I should be playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on my PlayStation 3 right about now. Instead, I'm doing something I haven't done in almost a month: writing a blog. This blog's purpose is to announce that I've quit Final Fantasy XIV. I have been playing the game excessively since launch, only having a few weeks of periodical breaks to play my Xbox One and PS4. After the 2.1 patch, the game has sucked back into the world of Eorzea.
I was excited to play the game again. New dungeon roulettes added life into the daily dungeon grind for philosophy and mythology tomestones to buy job-specific armor. New beast tribe quests appeared that you could do on a daily basis. Just weeks before the 2.1 patch, I mastered all crafting jobs to 50. I left the guild I was with to join the remnants of a guild I was once part of and began to work my ass off to save money for our free company housing. I did this. I did that. And then I realized... same shit, different grind. I shouldn't be playing this game anymore.
The speed of this realization was remarkable. Just yesterday, I was so excited to get another piece of armor to being my item level average to 88, just two shy of the 90 cap. Just yesterday, I remarked to guild members how happy I was to help them make things. Just yesterday, I realized I had made over two million gil so far. Today when I came home for lunch, I logged on, put all items in the company chest, deposited the two million plus gil, said goodbye, logged off for the last time, deleted my character and deleted my game. The suddenness and the amazement of my whim to quit actually jerked a few tears from my eyes and I was dealing with what I was doing. I was giving up my virtual life, an extension of myself that I created to escape to. I no longer had that world.
That is a good thing.
That world has kept me from enjoying what I love most. Playing OTHER games. It has also kept me from watching movies of which I have several still sealed, something I never used to do. It has kept from reading. It has kept me from visiting sites on the Internet. It has kept me from my responsibilities. It has become FFXI all over again. Once I realized that, the fact that I could no longer moderate myself with FFXIV like I used to do at the start, I realized the only way off the train was to jump. The other part of me was trying to rationalize. "Lucas, don't do it! Think of all the time you spent on your character! Just take a break! This is senseless!" But for an addict, that is the worst kind of thinking. You can't moderate yourself. You have to quit, or you never will.
I actually did love the game up to a point. I thought it was far better paced than Final Fantasy XI. You didn't have to rely on people as much in order to level your character. You could solo all the way up to 50 if you wanted to. It made it seem like you could just hop on whenever you wanted, play a little and log off. It's when I beat the game that I realized I didn't want to play it anymore, but my addiction was setting which kept me playing. The end game content was designed very poorly, as I guess it is with most MMOs. Run the same damn dungeons over and over again to grind for currency to gear out your character. I felt like I had to keep grinding because I didn't want people getting ahead of me equipment wise. Then there was the whole saving up for guild housing, so I was busting my butt trying to earn enough gil to afford a house.
This isn't what a video game should be. You should never feel compelled to play a game because you have to. You should play a game because you want to. It should never feel like work. A chore. An obligation. You should never schedule your life around a video game. This is what was happening to me. I was even asked to be in a static to run The Binding Coil of Bahamut, a dungeon where some of the best gear dropped, every week. I'm glad I was able to say no so easily. Made quitting a lot easier. This is the problem with MMOs and why FFXIV will be the last I'll play.
Games shouldn't be services. They shouldn't hang a carrot over your head, having you grind the same thing over and over again, hoping to reach it. Games should end. This isn't even about MMOs, but little cheap cellphone games as well. The games that have you waiting two days for an egg to hatch, hoping your impatience will get the better of you and you'll drop a few dollars for gems to speed up the process. Games need to be fun, genuinely.
Titanfall releases in a couple of months and I can't say that I actually give a shit. It looks awesome as all hell... except for the bit about it being multiplayer only. Is that a bad thing? In a way, it is. It's bad because I don't want to have to feel obligated to buy the game at launch and keep playing it as much as I can before the player base dwindles and moves on to something else. Or, I don't want to pick it up six months later, and get creamed by people who do nothing but play Titanfall since launch. I want to enjoy the damn game at my own pace, which it will not let me do. I want Titanfall to end, which it will only end when enough people stop playing it. And when that happens, Titanfall will not only end, it will die. Years down the line, no one can play Titanfall... because no one does.
Does anyone not see what's wrong with that? Why multiplayer-only games SHOULD NOT EXIST? You can listen to any piece of music no matter how old. You can watch a movie, no matter how old. If it still holds together, you can read extremely old books, centuries old. Video games are the ONLY source of entertainment that contain titles that CANNOT be enjoyed because NO ONE is using them anymore. MMOs and mutliplayer-only games become relics. This is why Final Fantasy XI and XIV as MMORPGs were mistakes. This is why the very genre of MMO is a mistake. You die in video games. Video games themselves are not supposed to DIE.
Sorry for going off on a bit of a tangent there, but it was somewhat related. At least I could say that I saw Final Fantasy XIV's main scenario ending. I consider a game beaten when I see the end credits, and I've seen that. Never did see it with Final Fantasy XI. I really can't say I want anymore more from the game now. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was released on August 27th, 2013. But on January 15th, 2014, I was released.