FFXIV – 3.0 Main Scenario Complete

A while back I said I was playing ESO again.. welllll, I sort of lost interest. (I think it’s because I find the quests very depressing, and it also seems like everywhere you go and everything you do is basically the same as what you did before.) So it’s mostly FFXIV and an occasionally foray into LotRO for me these days.

I finished the Aetherial Research Facility. I got a nice group with a very “professional” tank, who explained the mechanics concisely and non-judgmentally. Indeed it turned out to be much easier than I feared, and kind of fun. It was another one with a lot of AoEs to dodge, which I like. It’s sort of like a puzzle game, trying to figure out where to run so that you don’t get caught by overlapping or moving AoEs. They’re usually predicable enough that you can plan ahead, but random enough that you still need to think on your feet.

There was another 8-man trial immediately after called The Singularity Reactor. I went into that one completely blind, reasoning that it would be similar to the 8-man trials at the end of previous stories, which were among the easiest in the game. It turned out to be at least easy enough for us to get through on the first try, even with three of us showing filmstrips over our heads and nobody explaining anything. At the time of this writing, in fact, I can’t remember a single thing about the fight, except the spoilery cut scene after it was over.

So that completed the Heavensward 3.0 Main Scenario, as far as I can tell. I think it was better than the 2.0 story. (I say that partly because I can’t even remember the 2.0 story.) Most of the characters had good arcs, at least until [redacted].

As you might expect, reaching level 60 in FFXIV is just the beginning, particularly when you get to the end in version 3.5 instead of 3.0. If it’s anything like level 50, I’m guessing there are now 5 updates worth of extended Main Scenario questlines to go through, each with a new dungeon and/or trial in it.

In addition to that, there is the somewhat arduous process of running around to find and unlock all the level 60 activities you can do after finishing the Main Scenario.

One of the first things I found was Rowena in Idyllshire, who led me to unlocking the Anima weapon quest. Yeah, I probably won’t be doing that. Not without a really long Netflix series to binge-watch, at least.

After that I unlocked a level 60 dungeon Neverreap, and two Extreme trials, none of which I qualify for yet.

I wanted to find the “Alexander” thing I keep hearing about, which I am guessing is the new Crystal Tower public raid thingy. Crystal Tower was a big help to my gear progress in the level 50 days. I didn’t quite know what to look for, but I stumbled onto it anyway when I looked into that gigantic robot hand that came out of the shield in the Dravanian Hinterlands. I thought it was just going to be another 8-man trial the way they kept talking about primals, but the Duty Finder clearly marks it as “Alexander – The Fist of the Father” even though the quest text never mentioned anything about Alexander, Fists, or Fathers. I still don’t know who or what Alexander is. It’s always seemed like a strange name for an instance. (I thought “Turns 1-9” were strange names, too.)

There’s no danger of accidentally wandering into any of these places unprepared, by the way, because my item level is way too low. At this writing I’m at 142, and I think I need to get to at least 145 before I can even start doing any of this level 60 stuff.

At one time that seemed like an impossibly high number, but now it’s a huge flashing newbie sign. I unlocked the Stone, Sea, Sky thing (which is an awesome game feature with yet another inexplicable FFXIV name) and marched haughtily into the practice tutorial boss, only to fail the DPS check miserably. Talk about humbling.

I decided I would run through the Great Gubal Library until I picked up a substantial portion of the Conservator’s gear set, which is item level 148. I kind of enjoy that dungeon and it would be nice to have a complete set of gear for a change. I’ve been wearing a hodgepodge for 10 levels now. Of course the first time through, there was another Bard in the group, and of course he got the only Bard drop there was. The second time through there was nothing but Ninja drops. So maybe it isn’t the greatest idea in the world.

P. S. Two more Gubal runs last night and nothing. It’s getting less fun, so bleh.

Returning to Elder Scrolls Online

I’ve been dabbling in The Elder Scrolls Online again. Last time I played it for any length of time was in the two months after it launched, April 2014. It’s one of the better MMORPGs if you didn’t know, undoubtedly in the Top Five. (Obligatory warning that it does not in any way resemble the single-player Elder Scrolls games.) Visually, I would probably rank it second behind Black Desert Online for the best-looking MMORPG out there.

