Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Relic, Second Coil, and MMO Discouragement

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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. 🙂

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Author:

I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects! https://aywren.com/fantasy-fiction-webcomics/

13 thoughts on “FFXIV: Relic, Second Coil, and MMO Discouragement

  1. It doesn’t please me at all to say that this is exactly where Mrs Bhagpuss and I saw FFXIV going, all the way back when decided not to subscribe after the end of the free month that came with the box. It’s entirely in keeping with everything I ever read from Yoshi P, whose entire ethos seems to me to be that of a mid-noughties hardcore raider.

    There are many things to love about FFXIV but the progression mechanics aren’t among them. I was burned out by the low 30s. When we left I did have some hope that, in time, the game might be re-modeled to be at least as enjoyable to play for non-hardcore gamers as, say, early EverQuest but I’ve given up on that hope now.

    There’s a significant demographic that likes to repeat the same content ad infinitum for small, incremental increases in power for their characters and FFXIV has about cornered that market. As time goes on I imagine Square will look to consolidate and harden the loyalty of that audience even further so I would be surprised to see much of a change of direction in the next expansion.

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    1. I’m glad I’m not alone feeling that way. So often you get the response “Well you don’t HAVE to do it.” or “Do you just want everything given to you on a plate?” That’s, of course, not what I’m saying. I don’t mind working for progression. I just want what I need to do to be enjoyable, or to have alternatives that are fun.

      There’s plenty of fluff content and side stuff to do in FFXIV. But if you have any desire to progress in gear at end game in a timely manner, yes, it is pretty much roulettes every day.

      They’re spreading it out a little bit by allowing you to earn a tiny bit of currency with the Beast Tribe quests, but there’s no way you’ll earn what you need Tome-wise from those alone. I think what irks me most is that I ran so many dungeons to get my Eso set only to see it replaced completely by better armor after a few patches. I told myself I was never going to do that again… but then I’m falling behind everyone else because I don’t.

      The story dungeons and final boss in patch 2.3 also required a minimum ilvl of 205 to complete. So if you ignored gearing up and just played for fun, you’d have been gated from finishing the latest story, too. I have a bit of a beef about that and the final fight, but that’s a rant for another time. I’m hoping tonight’s patch will address some of that.

      TL;DR: So, yes, your instinct was correct. There’s a lot to love in FFXIV. But if you don’t enjoy running dungeons over and over, there’s not a lot of options for end game progression. And some end game progression is now required to progress in the story itself.

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  2. Yeah, gear grinding irks me, too. I actually enjoy dungeons myself, but not running them over and over. Probably one of the reasons why I tend to drift away from MMO’s pretty quickly.

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    1. Thankfully, FFXIV usually provides some way of catching up to the current ilvl through raids and weekly things. That’s probably why I’m able to somewhat function in this game. XD

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  3. There are two ways I have dealt with that kind of gear grind discouragement. Stop playing, or stop caring about the gear portion of “pulling your weight” in groups. It is not easy to do either of those things when you are as invested in the game and social group as you are.

    A couple of my WoW friends are the sort who would rather be eternally a tier or two behind current content and be able to run that occasionally without feeling like a burden, than force themselves to group up constantly and run the “proper” endgame content. I used to not understand that attitude when I was a regular raider, but now I get where they are coming from.

    It took a long while, but I have learned to be honest with myself about the split between my gear and my play/skill/effort. I know if I did a good job on my rotation, on my awareness, on mechanics. If the numbers don’t reflect that, tough. I did the best I could at that time. I refuse to be guilt-tripped by anyone, including myself, into chasing gear that may or may not make much difference to the success of the group.

    Gear is only a part of the story, and so the chasing of it should be something you want to do (because you want to help, because you feel like doing a dungeon/raid, because you want to be sociable, etc), not something you feel forced to do.

    I made the decision to stop chasing it if it feels like a chore, and I had to come to terms with the fact that I might have to sit out of certain content because of it. It does take time and a fair amount of willpower to change your mindset in that way, but if your current strategies don’t work well enough to keep you sane, maybe you can try what I did.

    (sorry for the rant)

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    1. Thanks for your advice and perspective about this. It’s the first time I’ve ever been in this position because as a fairly casual gamer, I rarely ever get to level cap, much less end game in MMOs. This is the first game I’ve ever raided in or even cared about my DPS contribution (I tend to play solo or just with friends in most games… except FFXIV).

