MogTalk: Episode 235 Digest – Entering the FFXIV Community

final-fantasy-14-heavensward

What is it like to enter the Final Fantasy XIV community as an established content creator? This digest follows MogTalk: Episode 235, featuring gaming personality JesseCox and World of Warcraft and variety streamer AnnieFuchsia as they join Frosty in discussing this topic.

Annie has finished A Realm Reborn and is working on side quests while planning to go through the Heavensward main scenario soon. Meanwhile, Jesse began streaming FFXIV during the pandemic last spring and is currently caught up with the main story.

FrostyTV: There’s so much story in FFXIV. I think that’s why people really love it. You can almost play this game like a single-player RPG if you wanted to. [9:36]

AnnieFuchsia: I am playing it that way. Obviously, when it’s time to do dungeons and raids, I group up with people and we take on the enemy together. However, I’m playing my own game like it’s my own story. I’ve played a lot of variety outside of WoW, and playing FFXIV has felt similar to playing my story games while chat experiences it together with me.

FrostyTv: Jesse had the whole experience himself, going through the entire story and doing it together with chat. How was that experience for you? [11:13]

JesseCox: I didn’t experience it all with chat, because my FFXIV story began years ago when A Realm Reborn first came out. I was still in the WoW world, and like most people, wanted to check this new MMO out. I gave it a shot, but got to level 40 and thought “Boy, this sucks.” During the height of a global pandemic, I was bored out of my mind and my friend told me to check out FFXIV. I went back and did the level 40-50 push before doing the Praetorium. I’ve been streaming it since 2.1. People were very excited to watch Heavensward, which is an entirely new experience. It is really something special, and I don’t want to spoil anything. [11:34]

Jesse mentioned noticing a new wave of viewership with each expansion, explaining that many viewers love watching streamers experience their favorite parts of the story for the first time.

FrostyTV: We’ve never had this level of attention before. To be honest, the Twitch community for FFXIV was not the biggest. Before now, we didn’t really have over 10,000 people watching a channel. [15:51]

AnnieFuchsia: I remember when I first streamed FFXIV. I noticed a lot of people were interested in my channel, so I checked out the category and noticed there were no big streamers there. Whenever I play a game that is well received, there’s already a lot of streamers there with tens of thousands of viewers. In this category, I didn’t see many, and that’s when I wrote my tweet out and found Jesse actually. Considering how many people play the game, I wonder why it’s never really taken off on Twitch. There’s some hype now, which has brought many streamers in, and it’s interesting to see this bump in the category that gives the game the attention that it deserves. [16:37]

JesseCox: Coming into this space and having no clue what I’m doing but being the first person you saw in the FFXIV category was really jarring. I didn’t understand how this game didn’t have a bigger following. Someone asked me if I was going to be a part of the FFXIV Fan Fest, and I thought “Why would they invite me?” There are so many more deserving and amazing people who should be a part of that. Because of this, I try my best to raid streamers who are putting in the hours doing all of this FFXIV stuff so I can worm my way into the community a bit better. Now, I see bigger streamers starting to come into this space, and it’s blowing up all together across the board. I’m really excited to see more eyeballs on this game. [19:00]

AnnieFuchsia: If there’s any streamers in the FFXIV category right now that feel like they’re getting less viewers because of all of the big names coming in, don’t worry. Most of these people will stay. They’re helping grow your category. [23:37]

Currently, FFXIV is experiencing a content lull as developers focus on preparing Endwalker, the game’s fourth expansion that will be released worldwide on November 23, 2021. Streamers new to Eorzea are providing longtime fans the opportunity to see fresh faces experience their favorite moments while anticipating new content this fall.

