I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Legion already. There is something very comforting and familiar about playing WoW, even though I don’t have any of the nostalgia that most people have. You run around colorful scenery, click on things, and watch impressive numbers fly around the screen. It’s almost hypnotic.
To head off the withdrawal symptoms, I thought I’d try to get back into FFXIV and get something going there. (I’ve had an active subscription to FFXIV forever.)
When I last left FFXIV (and several times previous), I was stuck in the Dravanian Forelands at level 53, where I’d been since soon after the launch of Heavensward. (On the ground, no less.) The Sohm Al dungeon was my next objective in the main story, which I’d been avoiding for months and months and months. I had essentially run out of quests in the area, so it was the last thing I needed to do. It was also the last quest I needed to complete my Aether Attunement so I could fly in that area.
To say I was apprehensive about entering a dungeon after being away from the game so long is an understatement. So before tackling that, I decided to deal with another issue that had been bugging me for a long time: I finally used my free Fantasia potion and switched from a female Miqo’te to a male. I figured this was the best time to do it, since I’d been away for so long that I didn’t have as strong of an attachment to my existing character. (I think I wrote about that before; the struggle with changing my character’s race or gender and the corresponding erasure of their virtual history.)
With no other handy means of procrastination, I entered the Duty Finder for Sohm Al. I checked all the boxes for Japanese, English, German, and French, hoping that I would get into a group where I couldn’t even read the chat, so I wouldn’t be able to see all the criticism I was getting for doing everything wrong.
Sadly it was not to be, as the others were English speakers. I decided to announce that I was new to the dungeon and held my breath. I was exposing my fragile self-esteem to a cruel beating at the hands of strangers. Maybe I would get kicked, maybe I would get yelled at, maybe the tank would drop. (None of those things have ever happened to me in FFXIV, but I have an active imagination when it comes to negative outcomes in groups.)
As it turned out, the tank thanked me for letting them know. Before each boss, he typed out a few of the main things to watch out for. (I had watched a YouTube video beforehand, but most of it didn’t sink in–videos are no substitute for experiencing FFXIV mechanics first-hand.) I assume everyone else was over-geared and I doubt I contributed much, especially considering I could barely remember my rotations, but in most PUGs my main goal is to at least avoid dragging down the group, and I think I managed that. I successfully avoided dying and the group never wiped, so I consider that a success.
There were a lot of cut scenes at the end of the dungeon, and I ended up in a whole new zone. (First time I’ve ever seen a dungeon gate a whole zone.) It’s kind of a shame because I ended up getting my Dravanian Forelands flying attunement just in time to leave.