Final Fantasy XIV « AstralCandy

My right isn’t your right; its your left.

06 February 2011

As many people know, I have come back to the world of Vana’diel. I haven’t really abandoned Eorzea, but Vana’diel IS holding my interest more firmly at the moment and has brought about much amusement with old and new friends.

Since my return in late December, I have leveled a little bit here and there, tried to skill up here and there, joined a Dynamis shell, and tried to help along friends so that we can tackle more things together. First off, the jobs I’ve leveled:

BLU 68 > 84
BRD 76 > 81
BLM 64 > 81
WHM 62 > 69

Yeah, I’ve flip flopped a lot and had a hard time focusing for awhile. I’m a little more settled on BLM at the moment, since I am enjoying the idea of nuking things to death. I have a LONG way to go, however, in order to be a competent and better BLM. I’m hoping to get there one day, but so far am pleased that I am able to get my nukes up past 200 in Abyssea Ule. with the help of Teal armor and Ascetic’s Tonic. Though, despite what Reiokyu and Orophen are claiming, I am STILL deciding to hold my right to complain. They state I can’t with the damage I doled out, but I say I can since its not nearly as consistent nor as high as I would like for it to be.

And that damage was done while I was level 80 or 81. One of the two. Atma of the Beyond, however, is my friend sometimes and is probably the only reason why I was lucky enough to deal out those numbers along with Ascetic’s Tonic and the Teal gear. Now to work on getting more Atma and Lunar Abyssites to push that damage higher…

I am still intent on wanting to level WHM. It sounds sadistic of me, considering my good friend Hiroshiko has told me numerous times NOT to fall into that trap and to just run away. Yup. Not walk. Run. Run far and fast. I don’t blame him, really. He is usually stuck as that job and has reminded of me of the times I’ve wanted to stuff dirty diapers into the mouths of needy DD who think their needs is more dire and of importance than of the entirety of the party. Though I think I’d need to take it slow since the very idea of main healing sometimes gives me anxiety attacks. Sort of like when I was summoned to be a BLM in Dynamis last Wednesday and was worried to death I was playing like a total noob. I’d rather play as BLU but some part of me wouldn’t mind attempting to play as BLM again in the future.

As for XIV adventures, I think Reiokyu is really putting himself in the position of a sheep/goat conspirator. It is the ONLY way to explain how the hell he has managed to walk by a NM goat in Nophica’s Wells and not get a single scratch on him. Or the fact that sheep were spamming Sheep’s Song like it was no one’s business in Dynamis today. I’m thinking maybe he has beat them on the head too many times that they are scared of him and have offered instead to be his evil little minions…

Changing the Game — A New Direction for Eorzea

02 January 2011

When Square-Enix announced changes to its staff almost a month ago, its former Director/Producer, Hiromichi Tanaka, had left a message that left some people wondering if the game would take a complete overhaul in the stead of Naoki Yoshida. In fact, Tanaka had clearly stated:

We are aware, however, that in many cases, addressing these issues will call for a reworking of game elements.

At the moment, I never gave this much thought. I knew some were worried and some were excited, but it didn’t seem to really hit me until the clock had hit 12:00 on January 1, 2011 and I received the e-mail on my phone. I took the poll not too long after that and was floored when I read the very last question:

Would you welcome changes to FINAL FANTASY XIV that would drastically alter the rules already set in Eorzea?

Now, I was stumped for all of a minute. I was really torn on how to answer the question. Part of me was getting used to how Eorzea was. Yes it was clunky and frustrating. I don’t make it hidden my disdain on the targeting and how utterly useless and awful I feel as a healer in the game. On the other hand, I have also grown used to several things. I realize I am one of the few people who like the Market Ward system, retainers, and the like. I have a disdain for Auction Houses, and I can’t imagine myself liking the game any better when one is finally implemented in the game. I LOVE the crafting in this game despite a good friend of mine making constant complaints of wanting something to similar to WoW. However, if I wanted something like that then I would be on WoW and not on XIV. Soloing has never been a problem and party play? I get that with friends easily and have thoroughly enjoyed playing with them, and once in awhile the random stranger.

I know there are many other problems with the game that can’t go unnoticed. When retail version came out, I was puzzled beyond belief as to why my friends and other people couldn’t understand simple mechanics of the game. If one had actually read the dialogues it seemed easy to figure what to do or where to go. Then there is the biggest problem of the UI; targeting makes me want to pull my hair out, sometimes my own keyboard doesn’t respond in the game (it works fine in other games), and even the way macros work is slow and very clunky.

There are other numerous quirks in the game I know that could be improved upon or changed entirely, and no matter how much I loved the game… it could not get any worse than what is already set. There is a community that needs to be brought closer together, there needs be a clearer and more defined focus, and the rough edges need to be smoothed out and polished. It is with that thought, I clicked yes.

