Flabbergasted By Flabbergasting People

I don’t understand people. I wish I did, because I am oftentimes flabbergasted by them. Take Sequence Break for example. I know we have fans and I know we have people who don’t give a rat’s ass. I get that. I don’t even care about the later group because its a waste of energy. So why am I flabbergasted? Because some of these people continue to listen even if they don’t like the show.

I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m flipping insane, but I will tune out or walk away from something if I don’t like it. There are several XIV shows I just didn’t like because they were too dry and boring or were even more off the wall than SBXIV is (shocking, I know). Then there are the people who complain about, “Oh there isn’t x, y, or z.” or “Ugh, this shit has a, m, z, x, and l!” If you have a vision for something or have an idea… then why not put in the work to get it done if you’re going to complain about it? So many people are passive about things and hardly proactive.

I don’t know if people are just being clueless, lazy, or what… but its really not that hard to set up shop if you think you can do a better job and want to put in the effort to do so. The amount of free tools out there is mind boggling, and so are the amount of tutorials and guides to help people get going. Though if the problem is effort, then they need to sit still and shut up. I can’t fault someone for putting effort because they are trying, and that says a whole lot more than the people who sit on their damn asses all day just throwing stones without doing much for themselves or anyone else. But whatever.

I take comfort that soon there will be more shows for people to listen to, because some are coming back and some are being made. Hopefully people find what they are looking for or decide to get off their carcass to make what they desire to hear out of a show.

Time and Experience as a Meter to the Wise

Something earlier really bothered me, because it speaks about a lot of the problems that thankfully many people are unaware of. When you start getting you neck deep into bullshit, you end up having to wade through a lot of it before you can find yourself able to breathe. This is especially true about certain aspects of the community.

I spoke with several people (many of whom I consider dear friends), before finally finding the introspection I have been looking for. This friend is amazing. Simply amazing. He is bright, funny, and wise. He told me this:

“Experience should account as milestones and commitment, not as domination and authority.”

Smart words that don’t just have to apply to whatever we were talking about, but life in general as well. I just hope someone understood I am still a crazy toddler despite having done this since 2009. Crazy, right?

Scholar in A Realm Reborn

If you have been circling around the FFXIV communities as of late, a lot of buzz has been generated over a particular image that may or may not feature the addition of a second job: Scholar (a.k.a. SCH). There has been good arguments supporting the plausibility of SCH and some speculating that it is merely AF for the classes themselves.

Now, I wouldn’t be too surprised if SE has decided to hold another card up their sleeve. It would be a great surprise to many of us who have been sitting on our hands waiting for Phase 3, the chance to dabble in the new content, and the opportunity to try out the Arcanist class and Summoner job after release. By having another class and job alongside Arcanist and Summoner, SE would have added another set to increase their class/job combination from a total of sixteen (this is including Arcanist and Summoner to the existing fourteen) to eighteen classes and jobs based on the Disciples of War and Magic alone.

With this new set of classes and jobs, the Disciple of Magic class would now considered to be almost even with the amount of Disciple of War classes/jobs currently available in the game. SCH would also change the way we currently look at PvP right from the start, depending on which iteration of SCH they use or how they decide to handle XIV’s version of SCH. In the Final Fantasy lore, SCH typically has access to both white and black magic but are more commonly known for their ability to analyze and assess their enemy’s weakness with sensory magic. They would also be able to use abilities that would allow them greater potency from items, further enhancing the usability of such items. With this information at hand, groups would be able to identify elemental strengths or weaknesses of a particular opponent or become a secondary support alongside CNJ and WHM.

The skeptical side of me, however, reasons that this may not be the secondary class/job we are hoping for. One of the reasons why I believe this to be so is because Yoshida has insisted upon the game having a low barrier of entry for new MMO players. This is easy to understand when you consider there will be an influx of new players from the PS3 version. The amount of MMOs available on any console is minuscule compared to what is available on the PC market; there is a chance that players trying out Final Fantasy XIV may have never dabbled in Final Fantasy XI, DCUO, or any other MMO title that is available for the console. Having eighteen classes/jobs for just Disciple of Magic and War is daunting enough, but trying to understand the difference between the two, the necessity for each in particular situations, and then tossing Disciple of Land and Hand into the mix? I can imagine that some will find that sort of information to be quite daunting and intimidating; especially if they are wandering through Eorzea for the first time and are trying to make heads or tails of this game.

