Catching Fireflies

So whaddaya know. Between speculations of ArenaNet launching a first GW2 expansion, Heart of Thorns (an event that would certainly bring me back to Tyria) and ESO going buy-to-play (an event that most certainly will not bring me back), I managed, with a little help from my friends, to re-instate my decrepit Square-Enix account and jump back into FFXIV:ARR on Cactuar, where bloggers roam.

For now I am happy to smell the roses and enjoy watching my Lalafell Arcanist study her book as she hurls mighty spells at the enemy. I have trusty Carbuncle to keep me company and a world of brooks and windmills to explore. SE got as many things right with this MMO as they got wrong – it’s up to the individual to make it work or not. Leaps and bounds from its predecessor, there is still a cleanness and arrangement to this world that bothers me sometimes, the way the same texture is stamped all over big areas and never alters or how there’s ten paths cutting through green plains when two would do just as well. I miss secrets too, little things to find off the beaten path instead of invisible barriers. Alas, Final Fantasy attracts us by familiarity: the well-known names and places, the quirkiness of its characters, the style of clothing, beautiful animations and of course music.

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And fireflies. In the middle of the night, illuminating the sky. The promise of high adventure is like a lighthouse in the distance, always calling and spurring me on to discover what may lie beyond the next bend of the road. Eorzea or Tamriel, Azeroth or Tyria – Magic is only ever a glance away.

7 comments

  1. “SE got as many things right with this MMO as they got wrong”
    I think that sums up my take for me as well. Square has the best realized worlds in any MMO for me period. However, outside of the cities, it could do with a bit more explorer style layouts. As for the arts assets, the only reuse that bothers me is Sagolii. Way too bland. Still, I find Eorzea to feel like more of a world than GW2 (despite GW2’s more open layout) as the whole comes together a bit more cohesively. All they need now is a better character creator. GW2 puts it to shame.

    1. I’m not sure I prefer GW2’s character creator better honestly – it feels easier to create variety in FF than in GW2 where almost everyone looks like a supermodel. But that’s my opinion!

      I agree the world in FFXIV feels more cohesive and realistic – and that is always great (this is why I adore LOTRO). GW2 overall has the nicer graphics and colors (for me) but the zones don’t come together very well and feel stylized which is also due to their artsy aestethic.

  2. Ah, the allure of familiarity in fantasy. I gave FF14 a very short try late last year and you know what? I liked it. I’m still regretful that Wildstar didn’t adopt a free-to-play model, because I still really want to give that game another go (I enjoyed the beta). But FF14 had just the right amount of familiarity and the adventure felt just about right.

    This post reminds me that I’m still lacking and yearning for a new MMO home.

    1. …and you shall be yearning for it! I think that is our shared predicament. :)
      Give WS another 6 months max and that too, shall go either b2p like ESO or f2p – a matter of time.

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