I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since the winter of 2008. I took a few years off here and there but otherwise my playing has been pretty consistent. I love WoW and I always will, but Shadowlands proved to be disappointing and the anima grind quickly turned me off. There isn’t a new patch due to come out in WoW until who knows when and it deals with the Maw and other things I’m not pleased about, so I thought it was time to try a different game. I saw some of my mutuals on Twitter were playing Final Fantasy XIV because they have a trial version that’s free to play until level 60, so I figured I’d cross over from Azeroth to Eorzea.
The different races available in Final Fantasy were new and exciting and the first character I made was a female cat person, or Miqo’te as they’re properly called. I named her Sriset just like my blood elf hunter in WoW and chose her first job/class as archer. Aside from name and personality perhaps, she doesn’t resemble my blood elf hunter, but she’s been a lot of fun to play!
After playing Sriset for a while, I decided to make a second cat girl named Tyago, and I chose gladiator as her first class. I later realized gladiators had to tank in dungeons so I switched her to lancer for dps in dungeons because tanking isn’t my strong point in any game. Tyago’s got her own new and unique personality that’s developed along the way.
FFXIV is quite different from WoW and they have a lot of things already in their game that people in WoW have wanted for years. The color choices for hair, skin, eyes, markings, etc, are so expansive, it took me quite a while to create my archer. Characters can be different heights and wear eyeglasses, hats that don’t completely remove their hair, bracelets, earrings, and clothing that resembles actual fabric and not painted on textures. As I’ve said to people who have asked, WoW and FFXIV are both fruit, but one is apples and one is oranges and therefore can’t be too closely compared. Final Fantasy has shown me just how behind Warcraft is in a lot of regards and it’s a shame that Blizzard appears to have no desire to address these issues.
The way combat works in Final Fantasy feels clunkier than Warcraft and targeting enemies can be tricky sometimes, but overall I’m okay with it. Considering everything else the game has, such as housing, customizable mounts, and the ability to do every class and profession on one toon, putting up with somewhat awkward combat mechanisms is a very minor thing.
It took me a long time to get my first mount, a chocobo, but that’s mostly because I was new to the game and kept getting distracted by side quests, something that often happens to me in Warcraft too.
After playing the free trial version of FFXIV for a couple weeks, I decided to buy the full game, which nicely came with 30 days of free subscription, and another 15 days added when I reached level 30 on my archer. Some of Square Enix’s account management things are confusing and could be more user friendly. For example, just to sign up to an account I had to do it on my phone because they didn’t like my wifi for some reason. However, they seem to value player input and the game of Final Fantasy itself is very impressive!
I’m having a lot of fun in FFXIV and I’m playing it more than World of Warcraft lately, but I’m not going to stop playing WoW. I’ve made a lot of great friends in WoW and we do fun stuff together and I’m never going to abandon them. But I needed to step away from WoW a bit and stop focusing on what the game lacks by finding those elements in a different game, if that makes sense. There are a lot of things Warcraft does better than Final Fantasy and vice versa, but they both bring much needed distractions from the monotony of a seemingly never-ending plague and they allow me to escape into another world where I can freely interact with anyone and everyone without fear.