Another problem I foresee is if we are looking at a 1:1 ratio of classes and jobs, then eventually we will become overburdened by an overwhelming amount of classes and jobs if additions such as Musketeer, Ninja and Samurai are within our distant future. Some have suggested a 1:2 system with classes offering a branched job system. Arcanist, for example, could offer the ability for you to choose between Summoner or Scholar. It would allow more jobs into the mix such as Dark Knight, Musketeer, and more, but then we get back to the same previously mentioned problem with newcomers who are already baffled by the difference of classes and jobs on its own.

Rubicon and I discussed the issues briefly last night, and we agreed that the addition of another job such as SCH would be better suited for an expansion. Veteran players still have a lot of content to wade through with the inclusion of PvP, new quests, areas, raids, FATEs, and ARC and SMN. New players? They will get all of that and more since they will be experiencing XIV: ARR with a fresh set of eyes. What they have at the moment should be more than enough to satiate them until the arrival of a new expansion, and would help them after they have had the chance to dabble in Eorzea for awhile.

Either way, I plan to welcome SCH with open arms. Yoshida has mentioned he wishes to include more roles for the Disciples of Magic to dabble in. Scholar fits that bill and will be a welcome addition if it is released at launch or later in the form of an expansion.

It’s Not About the Grass

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of negativity. I am tired of people complaining about things just to complain about them, or to say they are sitting back to watch XIV fail or that it will fail. I’m an optimist, or at least I try to be. I would like and do believe ARR will at least do better than its previous reincarnation, but this entry isn’t about that and it’s most definitely not about the grass.

Taking a nod from Katella, I want to focus on the positives. I want to focus on what is good about the XIV community and the game itself versus whatever frothy spew naysayers are spouting off for the day.

So, what is good about the XIV community? Its people. Some of you have an awesome sense of humor, and are quite witty and humorous. There are also many who are helpful and have put their energy into making tools or products that help people have access to or use that information in meaningful ways. The fellows at XIVpads have made an awesome tracking site that displays a player’s stats in an easy to digest manner, and they have a chatroom that I often like to sit through and read or participate in (when they aren’t trying to kill me). Dr. Mog has also produced informative videos on YouTube and has plans to create more to help educate and inform both new and old players. Bloggers such as Katella Avenlea and Danforth Wright have contributed to the community with the power of their thought provoking words and activity on other sites. Even YouTube podcasters have been trying to give their own spin on things such as Voices of the Ascended and Good Morning Eorzea. Others are able to entertain with the power of their artistic flair such as Vergil Renata and Niqote Amrita.

The game itself has undergone drastic changes to fix the problems prevalent in 1.xx. Yoshida steered a sinking ship out of troubled waters and onto less murky waters. Do we still have a journey ahead of us? Sure. Who can ignore that ARR still has to prove itself on and in the months after its release. Several high profile MMO games had strong beginnings, but not all had strong or even stable communities to keep them going without changes to their pricing infrastructure or realization that maybe the game isn’t what they had wanted it to be. But XIV didn’t give up. Many felt and still feel that SE should have given up on it and save face altogether, but we are now find ourselves years after its release and awaiting for A Realm Reborn.

The graphics may be as toned down a little in ARR from 1.xx, but guess what? It now works on more machines than it did before! Even better? There is a PS3 version. Now I can look forward to playing with friends who may not have a powerful machine or the money to buy a machine powerful enough to run XIV fluidly. There is also the fact that Yoshida himself has mentioned that it will be possible to upgrade the graphics in a future patch. Some may argue that they should have done that in the first place, but I would have rather they have a solid gameplay that is fun and entertaining versus grass that looks like it is taken from a photo. If I wanted to do that, I would just go outside and not play a game, right?

