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!
"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.
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.