I haven’t logged into Final Fantasy XIV for a couple of months now. I hadn’t logged in for a couple of months before that, too. Most times I try to log in, I stare at the screen for a few minutes, then log out. What’s up with that?
To be honest, I think I’ve reached the point I get to in every MMORPG’s lifetime when I’ve consumed all of the endgame content that I’m interested in. Previously, this has happened in RIFT and … well, that’s it, I think. I’ve left every other MMORPG from lack of interest rather than lack of content.
I feel like Square Enix has stopped adding content for players like me, and they’re now focusing on people who like to “live” in MMORPGs, not necessarily doing anything productive, just doing fiddly things that kill time without really altering your character. I’m pretty much all about the character progression, or story progression.
When I think about things I’m looking forward to, this is all I can come up with:
- Future Alliance Raids, which I will use as the easiest solo-friendly path to upgrade my gear.
- Future stories in the Main Scenario Quest, which will probably require the above-mentioned upgraded gear.
And that’s about it. Is that worth maintaining a subscription? Well, no, not really. I can (and do) keep myself busy with character progression in plenty of other games … for free.
Add to that the direction FFXIV is going lately.
Eureka. This major new content does not interest me even the tiniest little bit. Not even enough to go in a single time. Or even look at a single video of it. Grinding? No thanks. Alternate leveling system? No thanks. Relic or legendary or super-duper weapons or whatever? No thanks. It’s obviously-so, so obviously-just something to keep the player base busy, to distract them from a lack of meaningful content. Whenever an alternate leveling system is introduced, developers are basically saying, “We can’t think of anything else to do for character progression, so here, just start over on this new thing.”
Emotes. Selling flashy emotes? Really? I’m not thrilled about that at all. I guess it’s my sparkle pony line in the sand. It’s such a blatant “let’s fleece the whales” move that I can’t believe I haven’t seen any backlash over it. It’s what I would expect to see in a free-to-play cash shop, not a subscription game cash shop. It least not an ethical subscription game cash shop. It completely erases the line that separates a free-to-play, nickle-and-dime-you-to-death game from a subscription, we’re-above-all-that-and-here’s-everything-you-need game. I know that’s a completely subjective line that’s different for everyone, but this is apparently where it is for me.
Main Scenario Quest. I said I was looking forward to future stories, but to be honest, I’m not all that interested in [Big Bad dude redacted in case you don’t know] returning (unless they do something to make him interesting this time). I don’t have much confidence that they’ll handle [other Big Bad lady redacted in case you don’t know] well, either. I’m curious about it, but I’m 100% sure it will end in cliche-town. And the new Garlean kid from 4.2 did not resonate with me at all. Of the new characters, Fordola’s story is the only one that interests me at this point, and they ignored her in 4.2.
So the bottom line is that I’ve unsubscribed, so my time will run out in mid-May. I actually unsubscribed in February, but I changed my mind at the last minute and got another three months. According to ManicTime I’ve played a total of 13 hours since that renewal, almost all of which occurred in February. (I’ve played a grand total of 44 hours this entire year so far.) At this point I think what I’ll probably do in the future is sub for a month at a time just to play through MSQ chapters, then cancel again.
Of course, if history is any indication, I will suddenly become very interested in the game again a few days before my subscription runs out and the cycle will continue.