Yes, Syp of the past, I know. I read your note. I even heeded it at two separate occasions this past summer, cautioning me away from a FFXIV return. I know I place myself in a position of mockery for both Syp-of-the-past and commenters-of-the-now, both of whom are undoubtedly shaking their heads at my love/hate relationship with this game.
But Bio Break is a place, if not free of judgment, then freeing for me to be honest. I’ve come back to Final Fantasy XIV, and I’m even having a (cautiously) good time so far as I’ve played for over a week now. Sure, I could just not be honest and decline to write about it, but this blog is more for me than anyone else. I don’t want to lie to myself.
So what happened is the whole Blizzard boycott/leaving World of Warcraft thing. That set into motion a couple of weeks of wild experimentation in which I tried out new MMOs and loaded back up old ones, seeing what might hit the spot as a second-slot game (in addition to LOTRO) and fill that WoW void. I’ve also been going through a very crazy and stressful time that increased the need for some solid relaxation at the end of the day, so at some point I said, “Huh, well, what’s the worst that could happen?” and subbed back up for another round of FFXIV.
I almost logged right back out when I saw what had happened. Since the last time I played was pre-Shadowbringers, I haven’t been around for all of the class changes that happened with the expansion. I guess that Yoshi P declared war on Scholars in my absence, because I came back to a class that was gutted and decidedly Not Fun. I gave it a few rounds, trying to come up with a better rotation, but the huge dip in DPS and the evisceration of my pet drained me of any interest in pursuing this job.
But that was, like leaving World of Warcraft, strangely liberating. Since playing a Scholar wasn’t an option for me any longer, I was free to pursue alternatives. I looked at where I was at in the game and what I had unlocked, and decided on a two-phase approach: To level a Red Mage through the Seventh Astral Era slogfest, and then get to Ishgard where I could switch over to Mechanist. After doing a lot of research, I think the Mechanist may be a really good fit for me.
That day, however, will be a while from now. When I came back, I realized I was at the very last quest of FFXIV 2.0 (why I stopped there, I don’t know), and because of my previous journey, I knew I was in for a whole lot of dullness with the next 100 main story quests. But the change of class, the use of a fantasia potion to give me a new look, and the discovery of a pretty friendly guild all helped to change my perspective somewhat. It’s still the same FFXIV with its very deliberate pace, excessive nodding, and “pray return to the Waking Sands,” but sometimes it helps to hit a game at a new angle.
I’m hopeful that if I power through the 2.1-2.5 quest series and get to Heavensward, get the Mechanist, and then embark upon the expansions, I might find some traction that I haven’t had in a while. At least it’s giving me a relaxing and dependable experience for late at night.