It was sometime in October of 2010 when I was just a little kid, asking for this
copy of Final Fantasy XIV at a JB Hi-Fi in a West-Auckland mall. My mom asked, "Are you sure this is what you want?" Needless to say, I was 100% certain. The Sony Vaio laptop that my grandpa got me whirred like crazy as I created my first ever Miqo'te character, which at the time could only be female. I entered the world of Eorzea for the first time, and not only was it virtually unplayable, it was empty. No one was around to accompany me, despite the fact that it was meant to be an MMORPG, and I couldn't do anything all by myself.
Last week, I logged onto Final Fantasy XIV in order to ensure that my beautiful house
designed by a wonderful friend of mine wouldn't be destroyed by the same company that extracted 11€ to 13€ from me regularly over the past 13 years. No one was around to accompany me, despite the fact that it was meant to be an MMORPG, and I couldn't do anything all by myself.
I am a legacy player, not only because I was one of the first to play this game, but also because I am one of the last people in my social group leaving this game. Final Fantasy XIV was a paramount part of my life for a very long time; it was responsible for experiences and knowledge regarding love, hate, language acquisition, socialization, loneliness and, of course, the considerably anorexic state of my worn-out wallet.
For all the reasons that I adore this game, I despise it just as much.
For all the amazing people I met online, I came across a thousand more degenerates.
For all the fan service the game had, it botched so many more collaborations.
For all the success and money Square Enix made off of this game, the more abject pieces of garbage had been developed by the same company.
There are many personal reasons for my quitting Final Fantasy XIV, but I believe there is one particularly noteworthy stance that I am taking in doing so. I firmly believe that video games, as well as their developers, and even the players themselves have all been becoming lazier. Nowadays, there is generally less appreciation for storytelling, but a continuing drive for companies to just simply maximize profit. It is now shockingly common to find some cut corners or blatant indifference towards the production of quality entertainment. Maybe I am just becoming more cynical or difficult to please as I hit my mid-twenties, but I fail to appreciate or even accept most of the recent trends in video game culture.
Yes, the main scenarios of both Shadowbringers
were quite praiseworthy, but everything really began falling apart and becoming a convoluted mess as soon as Heavensward finished. That was over seven years ago. I met friends who became the sole reason for me to keep playing, so once they all began disappearing, I stopped subscribing regularly. The plot of the game as a whole became unnecessarily nonsensical, and the only interesting storylines could be found in optional content. My favourites are and will always be Alexander and and VIIth Imperial Legion quests, as they not only touched on my favourite themes of all time, but also really pulled at my heartstrings. However, there was a six-year gap between those two sets of quests, and I haven't experienced something similar to either over the last two years.
I have talked a lot about all the wonderful friends I made in my thirteen-year journey. I have even discussed the plot and characters of the game, as well as the state of Square Enix quite a bit too. But I would like to dedicate this farewell to my own character – my other self
For many years, I was him and he was me. Yes, I’m much taller than him, but he has the looks I wish I had to make up for it. I made him an honourable and kind-hearted knight and paladin, and in turn, he is the one who made me an honourable and kind-hearted knight and paladin in real life. His legacy will be reflected in my success as someone who has truly grown out of the video game.
I observe this new generation of players, and truly hope they find what I found in Eorzea, but I would also like to warn them not to invest too much of their time, money and/or emotions into Final Fantasy XIV. Your real life, friends and family are out there; your money has better uses for sure; who you are is defined by much more than MMORPGs. Eorzea may help you find out more about yourself and what you appreciate in gaming or storytelling or socialization, but do not let yourself become lost in a company’s neoliberal scheme. Hopefully, you can find happiness in a world filled with many more exhilarating and meaningful opportunities and challenges than the one on a screen.
I loved you, Final Fantasy XIV. You may have played a significant role in my past, but there is no place for you in my present or future. Hopefully, you will not be missed.
I will utilize the experiences I have gained from you to help me surpass any level cap in the real world.Bye!