My first MMO was FFXI in 2006. I was 14 then and played the Xbox beta for free after my father bought a gaming magazine (RIP) that came with the beta disc. Obviously, I was instantly addicted to the game. I still remember the first time I met another player and he taught me how to do custom /em emotes. I still remember being in awe at a level 50 PLD wearing this gear
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/ffxi/images/e/e2/IronMsk_Armor_Set.jpg and amazed at how he 1 shotted the orcs for me to get to a specific quest marker. I wanted to be as strong as him one day. As a kid, I idolised high level/good gear players like people revere celebrities nowadays.
Following 5 years of positive and negative FFXI life, I was frankly burnt out on HNM drama. HNM (world monster spawns for you non-FF players) effectively killed the magic of the game for me. I was involved in botting, shady gil transactions, buying gil from RMTs to keep up with people that had controlled the servers auction house and huge amounts of drama. Needless to say, I quit. And it felt good.
Following that, I played a multitude of different MMOs to try and get that feeling of being 'awe-struck' by the size of the world and the players. I started WoW during WoTLK, which almost gave me the same feeling. I loved PvPing outside of Orgrimmar, playing BGs and arena to get the wrathful gear for my Ret Pally, seeing famous players around and annoying them with questions. Though I quit WoW fairly quick as I realised it was just another grind to get good gear.
My next MMO was Age of Conan. Now this MMO was interestingly quite fun and I liked the design of the maps, the mature theme (naked boobies woo?) and the gear treadmill/raids were good. But the game died not long after launch which was a bit sad.
Following this, I played a couple of different MMOs from Guild Wars 1 and 2, Runescape, AION, TERA and ultimately FFXIV has been my latest venture.
FFXIV has been pretty fun. As a 27-year-old working 40 hours a week it took a while to catch up to the main expansion but it was enjoyable besides the awful fetch quests post-ARR patch. I've made plenty of friends along the way and enjoyed the story, recently completing Shadowbringers and bringing my gear up the current ilevel of 445 which is the max right now.
But that's when it kinda hit me. I don't really remember having fun with FFXIV, besides the story itself which was nice to get involved in. I don't remember why I'm doing what I'm doing. I don't feel that feeling of awe I felt like I did when I was 14 years old. It feels like a chore that for some strange reason I can't escape wasting time on it every day with the daily quests. I'm not having fun running Titiania/Innocence Ex 40+ times just to get my gear or mount drop, just so I can do it again when the next set of raids come out and Titiania/Innocence Ex become irrelevant.
Okay so what do I do for fun? FATEs? MGP prizes? Farming mounts? Crafting? Levelling other jobs? It's all grinding. Literally, everything is grinding. There's zero variety. I get it, this is an MMO there are grinds. Why don't I remember the grind in FFXI? I know it was there and probably 100x worse. Why did FFXI feel like an adventure? Why doesn't FFXIV feel an adventure? Should I go to the world zones and create an adventure for myself? They're empty with non-threatening monsters just walking around and the same FATEs appearing every 10 minutes.
The average age range of my FC group (around 20 people) is mostly 18-22 year olds with a couple of 25+ people. I had realised that someone who's 22 now was 9 years old in 2006. 2006 being arguably the golden year of old school MMOs. And then it made me think that FFXIV, retail WoW etc are many peoples first MMOs. No wonder people diss old school MMOs so much. "If you like old school WoW why don't you go back and play it" – People that never played it. I'm not even old but now I feel old.
I just cancelled my XIV sub for the time being. I just don't even know why I'm playing it.
I want to give up chasing that dream of being that awe-struck 14 year old again. I understand it'll never happen, I understand the gaming landscape has changed, I understand the players of old school MMOs are old now and work as much as I do so they want quick easy results using duty/party finders. I know we can't go back to the pre-Discord era where people just used the in game functions or forums to talk to each other. I know I don't have the time to put into games anymore like I did when I was a kid. I'm sad about that as well, working all the time can suck!
I'm not actually sure what the purpose of this thread is. Just venting my feelings I suppose of a life time of trying to emulate my first MMO experience. I'm just sad and ready to move on and stop chasing the dragon. There are great single player games that feel like adventures. Persona 5, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Zelda BoTW etc etc.
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