some "go to horny jail *bonk*" emotes made. He may be like that with the 2D girls, but in reality, he's actually a real cool and polite dude who would be an absolute rockstar to a real, nice girl in his life (though he might still make thirsty jokes). So you single ladies, I know a guy, HMU.
Fair warning, this topic can go to some pretty intense levels, and I'm really only going to brush the top of it. The short of it is waifus and husbandos are 2D characters that people immensely like and would probably marry if they were real. Of course, it can be 3D characters as well but when I say 2D, I'm referring to fictional characters and not IRL (which I affectionately call 3D). Typically, the terms husbando and waifu are exclusively for anime nerds. Before you think this is rather strange and why would anyone like fictional characters so much that they would want to marry them, I'd say that this is not all that different from when someone coos over how hot a celebrity is or collecting movies/memorabilia of actors or actresses. Both certainly have different levels of intensity, but whether the person you like is a celebrity or a 2D character or whoever, it's clear that we like to attach ourselves to these fictional characters.
Casual fans would probably not quite understand the numerous fanfiction, fanart, and smut that exists of favorite characters. It's actually quite natural though to grow attached to characters when you're someone who immerses or invests themselves in the story. Sometimes it's these fictional characters who cheer us up, and they might be the only ones to do so. Especially as the pandemic has become a thing, more and more people find themselves alone and missing social interactions. One of the things we humans do is interact via storytelling which is in anime, movies, etc. So when that anime girl is an absolute cutie (maybe tsundere) or when that dashing boy saves the day with his charming smile, we can't help but grow fond of them. It wouldn't be quite right to say all anime fans are lonely, but we certainly can appreciate the joy (and other emotions) a character brings when we see them on screen.
Personally, I love to write my own stories which means, I love taking stories that have already been written and borrowing their characters to match up with my characters. For me, when I obsess over a character, I don't necessarily obsess over them romantically. It's more something where I create a different character to join the story or romance a certain character. This way I'm interacting with the storytelling and making it a bit personal.
The criteria for waifu or husbando differs from fan to fan though some characters are certainly beloved by all regardless of gender. For some it's not a big deal and it's whoever is cute or handsome or moe, and for others it's certain characteristics like personality or traits that make them top tier. In general though, these characters have to look attractive at the very least. A bit of mystery also tends to make a character popular like Satoru Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen or Ban from Nanatsu no Taizai. I think 2B from Nier Automata (which comes to mind since I recently played the Nier rads in FFXIV) would fall into this category as well though she also has plenty of other attractive traits about her. Empathy or pity also is a great motivator for liking a character. Do they have a pitiful background or are they an innocent puppy you want to protect? More than likely, they're top tier waifu or husbando material.
Of course, some of us (like me) enjoy the less popular characters for various reasons. The way they might be suave even if they're a dick, or when they act like a dick but are actually quite charming... I have fantastic taste in anime men, I tell you. Whether you like the popular main character or the obscure side character who dies, we, fans, obsess over them and collect all the merch we can get our hands on.
How many anime figures line your shelves? Or are they in a box somewhere while you wait to move out so you can proudly display them somewhere? We collect the things we like. I think collecting materials has been a hobby for mankind since they pretty much existed. We in a America suffer the problems having goods imported and seeing merchandise that will never make it over here. Or if you're like me and you live in the slow Midwest who can never keep up on pop culture, then you're pretty doomed to shopping online on obscure sites to try to get your hands on anime goods. I can barely contain myself when I spot a rare anime figure or merchandise on the shelf of some pop culture or gaming store here since it's such a rare commodity. It's probably why my poor wallet suffers from spontaneous expenses. But I digress, whether you're on ebay, somewhere online, or shopping at a local store, it's still a great feeling to own a figure, keychain, sticker, or something with your favorite waifu/husbando slapped on it. One of my favorite types of merch though is when I see the character on some sort of TCG playing card, like Claude from Fire Emblem Three Houses on a Fire Emblem Cipher card. There's so many types of nerdy things to spend your money on and show off your obsession with the character.
