In my last entry I discussed what hooked me on FFXIV during the beta period and convinced me to start playing the game. It was not long after this that I quit.
During the beta I had always intended to play a class from each of the city states, especially when I learned that there were different stories depending on where you started. My first aborted start was in Gridania as a Conjurer whilst my second more lengthy experience was in Limsa Lominsa as a Marauder, therefore it made sense when the game released properly and the servers went up I would start in Ul’dah. However in the beta I had grown so fond of Limsa and its story that I felt a certain loyalty to the maritime city state and found myself compelled to remain Lominsan whilst the Marauder class had offered me high enough HP to ensure to balance out any newbieish play on my part.
As discussed in my previous post I came to Final Fantasy Xiv as a complete MMO novice. I did not understand roles. I didn’t know what a Tank or Dps was. I did not know that my role as a Marauder, a tank class, would be to lead my party through dungeons and absorb most of the damage, keeping the attention of our foes whilst my fellows killed them. The game, for all its admirable easing into the genre for noobs such as myself, does not explain this (since I started Square Enix have added the Hall of the Novice to the game which somewhat explains roles but could still be better). Therefore when I entered my first dungeon back in the beta I had no idea what I was doing and only led my party out of default because nobody else moved. I didn’t focus on keeping hate because I didn’t realise that was my job. I didn’t use emnity generating combos because I didn’t know they existed. I wasn’t a very good tank.
The fact that I was able to progress through the first 30 levels of the game without knowing my role, how to play my job or how to play an MMO in general speaks to how easy the game is to get through since you can do it without playing remotely well. The difficulty only spikes once you get through to the level 32 dungeon “Brayflox’s Longstop”.
At this point we also need to discuss another part of Final Fantasy XIV which has both its good and bad points, the class system. In the game you start as a class like Marauder or Arcanist or Pugilist and once you reach level 30 you this class evolves into a “job” like Warrior, Summoner or Monk. At this time you get a job crystal which significantly enhances your characters stats and this is why the first subsequent dungeon “Brayflox” can be tough. At that time, in order to access the job crystal, players were also required to level a second class to level 15. For Marauder this was Gladiator.
I didn’t know any of this and so at the appropriate time in the story I blundered into Brayflox without my job crystal. I still didn’t understand my job or how to play the game properly. The results were not good. The rest of my party were not impressed and they let me know it hard. It was the first time I experienced the underlying toxicity of the community that would rather shout and insult another player than try and teach them how to play better. It was the first time I didn’t complete a dungeon and it put me off attempting to run the dungeon again.
To try and fix this I thought I would level my character further and this would mitigate my badness but I was running out of quests to do. The main story which had grabbed my attention in the beta had started to meander in the 20’s and I was unable to progress without completing the dungeon. I got bored. I didn’t know how to play better and was disillusioned with the game and its community. I allowed my sub to lapse and did not plan to ever return.