Amazing how fast it all comes back
When I get an idea in my head for a project or pursuit, I don’t tend to sit on it very long before taking action. And so I went from mulling over a possible return to FFXIV to making it happen within about a span of a day. I felt like I could justify this, cost-wise, with the elimination of my World of Warcraft subscription, and besides, $13 isn’t that much these days.
For having been gone well over a year, it’s amazing how fast all of this came back to me. The MMO is installed on a new machine, so I had to tweak the keybindings again. A memory cascade flowed down over me and my reentry learning curve wasn’t as steep as I originally anticipated. Plus, there were all of those little pleasant surprises of the kind that one gets when returning to a game after a long absence and rediscovering neat features — the music! the thunderstorms! the class flexibility! — that were once taken for granted.
I spent the first two nights back gradually sorting out everything. There have been some changes to the game since I last played; for instance, I don’t remember seeing the featured quest icons before, so I was running around and snapping those up to unlock various features that I had missed. I took inventory on what I had, reordered my hotbar setup, refamiliarized myself with rotations, picked up my mail, and jumped into a Belghast’s guild.
Full steam munchkin
Of course, one of my big reasons for returning was that I was missing playing as a dungeon healer, so that’s pretty much most of what I’ve been doing for my play sessions (I also needed these runs to clear out some featured quests in my logs). I was a little nervous during the first run, but soon my confidence — and the relatively simple rotation — returned, and we were off like a rocket.
The only dungeon that I had problems with was the Ultima trial. Our group just could not overcome this boss, and after five full wipes, we called it. It probably didn’t help that all of my gear was shattered by about the second wipe, which taught me to make sure I repair before queuing up.
I’ve been reading up on the wiki and news, absorbing a lot of information about the game systems and all of the changes that are in store for the expansion. As of right now, I think I’ll attempt to straddle two jobs: Arcanist and Bard. Good to hear that Bards are getting insta-cast spells and some reworks, because that’s a class I always wanted to play more of. I need to look through my bank and make sure I carry two full sets of gear, probably have to level up the Bard too (my Arcanist is at 53 at the moment).
The long road ahead
Resisting the urge to reroll upon return was definitely the best move in my case. My character is just nearly to the end of 2.5 content, which means that I’ll have all of the new-ish stuff ahead — and a lot of it. I don’t think I’ll be in want of main story quests for a while to come, so I’m settling in and not rushing myself. No way I’m going to catch up with the crowd for an expansion launch in one month anyway, and why would I want to?
Instead, I’m making a list of things that I want to accomplish: get through the MSQ, level up Arcanist to the cap, think about a secondary job, maybe look into a gathering profession for money, and save up to buy an apartment and furnishings.
All in all, I feel like this is a very good decision where I’m at with MMOs. With LOTRO, GW2, and Secret World Legends in my rotation, I’ll definitely be keeping busy this summer.