Final Fantasy XIV: Social distancing with MMOs and keeping sane during the quarantine


I guess you can say it began with a 30 day trial, but I was hooked by Day 14. I’ve always wanted to get into a game where I was overwhelmed, but I could still go at my own pace and I’ve always wanted to play an MMORPG. 

You can say the fascination began with the .hack video games series. It’s a game about an MMORPG called The World. One day people who died in the game started falling into comas, but that’s besides the point. It was an MMORPG simulation game where your party members were other players. Super cool idea! 

It was also around that time that Final Fantasy XI was coming out on the PS2, and I knew that I was not going to play it, at least for awhile (spoiler alert, I still haven’t played it to this day) but I wanted to get on the MMO train as soon as I could. We had a Compaq computer at the time that could barely run The Sims. I was also in Jr High at the time, with no income and I was only allowed to play video games on the weekends. It sucked. 

I finally did get my first computer at the age of 18, and even then it was a base BASE model Dell laptop. It could play games at the lowest graphics setting. But I was able to play my first MMO a year later. It was called Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine. It was super fun, I played with a really good friend of mine for a little bit. My character had a shotgun as a weapon and I dabbled a little with micro transactions. 

But then the Dell crashed and life happened

I followed Final Fantasy XIV closely whenever A Realm Reborn was coming out and wanted to get the really cool special edition (the one with the artbook) but I didn’t mostly because it felt weird playing an MMORPG on the console. I finally got a chance to play the trial version about 2 ½ years ago, and I couldn’t get the grasp of the controls. I created a very boring looking human character and it was hard to manage everything with a controller and not a keyboard and mouse. 

This year I finally got a desktop computer, courtesy of my fiance. So the first thing I wanted to do was try FFXIV. Honestly, I was split between FFXIV or Phantasy Star Online 2. I figured that since I’ve always wanted to play a Final Fantasy MMO, why not start with the free trial. 


So my first character was created. His name was Dutch Fairgen, I use the term “was” because I don’t use him anymore. He was a tank and I really didn’t enjoy that role seeing as I just started and DPS was more my thing. I also didn’t really like the first server I chose. But I will never forget the first time I tried a FATE quest out. There was this player that was standing a few yards away but he was watching me fight these crab creatures and whenever I got down to a certain point in my health, he would heal me. I definitely thought he was an NPC, but after I beat the FATE he left and I followed to thank him. I didn’t catch up to him though. 

At that point I knew that there was no turning back. 

After I got my chocobo, I decided to stop with Dutch and created a new character on a different server. With Dutch being in Limsa (pretty city). I decided to choose Gridania next, which is my favorite city in the game so far (I also created a third character for the Ul’dah experience but will hold off on him until the new patch comes out). I’m not a fan of Ul’dah, it’s hard to get to all of the important places. Plus deserts aren’t fun!

Carmen Bardeaux was created and he is my main character that I use. I chose the archer class because I like keeping the distance (social distance fighting, FTW). After he was created the game started to open up, as I was already familiar with how things were set up when I played as Dutch. The story of A Realm Reborn is amazing. I loved taking on any quest I could find. I loved the Archer missions. I loved the grind of fishing and leather working. I got my chocobo for Carmen as well and dressed him up in the Setzer attire. 

One of my favorite places was the Golden Saucer and Leap of Faith was a love/hate relationship. A lot of time was spent there, and I did beat that damn Yojimbo game. 

I enjoyed the dungeons and trials as a DPS because there’s less stress. I might go back to a tank class but not right now. After I became a Bard, I decided that my next goal would be the Machinist class. Ever since Final Fantasy XII, I thought Balthier looked cool with his guns. So I grinded through the ARR campaign, enjoying every minute of it. I even joined a Free Company and I’m still there to this day. They’re all super cool people. I remember getting just random invites and declining them because it felt like spam. But one day, this player (the FC leader) was like, hey, wanna join my Free Company and I joined. 

I remember beating the main campaign of ARR shortly after I joined the FC. I started the post game story line, WHICH TOOK FOREVER. I noticed that enemies were hitting me harder, my attacks did less damage, and I kept dying a lot more as a bard. So I switched to the Samurai class and completed the rest of the post-campaign (I loved the Game of Thrones style ending). One of my favorite moments was completing Thornmarch though, and how batshit insane that fight got whenever the battle entered the 2nd phase. Plus the music threw my whole battle rhythm off. 

After, FINALLY, starting Heavensward, I went straight to the mission that starts the Machinist class. It sucked going back to Level 30, but I sure as hell did the grind and got back to Level 50 four days later. 

With Heavensward, I’m taking it slow, taking in the sights and doing every side quest I can. It’s a time commitment, but I don’t mind it and the game is definitely worth the $15 monthly fee. With my Machinist, I learned about glamour and dye and Carmen looks pretty badass at this point (look at him). I taught my chocobo to fly this morning and that has made exploration a lot easier. Now I just need to get those aether currents and do side quests in The Sea of Clouds. 

I definitely want to post more frequently about my experiences with this game so I’m gonna try it out. I definitely have the free time being in quarantine and whatnot. This also makes me want to revisit the Final Fantasy series in its entirety. I started playing the first Final Fantasy game today so I might post my thoughts on each game. We’ll see. 

Anyway, thanks for reading. I’m on the Diabolos server if you ever want to meet up. Hope you all have a great day!

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