Waifus and Husbandos
Do you have the same type of waifu or husbandos? Or do you freely love all of them? It's pretty fun to get into this topic with nerdy friends or people at anime cons. You can get some pretty heated discussions (all in good fun though, don't take it too seriously!) and learn about new characters or series that you've never heard of. In the anime realm, there's countless series to look forward to, and even more if you enjoy reading manga. More of then than not these days, I read the manga and am pleasantly surprised to see my favorite characters come to life in an anime shortly thereafter. Some of my husbandos below! Props to you if you see a pattern between them! Images all from their respective fandom wikis.
"Nerooooo~, baaaaaaaabyyy~," I coo at the blonde FFXIV NPC on my computer screen. My husband rolls his eyes. He knows my obsessions with my fictional boys is just one of my charming character traits at this point. He also knows that no one can truly replace him IRL. Besides, 2D and 3D are different!
If you haven't played FFXIV or are still in A Realm Reborn (ARR), spoilers incoming. You may want to move on or read something else.
Onto my obsession with 2D boys...
Let me clarify by defining 2D boys, 2D meaning two dimensional refers to fictional characters generally from an anime, video game, or maybe a movie. Most of these character are exactly that, two dimensional, but I have some exceptions to the rule. I count Tony Stark as one of these 2D boys even if I like the version by Robert Downey Jr best. Simply put, I attach myself to fictional characters that I find charming and witty. Most of them are pretty similar: good looking, intelligent, witty, sometimes snarky, and always swoop in at the right moment. I'm also a sucker for the self-sacrifice trope, mmhmm, a good ol' "I hurt myself protecting you and that's ok" or an even better "I'm hurt, you don't know it, and I overexerted myself to protect you anyway", that's just quality content right there. You can read about tropes particularly the heroic sacrificing type on TV Tropes (not a sponsor, I just appreciate their work).
If you're caught up in FFXIV's story, you know Nero pretty much matches most of my qualifiers above. When you first meet Nero Tol Scaeva, he is a bright red antagonist in A Realm Reborn. To be honest, the bright color suits the attention seeking Garlean who just wants to be acknowledged by the world around him. Despite being second in command under Gaius Van Baelsar, Nero has a penchant for doing what he wants. In particular, the Warrior of Light (WoL) fascinates him so he spends time analyzing them and ignoring his missions. He's also one of the few to escape with his life after a direct confrontation with the WoL. From them on, it's the adventures of Cid and Nero... more or less. Our now former villain goes alongside Cid (another cutie patootie), mostly to antagonize him but also for a seemingly mysterious goal. Ooh, mystery, that's another good trait. Girls love a good mystery! When he's not antagonizing Cid or extorting money from him, Nero seems to be traveling and seeking either stronger tech or ways to unlock unknown technologies, perhaps to prove himself the best engineer in all of Eorzea.
Breaking him down, Nero tol Scaeva is honestly a nerd. A polite, sometimes cold, mostly patronizing nerd, but still a nerd. The way he raves and gets excited over magitek makes him seem like any engineer excited over their program or research. Have you listened to him speak? He absolutely lights up when he's talking about magitek. Yet despite his somewhat rude demeanor and the Scion's genuine dislike of him, I absolutely adore his character particularly in how determined he is.
Consider how he attempts to save Unei (albeit for his own selfish reasons) at the Crystal Tower. He still chooses to protect Doga and Unei within the Realm of Darkness. Or how he is wounded by Omega and hides it until the defeat of Kefka to ensure everything goes right. One can argue how he selfishly does these things, but there is more to it than that. Ultimately, hiding his wounds and being out for the final fight, he encourages Cid. It takes good friends to be able to banter and insult each other the way they do.
Maybe there's also some relatability in the way he feels compared to Cid and the inability surpass him (though honestly he has in his own right). The way it makes him try to do better and better instead of giving up and wallowing is how I feel when I try to draw better after seeing other people's amazing art pieces.
