I’ve been a gamer since I was tiny.
Ever since pong.
I think I was six the first time I played a computer game of some sort. On an Atari. Yes. I’m THAT old. Shhhh. First actual computer was a Commodore 64.
So that means I’ve been gaming with some regularity for probably 35 years? I took a bit of a break from it, only playing games I could easily step away from while the kids were tiny, but in December a lovely person sent me credit to a couple of online gaming sites.
Blizzard, Steam etc. So a friend of mine suggested I try the ‘new’ (lolz, I was behind, okay? It wasn’t that new) Starcraft II. (I REALLY HOPE THEY MAKE A STARCRAFT THREE!!!)
It hooked me back into gaming so hard and fast and I played it through three times on different difficulty levels before starting to look for something else.
Now… you have to think about something. I played MMOs back in University, some 20 years ago, when there was NO VISUAL COMPONENT.
Back then, they were sort of like glorified chat rooms.
So when another friend suggested I try WoW I did the free trial, and yeah. Hooked.
I ran through my trial and never subscribed because there were a few things I REALLY didn’t like about WoW. Just starting out with MMOs, I was not interested in grinding through 100 levels just to get to the good stuff (new content). Then when the game developers made it so damned hard to PLAY as a newbie that I legit couldn’t play without my partner in crime. (hubs) it lost its magic for me. There are some things I miss about WoW, and I may take a break from FFXIV to go back to my Feral at some point, cause I really did love playing it, but… I dunno. Draenor drained me.
A couple of my other friends played other MMOs so they suggested Final Fantasy 14 next.
Lolz, I think the last final fantasy I played was like 4? or 7 maybe? It had been a long damned time anyway.
I did the trial of FFXIV and I am soooooo addicted. I’m so very grateful people are sending me gift cards and crysta so I can KEEP feeding this addiction of mine.
Why do I love it so, though? What does it do for me?
Well, one, it’s just so flipping pretty. The artwork alone makes me happy when I’m playing the game.
Two… it gives me the illusion of traveling. I hate to admit it, but between being disabled, poor as ever living fuck (I mean, our family looks UP to the poverty line and waves fondly at it.) I can’t travel.
I’d love to go to the Carribean, or visit mountains, or see distant lands but as it stands? I can’t. And unless I start selling a metric ton of books, I won’t ever be able to, so the game gives me that. The backgrounds are so gorgeous and realistic, the sound effects so lovely that it *almost* feels real. It gives me a sense of what it MIGHT be like if I COULD travel.
The fantasy storyline is fun. If you come at me with the idea that poor people shouldn’t have fun, then I’ll come back at you with mental health statistics on why poor people, even more than wealthy ones, need some form of pleasure in their lives.
Lolz, I’ve totally already figured out the storyline, I think I had by maybe 1/4 the way through the Main Story Quest line, but that’s irrelevant to me. I can still enjoy it.
I saw the twist around level 48 coming too. But I don’t care. I don’t need fantasy to always be unpredictable. This one being predictable (to me, I AM a writer after all, this is my stock in trade) is a comfort to me.
There aren’t many surprises.
The artwork style for the combat and the drawing style of the animations is a particular style of anime type of illustration that I’ve loved since I was tiny. It’s so gorgeous! It’s flashy and fun and it lets me escape my not so great life when I need it most.
It lets me pretend to have the body that I would have if I had a magic wand. (I play a gender bender, and he’s healthy and able to do things I haven’t been able to do in 20 years, like run, and climb and… yeah.)
When I get bored of fighting, I can go do a crafting mission, when I get bored of crafting, I can do a beast tribe quest (repetitive, but they give me stuff I need). I can eventually buy a house, (which I will likely never be able to do in real life) and I can hang out with other people who like to play it too.
I’m a solitary player for most of these games, but the chat function while playing is actually growing on me.
Lolz, I was joking with a friend of mine (one of the ones who got me into it) about that, because I was SUPER reluctant to try learning to talk to people on games, but I’m getting there. I’m starting to miss it when I *don’t* have someone to talk to when I’m playing.
I’m sure after I finish writing this that I’ll think of a bazillion more reasons why I love Final Fantasy 14, but for now… that’s enough. I’ve blathered for almost 1k words about it already.
I’m always looking for people to talk to while I’m playing, and those who won’t be complete asshats to me when I need to do the dungeons (I… am not good at dungeons, mostly cause I avoid doing them unless I absolutely have to). So feel free to look up my character. I’m Makara Aviyah on there, for now, (lolz, as much as I love it I eventually want to have an alt of each of the different races).
You can find my very sparse profile on Enjin if you want it and I’m always so grateful for people who send me ways (game cards, crysta etc) that helps me keep playing because gods know I can’t really afford it on what little I make as a writer.
Sometimes… you just need a little escape from your life. For me, for now (and probably for as long as I can keep playing) FFXIV is that for me.
And oddly enough, it actually seems to help when I’m stuck with the writing thing. Gaming has always sort of done that for me. But I’m finding that since most of my writing work is speculative fiction of some sort, playing in someone else’s conceptual world helps me come up with mine.
Did I mention that it’s pretty? Lolz.
Oh… and you get to ride a chicken-horse. That eventually learns to fight with you. XD
Did I mention that I’m addicted yet?
All images are from the Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn website.
My username is KaelanRhy on the game, in case you want to find me that way.