FFXIV: The Main Thing… Again
Posted on May 17, 2023 by Aywren
If there was an award for the most indecisive FFXIV player, I would be up for it. Because the game gives players the power to do things like completely change race/gender/looks with one potion and to rename a character, this has contributed to the fact that I shift characters around at a whim.
I try not to do this with my main. I TRY.
Even my main is not safe from Fantasia, even though I know I said I wasn’t going to change again. I had no plans on it, I swear, until conversations on Mastodon the other night brought me to a realization. While I’m not struggling with burn-out in FFXIV, I am struggling with engagement once again.
I put out a Toot on Mastodon asking for tips on what folks do when they want to recapture that new-player magic from a MMO they’ve been playing for a long time. Part of my trouble is that while I love having been invested in FFXIV for nine and a half years, I feel like I’ve seen and done so much – I miss the mystery an unknown world can bring.
The reason I asked this question was because I’ve stumbled upon a series of videos created by a new player. I’ve watched how they’ve stumbled through the first steps of the game – not all of it was easy or intuitive! – and also watched how they shift between learning about this new MMO world and dealing with the overwhelming sense of the unknown.
I know that you can never go back to being new again, not after consistently playing a game for as long as I have. I’m not fooling myself into thinking I can.
I just wanted to see if folks had ways (aside from playing other games and rolling yet another alt – both which I have done) they kept long-term games fresh.
I got a lot of good suggestions, too! One noted something I’d already been thinking about – helping out new players and reliving the experience through them. Which… I kinda do when I’m watching other players stream or video their experiences.
But what does this have to do with changing my main? Well…
Last time I changed my main – in June of 2021 - it was for a similar reason. I was trying to find a social connection, and it’s important to me that my main character represents that.
I switched to my “Ben” character as my main at the time because I wanted to do more with social role play and story writing. I hoped that changing my persona away from my “Aywren Sojourner” identity would help to inspire that.
In reality, I’ve actually done very little RP or writing since then. In fact, due to situations that have happened IRL, I’ve somewhat moved away from that mindset over the past two years.
Then comes everything that’s happened with Twitter and Mastodon.
I’ve found myself moving away from Twitter on my main Aywren account where I’m now connecting with a lot more FFXIV folks on Mastodon in a way I didn’t before. In fact, I’ve found so much pleasure in the social interactions I’ve had on Mastodon with FFXIV players that it has become the main social outlet for my interactions outside of the game.
So, in thinking about what I can do to freshen things up again, I began to debate.
It would be easier for me to approach/help new players – as was a suggestion – on my “Aywren” persona. Nothing wrong with “Ben,” but sometimes it doesn’t feel as genuine if it’s coming from an RP character instead of myself.
Add to it that my social interactions on Mastodon come from “Aywren,” and my main gaming blog also connects with “Aywren”… and…
Well, adding all those together, I deliberated hard. I have an Aywren bunny that I’ve been working on. But really, she’s not my main, and as I said, that’s important to me for some reason. In fact, her character slot was originally Ben before I swapped the characters around. Irony.
So, guess where this is leading?
Yep. I’m flipping the two characters around again - Aywren will be my main and Ben will go back to being a story alt.
It was an interesting experiment, however. I didn’t realize that it’d almost been two years since I switched the characters around. It felt much shorter than that. Maybe I just never got used to Ben being my main. I don’t know.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of my WrenBun from now on, though!