I like to imagine my Au'Ra giving Nero surprise hugs and making him blush or maybe even smugly smile. I create characters and stories in my head that pursue these interests much like other fellow artists and fans. I'm happy that such a series exists and gives me the opportunity to create cute fanart.
Nero's screen time is much too short for my liking. He's also incredibly difficult to draw, so I haven't been able to really create more art of him. Sometimes I dream of being like the other FFXIV artists who have a large following and create cute art of the Warrior of Light with their favorite NPC. Then maybe Nero might be a little more recognized? Sometimes I think, ooh that's what I want to do. And other times I think, that's not really viable for me is it? Who knows, maybe I'll get to a point where I can do things like that?
Aside from Nero, Cid and Aymeric are my other two favorite boys in FFXIV. Cid's enthusiasm really grows on you and the excitement in Aymeric's voice whenever he sees you is just so endearing. Aym really feels like a potential love interest who understands he could never be so he feels like a good puppy. Cid feels like a big bro or uncle or just someone you look up to and know that he has your back in a pinch. Not that the Scions are bad or anything, I just love these characters more.
Who is your favorite NPC in FFXIV? Was Nero even a blip on your radar? I'm honestly a little sad he's not as beloved as other characters, but I guess that means I can hog him to myself a bit! Screenshot of Nero below stating my feelings for most of the plot of FFXIV.
All artists struggle. I don't think you'll find anyone who will tell you how easy it was to get into their trade and make it big. Let's face it, nothing really comes easy in this world.
On my journey to pursue an MFA, I learn new things everyday, and I struggle with old ones too. Let me sum up my problems.
Now before I get into some of my issues, understand that I'm honestly probably just organizing my thoughts on the matter. I'm the kind of person who struggles with figuring out what her emotions are. So I hope these issues are relatable to you and don't just make you feel upset too.
Before someone starts clamoring (like my husband) that I am skilled, that my art does look good or decent, that's not what I mean by I'm not skilled enough. I recognize that for where I am right now, I'm decent. I've come a long ways for drawing, and I've still got a long ways to go. And that's exactly what I mean, I'm not skill enough... yet. You see, there's a threshold where you go pro and you're recognize to some extent by others, companies, etc. I have not crossed that threshold. It's a big wall that I haven't figured out how to overcome because I want to be better, and I want to be better now. Sadly, that's just now how it works. So I doubt whether I'll ever reach high levels of art, I doubt I'll be able to make money, and I doubt I'll be able to pay of my loans at the end of this. And allllll of that, scares me. Immensely. Yet, what can I do but pick up my pencil and try again and again until I cross that wall?
If you know anything about me, you'll know I'm a person who harbors many regrets because I'm incapable of standing up for myself. I don't have a spine, but boy do I wish I did. I went into education because I didn't think I was good enough to get into an art program (which is precisely the point of an art program, if you were good enough you'd be making money!) and because I couldn't talk to my parents about changing degrees since they were paying for my college. I had many fights with my parents in my college days including about my major. Let's say my rebellious teenage years came a bit late... or all the emotions I withheld and bottled up finally exploded (this isn't healthy, don't do this). I love my parents dearly, but like most children, sometimes we never saw eye to eye. So I didn't stand up for myself, and I didn't get started in art earlier. I think of how much further I could be, what sort of industry I could be working for had I majored in some sort of art degree. But what's been done, has been done, and can't be changed. It's time to pick myself up and move forward.
is like my best friend... in the worst way. You know, one of those fake besties that clings to you like "You're totally my best friend!" Then goes behind your back and stabs you, then guilts you into thinking it's somehow your fault they stabbed you. A toxic relationship really. Yet I keep coming back for more, because I have no idea how to keep them at bay. I mean look, I worry incessantly about things I can't control, and I know I can't control them. That's why I worry. They're called irrational fears for a reason. In terms of art, I get so overwhelmed with where I'm going and how I'm gonna get there, I literally shut down and panic. There's no reason to, I know. What will happen will happen and by God's grace maybe something good will happen. But still, I worry about that one email I sent, did I sound mean? What about that stupid thing I said the other day, did I ruin a friendship? Is my art really that bad, maybe I'll never succeed in life? And so the wheels turn and turn, fighting me at every turn.
