#@$% Comments

Lately I have considered stepping down from SBXIV; not because I don’t have the time, interest, or because of bad relations with the hosts. I make time for the things I love, I love XIV and podcasting, and I love the hosts enough to do a second show with them. What gets to me is that I know that the show is pretty much cool with a lot of people. People comment that they laugh on their way to work, they enjoy some of the hosts, and they even take a precious few minutes to give us a five star rating on iTunes and leave a written review. This is all good, right? But then we get the occasional comments outside of our site that I come across because I find the hits through our tracker or I stumble upon them through other means. The comments typically talk about the show in a positive light until it comes to something about “the girl that curses a lot”. Well, seeing as there are two girls and only one of them curses a storm at times…

I am not personally offended by the comments. No, what gets me is I wonder if the show would be better if I were out of the picture. I mention it before and I will say it again: I won’t change the aspect of myself when it comes to cursing or anything. If people wanted to listen to G or PG rated shows, there is a plethora of them (albeit currently is hiatus due to the current state of the game). I also won’t step down unless the show stops being fun. This is true. But that’s where I’m coming into conflict. I have made several changes to SBXIV because of those comments, gave up cursing during Lent last year to curb back my cursing (even I knew it was a bit much, and relied on it too much as an immature catharsis for release on pent up emotions), and have thoughtfully considered what to do to make SBXIV a better show than when it was during its GTD days.

The negative comments have usually (not always), helped in making the show better. When the comments begin to point to me being the problem? Well, now I have a problem. I have started to worry about what I say sometimes, think if I have to be more tame, and that’s not what I want to do. That’s not being very honest to myself, and it was never the type of show I wanted to run. So I end up wondering: do I dismiss the comments and continue on while thinking (sadly) to myself that I might be the reason the show isn’t better than what it could be? Or do I leave and at least have the peace of mind I did everything I could possibly do to make SBXIV a good show?

Three Reasons

A few minutes ago Orophen mentioned that we had received a new e-mail. Here are my two worries when we receive an e-mail: is it good or is it bad? Thankfully, it was neither! Instead it was a simple question; What are the top 3 reasons to jump into FFXIV: ARR?

However, the question suddenly becomes trickier when you are told:

1.) The person has played a number of MMO games and has recently retired from WoW

2.) They have played all the single player FF games, but not any of the MMO versions

I can think of reasons why someone who fits into those categories might not find FF enjoyable, but rarely have I tried to think of why they would want to get their feet wet with this game. There is also the problem with the fact that the game has not yet been released. Most of my information and reasoning will be based upon with what I think might still be the same from 1.0 going into 2.0 and what I do know from official sources of information.

1.) You will have multiple options of content and leveling. Final Fantasy XI and version 1.0 of XIV did not have PvP in the same sense that WoW, GW, and other games have PvP. This will be different in ARR, but to what extent? I don’t know. We know there will be quest hubs like there are in many MMOs, but there will also still be the ability to use the leve quest system, grind in dungeons,  and FATE (XIV’s response to Guild Wars 2’s events) for leveling purposes. Currently known end game content will extend to primal battles, Crystal Tower, and raids. You will also have the chance to create your own “guild” which in XIV’s terms is a Free Company. A Free Company allows you to focus on getting a house and (if they keep the ideas from 1.0 during Tanaka’s reign) maybe build a ferry or an airship.

I see this more akin to being able to do be in control of your own character in a beloved FF game, and with the type of quality we hope to expect from a FF game. You are now your own version of a main FF character with your own ragtag group members, fighting Primals/Eidolons/Summons, getting fame, creating an airship, and more! Which will bring me to point #2.

2.) Version 1.0 bombed hard. Wada said that the game “greatly damaged the FF brand”. Those are very harsh words from the CEO himself! So why bring this up? Because Yoshida and Wada are committed to helping make FFXIV a good game. Not just for the sake of profit, but for redemption. Will Yoshida exceed? It is too early to tell, to be honest. We don’t know what beta looks like, we can’t talk about what we saw in Alpha, and there just isn’t enough out there to say wtf ARR is going to look like.

HOWEVER, as a player who played through 1.0’s Beta, played from release until December, and then came back when Yoshida started making sweeping changes to XIV, I can tell you that the game was already markedly different since Yoshida took the helm. There were still problems that he couldn’t fix, but not because he didn’t want to fix them! He was unable to fix them, because the problems were so bad that it required him to tear the game apart to look at doing an extensive remodel.

Some companies would have cut their losses and try to save face. SE decided to admit they were wrong and tried to make amends. But then you might ask, “So? What does this have to do with my trying out XIV: ARR?” Because SE wants to try to make their customers happy. Will everyone be happy? Goodness no! Will FF players be happy? We hope so! There will be quite a number of previous FF elements in the game, and some have already taken place! How? Well, how about we start with the Red Moon from Final Fantasy IV:

Crystal Tower from III will make an appearance, Magitek from IV is already there, Golden Saucer from VII might appear, and did I forget to mention Materia? We won’t just be playing another numbered Final Fantasy game made into an MMO, but one that takes pieces from other titles and pays homage to them. Personally, I think this is cool if you are an FF fan and I’m looking forward to being able to muck around in a world with elements from those previous games. Now if Triple Triad or Tetra Master made an appearance in XIV? I would probably say goodbye to any other game and sell my soul to XIV.

3.) You just need one character to experience it all. This is my biggest problem with other MMOs: having to create alt characters in order to play as other classes. If I want to switch classes, I have to switch characters, and sometimes equipment I could use on another character is immediately bound to the other character and it’s a mess! You don’t have to deal with that in XIV. You have one character and it can do it all. Want to play as a Warrior? Go ahead! Change your weapon and you are done! But what if you are needed as a White Mage healer? Change your weapon! A Black Mage? Change your weapon! No need to go through the arduous task of having to level up three different characters and go through the same quests over and over again. Instead you can pick up a different quest hub, do leves, or exp raid dungeons to grind yourself up. And if you have friends, a Free Company, or a linkshell? You can probably build better relationships with them since you are ONE person they can keep track of versus your numerous personas.

There are other reasons I can think of: for the most part, the FF community is pretty good. There are questionable people on the forums, but overall I’d say that the FF community is pretty darn nice. A lot of us also really love our community management team, the devs, SOKEN, and especially Yoshida because they come off far more open and warm than before. The world is gorgeous. Other MMOs have wonderful looking worlds, but I have never felt quite as at home as I have in Eorzea. Possibly a bias, but I can’t help I like pretty things! The character models are also not weirdly “Americanized” for the audience. I had a huge problem with this in regards to Aion when faces were changed to better fit the Western market, which I thought made them appear uglier than they were. I’m also not very keen on the Western visual aesthetics, but this is rather minor and personal for each user.

And, yeah, I can go on, but I think I will stop here for now. ;3