It is time to take a break from MMOs
My Final Fantasy 14 subscription was to renew on December 12th. But, as the days ended, and the 9th became the 10th, and the 10th became the 11th, I started to realize something.
Something that I usually realize, but I always try to push it away because I was afraid.
Final Fantasy 14 is no longer fun. And that thought terrifies me.
The game that was with me for the last 9 years
Back in 2013, when Final Fantasy 14 re-released as "A Realm Reborn", I quickly jumped on it.
As an MMO gamer, Final Fantasy 14 looked like the next big thing. I was excited, and having played the beta, I was definitely looking forward to it.
Fast forward 9 years, and I still play the game. Yes, I took some breaks here and there, but I, for the most part, continuously played it. However, this past year, I have started to realize something.
The game is fun as hell when new expansions release, and new story is added. But, after I complete the story, the game just becomes stale. I log in, do a few dungeons/quests, and then I log off. I do that every day, until a new patch or expansion is released that includes additional story.
I have tried to do the end-game raiding content, but it is not for me. I have tried running a free company, or guild, only to find that it has become increasingly exhausting to do so, although it did increase my interest in the game a bit. It also made the game feel even more like a job than it already did.
And that is where I really started to think. Did I want to work my day job, then close up my work computer/programs, log into Final Fantasy 14, only to continue with that "job" of doing the daily items and building up a free company?
I want to play games to have fun, not have it feel like another Job
Gaming is something I use to have fun doing. I do not consider my life to be extensively stressful, but when I play games, I want to sit down, open up a game, and just be immersed in it for an hour or two before I need to return back to reality. Final Fantasy 14 was no longer doing that for me.
When the Endwalker expansion released last year December, I took off a week of work. That week was spent playing through the expansions story, doing some of the new content, and playing with a couple online friends. That week was fun as hell.
But, after that week, the game turned into the daily grind of just maintaining my character. My friends left the game because they got caught up to the story and they went back to playing other games, and I was left alone to just mindlessly play the game, because Final Fantasy 14 is the only game I have played these last 9 years, and it felt wrong to play other games.
That is where I become afraid of the idea of not playing the game. I have tried taking breaks from Final Fantasy 14 this year, as I mentioned in "Gaming is not as fun". But, I soon came back to the game.
But, on Sunday night, when I made the decision to not resubscribe to Final Fantasy 14, and instead purchase a new game, Kynseed, I realized something.
While I slept, I had a dream that I refunded Kynseed, and re-subbed back to Final Fantasy.
To me, that was eye opening. It showed that I had an addiction, and that now is the perfect time to leave.
So, as of Sunday night when I purchased Kynseed, and stopped playing Final Fantasy, I haven't touched it since. I still have the urge to resubscribe, but I am fighting back that urge.
Better yet, Kynseed is actually fun for me. I sit down, turn on the game, and the next thing I know, two hours fly by, and I need to continue on with my day. I have not had that feeling in such a long time. Final Fantasy 14 was a dreaded time sink. Each dungeon, even though they only lasted 15-25 minutes, felt like an eternity. It was not fun.
Now, I can experience what "fun" is while playing games, again.
Will I ever come back to Final Fantasy 14 or play any other MMO's?
I will come back to Final Fantasy 14, but only when new expansions or major patches are released. The game itself may not be the greatest, but the story is one of the best stories I know of in a game.
As for other MMO's, I am hopeful that I will be able to find fun MMO's in the future. The genre is stale right now. The big players (Final Fantasy 14 and World of Warcraft) follow pretty much the same recipe. Other MMO's that I have dabbled in just do not keep my interest. New World is fun, but the game does not respect your time at all and it still feels unfinished for a game that released over a year ago. And Lost Ark, although fun, has Pay to Win elements that turn me off.
I am hopeful for the future of MMO's though. Games such as Ashes of Creation and ArcheAge 2 are really catching my eyes. I just fear that they will either turn into games that no longer follow their original vision (Ashes of Creation), or they will turn into Pay to Win cash grabs like their predecessor (ArcheAge 2). However, both of those games are not out yet, and only time can tell what they will turn out to be.
For the time being, I think it is time to finally hit my steam library. Check out some single-player JRPG's that my friends have been hounding me about, and try to enjoy gaming again.