Soken is new. He’s new and is proving himself. Even cooler? He’s crazy. Like us. Ok, maybe I am being presumptuous, but when you read a tweet like:

or

You can’t help but think, “this dude is pretty darn cool.” Not just because he tries to speak with the English-speaking community when English is obviously not his first language, but he’s a dude who eats burgers, likes to have fun, and appears to like some of the same geeky kinds of things some of us Final Fantasy fans love.

We’re getting more customization options, in game features to either enhance or better our experience, PvP for the competitive types, and bits and pieces of news/screenshots to help whet our increasing appetite for phase 3 and 4 of the beta and the eventual release of ARR. It’s not grass, but I certainly think it is a whole lot better than that.

Making A Voice Heard In XIV

The other day, I stumbled upon a reddit thread that gave me pause. It was on whether or not the XIV community was one of the worst of the MMO communities out there. The person’s reason was mostly due to the official forum, which our podcast (Sequence Break XIV) has constantly bemoaned due to the few vocal members that have taken up a role that may not always be sane, kind, nor the voice of the majority.

Some have mentioned that most official forums are often a cesspool of the more vocal minority versus the majority, some the defensiveness due to the failed launch of the 1.0 client, and a smattering of other reasons that make sense to me. I also I know it gets annoying to answer the same question that could be answered by using google or reading either the official XIV site or any fan site out there. As someone who is fairly busy, even I am flustered when I am asked a question that could be answered if someone put forward the effort to search for it on their own.

Trust me. I KNOW.

Just because I know and am able to relate to the grouchiness of the community, however, doesn’t mean that its ok. Now is not the time to be snarling at the new and returning players showing interest in XIV. It is easy to be snarky, sarcastic, and crude, but it sends the wrong message about our community that isn’t true when you look past the rocky surface.

I know there are many helpful, interesting, and wonderful people in the community. I know this because I have talked, laughed, and played with some of you. I see what people have done for the community, both small and large. But what if you are a regular person? What if you aren’t someone who has a way of making yourself heard over the cacophony of b.s.? Here is what has helped me take note of some of the people in the community:

1. Be active. But don’t just post meaningless drivel. Quantity is easy. Quality is what is harder, but helps a person stand out even further in the sea of noisy naysayers.

2. Make yourself known. I’ve started to follow certain people because I see their name everywhere! Not only do I see them in the other places I have frequented, but they make thoughtful comments that draw me to take in what they are saying and digest it thoughtfully. They either tweet, blog, podcast, guest, or just comment in other places with the same name. People remember. Give them a reason to remember you, too!

3. Be mindful of your actions. I’ve seen and distanced myself from fairly insane people in the community because of their actions inside and out of the XIV community. Another member of the Zantetsuken team (Hey, Kumo!), also made me aware of this myself when I realized what I was doing was probably as bad as the person I was talking about. I’m not a saint, and I know I have work to do but I would like to think I am at least trying to help better myself not just for myself but for others as well.

4. Ask to participate! Find ways to help! Over a month ago, we asked for help with our site. The response was both surprising and refreshing. I also know for a fact that there are some other sites out there that need help: either monetary, with their wiki, or what have you. Help them. They really do appreciate the help when its given, as Orophen and I have found ourselves continually blessed to be given the opportunity to not just get help but make friends with really awesome people who like XIV.

I am a no one of course. I am surprised if someone knows me, because I don’t expect to be known. I’m just a gal that likes XIV, and just wants to have fun with her interest. I am also terribly shy, but love talking to people about the things I love (and maybe hate). It makes me feel connected to people, when I am normally in such a disconnected state from everyone else. It is why I do what I do, with the passion that I do it with; I get to talk to the people I love and have a whole lot of fun while doing it. In the end, that is what matters most: passion. Have the passion, and people will be able to tell whether you write, draw, talk, or bat your pretty eyes at the lens.