(I’ve Been) A Bard, Mage, Knight,

and I’ve been working like a dog.

As I mentioned yesterday, Final Fantasy XIV is still the new shiny toy that has been occupying most of my non-Lombax-related gaming time, and there are a few reasons for this which I will now drone on about at length.

First, of course, is that it lets me play as a catgirl in a pretty dress with a unicorn mount and a fairy pet, a statement which I feel needs to be followed up with a drastic and definite defense of my masculinity. Perhaps I will watch the football and drink the beers. I may belch.

Second, as I’ve mentioned before, it addresses one of my biggest pet peeves with MMOs, the bit where you can make the wrong choice at character creation and find out, months later, that you should have chosen something that would be more in demand. You can learn any of the game’s 13 “jobs” (other games call them classes, and FFXIV does have the concept of classes, so it gets a little confusing) and switch between them at will, so you never wind up benched. In addition, even once you switch to a specific class, you can make use of a small set of skills from other classes, as long as you’ve played that other job enough to earn the skill.

That being said, if your character’s primary function can be summed up as “dps”, it can take a little longer to get groups than if you are a tank or healer. We’re talking maybe a 15 minute wait here, though, not the hours-at-a-time sitting at the Sebilis zoneline of Kunark-era Everquest.

Because flexibility is such a focus, I wound up getting three separate jobs to the level cap (50) and then had to grind a couple of other classes into the low 30s to pick up a couple of skills from those classes. Now, I can fill any hole in a group, and if I wind up sitting on the sidelines, it will be because I’m either not very GOOD at a particular function, or because my gear isn’t up to the challenge.

For the record, that’s level 50 in Warrior, White Mage, and Bard, 34 in Scholar and Lancer, then 26 in Thaumaturge, 22 in Gladiator, and 15 in Pugilist. That’s a lot of grinding, but I am very happy with the outcome.

Another point in FFXIV’s favor is that it has very small group sizes. Regular dungeon groups are four people, most instanced raids are eight people, a very very few raids actually use “Alliances” of 24 people. I haven’t done any of the 24-player raids yet, but queuing for the 8s so far has been reasonably quick and painless, even as DPS. The only downside is that two years of mudflation lets the player base steamroll over most of the level 50 content without paying TOO much attention to mechanics, so there are raids I’ve done a half-dozen times and still have no idea how the script is supposed to work.

Yes, this is me admitting that I have frequently gotten into a raid and spent most of the time trying to dodge the OBVIOUS fire on the ground while co-incidentally being carried through by the other seven players who DO know what they’re doing. I have limited shame.

It ALSO, and I think at this point I have gushed almost-but-not-quite enough, ALSO means that my wife and I, and a friend from work and HIS wife, can do all of the single group content without needing to mix with strangers. It’s a remarkably relaxing way to play an MMO.

I think I’ll try to make this my last WOO FFXIV IS SO AMAZE post for a while. It’s coming close to the end of October and I wanted to at least try to play through a couple of horror games this month.

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