I abandoned my stubborn insistence on trying to get back into my level 42 Ebonheart Templar, which has been my biggest barrier to re-entry since Tamriel Unlimited. At some point my skills were reset and I had no clue how to re-spend them, and for about a year now I’ve had some 90 skill points sitting there unspent. I also felt like the Templar was getting fairly meh the way I was playing it before I left (with a two-hander). I couldn’t get back into it.

So I started a new Daggerfall Covenent Nightblade.

The game looks and feels very much like it did when I left it in 2014, so if you’re one of those people who said the open beta sucked but now think it’s an awesome game, I really don’t understand you. Granted there are a lot of positive incremental changes, but the core game is still the same to me. Jumping is the same, combat and animations are the same, exploration is the same, gathering and crafting is the same, weapon skills are the same, questing is the same, lockpicking is the same, inventory is the same.

But there are definitely positive changes.

If you were turned off by the introductory tutorial, you can completely skip it now (at the expense of some continuity issues later). Even if you do play through it, it’s considerably shorter.

Somewhere along the line, they finally added the nameplate settings that should have been there on launch day. So you can now display vendor names and friendly player names and all that like a regular MMORPG. It looks weird, though. :) I usually play without nameplates.

I’m not sure if this is what I think it is, but I ran across something called a “Guild Vendor” or something like that. Apparently guilds can setup vendors to sell all their goods, which functions much like the auction house that was missing at launch. In the old days you had to join a guild to have access to auction house-like functionality (so-called trade guilds), but now it looks like maybe you don’t?

Pickpocketing and stealing is in the game now, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s amusing and it’s surprisingly lucrative at least at low levels. But it’s quite a lot of effort to gain experience in the Legerdemain skill line (sneaky-type skills), and it’s a lot of work to avoid the guards.

Of course, there are a lot more addons available now than there were at launch. Maybe this is one reason people have grown to like ESO over time. You can add back that missing minimap, or change the inventory layout back to a grid, or whatever. (I find I don’t miss the minimap, and I actually prefer the inventory list–I have long wished somebody would “disrupt” the standard inventory grid interface in RPGs.)

One other thing I’ve noticed is that the game seems significantly easier than it used to be. I remember having quite a tough time leveling in the 1-10 range back in open beta and after launch, at least in the Ebonheart Pact zones. Now I just mow through everything in my path while barely getting scratched. I don’t know if that’s a side effect of One Tamriel or if it’s been that way for a while.

I know there were a lot of complaints about grouping early on, but I can’t comment on any changes there. I haven’t felt any compulsion to interact with anyone in ESO.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the way I play ESO. I really like wandering around gathering resources and then making gear to wear. It’s one of the only MMORPGs I can think of where you can actually make useful gear while you’re leveling up. (In most MMORPGs, crafting is largely pointless until the endgame, which makes crafting progression a boring chore.) I also like finding hidden chests out and about in the wilderness.

On the negative side, I’m remembering that some (many?) of the quests are pretty grim. Somebody’s wife or husband or son or mother or father died, somebody’s got a restless spirit, somebody’s souls are being desecrated, somebody’s about to kill the king, somebody’s getting tortured, things like that. There aren’t many “kill ten rats” quests, it’s more like “kill ten vengeful spirits before they steal everyone’s souls and plunge the world into darkness.” The unrelenting assault of woe and misery from the NPCs wears me down after a while. Here’s one example, from The Legacy of Baelborne Rock:

“…Baelborne’s pay.” Lost love, lost baby, lost life. You get to see the tragedy played out in flashbacks, too!

Another negative thing is that you won’t be gaining any levels unless you do the quests. If you get tired of dealing with the morose NPCs and want to wander around doing your own thing for a while, you can totally do that, but eventually you will have to come back to the quests if you want to level up.

If you decide to play ESO, you might want to go to your Social options and disable Duel Requests. I found out the hard way how easy it is to accept a duel without even realizing it. I think I had the “accept” button the same as my “move forward” button and suddenly out of the blue I was PvPing some guy in the middle of a city. It was weird because I had just pickpocketed somebody and at first I thought players could attack you for doing thievery!

One interesting side effect of One Tamriel is that they feed you the Main Story quests one after the other, regardless of your level. I went through the instances I had previously done at levels 20 or 25 at levels 8 and 9. I remembered them being pretty hard, too. This time, they were among the more challenging things I have done, but still a cakewalk compared to when I played them on my Ebonheart Pact Templar.

