I’ve been playing MMOs for over a decade, and this weekend was the first time I have ever participated in a raid. My FC, <KoM>, helped Syn and I work our way through Labyrinth of the Ancients (which I just call Crystal Tower, or CT, by habit) and Syrcus Tower (ST).
Even though Zuri is over ilvl 100 at this point, I’ve never attempted the larger raid instances, just because I was afraid to try it. What I discovered, however, (and this is coming from a very group shy player) is that the raids in FFXIV are actually super fun! In fact, Syn and I ran CT maybe 4-5 times this weekend just trying to learn the mechanics and get familiar with it all. ST is a little harder, and while the rewards there are more on level with what I need for upgrades, we’re focusing on one at a time.
Why Crystal Tower Is a Great Raid for Shy Players
I know someone will come along and laugh at how FFXIV raids are not really hardcore raids of old. That may be true, but that’s why they’re accessible for people like me. At first, I thought a 24-man group would be terrifying to play in. Then, I learned that while there are some areas where team work is involved, for the most part, CT feels a lot like a more focused form of a GW2 public event.
There are so many people around you, you kinda blend in (unless you’re being a dingus). This is perfect for someone like me, who is always concerned that people are judging my group performance. Everyone is so focused on whatever part they’re playing, as long as you’re not dying constantly or accidentally pulling what you shouldn’t, no one even notices the bard in the back. Works for me!
The mechanics are pretty easy to learn and memorize, especially if you have someone teaching you in voice chat as you go along. I found by my third run through that I was able to teach other FC people who were running the first time without difficulty.
I think that’s where FFXIV really shines – boss mechanics are challenging, but not impossible or overly frustrating. It’s truly a fun ride for a casual player, and I’m really happy that FC folks encouraged us to give it a try and taught us the ropes!
Battle of the Big Keep
I’ve been putting off the final fight with Greg, which would finish up my Hildibrand quests for Zuri. I read the tactics for the fight in the wiki, and remembering the stress (and queue times) of the Dragon’s Neck, I kept pushing it back.
I mentioned I still needed to finish this encounter in Mumble chat, and a kind FC member came to the rescue, volunteering to be my healer in the queue (oh, so much faster than the lone DPS). So, I took the plunge, and I have to say this was a really fun fight (unlike Dragon’s Neck) that I wouldn’t mind doing again! We got through it first time without a wipe, and I was stoked to win the roll on the Enkidu minion (because I never win rolls like this).
It feels like the devs are leaving it open to a possible return of Hildibrand stories sometime in the future, which I would love. These questlines have been some of the corniest, but good, fun I’ve experienced in an MMO.
Oh, and Manderville Gold Saucer releases tomorrow! Woo!