My previous FFXIV post was totally devoted to criticism, that is true. Some may say it was a rant – and it technically was. Yet I concluded it with a thought that I do not cancel the game in my reality, and merely put it on a shelf so far. Recently I realized that I’d like to play both games simultaneously today.
Don’t get me wrong: I do love WoW, and I follow it till the end, whatever happens to the game. And I don’t think I’m even serving a devil’s advocate in its current state, because I genuinely consider the game and the expansion objectively good. And frankly I don’t care what others might think and trash the game all they want.
Like Milton Waddams in the final scene of Office Space movie by Mike Judge, people may complain about big grains of salt on our pina coladas, when we specifically said no salt, but it does not cancel the fact that these pina coladas were served to them lying on a chaise, on a beach of a high class hotel, and life is soooo good in every next sense. Well, we may try to sue, cancel and quit the hotel for big grains of salt, but do we really want to be a Milton?
9.1. was a solid work on mistakes, I’m enjoying the alt-friendly session style of gameplay, I enjoy and anticipate the story development, I love to run with all my toons – a perfect roster in variety and character. And in general the patch seems and plays very good – I did have a lot more problems and issues with Nazjatar or Broken Shore gameplay – in terms of survivability, grind, terrain and whatnot.
The thing is, WoW, like all MMOs, is based on the endgame repetitive activities once the story is digested. I wouldn’t say “grind” in the current circumstances, because, hey, if you call these daily 15-20 minutes per toon a grind, you might go seek another genre. But still, there’s only so many alts I could develop in the loop of the same assaults and dailies during a given evening or morning session. I’d normally mix them pet and no-pet, caster and fighter, melee and ranged, so that even 5 consecutive runs through the same routine of assault -> dailies -> story provide a totally different experience. After all, I’m a god of alt management :)
The point is, even if I like the gameplay, logging in with each of my toons, and the patch & WoW in general, all the good things require a break so that you avoid burning out, and every next routine session felt as exciting as the day before. And that’s where FFXIV (or other games, movies, tv series, books) steps in.
FFXIV to me is a switch to a totally different experience. World of Warcraft is a world of warcraft, with its intense, complex and super exciting combat being the main dish. FFXIV is, well, not. Weird for MMO, it’s a read-and-run experience in a candyland. Leveling could be compared more to reading a book, as you mostly read all the massive dialogues and travel between quest givers supplying you with more dialogue windows. Fighting is scarce, and this is kinda comforting to an extent.
I’d never say I would trade WoW for FFXIV if I had to choose, no. But once you’ve spent 2-4 hours surviving the fierce Jailer’s hordes, and now your alts sit happily on a well-earned pile of loot, upgrades and trinkets, retreating to FFXIV for just walking and talking is relaxing. They may ask you to kill three toads in half an hour. Or they may not. It’s simply different – and nice. I’m a sucker for stories, and FFXIV provides – like I said, it’s not too original, but it’s not bad.
I still hate their “dogshit textures” (c) Asmongold’s FFXIV experience), especially the cardboard “castles” of Limsa Lominsa, cardboard ships, cardboard woodwork, a mosquito swarm of “grass”, “trees” and “rocks” – omg omg my eyes my eyes, their endless dialogues and their limited and small zones, but after I gave the game a break, I now take it as a given – a thing I can’t fight against.
I do not plan to explore all the range of classes, I tried and hated craft and gathering, I do not understand why they send you to get acquainted with housing at level 5 when a simplest flat would cost millions of local gold – and you can’t just go and buy it, go real life auction or something. In short, there are so many issues with the game, but at the same time it’s fun and relaxing enough.
I’m not planning to grind any reputation, hunt for mounts and stuff – I have WoW for that, and I’m most excited about those things there. The story will quite suffice so far. And we’ll see where it takes me.
So… it seems I’m playing both now. And like I said, it’s not a question of picking one over another – it’s for the sake of variety, different experiences and widening the horizons. Both games differ so much that it’s like they’re not species of the same kind – which is exactly why I want them both. It’s not like they’re two types of spaghetti – but like spaghetti and wine, fulfilling each other in my case, making my life richer, juicier, more varied, interesting and happy.
What’s left? Showing my toons.
The first one is a dragoon (lancer) – a lance class is absent from most MMOs and games, so it’s no way I could pass by it. I picked a local human as my first character, as she feels great with a lance:
The second one is a local mage – ice, fire, all the normal stuff. Except it works more like a WoW’s balance druid, elements working in turns – you cast fire spells to deplete mana and then cast ice spells to replenish it. I couldn’t walk by past the local small folk, so here she goes:
Oh, and one more thing, even if one and the same toon here can play all classes simultaneously, which eases gameplay to an extent, in my system of coordinates I consider this idea a total heresy and a crime against a character lore. I could maybe pile two melee brawler classes on top of each other, or two caster classes in one toon, but in no universe I would make my character equally adept of might and magic. So fuck you the brilliant idea, it’s one class – one toon :)
So, how today’s plans look like with my new paradigm? At least 3 WoW toons, maybe more to finish the Fate quest, assaults and story, and then I go FFXIV with a cup of tea.