      It’s true that no one but myself is concerned about my ilvl. I’m able to do the content I want. I’ve been told my skill is up to snuff. I guess it’s just difficult when the game is designed so that the only thing most people want to do on a daily basis is run dungeons. At least we have the Aquapolis and now the Palace of the Dead, which will hopefully be more my kind of fun.

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  4. I’ve been “grinding” the daily expert for long enough that I’ve got the full caster set and have now finished the left side of the tank set, so it won’t be long now before I can also start on the healer set…..

    Sure i229 average isn’t max gear, but it’s pretty darn close, so I do very well in the dungeon runs. I just do the DF roulette each day, not FC runs or anything, so the gearing of the people I’m in there with is all over the place and I know for myself that I don’t care. The tank is there on his 1st time? So? We still get through it just fine. the other dps is crappy and things die slow? Again, so what? We still get through in 25-30 minutes and that’s just fine.

    But with all that said, I have been experiencing quite a bit of apathy and burnout on the gear grind too. And tbh I still haven’t been able to bring myself to queue up for Wiping City yet. Raiding just isn’t something I have ever cared about in any game, and my i229 is more than sufficient for the daily experts, I’m not running Extreme or Savage anything, so….. eh, I’m getting the gear becuz it’s a result of playing every day, not due to me actively pursuing it anymore.

    Nope, for me, it’s now the crafting rabbit-hole for my progression……. And that’s actually revitalized a lot of my interest. Too bad I’ll be 60 on everything with that soon enough also. But the PotD just dropped, so that will be more for me to do on my combat jobs, so… I can still see me sticking with FFXIV for quite some time yet.

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    1. Yeah, you’re much more dedicated to roulettes than I could ever be. One or two dungeons is really my max, and I don’t like to do them every night (unless it’s an easy Leveling with friends or FC).

      Sounds like you really don’t need Wiping City anyhow. Eso gear is better. I guess you probably could use the upgrade token, but whatever. You’re still higher ilvl than me and I’ve run the raid every week at least once (don’t always get a drop). XD

      I’m having fun with the PotD, though. Thankful for that kind of content.

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  5. Grinding is pretty much the reason I never got into MMOs. I find it tedious and frustrating because, unlike oldschool jrpgs, it seems pretty endless. You finish grinding for levels, geard, etc and then the developers release something new and you have to start grinding some more. Meh.

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    1. FFXIV is actually pretty gentle in the area of “grind”. I just tend to get worn out from forced grouping all the time. If there were less stressful alternatives that were viable, it would help me a lot.

      They did just release a new type of content that I think is going to be helpful in this area, but other people will probably consider that a grind too! I guess a grind is really in the eye of the beholder – if it’s not fun to you, and you have to do it over and over, it’s a grind. 🙂

      Somehow, I’ve stuck with FFXIV for going on 3 years straight, so I really can’t complain too much. I still prefer this over all other MMOs, obviously.

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  6. I left ffxiv because of housing and the gear grind. I am like you I hate running the same dungeon over and over again. I got burnt out and ended up leaving the game. FFXIV became like a second job to me and it just was not fun anymore. I left a bit after Crystal Tower and all crafts are capped and most of my crafts were also geared to the tee for that time.

    When I come back I hope to work on my crafting because I hear the raised the cap on it or something. I absolutely loved the crafting in ffxiv so having that as a focus I think will make the game fun again for me.

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    1. Yes, all crafting and gathering classes now have a level 60 cap if you have the Heavensward expansion. You will need to finish up any of the 2.0 storyline before you can get to the expansion content, but there’s tons of crafting to be done.

      We just got the new Moogle beast tribe quests which really helps level crafters quite a bit. Once you get to 60, you can work on crafting for Scrips, which are somewhat like the old gear Tomes for the adventuring classes. Except you use these to upgrade your crafting gear and tools.

      There’s a whole progression of crafting gear to work up through if that’s what you enjoy doing, with quite a bit of rewards. Crafters can also make gear that’s somewhat relevant for adventurers now days, and also play a part in making stuff for relic weapon progression.

      As a whole, crafters have not been left out of the content updates. And with Moogle quests, it’s a good time to level and get into the expansion crafting.

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