Fireside Discussion: Chapter 1: Kindling an old Flame

Oct 8, 2012


Hey everybody, this is my first fireside post and just to give curious clickers a little dose of what this is going to be about, let me inoculate your doubt by saying this is where the hardcore may venture. I plan to do in depth, lengthy and probably will overstate any social/ethical boundaries with crude humor and biased overly one sided opinions. If that sounds ok, I look forward to seeing you more often. This episode: Kindling an old Flame, its about my first MMORPG experience and a good one.

Chapter 1: The Flame

Final Fantasy has always been a weak spot of mine, laugh, cry I don’t care but I’m gonna let it out in hopes of peaking your interest in trying yet another MMO or getting reacquainted like I did.

I started Final Fantasy XI, 10 years ago!!! and have been back and forth between that game, World of Warcraft and a few freebies along the way and now I am back in the world of Vanadiel, probably for the last time but it’s been a good run. When I started playing I was so pissed that the installation of the game took forever and it was almost an entire day trying to figure it out before I got into the nitty gritty. But after that fateful day I created my first character, an Elvaan Warrior. Not that the job matters that much because other than the starting gear, you can change jobs at the drop of a hat but anyways, he proudly left town in nothing but leather straps and a small sword, looking somewhat sheepish yet nonetheless happy to be adventuring. On my way to 10 I happened across a Nortorious Monster (whom I was unaware of) and promptly died at the young age of level 8. No matter, I got my cousin and we set out together to see what we could muster. Finally felled the beast and as luck would have it, got a wonderful item, the Leaping Boots. I’d seen it all though, I gave them to my cousin and I erased him and later created my pride and joy, the Tarutaru Black Mage. Took him all the way to 50, had every spell and even the macros and dancing moves that all role players playing cute, pint sized, arcane bombdroppers used.

This time around, 9 years later.. I decided to finished my first quest and started Warrior2.0. Since then alot has changed and now my Warrior is lv 80 out of 99 and the game is so much more interesting an accessible to play. First off there are way more specialty items, tons of new pieces of gear and spells and a plethera of new jobs and abilities, not to mention dungeons and areas that I have never been.

Just a side thought here but one of the many reasons why I liked this game is not because it was Final Fantasy but it took time to play, time to get good and always took attention to detail to make it into the higher levels. In other words it never catered to me and spoon fed me content, experience and in game vanity. My reason is simple, when you succeeded in hitting a milestone, whatever that was, it was that much sweeter.

The accessibility is the biggest improvement. Before, other than the bad UI, it was just a grind-fest across many years and in conjunction with the hard work and will of a dedicated leveling group if you wanted to even think about end game content. Now you can solo all the way to the end at least in terms of the “traditional party”, remember flagging looking for group and waiting for 2 hours just to get in a party? Well all that is gone. Also I’d likeĀ  to mention that several items that boost xp have been added, a general boost in xp from monster kills and with a training system that rewards players for killing particular monsters in certain areas, you get even more boosts. These training missions can be completed in any group numbering from 1 to 18 players and only expires if you cancel it or are too low or high to receive the reward for that area.

Another draw is the changes they have made to the look of the game. The new zones are beautiful and the mog house upgrades are nice as well. The Mog House is your own personal piece of the world that you can decorate with quest items or your crafted masterpieces. I made mine look like a hotel and already showed it off to my friends, yes they can enter your house too. It’s even got palm trees!

For leveling they also introduce a new mechanic for lv 75+ jobs, which is called “Moogle Merit Managment” and allows you to adjust your core stats, abilities and even your hit points past what your job, level, race and gear give you. This is a great way to become more involved in your dude or chick I should say and do what I love to do in MMO’s, -> CUSTOMIZE!

When I signed up I got a bonus code for in game items, one of which game me massive experience point boost and another, auto regen and refresh! The game is still $12.99 to play but if you can find a deal like I did, you can download it, play it, get a bonus code and a month subscription for as low as $9.99, you just have to shop around for it. To put that in perspective that is the full game and all the expansions + $12.99 subscription for $10.00.

I plan on playing until I hit 99 and then I’ll most likely retire the game, but hey it’s been good, had alot of fun with it and if you and a buddy enjoy the lore of final fantasy, check this game out! On a side note, there is also a new one if you weren’t aware, Final Fantasy XIV, which didn’t do as well initially, had alot of issues but is much better now. Just a fun fact to let you know, but Final Fantasy XI is the top grossing profit game from the Final Fantasy franchise to date! Just to let you know, alot of MMO’s are really time consuming, you can get into and out of Final Fantasy XI and max out a character in just a few months fairly easily, it is a great short term commitment!

Next week’s episode will be about From Software with information and fanboy nonsense about Demons Souls, Dark Souls and it’s upcoming DLC. Tune in next week.