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.