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The Mog Log: Community (roundup)

Eliot Lefebvre

The state of higher education in Vana'diel is, quite frankly, appalling. It's easy enough to see why -- all of the Scholars are out doing field work instead of staffing any sort of university. Oh, sure, Windurst has its facilities, but most of the professors are too busy chasing skirts or trying to take over the world to bother enlightening any of the students. Let's face it, the only real chance that anyone has of learning anything when it comes to Final Fantasy XI is the community.

It's been a fairly quiet month in terms of big news bursts, but Final Fantasy XIV is still a hot subject of conversation for reasons we can't even begin to fathom. And we've been getting more information on the lore of the game, certainly. Meanwhile, we've got a new version update en route for Final Fantasy XI, so while there hasn't been a great deal new to chat over, there's certainly plenty of things to speculate on. Take a look at some of the community threads we've been pointed to or found after the break.

Why are we going to play?
Okay, we've got to be honest with ourselves: Final Fantasy XIV is not the only fish in the sea. In fact, the field of MMOs is increasingly composed of more fish than sea. We're talking about a crowded genre, with a game set in the most crowded possible setting -- so what makes FFXIV so appealing that it stands out among all of the other fantasy MMOs out there? What does it have that no one else has?

Speaking for myself, I'm in it for the sweet, sweet taste of having multiple jobs available to a single character. Even if I intellectually know that I'm just going to wind up leveling every different melee discipline and one or two caster fields like I always do, the freedom is a nice option. It means that I don't have to feel constrained by my initial choices on any given character. Of course, the game also promises to have more of the same rich worldbuilding found in its predecessor, so... all right, there are a lot of reasons.

The Lalafell Pride Thread
This? This I seriously don't get.

No, really. I remember walking through seas of taru in Final Fantasy XI, when it seemed like every time you invited someone new they had about even odds of being a taru or a hume. Forget mages, I saw so many taru leveling melee jobs that an enterprising Galka could have equipped them in the Ranged slot. And now the exact same thing is happening with the lalafell, which are this game's designated Short Race. I just do not get it.

All that having been said, if you are one of the people who is super excited to play a lalafell, there is no finer discussion thread available to you. I have no criteria on which to critique this. The dunesfolk look kind of interesting, I suppose. And at least you guys have knees now.

Breaking limitations
We know full well that there are going to be more limit breaks. Leaving aside any bitterness about Square-Enix making us jump through hoops, it wouldn't make sense to have to limit break over and over from 50 to 75... and then just ride along straight to 99. (Okay, it's not totally out of the question that they'd just remove the whole break process... but it sure don't seem likely.) The real question is what form the newest breaks are going to take, and there we enter into the realm of insane speculation.

There's a suggestion made very early on that I like for very cheeky reasons -- the idea that rather than having to do new super-powerful quests, we'll have to go back and do all of the slogs that people might have done once or twice and now have forgotten about. You thought you were done with Eco-Warrior? You're never done with Eco-Warrior.

Deciphering the map
Now that we've gotten our hands... eyes, whatever... on a decent-quality map of Eorzea, people have naturally done what MMO fans do best: poured over it and tried to analyze it to heck and back, extracting every possible minute detail. While the font might be a little hard on the eyes depending on the audience (I didn't have a problem, some people have), it's an interesting look at some speculative place names and spots of interest.

In large sweeps, people do seem to have pinpointed the new neutral hub of the game, albeit not with absolute certainty. Rather than being on the coastline, this one is in the center of a mountain range... which brings to mind some thoughs from a storyline point. Jeuno became the center of the world thanks to airships, which required a fair amount of open water to land. If we make the cognitive leap that Ishgard holds a similar position, what does that mean for our airships? They may very well be totally skybound, and what might that entail?

Oh, right, the version update
Talking about the next update feels a bit vague at the moment. We have virtually no new information on what it's going to contain. The first cap increase, the end of nation quests, all of that fun stuff... but almost all of that is information we knew back when VanaFest hit. Still, it's fun to at least guess and plead with absent deities about what's coming around the bend.

Of course, the amusing part is figuring out what we get as our reward for making it through the entire bloody expansion storyline as we fast approach the end. I don't know why, but the idea that they shouldn't make another ring because we're out of fingers greatly amuses me. It's also interesting how angry monks would be if they made us a belt. You can't really blame 'em.

Having looked at our community topics for this month, I can safely say that we are educationally not in the brightest of places. If anyone needs me, I might be sitting in the trunk of my car. Any additional topics, questions, suggestions, or further responses about the idea of a scheduled Massively play night can be left in the comments, or mailed to Eliot at Massively dot com. Next week? Questions and answers, followed by... surprising revelations!

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