This is gonna sound crazy but I believe at least part of my mysterious anxiety issues were born from the toxic environment in my former Free Company (FC) right before the downfall, and the following void left in my online persona – a raidless raider.
I’ve dipped my feet in the casual pool. Thanks to @belghast I’ve found a new FC (Greysky Armada) that doesn’t put focus on cutting edge raiding, but rather doing dungeons or trials every now and then; a zero pressure guild of sorts. It is very liberating not having to cap tomes because your performance on raid night depends on it (though I still want it because dat sexy ironworks set). The other night a group was formed for T5, a raid which I had already completed a long time ago, but I accompanied them and it was refreshing to experience a few interesting things:
- A group that didn’t give up with constant wipes, and didn’t show signs of losing tolerance because of it.
- A group that actually discussed strategies beyond “just because”. I was marveled at how they discovered the geometry behind the Divebomb phase’s trick.
- A group where, according to what I was told, I was the person with the most experience, as apparently none had cleared T5 before.
- A group that, despite the lack of experience, made great progress in the span of the raid timer. We went from phase 2 to phase 4, and the last try was going incredibly well until the timer ran out.
I thought to myself: “If they go again tomorrow they’ll surely clear this” but this is not their goal. Sure, they want to clear T5 and go to T6, but it’s not their goal. They’re going next week, and I hope I can join them again.
However, the itch is still there.
I’ve embraced the casual lifestyle, but deep inside the 5+ year raider craves for progress. T9 is a speck far in the distance still, not to mention the Final Coil of Bahamut. I have other things “pending” like Shiva Extreme which I couldn’t do because I had not completed its pre-requisite: clearing Ramuh Extreme.
Last night I was asked by fellow Cactuarian, wonderful tweep and possible podcaster Spiral Sun, a.k.a. @weiward to join a Ramuh learning group, which is perfect for me because it’s something my former FC didn’t even bother doing. We entered Spiral’s TeamSpeak and got a quick primer for the fight. I was extremely nervous – I usually am when in the company of new party members – and it didn’t help that on the very first try I was so focused on the huge amount of things going off in the screen that I forgot to look at my own character and got blasted. This got me even more nervous! But we persevered. I learned what killed me and made my best to not being killed by that again. The rest of the group did the same, learning every try. Finally after a few attempts we downed the old bearded Primal! I hadn’t felt that good in a long time! It satiated my need for progression, and I’m now ready to enter Shiva Extreme – today I’m gonna study the fight to be ready.
The casual life may not be what I originally had in mind when I started playing MMOs or XIV, but it’s where I am now. It’s relaxing, in a way. But the existence of friends that keep me in mind to join them for dangerous adventures is something that gives me great joy, and a great reason to be thankful for.
Bring on the Queen of Ice!