FFXIV was the first real MMORPG I cut my teeth on and I hate the fact that they remade the game and I can't go back to the world I spend a good chunk of my life playing from 2010-2013.
To be honest, the fact that the game did so poorly and kept a small community, combined with me being between jobs during that following year and having plenty of time to play is what had gotten me into the game. My PC was a potato at the time and could barely run the game, but I was able to figure it out. I spent sometimes 8-10 hours a day online and met some really fun and awesome people on my server. I pretty much knew all the guilds and regulars that would log in and gather around town from day to day.
The game was complicated, the world was big and empty, and there were a lot of strange and clunky mechanics. But given enough time I fell in love with all of it and became used to it. It was a very slow-paced grind without a lot to do, however. A lot of us had to make our own fun through RP sessions, or in-game events we hosted for fun like foot races or crafting sessions for the guild.
Over time with the community we were able to hear about the latest news with the game, we experienced a lot of patches and game improvement, and content added over time. I remember looking forward to the latest letter from the producer announcing the upcoming changes and additions to the game. I remember being online with friends discussing the Black Eyed Peas at the super bowl, all the discussions during the Fukushima Plant meltdown in Japan, during the very first Christmas event in-game, when the primals were released, when the server merge happened, when they implemented chocobos.
I know the game was a tough sell for new players and was released in a broken state, but I really miss it. I miss walking down a random path in the black shroud and being able to 9/10 times just follow someone and start talking to them in-character, and becoming their friend. I miss talking to people waiting for the ferry to show up as it traveled in real-time. I miss exploring the edges of the map and finding level 99 mobs that were seemingly there for no reason. I miss meeting people at fishing spots or waiting in the world chat for someone looking for help and lending a hand. I miss the overly complicated crafting recipes that required a lot of research and exploration to find materials for a pair of pants. I miss the character models, the graphics, the calm music, and the unique menu interface.
Sure parts of the game sucked, but before it died and was reborn, a lot of issues were fixed. But ever since ARR came out in 2013, I just can't find that feeling again. The emptiness felt peaceful and the low population felt close knit. Now it's just a big giant theme park with way too much to do and so many things going on and so many players I can't keep up. The remake is the closest thing to the original available, but is nowhere the same. No other games capture that feeling for me either.
I know the new version is "successful" – but to me, the original version was my favorite time playing an MMORPG. No matter how many other games I try, I just can't seem to find anything else like it. I was watching some old videos of gameplay again today, and man, I just wish I could go back, you know?
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