Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Seeking Adoulin

In mere hours, the latest expansion - Seekers of Adoulin - will be released for FFXI, and once again a flurry of adventurers, old and new, will flock to its brand new shores.


Of course, I have my EU preorder ready and paid for, and I am incredibly excited to see what changes and upgrades there are for the game and the jobs I love, but at the same time I can't help but feel worried that the things I enjoy will soon vanish...!

Play Time & Style


Living in Japan means my playtime with friends back in the west is severely limited. I occasionally play with Japanese players, but my translation isn't up to par recently, and especially since a lot of the Japanese player base refuse to use the in-game auto translate function. I have also been working hard on pumping out webcomic pages, which mean I have little to no free time and in short, I'm worried about being left out.

Like the previous expansion, Adoulin comes with a whole new world (if you can call reskinned starting zones a "new world" in the case of Wings of the Goddess), two new jobs and lots of interesting events such as Skirmish, which is akin to Aht Urhgan's Assaults or the newly added Meeble Burrows.


Square Enix have stated that Adoulin is strictly intended to be enjoyed by high level (99) players, which means that unlike the Abyssea expansions, the ability to low-man these new, tough enemies might be thrown out the window. Most of my playtime is enjoyed with one or two other people, as a lot of my previous friends left the game long ago, and despite what the press releases say, speculation insists that I might need to make some new friends if I want to advance within this mysterious realm. Something which, again, is hard for me and my cursed time zone!

Jobs


I am particularly interested in Rune Fencer! Perhaps because I love using a Great Sword on DRK and have never really levelled a proper tank job before. I also fell in love with what appears to be the AF armour set when it was released, but I can't judge a book by it's cover.

Except PUP, which was decided as soon as I saw the first ever footage of a Galka running around Aydeewa with his little harlequin buddy.

When I decide to take a job to 99, I really want to get good at it. Really, really good! Not just through collecting the best gear, but by learning how the job really works, by practising different techniques through lots of different situations (even if it means dying a lot) and just generally being the best I can be when I do finally find the time to play.

What I am worried about is that during the next few weeks, days, or heck, even hours, lots of players will rush these new jobs to 99 through Gusgen and Abyssea, ignoring any quests, and how to actually "play". It saddens me when all players care about is increasing their rank on a third party website and not taking the time to explore and better themselves at a job, or be proud they took the time to learn how to utilize it properly.


Saying it like that sounds pretty elitist though, right? But it's true. I have met many players with 99 DRKs, PUPs, or even MNK - which I only hit 99 on recently - not knowing what the heck to do in certain situations, how to play the job well, what job abilities or traits exist, or having low, uncapped (especially in the case of PUP's Automaton) skills.

Whenever I ask these players why they level these jobs, I usually get similar sounding answers. "I want all jobs at 99" and "I want to get it over with" or "I got a 99 Annihilator so I guess I should level RNG now."

While I can't force other players to play an MMO in a specific way, I also can't judge or object to these reasons. I can, however, laugh at their complete and utter incompetence though, right?

World


I am praying for the return of classic experience point parties, not because I am drugged up on nostalgia like many other players, but simply because I want a reason to explore new areas and fight a lot of new monsters! With Abyssea introducing nothing but reskinned creatures we have seen a thousand times over, the new monster designs in Adoulin look utterly fantastic. Of course, currently hammering on worms or raptors is the fastest way to get experience points in Abyssea and the entire game in general, but I am in no rush to get to 99 on these new jobs or any previous jobs at all. I want to take my time and have fun while levelling. I hope lots of others feel the same!


I am worried that, like Whitegate and the starter cities in Wings of the Goddess, places like Jeuno will become ghost towns again, and there will be incredible overcrowding in the new areas. However, Square Enix also anticipated this and will be increasing yell range to all major cities, so hopefully that fixes any congestion issues.

When Aht Urhgan came out, I remember a lot of server maintenance due to overpopulation, or being locked in and our of certain zones such as Al Zahbi. then again, the playerbase has decreased significantly since those days. the other day only two people were in Whitegate when I dropped by for a visit, I was gobsmacked, as it also happens to be one of my favourite areas in the game.

Closing


I won't keep rambling. Speculation is pointless at this time, all that is left is to look forward to whatever is thrown our way and hope that everyone can enjoy playing Seekers of Adoulin, and the next chapter in Vana'diel's history, the way they want!

See you in the new world!

Don't forget to give me a poke if our paths cross!