I haven’t decided what or how to buy anything yet. I can’t decide whether it’s better to subscribe or buy DLC. I know I won’t play it more than a month or two, so two months of subscription would be cheaper than all the DLC. But then again, if I get the DLC, I could come back to it anytime, sort of like a lifetime subscription.

UPDATE: That quest I referenced above was only the halfway point. It gets even more grim.

Audiobooks, NaNoWriMo, and other Miscellany

This is one of those rambling posts about everything and nothing, because I don’t have much to say. Just writing for the sake of writing because I was bored at work.

I’ve been listening to audiobooks again, trying to use up my credits. I recently finished Stephen King’s 11.22.63, which was beautifully read by Craig Wasson. He’s the actor who played the lead in that weird 80s movie Body Double. Now I’m listening to Stephen King’s End of Watch, which is beautifully read by Will Patton. Later I might listen to Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, the beauty of which I know nothing. [Editor’s note: I spent a lot of time wording and re-wording that last sentence, and I still don’t think it’s right.]

Unfortunately audiobooks (and regular books) eat into my gaming time. I can’t play any game that requires attention while listening to an audiobook, so the only productive gaming I’ve done is playing through Dark Souls 3 again so I’ll have a character ready for the upcoming Ashes of Ariandel DLC. (My five or six existing characters from my old PC apparently cannot be transferred to my new PC.)

Where I've been in Rift for the last 50 days.
Where I’ve been in Rift for the last 50 days.

I try to log into Rift every day to pick up my Starfall Prophecy pre-order token thingy. I spent 20 tokens already on a massive bag, and I have another 30 or so tokens now, but I discovered to my annoyance that you can only buy one bag per character. So now I guess I’ll try to collect 50 tokens so I can buy the silly squirrel mount that I’ll probably never use. That means I’m actually rooting for them to delay the expansion as much as possible. More delay means more tokens for me!

As Eri alluded to in her post, there isn’t much to write about in the news either. One Tamriel sounds cool, but unfortunately ESO is one of those MMORPGs that requires my full attention to play it (others in this category are The Secret World and SWTOR). At least I finally installed it on my new PC. The FFXIV Bloodstorm (or was it Stormblood?) expansion was announced by showing a Street Fighter video, but as yet there’s not many details to talk about. Mostly the announcement only reminded me of how far behind I am in that game.

I never played Red Dead Redemption, so the collective Internet freak-out over Red Dead Redemption 2 means nothing to me. Since they aren’t making a PC version, I probably won’t ever see it. (Although I still plan to buy a PS4 someday.)

So let’s talk about politics! Wait, no, let’s not. But I feel it’s my duty to remind everyone to stock up on batteries and water for the post-election riots.

How about that Westworld? After three episodes I’m prepared to say: I’m losing interest. I have a hard time getting invested in a story when it’s not clear what the objectives of the main characters are. It’s not even clear whether a story is taking place. Stories typically have a beginning, and I haven’t seen a beginning yet. All I’ve seen is backstory. Remember the good old days when every episode of a series had a beginning, a middle, and an end? Now every episode is a middle.

NaNoWriMo? I’m preparing for it, in my usual disorganized fashion. I happened to see a tweet from Alternative Chat mentioning she had both a book cover and a tag line for her project already:

That boggles my mind. I have nothing whatsoever, except the vague idea that I want to set the book in Belgium in the first year of World War I, and I want one of the characters to be an American war correspondent, and I want a plot reminiscent of the adventures of E. Alexander Powell and photographer Donald Thompson in Fighting In Flanders. I don’t know if I’m going to write in first person or third person, past or present tense, or what the story might be, or who’s going to be in it, or who’s going to win in the end, or who’s going to live or die, or how I’m going to deal with the fact that I don’t know German, French, or Flemish, or anything about military operations or occupations or relief efforts, or much of anything about life in 1914. The only real goal I have is to avoid getting too bogged down in the general horror of World War I. Unless it works better to do so. At this point I’m trusting that a story will reveal itself as I’m writing.

Getting Back Into MMORPGs

I’m having a hard time getting back into some MMORPGs I used to play.

