Good morning you happy people in digital land. No its okay… I promise I won’t be grumpy, ranty Bel today. Quite honestly my initial rage over the horrible infrastructure of Final Fantasy XIV is over for the most part. I said many things in my anger yesterday, that I wish I could take back… namely had a few choice fights with friends. Today’s post is my attempt at an apology. Hopefully I will be able to mend whatever fences that berserker Belghast tore down in the process.
Yesterday at the time I wrote my post, and subsequent posts I made on the Stalwart guild forums… I was a very pissed off Bel, filled with lots and lots of righteous indignation. I had to vent out that anger in the only way I felt was safe to do it… with my words. The problem is that has long lasting negative repercussions as well. My words tend to have a lasting effect long after the anger that caused them has subsided. So this morning while I am pretty chill about the whole situation… the reverberations of my anger are still bouncing around.
As a young adult I had issues with anger, namely because I didn’t feel like I really could express it. I felt like I had so many expectations on the way I should act and behave, so as a result I would keep packing down the frustration and rage somewhere beneath the surface. I guess I had hoped that it would just fade away. The problem is it never really did and there was a buffer of only so much crap I could take before it would all come spilling out in a torrent towards whoever was the last person who pissed me off. The “last straw” never ended up being someone worthy of my rage… just the last unfortunate soul who ended up adding something to the stack.
Then all these frustrations would come spilling out in a pyroclastic blast targeting whoever happened to be in the way. I remember there was an incident I am not proud of at all… where a friend had been picking on me about something… working a sore nerve over and over. The kid was not a bad kid, nor did he really mean what he was saying… but it finally reached a point where it had built up over the course of a few days and I just snapped. I ended up picking him up and next thing I knew I had thrown him down a flight of stairs. Thank god he was okay… but it was at that point I realized that I could actually hurt someone with my anger.
Too Much Chaos
Basically at that point I realized that I could no longer afford to keep packing the powder keg and holding in every little bit of anger… because when it finally exploded I really had no control over the direction the explosion would occur. For the most part the idea of venting more often has worked for me… but at times there are just things that I can’t vent about. So lately I have been packing the powder keg once more… and the accumulation of little frustrations and anger here and there that I just could not react to have been building. While I don’t really think of myself as an extremely ordered person… I feel like I can only really handle so much uncertainty and chaos in my life. I am good at dealing with small variations in my daily life… but for the most part I need the majority of my routine to remain unaltered.
The last month has been a combination of so many chaotic situations clashing at one time. Firstly my work environment has been insane… until Monday morning we had 61 active projects divided up among 3 employees… myself included. The bulk of these projects involve me juggling my time in a way so that I get just enough done… to keep from pissing any one business unit off. Every single one of these projects is some business units “number one priority”… so quite honestly I take a lot of the chaos on myself to protect my team mates from it. My thought has always been that if I could keep them focused on individual tasks… and me working on the random occurrences we could get more done than if all of us were being interrupted constantly.
Added to this… my home life has been a mess lately as well. My wife is a school teacher, so the last month and a half has been entirely about the preparation for going back to school. This involves accumulating materials, with our weight loss finding clothing, and finally all of the responsibilities of day to day living shifting back onto me. She literally ends up working 80 hours per week once you factor in all the after hours work… so as a result during the school year I pick up the slack with household chores. But each year there is a massive adjustment period as I try and deal with her being in a state of chaos as she gets used to going back to dealing with school work 24/7.
On top of this our weekends have been pure chaos lately as our neighbor… decided within two weeks to get married. So my wife was pulled in a completely different direction just as the height of the back to school crap was starting, in trying to help out with the planning of that as well. Additionally I got put in a position where I had to photograph my very first wedding. All of which were things I just could not say no to. Now that the wedding is over… the neighbors daughter has had to have emergency surgery… so the chaos continues on in helping deal with that. I say neighbor but they are basically our family… when I had the massive bleed out incident a few years back… she was the one that cleaned up the mess while I was in the emergency room. Likewise any time anyone has ever gotten hurt… we have been the ones that got called and rushed to the hospital.
