Crossroads – The path of this BLM

I’ve come to an interesting crossroads in my Final Fantasy XIV adventuring.

As some of you know, lately there had been some stuff going on in my Free Company regarding raiding progression and overall themes of FFXIV that I’m just not cool with. Most members feel that XIV’s vertical progression isn’t what they like, citing FFXI as their ideal method (horizontal) of progression. The concept of a theme park MMO eluded their grasp until recently and it had come to a point where most things XIV is were “wrong” – even those yet to come (DRK apparently cannot be a tank). Most weren’t keen on continuing with Coil because at this point (before 2.4) getting the strongest weapon in the game was “useless” since “it was gonna get replaced” as the best pretty soon. Not even the lore behind it all was an incentive, as some didn’t care about it – skipping every cutscene they could from the very beginning of the game.

From being a group that raided (not hard-hardcore but more like consistently casual) 4 days a week (with weekends being optional) we went to raiding 1 day a week, and that was if people showed up. Reading their complains of fundamental stuff was just too much for me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I quit the FC. I’m still friend with all the guildies, even more so since a lot of them I know in real life and we still have a Whatsapp group for trolling around or coordinating gaming… but XIV was not the place to be for all of us.

Coming from World of Warcraft I came to appreciate the lore an MMO could offer, and I was pretty used to the vertical progression, theme park-ish way of things. I felt right at home in XIV. And I still do. But my “falling out of love” with WoW started when my raiding group dissolved – perhaps a wrong reason, but I’d raided ever since I reached level cap in Wrath of the Lich King and suddenly stopping left a big hole in my heart. I was am terrified this will happen with XIV as well.

But a wonderful thing happened recently. I started meeting wonderful people from my server on Twitter, and randomly bumping into them in game. Amazing players like @weiward and @belghast. I’m soon joining them for simpler runs, like old dungeons and trials… and sometimes take on crazy challenges like doing a low level dungeon with 4 DPS, just to see what happens. One year ago, I would have declined this sort of invitations – I was a focused raider. Now… things have changed.

I still want to raid and push the content, see the story and enjoy the challenge of the hardest content the game has to offer. But I’m behind. I haven’t cleared T9 so I can’t go to the new Final Coil. I haven’t done Ramuh EX so I can’t attempt Shiva EX. At this point it’ll be a bit difficult finding learning groups, and lack of knowledge of the fight will be a big deterrent for any group trying to attempt it. But I’m having a bit of fun. I’m a part of new linkshells with nice people, yet I feel new and with that comes shyness.

So, the crossroads: do I settle for a relaxed casual life running dungeons with fun people while working on non-raiding goals (dat Ironworks set) to ease stress? Or do I look for a group that is willing to welcome a BLM that has the patience yet not the knowledge (besides a few Youtube videos) of the final raids? Maybe there’s a mix of both out there in Eorzea, but I don’t know. My mind is clouded. And I have to think well. For, as the great House M.D. would say:

“It’s not easy. But it is simple.”

Yet it’s ok. Entering the game and being greeted in linkshell chat is a more fulfilling experience than most would admit.

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