Do I regret this? No. Does it make me any less of a fan of XIV? I know supposed “fans” would argue that I am not. I am, after all, listing things that need to be fixed in the game vs taking it in for what it is. However, I want to see this game do better. I want the PS3 players to come and want to stay in Eorzea vs. saying, “I’ll come back when it gets better” or saying they don’t want to come back at all. I also want to see this game do as well as XI; a MMO I’ve loved for many years and have many cherished memories from.

Am I scared of what the changes could entail? You bet I am! Even the poem left to us at the end of Yoshida’s letter has left me wondering what would be in store for us:

Ne’er till land consumes sun can sea bear moons,
Heavens spew crimson flame, hells seep black dooms.
Stray seeds quicken in ash’s grey embrace,
Valiant blades forged under the Twelve’s good grace.

- Seventh Verse of the Divine Chronicles
Mezaya Thousand Eyes

If it were references to the in game atmosphere, I am all for nuking the Black Shroud and restructuring the place from the ground up. But even the keywords left by Yoshida’s New Year’s message (fun, live, reboot, and rebuild) has left me and others wondering if a complete overhaul of the game is in Eorzea’s future despite what our last answer could be on the poll. Even if this were so, I am eagerly anticipating what the future will hold for Eorzea. At the moment the only place to go is up and I am hoping Yoshida and his new team will take great strides towards that path.

Welcome to the land of Eorzea!

26 September 2010

Now that the collector’s edition for Final Fantasy XIV has been out for a few days, I feel like I have gotten the initial rush out of my system and can safely blog about it without feeling hyper anxious about staying on the game for hours on end. Well, and it helps that my wrists are a tad sore and I am in dire need of doing other things at the moment. That said, I am incredibly excited for what is to come with this game in the coming months and beyond.

First of all, I was utterly floored when my best friend decided to take a break from the land of Azeroth and come check out the world of Hydaelyn. I have been keeping my WoW account active every so often so I can go on and chat with her when I can, but its been hard since I was not really into WoW. It was a great time waster, but nothing I could feel really invested or immersed in. That’s what I have been missing terribly since I’ve pulled away from Vana’diel; the whole immersion experience of feeling like you are in a living, breathing world instead of having to feel the intense pressure of going from one quest to another without wait. I don’t know how she feels about XIV so far; I know its buggy, I know it has its flaws, and I know it lags as hell on the Lindblum server. I do hope she is enjoying herself, but I am also keeping my WoW account active in case she doesn’t. I told her I’m ok with her leaving XIV; which is true. I would rather her be happier elsewhere than frustrated playing XIV.

Second, 8 hours leveling!? Who would have thought! I am usually not one to enjoy sitting down for long periods of time, but I found myself doing so the other night to team up with people from Save Point doing leves and behests. It was kind of insane, a lot of fun, and also really exhausting as it started to get to 2 a.m. and Naked Moles were hunting us down and knocking us down dead. Then I started to fall out of my chair, and well… lets just say I needed a serious break after that because it was the first time in a very long time I had sat down and just gamed so seriously. Will it happen again? Who knows. Maybe. Maybe not. I did have a lot of fun, and am looking forward to getting a chance to play with the people I’ve met from FFXIVblog and Save Point.

By the way, I seriously think either I’m very well liked or I am the sore butt of jokes with some of the guys on the LS. You guys know who you are!

Anyway, the only problem I have, really, is with the complainers. I guess its because after following this game so intently, working on FFXIVblog, doing the Orzcast, playing the beta, and what have you… it feels like XIV is in a way my child. Now this is a problem; when a parent really loves their child, it is easy to get annoyed and get into downright denial when someone says there is something wrong with your child. You come up with excuses, you defend remarks made against your child, and sometimes you just want to strangle the other person and tell them they are wrong. I’ve had to catch myself a few times, because it is SO easy to feel frustrated with some people when the things they are complaining about has already been mentioned to be future fixes. Then I have to remember… not everyone has been following the game as intensely as others and there is a disconnect of information and what not.

Eorzea has its rough sides right now. Its new, its shiny, and those who have been playing the other games right now tend to forget where their beloved games originally started out; which wasn’t always at a pretty place.

I do hope people give it a chance, and that people who are like me and getting impatient with the complainers remember that some of us are coming from different perspectives and might have a harder time seeing what a beautiful gem we see before our eyes. XIV is new and has the potential to build a great community like XI, and definitely better than the mess that is known on WoW forums and chat channels. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of what is to be offered us, and to be able to enjoy the journey with new and old friends alike for some time to come.