FFXIV. First of course is FFXIV, the game that I have an active subscription for that’s draining my money while I avoid logging in. Every time I try to get back into it, I keep running into this roadblock–Heavensward is hard. Well, maybe hard isn’t the right word. More like tedious. I’m mired at level 53 in the Dravanian Forelands where it takes an hour to run from one side to the other for quests since I don’t have flying unlocked there yet.

Soloing in Heavensward seems to be significantly harder than I remember it being prior to 50. I never had my chocobo out before but now it’s practically mandatory, and if I take one wrong step in that southern area with all the bug people, I get killed and then it’s another hour-long trip to get back down there. It’s just not fun to play like that.

I’m over being a Miquote too. I want to use my Fantasia potion to switch to one of the big green hulks. But the idea of changing to another race and gender is a little disturbing–it feels like I would be erasing the accomplishments and even the memory of this character that’s been around for so long. I suppose that is the down side of having all classes available to one character. It would be better to start a new character but when I think of how long it would take to start from scratch it makes me cringe. There are no experience boost potions for sale or 12x experience weekends in subscription games.

Not to mention this outfit is considerably less cool than my pre-Heavensward outfit.
Not to mention that this outfit is considerably less cool than my pre-Heavensward outfit.

ESO. I’ve been wanting to get back into ESO and get my guy from level 40-something to 50, but after I patched it up (which took a glacially long time) and logged in, I remembered that all my skills had been reset at some point. A quick look at the skill tree thingys made me realize that I had no idea how to play the game anymore so I logged out immediately. I feel like I need to start a brand new character to re-learn how to spend my skill points.

WildStar. Then there is WildStar which I can’t even log into since it went free. I can log into the web page and manage my account fine but for some reason the same credentials don’t work in the game. It’s weird.

What Does Buy-to-Play Really Say About An MMO?

ESO* is going Buy-to-Play. Yay! I’m looking forward to playing it again.

(Holy jeez those guys make awesome cinematics. I wonder how much of a AAA studio’s game development budget goes into those.)

But philosophically speaking, I wonder what the Buy-to-Play model says about an MMO. After having experienced it in GW2, B2P seems to imply something that’s not a very good thing. The game company seems to be saying, “Here’s our persistent world game, but there’s really only about a month or two of fresh gameplay for you to look at, and we’re probably not going to update it very much, so don’t make any long-term plans to stay in our game.”

This is exactly what Guild Wars 2 provided. It’s awesome that you can go back into the game whenever you feel like it, but from a PvE perspective, once you’ve played with all of the classes and leveled one or more characters to 80, you’re done with the “game” part of the game and all that’s left is basically a 3D chat room with achievement grinds. (Unless you’re into PvP.) The Living Story content updates have been somewhat lackluster in my opinion–not worth charging for, in other words.

It also meshes with my memory of the ESO experience, too. Good content… for a month or so.

My point is that going B2P might be the game company’s way of conceding that their MMO has a really short lifespan and there will probably be a very high churn rate among the player base. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing for the genre.

Still, the model fits my play style perfectly, and from what I’ve observed, it seems to be a favorite among the gaming community.

For the most part, I only play MMOs for a month or two before I get weary of the repetition and want to switch it up with something different, so B2P fits my playing habits perfectly. It saves me the hassle of going to their web site and cancelling the subscription. And when I inevitably want to jump back into the game later and see what’s going on, it saves me the expense and hassle of going to their web site and re-subscribing for a month when I probably will only play for a few days.

See you soon, whatever-my-dude's-name-was.
See you soon, whatever-my-dude’s-name-was-but-I-think-there-was-an-“R”-in-it-somewhere.

I’m looking forward to peeking at ESO again. I’m interested to see the changes they are making in the endgame, and beyond that I thought it was a pretty good game. For a month or two, at least.

* It’s not clear from their site what the official abbreviation is supposed to be. The game is called “The Elder Scrolls Online” on the box yet they always refer to it as “ESO” on their pages. I’m sticking with ESO, because to me, when you call it TESO, you’re secretly trying to relive the single-player game and denying that it’s a totally different experience. Yeah, one letter says all that. Really.

Arbitrary Mid-January Status Update

I’m in a “bouncing around between games” mode at the moment, now that I’m done with Elite: Dangerous. I’ve been logging into two or three or four different MMOs a day, looking for one to capture my imagination.

