Sunday, 2 February 2014

1 year of FFXI, about time

Recently, my FFXI playtime finally broke 1 year mark.

Note that I rarely afk. Even if I do need to afk, I often log out to prevent time continue to tick. So my current time is fairly accurate to my actual time spent in FFXI.

I've been active for past 4.5 years, so around 1/4~1/5 of my life in past 4 years are spent on this game, witch means avg 4~5hr a day.

365 days of FFXI, equal to over 8.7k hrs. In order to become a master at a skill, one would need 10k hours of practice. 8.7k hrs is at least 87% close to master a skill.

Do I regret spending this much time in FFXI? I don't think so. I got majority of the experience I wanted from an MMO in past 4~5 years. Although I avg 4~5hrs a day in a video game/MMO in past 5 years, sacrificed quite a lot of opportunity to meet more real life connections, failed school twice because of MMO(D:), lost 2 jobs because of MMO too(D: D: D:), I certainly have gained something in return.....and maybe a ranting blog with a book's worth of content.

I don't think I've made wrong choice....yet.

But there is a strong voice in my mind telling myself to quit. After 4~5 years of playing, this is first time I feel like quitting not because of the lack of playtime, but because I feel it's about the end of adventure in FFXI, that nothing in this game can satisfy me anymore.


Recently I decided to pop on ARR forum to see 2.2 changes, since I haven't pop on forum for a while.

First thing I saw:"Patch 2.2, Accessibility, Difficulty levels and throwing away content"(followed by pages and pages of argument about gear progression)

Months ago before I quit FFXIV, I already knew it's gonna happen, just wasn't expecting it happen this fast and SE went toward a further direction to invalidate player's time and effort.

It's almost like "SE: Hey look, you wanna spend more time and effort in our MMO product? /slap your face mwhahahaha, we'll /slap anyone spending too much time in our video game so you guys stop playing"

I had to agree, at one point of time, I really, really wanted to continue to invest more time in ARR endgame to do more raid, but I already knew majority of my time spent is probably going to be wasted by the time 2.2 arrives. I'd ended up need to spend slightly less time in 2.2~2.3 because that's clearly SE's direction....the earlier you start your grind, the more work you have to do, and vice versa.

So technically, I can get things done faster if I come back later, catch up, then quit again. I'd spend less time total by playing on and off every 6 months~1 year, instead of full time a game in entire 6 months. SE's so called "difficult content for hardcore", is more like a cockblock to prevent everyone and their mother finish too fast and quit, less about rewarding the players that plays hard. I cancelled sub right away after I realized this game doesn't worth any time investment.

And there you go. Just as I praised last ilv change that rewards people who actually spent time to play their game, SE pulls off this shit again.

This isn't just ARR direction, it was clearly FFXI direction too. The situation got worse after XI start their monthly update.

In Nov RME was upgraded to ILV119, I finished 119 arma in Dec. In Jan a new gun that's superior to 119 mythic and empy was introduced, dropped from a fairly easy BC.

Further more, I finished 119 AF feet in Jan, and about to finish hands too. Last update dropped something that replaces my 119 AF feet and hands in less than 1 week. So yeah, farmed a fuck tone of merit to do AA, spent quite a lot of gil, 1 week later it's a piece of crap.

Of course, one can argue that "this is just a video game, it's meant to waste time and have fun" blah blah. But if I'm going to waste time in a video game, I expect to get something in return. In the case of single player games, maybe collect trophy and beat a title to seal it in the closet, in the case of MMO, to get shiny. I may not consider getting a shiny and use it for 1 year a waste of time in an MMO, but spent a lot of time on shiny only to be outdated it 1 week later is utter waste of time.

Then that's how I finally realize, for dev, they don't care about player's time, and they're willing to do anything to keep players subbed. They can toss zomg crazy epic boss that only 5% can beat by spending 5hr a day 7 days a week death grinding it to find the mechanics to give them artificial sense of accomplishment, when they feel like everyone needs to continue, they can just do w/e they want so the rest of the players can beat it too to hand out more artificial sense of accomplishment. Spending 10hr a day playing the game and spending 1hr a day get same result in the end, because the goal is to hand out artificial sense of accomplishment to everyone. In the name of "please the majority".

Once upon a time, I consider FFXI one of a title that's closest to real life, that my dream of playing a RPG as 2nd life finally fulfilled in FFXI. But in the end, it's all just illusion. Real life is better, at least real life doesn't invalidate your time and effort. I can kinda guess what's the stat on reforge AF2 and reforge AF3, I can kinda guessed reforged AF1 gonna be shit after next month. This game is same dev as ARR, if they can slap hardcore's face in ARR, they totally can do that in XI too.

IMO, choosing what game to play isn't about throwing away life and get no return besides "fun", it's about competing against another hobby and see which investment has greater return. I see zero return if the gear is too easy to get AND outdate every month, like current FFXI direction.

My 1 year of FFXI probably won't come back, but I got what I was after during this year. I don't think I'm going to get anymore by invest anymore time though, it's done. I've been pretty indecisive about whether I should quit ARR months ago and FFXI too, now this 2.2 discussion thread is pretty much the final nail in the coffin. I don't think I'm going to be into another MMO ever in my life, besides TESO which was planned.

I used to work in MMO industry, and wanted to be a MMO game designer forever too, after realizing what MMO really was, I don't think I want to make my own MMO anymore, lol. Quite frankly, I find invalidating royal fan's effort and time every update not a right thing to do. I'd rather make single player games that give royal fans a fulfilling one time experience, instead of wasting their time by dangling a carrot in front of players with a stick so they keep paying every month, only to waste thousands and thousands of their life that could be spent on something else or another game.

I may give one final chance for FFXI until Feb update, since I still have crysta in account. If I feel like SE isn't respecting player's time, then time to cancel account for a while, maybe for the first time in the past 4~5 years.

Been there, done that. FFXI, you're "just another MMO", after all. Well, maybe you used to be a bit different from other MMO, but not anymore.