Final Fantasy XIV.
Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn is a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) developed by Square Enix, with Naoki Yoshida as producer and director. The game was developed for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 and was released worldwide on August 27, 2013. The first expansion, titled Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, was released on June 23, 2015 and the game's second expansion, titled Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, released on June 20, 2017.
The game first launched on September 30, 2010 as Final Fantasy XIV Online. While the game had stunning graphics and music, the game itself received an overwhelmingly negative response from both the critics and fans as the gameplay and interface left an impression of the game being unfinished. The backlash resulted in Square Enix suspending subscription fees and indefinitely postponing the PlayStation 3 release. The development team leadership was replaced with Naoki Yoshida where he decided to make marginal improvements to the game before shutting down the servers in November 2012 in favor of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, an entirely new version of the game.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, five years after the events of the original game. At the conclusion of FFXIV, the primal dragon Bahamut escapes from its lunar prison to initiate the Seventh Umbral Calamity, an apocalyptic event which destroys much of Eorzea. Through the gods' blessing, the player character escapes the devastation by time traveling five years into the future. As Eorzea recovers and rebuilds, the player must deal with the impending threat of invasion by the Garlean Empire from the north.
Honestly, I never once thought I would EVER get into this game. I was already heavily involved in another MMO––known as World of Warcraft––but I don't think that was the reason behind this thought. Final Fantasy is a series I've had friends try to get me into so many times. I have played my fair share of them in the past, namely 1, 3, 10, 12, and Revenant Wings (not in that order I might add), but not once did I ever complete any of them. With the exception of 3, I couldn't entirely get into them enough to want to go back to finish them (3 I just ended up doing something stupid like accidentally saving over my almost complete game data with a new game). So what makes Final Fantasy XIV so different? Why am I so obsessed with it? I have my theories on this.
FFXIV is a game that allows you create and customize your own character, which then serves as your avatar, as you journey through Eorzea and make a name for yourself. The game draws me in and every choice I make impacts ME. Everything that happens makes me feel like I'm a part of it and I feel like the characters I meet along the way are actually my friends. Okay, that probably sounds stupid, but I love games that make me feel like I'm part of the story and emotionally draw me in. I've spent more nights than I care to admit staying up until wee hours of the morning because of how emotionally invested I feel toward the story and the characters. I just don't want to stop, even when I really should and go to bed, eheh... All of the characters are just so wonderful that I can't help but become emotionally invested in each and every single one of them. Also, the music is so incredibly amazing. I absolutely adore it! I find myself listening to it a lot when I'm not playing, and if there is a song I don't like in-game I'll listen to one I do like instead. Have I ever mentioned how much I love video game music by the way?
Of course, this game isn't without its frustrations either. This game forces you to follow through a main story quest, and while it isn't all bad, sometimes you end up at parts of the story that require you to run a dungeon or trial in order to move forward. If you are a tank or healer class it isn't so bad, but as a dps you can sometimes be waiting a while, which can be anywhere from five minutes to one hour depending on the time of day (I mostly play at night so sometimes I can be waiting a while). It can also be somewhat intimidating also to run a dungeon I have never run before which sometimes results in me not running it or putting it off. You also can't jump around and quest wherever you want, instead being required to follow a single linear path. It's not all bad, but when you're an altoholic like me and can't stick to a single character, you notice it. I'm trying to resist the urge to make a bunch of characters but sometimes it's difficult. I just like to experience things from different perspectives is all. Despite these annoyances, however, I always find myself itching to come back and continue playing so it can't be all bad. I'm going to blame the friends I've made in FFXIV because all of them are so incredibly amazing and supportive. If not for them I'd have probably quit a long time ago. TL;DR Final Fantasy XIV is amazing and I love it.
My main character.
Meet Astra Lee. She has been my main in FFXIV since December 2015. Although she was not my first character she is the one I mainly play. Chances are you may have seen her running around the Exodus server, but then again maybe not. Who knows? You're likely going to see her pop up a few times around the site, so why not take a moment to introduce you to her? Astra is a Keeper of the Moon Miqo'te and I like to main Summoner with her. I also enjoy playing Astrologian, Bard, Dragoon, and White Mage on her. Originally she was a Midlander Hyur, but due to several people in the Free Company going kitty, for whatever reason I don't even know or remember anymore, I eventually ended up caving into the pressure and switching too. Now I'm not allowed to change back ahaha! I've been tempted to switch back several times, just because I sometimes have a hard time with change, but I think after this long she's stuck kitty forever.
Here's a fun fact: Astra's miqo'te appearance was actually used by the very first character I created when I started playing FFXIV. It's pretty cool how things turned out. It's like, I still get to use my original character, even though her name is different––well first name anyway, last name is the same. Something else too, her name is a play on the word "astrally", although I'll admit this was not intentional. The original intention was a combination of the name of my favorite Sorceress hero from the game Heroes of Might and Magic II and my middle name. It was just an awesome coincidence that I totally adore. I don't know if anyone else has noticed it but oh well.
If you are interested in finding out more about Astra, other characters I play, or more of my gaming experiences then check out Starcaller, my MMO site.