If you haven't been in the mood to talk about the new hotness, of course, there's been plenty of other things to chat about, specifically the huge March update in Final Fantasy XI that added all sorts of new widgets. (An update I was lucky enough to take a tour of, if you missed it.) So jump on past the cut for the most interesting, though-provoking, or just most noteworthy threads over the past month around the web, as determined by reader mail and whatever caught my eye before my clicking hand got tired.
"IT++ mob, would camp again"
Okay, it's not all that eBay, but I had to make the reference. No, this thread is simply asking what you'd like to see come around again in Final Fantasy XIV. It start off with the observation that crabs have once again returned to the game, which everyone remembers from lower-level grinding as being prime targets. (Mostly defensive abilities, low base attack, and they just look like they were made to be targeted.) The discussion quickly moves from just being about Final Fantasy XI's iconic enemies and on to a discussion of series enemies in general.
Really, I'd be happy if we could dispense with bats, beetles, and crabs pretty early on -- I can't be the only one a little traumatized at the sheer amount of time killing what amounts to the small fry of Vana'diel. That being said, if we could regularly level on Rams, I would be exceedingly happy. (I have a very vivid memory of the Thunder Ram the first time I ever went to Konstacht Highlands all those years ago. I apparently have not gotten over it.)
Papa's got a brand new... yeah
There are a lot of things to talk about when it comes to all of the new information about FFXIV, but a few eagle-eyed readers spotted one of the obvious ones: bags. Large bags. Bags that make the storage space in FFXI seem positively anemic -- which is fair, because they kind of are.
Seriously, I play a lot of MMOs. (Comes with the territory.) You do not know limited storage space unless you've tried to level a Ninja seriously. The only game I've played with worse storage is City of Heroes, and that game barely even has items in the conventional sense. Compare this to the usual staples in the series, where the end of Final Fantasy X sees you toting around not just an entire arsenal and two or three armor pieces for each character, but what amounts to an apothecarium and an entire weapon forge.
Sorry, that got away from me. It's nice to see the changes being made, though, and it's the sort of subtle thing that's easy to miss in the heat of the moment. And I'm sure all of us would weep tears of joy if we could get stacking ore this time around, since we've run for the Tenshodo quite enough, thanks.
Coming to FFXI from WoW
It's bound to end in tears, is what it is.
Okay, joking aside, this really is the sort of opposite of the usual progression. There's a very different design ethos at work within FFXI, one that isn't compatible with the individualistic approach of most of World of Warcraft. Having said that, there are more similarities than might be immediately apparent. Really, I don't see it ending well; there are lots of relics of earlier design times at work within Vana'diel that will turn a lot of people off. Still, it's a worthy effort, and I salute the thought.
Just for one thing (to equip)
The little line below all the stats and additional effects has broken more hearts than anything else in FFXI. This thread asks a reasonable question: what lone piece of equipment do you wish had your preferred job listed on the line to equip it? Generally speaking, the wishes turn toward some of the nicer damage-dealing accessories that are limited to one or two class when five or six could really benefit from it.
Personally, I have an odd choice: I wish that Dragoons could equip the Royal Squire's set in general and the chainmail chest in particular. The stats on it are fairly pedestrian, but I've always adored San d'Oria, and the idea of running around as a proper lance-bearing Dragon Knight is appealing to me. The heart wants what the heart wants. (This particular heart also wants a similar set in FFXIV.)
The deity game
Here's the odd thing about choosing a patron deity: it's the sort of thing that roleplayers love right up until it gets a straight correlation to something in the game's system. After all, as soon as choosing to worship Ifrit gets you fire resistance, it becomes very relevant whilst fighting in the Lava Caves. (Names purely speculative, before anyone tells me that they're Zilaart ruines named the La'avau Caverns or something.) On the flip side, it's the sort of thing that non-roleplayers generally don't care for as much until they get some sort of substantial benefit out of it. So you have to try and strike a balance where it has an effect, but one that's neither overwhelming nor useless.
Roleplaying forums being what they are, the thread covers a wide variety of topics, including the obvious question of atheism (which is sometimes silly, given the setting) and how much impact your choice of deity might actually have. Unfortunately for me, most of my characters tend to be pragmatists. I have to wonder if there's a "Pray to Situationally-Appropriate Deity" button.
That's all the community news that my clicking hand found before it got very tired and I returned to Final Fantasy XIII. (Lightning is awesome. Vanille is not.) Next week, it's time for the answer to a great many questions, even if several of them are asking what I was thinking with last week's column. If you've got any other questions you'd like to see answered, other threads you want highlighted in the future, or even just a hankering to tell me why I'm wrong about everything, send a letter along to Eliot at Massively dot com.