I have cancelled my Final Fantasy XI account...
I can still remember my first days in Final Fantasy XI all those years ago.
I joined up on the PS2 right before the launch of Chains of Promathia- the game was a birthday present for me.. which I also picked out. I had enjoyed playing Phantasy Star Online on my Dreamcast and I had been a fan of the Final Fantasy series so an online Final Fantasy title on the PS2 felt like a natural progression for me.
My first hours mostly involved me dying a lot and wondering why potions were so expensive. I remember asking anyone I could find "how do I heal!?!"... I was quite the noob.
Shortly after, I can remember getting an iPod as a high school graduation present and then after that, I stumbled upon the FFXI podcast Mega Elixir. After hearing the first episode I had become hooked, immediately sending in e-mails with ideas I had for the show. (you know that whole reading e-mails on FFXI podcasts thing? That segment was totally my idea!) Mega Elixir was run by ogaming.com which eventually got absorbed into ZAM.com- the hosts of the podcast left and formed what would be bethegamer.com and being an enthusiastic and frequent guest to the show, I was asked to come on board along with Steak to start what would be known as Pet Food Alpha. A few websites transfers, additional hosts, and 7 years later, we are here.
Final Fantasy XI isn't the sexy long legged Mithra on the street corner of Aht Urhgan like she once was, although part of me feels the game has never been in better hands with Akihiko Matsui at the helm, I feel that it may be to late in the games life to make any difference.
Today I logged in and there were only 755 people on my server. None of whom I knew. My friends are all but gone from this game, having left years ago, or moved on to the more attractive younger sister of FFXI, FFXIV. This is what I will be moving onto as well.
I have the utmost respect for Naoki Yoshida who has shown more passion for his work and more love for the community than I can ever remember seeing with the team behind FFXI. I'm excited for Final Fantasy XIV because I know that Yoshida is at the helm and that he loves what he's doing, and loves the people he's doing it for.
I've met countless friends and shared infinitely more memories over the past 8 or so years that I've been playing Final Fantasy XI, and over the past 7 years hosting Pet Food Alpha. It's hard to even remember what life was like before getting FFXI and becoming a part of this wonderful community. I am truly sad to have cancelled my account after all of these years given how large a part Final Fantasy XI has had in my life, but then I think about how many more great people i'll meet, and how many more wonderful memories i'll create in the realm of Eorzea.
If you ever visited our websites or listened to PFA, I would like to offer a deep and sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would have never imagined when we started out that we would have ever come as far as we have. You are all the reason why I've done this and it means the world that the show was able to help entertain and inform you.
As it currently stands, episode 300 of Pet Food Alpha could very well be the last. We're currently in talks to see what we'll do moving forward.
If there is anyone out there that is still playing FFXI on a regular basis and would be interested in being a part of Gamer Escape please get in contact with me.