Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

Casually Introverted: Why I Need the FFXIV Manderville Gold Saucer

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In just two weeks, on Feb 24, the Manderville Gold Saucer will release in FFXIV patch 2.5.1. Along with personal housing, this has been a feature I’ve waited for since the very first time I  heard it mentioned, possibly over a year ago. Hearkening back to the Gold Saucer of FFVII fame, it’s a cross between a casino, carnival and racetrack, full of mini-games to take up your MMO gaming time.

And though the fun factor is a major draw, for me, the Gold Saucer couldn’t come at a better time because I’m feeling the onset of slight burn out right now.

Casually Introverted

I keep forgetting that there’s a reason I’m a casual player. I get really caught up in trying to make progress and trying to match the end game requirements that I find myself pushing and pushing and pushing out of my comfort zone. This is especially true of running dungeons, most often with PUGs, which the FFXIV roulettes require. For a while, I can maintain that progression. But over time, it takes a toll on me.

I suppose you can say I’m casual in part because I’m introverted. So I’m casually introverted.

glass_of_waterWhile I am shy, when I talk about being an introvert, I talk about the amount of energy it takes for me to maintain a constant connection to other people around me. I like this description, as I think it really explains it well:

The difference between an introvert and an extrovert boils down to energy. Introverts, unlike extroverts, lose energy when being among people.

Think of introverts as a cup filled with water. Everytime we interact with others, we give a bit of that water to the person. The more we socialize, the less water we have. No matter who we spend time with and even if we love and enjoy seeing this person, the cup will run out. Spending quiet time alone allows us to refill this cup.

For me, this includes running dungeons, because this is a (stressful) social interaction for me. Lately, I’ve been trying to run daily roulettes again to upgrade my armor, and the RNG has not been kind. Instead of getting the easier dungeons that I used to get often, the game has been throwing stuff I don’t enjoy, like Arum Vale, over and over again. Then, after hunts, I get on an alt and do dailies all over again.

I’ve also been extremely social in my FC, since I’m working hard to build up and maintain connections between members. I do enjoy this, but it’s also not something I can do constantly without taking a hit. So after pushing through hours and hours of FFXIV gaming this weekend, I suddenly find myself at the point of “Uh oh.”

The Point of “Uh Oh”

“Uh oh” is when I still have enthusiasm for a game, I still have so much progress to make, I still have interest in doing things… But I’m tired. My cup is going dry and I find myself doing minimal content to push through for that day. Then I log off and play something else for a while.

It’s bad that I’m starting to feel like that, but good that I’ve identified it before it turns into to total burnout (like it did last summer). I can also identify the major culprit of this feeling as the daily roulette dungeons… so I’m going to go back to doing beastman dailies instead. They only give half the amount of rewards compared to dungeon running. However, I can do them solo, I don’t have to wait in a DPS queue from anywhere between 20-40 mins to get into them, and I don’t have to dedicate an hour’s time (or more) running with a PUG to complete my objective.

It’s slower. But it’s still progress. And any progress is better than getting burned out and not logging in.

All that being said, I really enjoy the folks I’ve met in my FC during our recruitment phase – I’m not saying that I don’t. And I don’t mind doing things to help them. I just need to find a better balance so that progression doesn’t drive my enthusiasm into the ground.

Why I Need the Gold Saucer

The Gold Saucer is probably the thing I’ve been most excited about in MMOs this year (aside from the actual FFXIV expansion). I can see myself taking time out to have some fun with all the various games it will bring. And this is a very good thing as it will provide another mode of enthusiasm for the game to offset the desire to simply progress.

It will remind me to have fun while being casual. That it’s okay not to progress as fast as everyone else around me as long as I’m enjoying the ride. That’s sometimes difficult to remember when you see folks so far ahead… but I need to.

Now, about the Gold Saucer.

goldsaucer2I’m super stoked about what I’m hearing about chocobo racing and chocobo breeding. We don’t know how that’s going to work yet, but the team has done a great job with the chocobo companion system, so I have a lot of faith in this. I used to race and breed chocobos for hours in FFVII, so if it’s done well, it’ll be a pleasant blast from the past.

Expect blog posts on both topics. 🙂

Also, the card game from FFVIII, Triple Triad, will be making an appearance. I’m not so keen on challenging other players, but I love the idea of challenging random NPCs to games. I just hope they don’t make it too hardcore to the point it’s taken overly-serious. I have to say I was a lot better at the card game from FFIX, Tetra Master, though. I don’t remember a thing about playing Triple Triad.

Everything I’ve seen from the teaser videos, including the rewards for playing in the Gold Saucer, sounds like it should be a ton of fun. I hope that fun is what the devs had in mind when designing these games and systems, and that it’ll encourage folks to engage in other activities than just the daily grind. Including me!

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