FFXIV: Relic, Second Coil, and MMO Discouragement

Syn has worked really hard to finish the Hyperconductive Anima stage of the White Mage Relic for Zeb, which she just obtained this weekend. While I’m happy for her, Zuri seems to question the situation.

I promised Syn that I’d post some screens of Zeb with his new weapon, so here they are!

And me? Hah. I’m not even close to being done with my relic for Zuri.

Granted, part of that is because I wasn’t trying all that hard to get it done. I’ve finished gathering all the Unidentifiable Bones, mostly from stored-up Beast Tribe seals, and have just started on Ore and Shells. I blew a lot of Poetics and Eso on things other than relic tokens, and it took me a few months to finally finish all the dungeons I needed for stage 2 relic, so I’ve eternally been behind on things.

Feeling MMO Discouragement

Which leads me to the next topic… something I think all MMO players feel at one point or another. I’ve been discouraged with progression in FFXIV. Warning, this is going to be long.

There is so much that I love about the game. There is so much that it does right. I enjoy the people in my FC and I know how fortunate I am in so many ways. There’s a lot of content I could never see if it wasn’t for their help, and I do appreciate that!

Despite this, I’ve been in a funk for quite a while. It all has to do with overcoming the gear tread-wheel that most of us acknowledge exists at FFXIV endgame. This was never a reality to me until after Heavensward, when my characters were actually at end game. Previously, I touted around in Crystal Tower gear and didn’t even think about capping Poetics for anything better. The first Relic wasn’t even a possibility to complete… and it was just fine. I didn’t need any of that to have fun doing what we were doing.

But when Heavensward deposited us at level 60 with Law and Eso armor to grind for, the reality of what other folks had been doing was heavy upon me. The truth is, the only way you progress at end game is to run (what feels like) a million dungeons/raids… and do it over and over every single day. And then, you know in about half a year, a new set of Tomes will come out and you have to do it all over again. 🙁

Now, while I can do this, and I’ve been told I’m not terrible at doing it… it’s not fun to me. I am still not a dungeon runner. I’m still an introverted player who has a low threshold for group activity, even when I’m playing with people I like. And the moment there’s a dungeon I don’t like among the pair of dungeons that make up Expert Roulette (Sohr Khai, I’m looking at you), I simply refuse to run the roulette… because I don’t log in to waste my time in frustration in a game.

The result is, of course, that I struggle to keep my gear up to snuff with everyone else. I hardly have any Lore gear on Zuri (mostly accessories), and Weeping City drops are catch-up for me. When I don’t get a drop week after week, I start to feel discouraged. I don’t feel that WC is fun at all (Void Ark was), and it’s not at the point that I’ll put myself through that stress more than once or twice a week.

So I feel behind. I’m discouraged because I’m a perfectionist, and I feel like I’m holding groups back with my DPS (even if I’ve been told that’s not true). The catch 22 is the only way to fix that is to play content I don’t really enjoy and that wears me out… so I feel further discouraged in knowing that. That’s a fast track to burnout for me.

It’s easy to forget that running group content can be stressful for some players (due to personality), and just because someone can do it, doesn’t mean they like to do it… or that it doesn’t take a toll on them over time. Sometimes I just want to do something peaceful to refill myself after work in the game I’m playing. But everyone else wants to run run run run run… which isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s what the game is telling them they should do.

Working Through MMO Discouragement

I sat down and discussed my feelings with Syn this weekend — though I’m pretty sure that she’s aware of these things. I’m a difficult friend to get along with because I’m a hermit, and she is not. While she can easily social butterfly around, I feel the need to bow out of voice chat and excuse myself from running dungeons after about the second or third one. It’s hard to express to FC folks that it’s not anyone’s fault — it’s nothing anyone said or did — it’s just who I am. I know I need to keep a balance, because the alternative is burning out… and not playing at all.

Syn actually confessed that she was feeling a bit discouraged as well, but for a different reason. She wants to continue to progress with her Anima weapon, but she feels like it is significantly easier for crafters/gatherers to do so (she’s right). She finds crafting dull, so the thought of leveling up a crafter is like pulling teeth to her – similar to how I feel about running dungeons every day.

I requested a list of what she needed for her Anima sands, and discovered this was no sweat for me to craft at all! We gathered up the materials and I got straight to work providing her with some of what she needed.

In turn, we discussed low-pressure strategies on how she could help me get the Lore, Eso and Poetics to work on my gear, and eventually my Relic as well. I’m not quite sure why neither of us thought to bring our troubles to each other before this — my crafting can easily solve her progression troubles and her patience/time/understanding makes a world of difference for helping me deal with my discouragement in return.

I guess that’s why we’ve been best friends for so long.

Second Coil Win

Talking about running stressful content…

I had no idea that this weekend was dedicated unsynced Coil Clearing weekend. Somehow, I got drafted for both Sat and Sun runs of First and Second Coil with FC folks who had never cleared before. I’d finished all the way to T5 on Zuri previously, but had never cleared anything on Tai. So it was a good chance to catch up with him, as well.

Our Saturday group pretty much pulverized most of it — even Turn 5, which gave us trouble so many months ago. I don’t know if we just are that much more geared than back then, but it was no sweat on either group.

It was really Turn 9 that taught us a few things on Saturday. We did eventually beat it, thanks to the patience of everyone in the group and awesome raid leadership by Eva, who knew the mechanics well.

The Sunday group, which I ran on Zuri for the clear and Poetics, beat up to Turn 8, but needed to call it a night at that point. So, we’re saving the “fun” of T9 for another time. Bleh.

More than anything else, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Palace of the Dead drop. Yes, I know that I said I don’t enjoy dungeon running… but this is non-forced-group dungeon running. It’s very different! I’m totally looking forward to trying to push my way through on different classes, leveling some of my tanks on Zuri, if I can. I’m all about randomly generated rogue-like gameplay…

I hope it turns out as good as we are all hoping for. This could be a new direction for side content that would make me very happy… if it’s done the right way.

Anyhow, I want to close this long, rambling post with a screenshot I took from Coil. I just love the colors. 🙂