It’s amazing what a week of maintenance and a long night of patching can do to a swamped game. Ever since SE took down their servers for an extended period of time, and fixed an array of population related problems, my log in experience has been stellar. Wait queues have been short, and I haven’t been kicked from a game for no apparent reason all week. Whether this means a lot of people haven’t come back after the first week, I notice a lot of names in my Free Company that have been away for several days; or SE has recovered nicely, I have been progressing nicely.
A conversation last night made me question progression in MMOs and FFXIV in particular. A lot of people have reached max level already; 50. This isn’t unheard of.
There is always a Red Bull fueled biomass of carefree gamers pressed up against a release window like rabid fans at a metal concert. They blast blindly through content, pushing their level bar to the top, over and over through countless exp % boosts until it won’t budge any further. Now they sit atop a mountain of hallow experiences grasping in the dark for something to satiate the waning adrenaline.
How do these people stabilize?
I have heard that some people do this to get a taste of the content before they start anew, saving their maxed out persona for things to come while they sip appreciatively on the content the second time around. This sounds alright, but frankly I’ve never cared for binge gaming as it burns me out all together.
In World of Warcraft, people often told me that the game didn’t start until you reached max level. The end game content IS the game and those 60 levels, max at the time, were merely an extended tutorial for the wonderful things to come. I don’t suspect FFXIV has that much of a supported end game yet. Some day it will, and by then I should be able to partake.
Until then, I am currently working an Arcanist up to 15 so I can pick up the White Mage job. I have my Conjurer at 30 already, but mistakenly leveled a Thaumaturge to 15 hoping for the same result. It doesn’t seem to work that way. Fortunately, hunting logs and FATEs have made those 15 levels quite easy to obtain. I also left a lot of lower level quests in regions outside of my home Gridania for just this purpose.
I’m enjoying the Arcanist more than I thought I would. It seems to have a unique level of multitasking while doing solo quests that the other Disciples of Magic up to this point lack. I feel this class would eventually push me to move over to the keyboard and mouse, due to the desire to micromanage my pet, but I planned to move over soon enough as any class’s traits will inevitably reach the point where efficiency and skill would be sacrificed. SE has done a great job of incorporating the controller into the UI, and for as unique of a feeling it is, I can’t give up on it too quickly.
Now that technical difficulties have been diminished, I look forward to the new trials to come.