Wanted: New Friends in Hydaelyn

18 September 2010

So, opening day for Final Fantasy XIV is coming near and I can’t help but be excited. I remember the last game I was excited about was Aion, but it had quickly become such a bore for me that I didn’t really stay too long to get too high. The grinding, the idea of knowing I’d HAVE to do PvP, and the fact that RMT were spamming the areas left and right didn’t help any. Even if the problem was solved quickly enough, it was the culmination of issues that just left such a sour taste in my mouth that I worried I would never find another MMO to enjoy again after FFXI.

Sure, I played and sometimes still do play WoW but it was mostly a way for me to keep in contact with a friend and to pass time with. Final Fantasy XIV, on the other hand… lets just say that if it isn’t apparent how excited I am then maybe you aren’t the one looking at me foaming at the mouth in anxious anticipation.

The only part that I’m truly sad about is the fact I would not be able to play with two friends. I knew that one would be iffy and the other would be unable to join until the PS3 launch. I know its not THAT bad, but I guess I was just so focused on continuing the adventures from Vana’diel to Hydaelyn that I forgot that not everyone can make the trip. I should and most likely will make new friends, but… most will be male and hardly the female friend I’ve managed to keep over the years. Which seems so strange; the idea of being so worked up over a person whom I have never met, never really exchanged e-mails with, and only know through a digital avatar via experiences in a virtual world. It has made me wonder about the meaning of friendships and such… and how I should probably try to branch out more even if I detest the idea of it.

But I realize that in the end, my friendships I build really have helped in whether I stay in a MMO or not. After all, it is a rather social game whether people want to admit it or not. When you get to the end of things, even if you are as much of a hermit as I can be at times… teaming up with people is what will really help you get through the hurdles that are placed in the game that are just a virtual representation of hurdles that one might face in real life. Sure, losing a job and needing moral support from friends isn’t the same as needing a team of people to help you get a shiny piece of equipment… but in the end, you still need someone to watch your back, right? Right.

Final Fantasy XIV Open Beta

06 September 2010

As some may know, I have been in the Final Fantasy XIV Closed Beta since the tail end of Alpha. It has been amazing to see the game grow and change since its alpha testing stages to the current stage it is at right now in open beta. Yeah, sure, there are bugs, but what MMORPG isn’t buggy upon release? And that hasn’t even been in another country for a year to work out those said bugs? I think its fine. Sure, people are complaining about this and that but I’m not particularly worried that it will affect my enjoyment of the game. Even in its current state, I find myself having fun with what I am able to play with. Others may not feel the same way, which if fine. In the Western MMO market there are other options (both free and pay to play) people are able to choose from that doesn’t have to be FFXIV.

Though I have to admit, after not having really played Final Fantasy XI actively for a year, it was a little hard getting used to the pace of enjoying the journey vs. getting to the destination (though, from my current understanding of the XI environment, getting to the destination quickly seems to be made easy due in part of the Abyssea expansion). The hand holding experience of WoW and Aion almost had me fumbling over Final Fantasy XIV, but it was quick and easy to get back into the groove of things and settle into the rhythm Hydaelyn had to offer. The environments itself made me remember why Final Fantasy XI was such a special gem and why I felt that magical return to me for Final Fantasy XIV; it was so easy to feel so immersed in the world itself and not feel that it was a game where I needed to quickly hit enter to get to the next thing. Even though finding an NPC can sometimes be like finding a needle in a haystack, it is in successfully finding those NPCs or learning something how to craft that just tickles me with delight and wonder at what else I can learn and accomplish.

Crafting, by the way, is the most fun I had ever had in any sort of crafting system I have tried to date. Granted there are still some aspects I feel could use tweaking (I’ve never been a fan of having to individually select my items to craft with), but in general I’ve found myself wanting to craft. Yes, that’s right. I WANT TO CRAFT. Not often does that happen or that I’m not just willing but excited to do something like crafting.Stranger still? Me like a hand-to-hand job. Yes, that’s right, a hand-to-hand job. Hard to believe, yeah? But here I am! Playing a hand-to-hand job and loving every moment of it!

I’m actually trying very hard not to play too much because I don’t want to ruin how things will be when the game finally comes out for its retail version. There is so much I want to do and try out, even though I know that in two weeks time all that data will be wiped clean. ( ;^;) Still… I’m really excited to play Final Fantasy XIV and to be more full immersed in its community than before. The people I’ve met and talked to have been generally great and supportive of not just the game but of each other. Even better is being able to reconnect with friends from Final Fantasy XI whom I have missed during my absence. ♥ I definitely feel at home in this game compared to WoW and Aion, and am eagerly looking forward to seeing how the game will develop from here on out.