Spring has come! At least, it has in Minnesota where this letter is being written. It’s also arrived in Eorzea, with the annual Ladies’ Day Festival drawing to a close. And with Spring, comes new growth, which is not only happening within the game, and the expectation of a new expansion, but also within our Free Company, which has continued to grow, and is showing no signs of stopping. I mentioned this to my wife the other day, and how one week we had made it into the top 3 FC’s on Hyperion, and she made a comment about how it makes a statement in a way, as to how attractive nice people are lol. We’ve not made it a priority within our FC to only have the best geared players, or players who had beaten the latest raids, and we don’t push people to level quickly at a pace they’re not comfortable with, or to perform at a certain standard. Instead, we’ve taken off all the pressure, and just encouraged everyone to be helpful, nice, and respectful. And it definitely DOES make a statement, that when you focus on building a quality community, it makes people want to stay, which in turn increases your numbers, which in turn raises your standings. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by all of you people who realize this, and have turned this game into a home I can come to at the end of every night.
This concept of a home to come to every night has been accented by some recent news concerning the future of FFXI. Now, this news hasn’t been released yet, only that SE is going to have a press conference in a few days, so it will most likely be released by the time you’re reading this and you’ll all know what it is. But it’s gotten me guessing what SE could be about to reveal in this upcoming press conference. The two things I can think of right off that bat are that either FFXI is being shutdown, or that it’s going F2P. And when I thought of FFXI going down it made me pause. It made me pause because even though I’ve already grieved about never going back to that game, that the game is nothing like the way it used to be and never will, there’s still an infinitely small part of me that hangs on to the hope that as long as the game exists there is that home I once had that I can one day go back to. That there is some emotional connection I have to even just the placement of the rocks, trees, animals, cities, npc’s, etc, and as long as those things exist that emotional connection is maintained.
This emotional connection was never realized fully while I was playing the game. There were so many times I’d just want my chocobo to run faster, or just get super bored because a notorious monster wasn’t spawning fast enough, or that there was too much distance to cover running around to fulfill certain quest requirements. And those feelings are the same sorts of feelings I get in FFXIV, when I’m trying to run to the next FATE, or get to the next Hunt Mark, or do the relic grind, or whatever it may be. Since that announcement came out though, and as I’ve been thinking about what it will mean to me when FFXI goes down permanently, I’ve come to the realization that I need to consciously appreciate every moment I have in FFXIV because one day, these same feelings I have with FFXI closing will be the same that I have about FFXIV. One day I’ll be sitting in a chair, reminiscing about the good times we had here, wanting those days to be back.
I’ll sit there remembering that FC house we all had, or how Riku used to create obstacle courses jumping on the furniture. I’ll remember how Vik was always testing his dps out on that dummy, or how Kamel was always afk in front of the retainer bell. It’ll make me smile remembering how many alts Robo had, or how TW looked at his and Vik’s wedding. One day I’ll remember what it was like to see the sunset in Western Thanalan, or the starry night sky with Ul’dah shining in the background. One day I’ll remember the lively forests of Gridania, with the familiar water wheel grinding away at the Adventurer’s Guild, the oily skies of Mor Dhona, and the cerulean seas of Costa Del Sol. I could go on and on, there are so many inside jokes within the FC and so many wonderful sights of Eorzea, and one day we’ll be waiting for SE to have a press conference to announce the future of FFXIV. Where will we be then?
I am currently grinding FATES for my relic weapon, attempting to get Alexandrite. When I began the grind, I was extremely impatient, it would take hours for an alexandrite to drop, and I just wanted to be done with it. But since I’ve had these thoughts about FFXI closing, it’s renewed my commitment to enjoying the journey. That once we hit our destination the joy is fufilling but fleeting. That even though there are other people who are out-dps’ing me in game because they’ve already got that special piece of gear I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to get, it’s ok. I need to enjoy every second I spend in Eorzea. I’ve waited too long since FFXI to find a home to replace it and finally, I have. Once again, every evening, I have a place to come home to.
I hope you feel the same way.