I’m very happy to report that last week’s expeditions into FFXIV paid off handsomely. I progressed through the Seventh Astral Era 100 quests much more quickly than before, partially thanks to skipping every cutscene until I got to 2.5 and partially thanks to a couple of unexpectedly long play sessions.
While the story and activities weren’t anything to write home (or to you) about, there were a couple of beneficial factors. The first was that jawing about the story and offering up observations with my free company helped to forge some early friendships and give me someone to talk to about the weirdness that often pops up in FFXIV. We talked about “fantasy pope” and “Alpha Nerd” and whether or not Lalafel lack souls and have to devour others when they get the opportunity. I know the story is very old hat to some of these players, but it’s a point of commonality that everyone has an opinion on, and that helps to build relationships.
I’ve also been getting my “game legs” back through these series of quests. My guildies have offered some helpful hints, especially about gearing up, and I’ve been lightly experimenting with different classes. The Summoner didn’t end up being my thing, and I dabbled for a while with the Red Mage before dying far too often in group experiences. So I did, at least for these quests, jump back into Scholar just so I didn’t have to wait forever for queues to pop. And while I am still very displeased with a lot of the changes Square Enix made with the class, I think I’ve found a workable solution that lets me both quest and group. I’m still going Mechanist later on, but it’s never a bad thing to have a healer in your pocket.
I also got my character to look the way I wanted. I already said that I switched her over to a human with a bit of punk hairdo, but after a little while tinkering with glamours, I gave her an outfit that looked sensible and modern rather than some giant poofy jacket/skirt combo.
Of course, the slight irony to last week was that while I was racing to catch up in the story, Square Enix moved the goalpost even further away with Patch 5.1. Hey, more quests aren’t a bad thing, but I do start to go cross-eyed when I think about how long it’s going to take to get to where everyone else is at. I also have been making lists of other activities that I want to do at some point, such as investigating beast quests.
I’m not on fire for FFXIV, but I am feeling like I’m in a comfortable groove. It’s a good time when I log in, and when I bounce between this and LOTRO, I get my MMO needs satisfied.