Finally… we have the Final Fantasy XIV launch. With all the rest of this chaos in my life… I just could not take the one sanctuary I had left… my gaming world to be thrown into a disarray as well. So yesterday I blew up in a whole bunch of directions when I finally reached my peak of crap I could deal with at one time. Quite honestly I think I made myself sick in the process… and after I had exploded out my rage… I just felt woozy and sick to my stomach. I had essentially done what I have tried not to do… I packed the powder keg and let it explode on its own. All of the things I could not react to… because I had to be a “good guy” and take it in stride… just came pouring out and the failed game launch became my target.
After the Storm
So as I said… this is my way of apologizing to the people I offended yesterday… and the ones that got in the path of my rage. Since I spent the last two days complaining about the Final Fantasy XIV launch… I felt like there was a point that maybe I had not given enough time to. The game itself is extremely good, when you can get into it and actually play. Last night after much frustration, a group of players managed to make their way through the login lottery and we pulled together a dungeon group. At a point in the main story arc, you are lead through the three level 15ish dungeons available to players: Satasha, Tam-Tara Undercroft, and Copperbell. This is going to be a point of content for some players… because the main storyline quest halts until you have run all three.
I had not been able to do any of the quests, and there were various other members of our party that were missing one or two of the later dungeons. So as a result last night we just ran the entire quest chain back to back. I have to say… I am surprised at just how well our group managed. The marauder is a seemingly extremely capable tank. Essentially I used a combination of overpower and the cross class gladiator flash skill to hold AOE aggro on multiple targets. There were many cases where when pulls were timed correctly we could get single mobs, instead of chaining large groups. The dungeon style was somewhere between Burning Crusade “Crowd Control Everything” and Wrath of the Lich king “AOE Roflstomp”. Essentially they felt just about perfect.
Basically in each of the dungeons there was a golden path you could take.. that would get you from point A to point B the fastest… or there was a more indirect route that would lead you past a large number of treasure chests along the way. We chose to take the more winding path and while most of the chests gave us potions or crafting materials… we did manage to get a few pieces of pink gear in the process. The dungeon design as a whole felt extremely solid, and I look forward to seeing the later ones as the difficulty ramps up. I hope soon to run the same three dungeons, but this time as gladiator to get a feel for which tanky class I like better.
Really Damned Good
Basically the problem with FFXIV is that it really is amazingly good. The game lands somewhere for me between World of Warcraft and Rift… in that you have a WoW like world… that happens to be filled with lots of random events and various event style quests that you can do. Additionally everything scales downwards… and as a result you can continue to do all of these events as it will sync your level. When we stepped into the dungeon last night… it synced us all down to level 15 without any player intervention. The only negative about their system however is the fact that you actually lose abilities… rather than just scale them downwards. Everquest 2 used to do this same thing… and it was extremely frustrating losing an ability that you had come to rely on.
It is that the gameplay is really great that makes the poor infrastructure at launch all that more of a tragedy. I have teetered back and forth on the edge of whether or not I would be playing this long term for some time. Ultimately I want to find a way to mix in playing this and playing Rift at the same time. Tonight for certain I will be back in Rift, as there are lots of things I want to do there… and the worst part about playing FFXIV has been the absence of all my guildies from Rift. I think tonight I either want to kill many rifts, or try and do a dungeon. I have not tanked in Rift in ages… and I want to dust my spurs off and get back in the action there.
Anyways where I was going with this… was that I hope my rants over the last few days do not permanently sour people against Final Fantasy XIV. It is a really solid game if you can get past the infrastructure and just play it. My only suggestion would be to wait until the server problems have worked themselves out in the next few weeks before taking the plunge yourself. Since dungeons automatically scale, you will likely always be able to find support for the early dungeon running. The world is amazingly populated despite all the issues logging in. I think more than anything, they have had a far bigger response than anyone ever could have imagined from a re-launch of an originally failed game.
Well I need to get out the door and on the road. Lots of crap to do today… and lots of issues that need to be dealt with. I plan on playing Rift tonight, because quite frankly I miss it. Now that the madness and the anger over not being able to play FFXIV has subsided, much of the “omg I have to log in” has as well. I feel like I need a chill night of just piddling around in Telara. I hope you all have a great day, and that this midpoint in the week goes smoothly.