Level 100!
Level 100!

WoW. My WoW subscription runs out on the 20th, and I won’t be renewing. WoW is a fun game, but I always tire of it pretty quickly. I did manage to reach level 100 with my Hunter and upgrade my Garrison, though. I have enjoyed my time in the game, but I simply can’t comprehend how people think the story in this expansion is the best ever. I guess I’ve never “gotten” the lore in WoW. (WoW might be the only game that I care less about the quest text than ArcheAge.) I thought there was supposed to be time travel in here somewhere but at no point do I remember anyone saying that I traveled back in time. (Except one quest to kill Banthar in Nagrand that sort-of referred to it, some five zones into the game.) There are Russian space goats and angry orcs everywhere, but then I was in a place with a bunch of bird people and giant crow gods or something. *shrug* I feel bad for people who will feel obligated to spend the next two years playing this expansion until the next one comes out. It’s okay to play other games, guys. You really don’t have to live in one game your whole life. :)

FFXIV. I still have my Final Fantasy XIV subscription, however I haven’t felt much of an urge to return to the game full time. I stop in periodically and level the Rogue class, but that’s about it. Not planning to cancel my sub though. (I noticed that FFXIV is now selling more and more optional cosmetic items in their store… I wonder if that might mean an upcoming change in their subscription model.)

ArcheAge. I still log into ArcheAge about once a week to pay my taxes. My property is still sitting there empty, probably making everyone else angry. Sometimes I think I should just push on through from level 48.5 to 50 before my Patron status runs out, but I can’t summon the energy for it. (I now have about 450 tax certificates stored up, by the way, which is enough to pay for my property for about… calculating… 22 more weeks.)

Rift. I also log into Rift every couple of days to pick up Minion rewards. I think I have about 50 million pieces of endgame crafting items now clogging up my inventory and bank, and countless numbers of Dimension Item boxes. I meant to do some of the Christmas event, but I never got around to it. It turned out I still had a sizable amount of Christmas currency from last year anyway. There’s a new recurring event now for

Guild Wars 2. I keep trying to get back into the Living Story of Guild Wars 2 but it only takes about twenty minutes of gameplay before I want to punch the monitor with my fist, so that’s been slow going. (See Aywren’s post for the exact reason why.) I’ve only just completed Dragon’s Reach Part 1, which involves trying to get Important People to come to some kind of Summit. I cannot emphasize enough how much I despise the GW2 concept of story being the reward for completing challenges. Loot should be the reward for completing challenges. Story should require no effort to consume. (In my opinion.) Not that it matters, because I play so infrequently that I have no idea what the story is anyway. There’s a new dragon somewhere I guess, and a bunch of annoying vines doing insufferable crowd-control effects, and some Asura prodigy doing something with waypoints. It’s all just random noise to me. It’s like how you do leveling quests without paying attention in WoW, except you’re not actually leveling so what is the point of even doing it other than to see what everyone is talking about. Also since the loot in GW2 is so impossible to understand, I really don’t know if I’m even being rewarded with loot either. Grrrr. It makes me literally angry with rage!

Landmark. I re-rolled a fresh character to see what a brand new player would see. It’s sort-of getting somewhere, but I still don’t get it. There still aren’t any real objectives. I couldn’t find any caves. There are newbie mobs standing right next to uber-advanced killer mobs that you can barely scratch with your sword. The combat feels weirdly like TERA, only a lot more limited. My hopes for EQ: Next plummet each time I play this game.

TERA. Speaking of which, I even tried to play TERA, but for some reason I can’t update the game any more. I suspect I need to un-install and re-install, but that’s too much of a bother.

WildStar and ESO. Waiting on subscription model changes, like everyone else. :) I think I have a 7-day “please for the love of God come back” free pass for WildStar that I might use. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what WildStar does in 2015 now that they’ve been crushed by the reality that casual players outnumber elite raiders by about a thousand to one.

SWTOR. Given my lackluster showing in the games above, I’ve sort of re-discovered Star Wars: The Old Republic again. It’s actually a pretty good game. :) I’ve probably spent most of my playing time in it during January. I even managed to play it successfully for a while without paying any money. But then I caved in and got a 3-month subscription so I didn’t have to worry about the restrictions. I expect by the end of 3 months (or maybe even 1 month) I’ll be ready to cancel again. I’m playing a Jedi Guardian Knight this time, and have so far gone from level 10 to level 22. (Previously, my highest level character was a Smuggler at level 28, but every time I try to play it now, I die horribly.) The Kira Carsen companion is hilarious.  (“Eat lightsaber, jerk!”)

