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Op-Ed: Just Love for the Game

23 Jun 2010

Compared to what I knew about FFXI, I feel that I have almost a million times more information about FFXIV than I had before starting FFXI.  Post after post is about E3.  Was it disappointing?  A success?  What more did we learn that we didn’t know before?  And on and on.

Statement: I love FFXIV.

Its not here…its not even Beta yet (get your righteous bottom back to Japan Tanaka!)…but the fact remains that I ‘feel’ like I know this game.  I know the ‘core’ attitude that is bringing it to us.  I’ve seen the video game play, trailer releases, etc.  And while I know a lot can, and will, change before it hits the retail shelves, but I know that I already love this game.

So what if E3 didn’t give us every single spoiler we could have dreamed of?  Honestly, after reflecting a little about it, I’m glad they didn’t.  Keeping elements of a game to be explored is by far the most exciting thing to me.  I feel that if I am going to invest some money into playing a game, there should be a sense of newness, adventure, and discovery.

From the main page, the still pictures of the Beta interface – 4 simple little pictures – spoke way more to me than did all the video clips combined.  Amazing graphics, sexy looking world, guildleve system that can be done solo or by massive groups, customizable character depth (did you see all those icons in the skill setup menu?).  The list goes on and on.

The point being (and its a really simple point) – XI was like cutting my teeth on a ‘real’ MMO.  There was a learning curve involved.  It was difficult.  I had grown up with many years of Ultima Online and Everquest, spent time with Ragnarok and WoW.  FFXI however, had a edge to it that none of the others didn’t.  To me, and perhaps it was just to me, but XI felt more like the Grown-up version of all I knew i liked about playing games.  It was challenging, you couldn’t master everything in just a week or so, and the land was vast and challenging to navigate at times.  It made you feel like there was a sense of accomplishment.

FFXIV has all the appearances of what I loved about XI, and what I wished was perhaps different.  Game play appears a little swifter, progression isn’t limited to sitting at an auction house spamming “LFG”.  Questing appears more dynamic.  There will still be the curve.  Knowledge = power in MMOs.  It always has.  But with a community such as ours, knowledge is shared and we all grow stronger for it.  Like many others, I’m chomping at the bit to dive in and begin the journey.  In my opinion, SE has done a great job of offering bits of knowledge, spinning the rumor mill, and engaging all of our senses with hopes and desires about what we see and believe to be coming our way.  Forget what we know.  Forget E3.  Forget the posts and speculations, the “could be” and “what-ifs”.  Our time is coming…painfully slow it seems, but coming.  We will have our day and I am already in love with something that has yet to fully become what it will be.

Statement: I love FFXIV.