So, in case you somehow haven’t heard, Asmongold, a famous WOW diehard streamer, played Final Fantasy 14 for the very first time and it was interesting, to say the least. The events that occurred, while benign to most, may have a negative impact on potential players who were tempted to give the game a shot and are now giving it a pass after seeing how the FFXIV community acted. Let me just say that this game is definitely not filled to the brim with jerks. There are of course some but Asmongold’s experience was a rare occurrence, let me explain.
First Day Blues
Let’s start with a quick recap of the events I’ll be referencing. Starting July 3rd, 2021, Asmongold tried out the “rival” to his long-term MMO of choice World of Warcraft. This stream was a long time coming and had been hyped by lots of games media, YouTube influencers, as well as the streamer himself in various ways. As he wrapped up the opening tutorial quests and was pushed out of the single-player instance “womb”, the en masse onslaught began.
Asmongold found himself surrounded by hundreds of players that spammed emotes, actions, and everything possible to drown him in both adoration and perceived humiliation. This continued well into his first quests in the shared instance world and didn’t seem to let up the whole time. However, while the streamer was essentially bombarded by love and hate at every single corner, hampering their play, a more insidious act was occurring in the background.
Players took to performing yells (communication that allows players to shout across a whole city regardless of subzone location) with the intent of trolling or just spreading toxic, xenophobic, and otherwise unsavory comments to their own pleasure. Yells ranged from hate towards current FFXIV players who used to play WOW to players who still play WOW saying not to come to “their game”. It was a sight familiar to Fox News viewers on a good day. That said, this was a case of a vocal, hateful, minority trying to “preserve their game” and not the voice of the majority of players who want you and everyone else you know to join our favorite game and actually enjoy it.
A Note From a Final Fantasy 14 Veteran
I’ve played Final Fantasy 14 since the 2.0 beta way back in 2013. That’s right, almost eight years of my life have been spent playing this game. After all this time, I felt genuinely embarrassed by the community this weekend as that’s definitely not the consensus amongst most players. In fact, most players think the exact opposite.
When I used to raid back when the level cap was 50, most of my in-game compatriots were former WOW players. Days were filled with hard battles as we struggled to prog through Bahamut then Alexander, lots of laughs as we shared innuendos, and celebrations for real-life achievements. All of us were of different races, different sexual orientations, lived in different parts of the world (well the USA and Canada since it was on the North American Server), and had different backgrounds but all were united for a single cause. At the heart of Final Fantasy 14 is a theme of unification and players tend towards sharing this ideal even if they don’t intend to.
Luckily, our group wasn’t the minority in the FFXIV community. No matter who you are or where you are from, someone will want to gear up and do battle with you or just dance around in Limsa Lominsa while listening to some tunes. As mentioned before, yes there are asshats but for the most part, the community at large is accepting and wanting you to succeed in whatever you do in the game.
Here’s a great example. During the time Asmongold plugged up the Cactuar server, I was playing on the Midgardsormr server leveling up Bard. The way servers are connected is through a hub called a data center within the game. Midgard happens to be in the same data center as Cactuar so a lot of our players were able to head over to see Asmongold but the majority just continued on with their day. I entered multiple dungeons, journeyed through different cities, and encountered thousands of players along the way. The whole time, there was not one hateful word being broadcasted and even as some dungeons started off, players took it on themselves to explain all the details to the newbies that were present. This is a far more common occurrence than what happened over the weekend.
While that isn’t the greatest data point, I’m hoping to point out that not all players are looking to cause you grief, in fact, most are looking to do the exact opposite. If this has convinced you to give it another shot, let me give you a bit more to consider when starting out.
How to Enjoy Your Time In Final Fantasy 14 When Starting Out
Alright, so if you’ve made it this far, I may have convinced you to give it a go, right? If so, here are some quick tips that I follow that really make and have made a difference when just starting out in Final Fantasy 14.
- Ignore the meta – When you’re starting off the game, it’s really tempting to go and find the subreddit and read up on how to be a good healer or tank, etc. Remember that most of the advice given does not apply until you’ve learned the basics of the role and job you’ve chosen. For example, healers are told to focus on doing damage the whole time during a dungeon but don’t forget that the healer’s primary role is to keep the party alive. No one will ever complain about a healer that does no damage but keeps everyone up to 100% but they will complain if you let the party die over and over trying to meet the meta you learned before you’re ready. Okay, so some people will complain but that brings me to number 2.
- Ignore the haters – Communication is paramount to success in Final Fantasy 14 raids and dungeons. However, some people literally don’t know what they’re talking about or want to push their own ideas of how to play on to you and can be ignored. A good example is when players refuse to acknowledge that new people need to learn the game first before they learn the optimal way to play. These players will often ask you as a tank to pull a whole lot more when you’re not comfortable or as a healer to do more damage when you haven’t learned how to heal. DON’T LISTEN TO THEM. As long as you’re fulfilling your role correctly, you are fine; Keep calm and carry on. Use the blacklist and busy functions if you can’t stand the words that are coming out of their mouth. You can always use the “I’m new, I’m just learning the basics” card if things get hairy and someone will definitely help you out from there.
- Take your time – Rushing to reach the end of the current content is something a lot of combat-focused players do as they want to be at the top of the meta. However, this game is designed to take time and the longer you take to reach the end, the more you will enjoy your time in the world. The Final Fantasy 14 main story is well written, mostly voice acted, and very entertaining (after A Realm Reborn wraps up) so rushing through it may ruin your time. Similarly, buying the quick level 60 from the store will skip you ahead but you won’t know how to play your class as well as if you took the time to really dive in and get your muscle memory up. Needless to say, after eight years, I wish I had taken this advice on a lot of the job quests as watching them now, I missed out on a lot. Oh, and if you have a cutscene before a dungeon or boss, watch it fully. Most of the time no one can move so enjoy your story and players will understand.
Here’s Hoping We All Learn Something Here
As a community, Final Fantasy 14 is growing at a tremendous rate but events like this scare me for the future as we start to steer towards being outwardly toxic. I’m hoping though that this recap of Asmongold’s event, the rundown of my experiences, and the tips I shared for enjoying your time will entice you to give this amazing game a try. You’re going to bump into some weird things during your journey as well as some that could be hurtful, but I know if you find a group of friends you can enjoy the game with or remember the people who are happy to help you along the way, you’ll have an amazing time!