Standing around in Nar Shadda, unable to remember to hide the FRAPS display.
Standing around in Nar Shadda, unable to remember to hide the FRAPS fps display.

Year End 2014

In most Steam sales, I have a fairly strict cut-off point of avoiding anything unless it is under $10. Over the past year or so, I’ve rarely found anything meeting that criteria that I don’t already have, so I was a bit surprised to find myself buying nine games in this Winter Steam Sale, including Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, The Walking Dead Season 2, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Democracy 3, Contagion, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Dominions 4, Thief, and Transistor. All less than $10.

Not to mention the fact that Origin had its own Winter Sale so I picked up Mass Effect 3 for a single-digit price, too.

Of course it will probably be years before I ever play any of those games, if ever. (I looked at Dominions 4 briefly but it was a bit confusing so I put it away again after about 15 minutes.)

I intended to finish Dragon Age II and then head into Dragon Age: Inquisition, but I stalled out after the second act. I was getting antsy for an ending so I could move on to something else, and then I went and bought Elite: Dangerous.

Elite: Dangerous came along at a great time because I was getting tired of story-driven gaming in general, and there were a bunch of Netflix shows I was falling behind on. For me, it’s rather difficult to watch television and cut scenes at the same time. But Netflix and Elite: Dangerous make the perfect combination.

Someday I’ll write more about Elite: Dangerous but in a nutshell I enjoy it. I have a hard time seeing it as an MMO though, because I’m playing it entirely in the “Solo” mode, and it doesn’t feel like I’m missing anything without other people. Space flight is an inherently lonely sort of activity, so it seems natural to me that there aren’t other people around. In real life I would only expect to see other people in the same ship that I was in, or after I landed on planets.

I don’t have much to say about the year 2014 in MMO gaming. I’m not much into trends. ESO and WildStar weren’t bad games in my opinion, but I didn’t get enough out of them to pay for a continuous subscription. I’d happily jump back into them again though. ArcheAge was a bit of a disappointment, although I could still see myself going back to it from time to time if–and only if–my progress were not destroyed by losing my property, which will eventually happen when my Patron status runs out.

As for 2015, one day I want to write a blog post about this, but I am going to call it now and say that EQ:Next is going to be a terrible game that will shatter the hopes of many people. There is an abundance of evidence for this conclusion in what we can already see in Landmark.

What’s The Best Subscription-Only MMO?

What’s the best subscription-only MMO out there right now? If you could only pick one to maintain, which one would it be? (By the way, the possible answers are: WoW, EVE, WildStar, ESO, or FFXIV.)

This is pretty easy for me to answer, actually: Final Fantasy XIV. Hands down. No need to even talk about it. It’s beautiful, it’s fun, there’s a lot to do, it’s updated often, it does every MMO mechanic (that matters) exactly right, and it’s cheaper than the others at $12/month. The only down side is that replayability is low if you ever want to make a second character. (You don’t need to, though, since you can play any class.)

Somewhere in Final Fantasy XIV.
Somewhere in Final Fantasy XIV.

In second place I would probably put WoW. It’s more expensive but it’s hard to beat the sheer magnitude of content available. For me, though, the lack of modern MMO features gets on my nerves and the gameplay gets repetitive after a month or so.

WildStar and ESO are both great games, too, but only for a limited time. Each one becomes repetitive quickly, so there’s no need to keep a subscription going all the time unless you have friends that play it.

EVE? Come on. Do I even have to say? That game is just not fun. It’s barely even a “game.” It’s more of a point-and-click adventure. The only reason to subscribe now is if you somehow got invested in the game years ago and built up tons of skills to the point that now you have to subscribe because you can no longer learn any skills in under 6 months.

This is not to say that I wouldn’t subscribe to WoW, EVE, WildStar, or ESO ever. I just would only do it for an occasional month here or there. What I’m saying is that FFXIV is the best one to stay subscribed to all the time. At least for me. Opinions may vary, of course. :)