Ultimately, I guess we all face our own demons. How do you handle yours? Some of us are definitely more successful than others. I most certainly have to keep trying. People tell me I'm young (27 is young but it doesn't always feel like it), and I will figure it out, but that hopefulness feels rather hopeless some days. Despite all the negativity here, I'm not giving up, and I hope you don't either. Life is hard, find the things that make it matter in yours whether small or big, and I'm sure we'll both make it tomorrow.
Evidently, starting a blog means I need to write about something I'm currently passionate about, Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV).
If you're unfamiliar with the famous MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), you're probably not aware of that this game is taking the internet by storm. Though, I'm not going to dive into that, a quick google search on "FFXIV popular" will literally give you all the buzz and information you need (and don't need).
What I will dive into is why I personally play it. Because you know, you definitely want to read this amateur artist's opinion on things. Why else would you be here?
I started last year, as my husband is wont to tell me, "We played Minecraft a year ago then dropped it to play Final Fantasy." As a gamer couple, we often sought out games to play together. So I've been down the routes of World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, Black Desert online... to name a few. This doesn't include the thousands of steam games we've ventured through, but none have captivated us in the way FFXIV has.
Initially, I think I got caught up in all the advertisements I saw for the game. I'm kind of a sucker for MMOs in general though (I grew up playing Dream of Mirror Online. Runescape, Maple Story, etc.), so I suppose it was inevitable. Since the game was free to play up to level 60, I was happy to give it a try even though the idea of paying a subscription seemed dumb to me.
It took less than week before we subscribed... then proceeded to drag another friend into hole too.
A Realm Reborn, the first expansion, or as fans lovingly call it ARR Hell, hooked me in more than I thought it would. My husband and I went through it together. Every quest, every story, every dungeon, basically, he was my tank and I was his healer. Initially, the characters didn't really intrigue me much, but once I reached the end of the expansion, in the patch content, I was really unprepared for the rollercoaster of emotions.
Even now, at the end of Shadowbringers (the most current expansion at this time), the story has done a fantastic job of bringing about emotions of excitement, joy, and sadness. Despite the moments where it was a bit dull (particularly in Stormblood), the game does a fantastic job of bringing you in, if you're paying attention. Ultimately, you need to have an investment in the characters for the story to really make any difference. But if the characters bore you and you hate story, don't worry, this game is still great.
My friend (who I mentioned earlier that we dragged in with us) isn't much of a story of character guy. Instead, he likes fishing. He likes following us around, leveling, and just playing the game. I think it's great that he can enjoy the game the way he wants. I think it's great that I can fawn over characters I love and enjoy the game that way. My husband spends his days min-maxing and has level 80 crafters and gatherers; he enjoys the game in his own way.
And I think that's exactly why FFXIV is loved and should be played. There's so many ways to enjoy it. Everyone loves it for a different reason, and that's perfectly ok. That being said, it's definitely more fun with friends whether you bring them with or make new ones online (I've done both!). Of course, if you're a loner, FFXIV is a fantastic standalone game, not just an MMO. While you're encouraged to interact with the people around you, you certainly don't have to but you might find yourself getting dragged in anyway.
I personally play because I like dressing up my Au'Ra, running dungeons with my friends, experiencing the story with my hubby, and fawning over characters I like *cough* Nero, Cid, Aymeric *cough*.
I tend to like obscure characters, and this game is no different. Thankfully, it caters to my tastes even if the characters I like only appear a handful of times. But maybe I'll talk about my boys another time.
Give FFXIV a shot if you haven't. Or don't. You do you, but if you're listening to this amateur for some reason, then you definitely won't regret it.