FrostyTV: Jesse, when did you complete the full storyline and get caught up with the rest of the community? [26:10]

JesseCox: I had a hell of a year and completed 5.0 on New Year’s Eve around midnight. It was the perfect ending to 2020. What was I supposed to do to celebrate the New Year? I was stuck at home. I then found myself doing a lot of extra stuff. I officially caught up to everyone around February or March, and I’ve been with everyone else since. [26:20]

FrostyTV: I do want to ask you both about your in-game experience when you started playing. Annie, since this is fresh for you, how has that in-game experience been? [30:52]

AnnieFuchsia: I’ve had a really nice experience so far. I can never get used to how creative people are. For example, I have a whole family of Annies. There is Potato Annie, Small Annie, Angry Annie, MSQ Annie, and Wind-up Annie. One of the most surprising moments was when I walked into Ishgard for the first time and there were people lined up by the stairs. It took me a minute to realize that they were waiting for me. It’s awesome to see how creative and engaging people are in the game. [31:17] 

JesseCox: It’s beautiful. I remember all of those moments. When I started Stormblood, I was a Red Mage, and everyone was there waiting in their Red Mage outfits. It was a really fun moment, and I can’t believe it when viewers take the time to do this. One of my viewers would dress up as an imperial officer and hide in different locations. I would randomly stumble upon her while exploring, and we’d have a dance off. If I won or sometimes if I spotted her, she’d freak out and run away but show up in future places. Her game title was Imperial Nuisance, which was really funny, and she provided a micro adventure inside of my gameplay experience. [33:38]

Jesse and Annie detailed different fun experiences such as these, which they both enjoyed and described as unique to the FFXIV community.

FrostyTV: It’s so funny to see new names run into all these memes. I don’t know if this happened to you Jesse, but I saw Annie go through Cape Westwind and get trolled pretty hard about the difficulty. [43:40]

AnnieFuchsia: I was so scared when the HP was going down and thought there was a second phase or something. Then I was like “Wait, this is it? What the hell, chat?!” I thought I was up for a huge fight. I definitely experienced that and also laughed at Asmongold as he experienced the same thing. [43:50]

JesseCox: When I get that for roulette, if I see a sprout, I say “We gotta run! We should all leave right now. This is going to take 25 minutes, and we have got to get out of here before we waste our time.” Everyone else in the group joins in. It’s hilarious. [44:42]

While going through the game’s main story, some streamers are also taking the time to complete old raids, such as the Binding Coil of Bahamut.

FrostyTV: I am curious about you venturing into some of the more difficult content. Annie, you recently did T9. What were your feelings about doing one of those raids? [45:29]

AnnieFuchsia: I decided that I wanted to do it on minimum iLvl with Echo on as a middle ground. It was enough to experience all of the mechanics in the fight while having to do them accurately. Many of the mechanics do remind me of those in WoW, like movement things, debuffs to keep track of, and stack or spread. It was cool to experience how things play out in FFXIV. The platform with the meteors dropping down and the sudden scene change into the next phase where it becomes darker with dragons spawning were all great to experience. [45:48]

FrostyTV: T9 holds a special place in my heart because that’s when I started getting into FFXIV raiding. I’d put up a party finder and ask if anyone wanted to try T9. I would bring people in to teach them the fight because I wanted to do it over and over again. I love that fight so much. [47:19]

JesseCox: T9 was the first time I realized that stuff in this game can be hard. Up to that point, I had pretty much breezed through everything the game threw at me and thought it was pretty easy. Even doing the 24-man raid content, we’d breeze through it. Now, going through the newer content and seeing the difficulty level is fascinating to me. The way the raids and trials are designed is brilliant. You can see they’ve honed their craft. It’s visually and mechanically impressive. [48:13]

After discussing some of the differences between toxicity in other games compared to FFXIV, Frosty and guests moved on to sharing more positive experiences they’ve had throughout their time in Eorzea. 

FrostyTV: I’m curious to learn about more positive interactions you’ve had with FFXIV. Is there anything else that has surprised you about the community? [1:02:29]

JesseCox: One of the things I noticed right away is how different the community treats new players. It’s very different from WoW, which is where I came from. I think it has to do with roulettes and the idea of doing older content that gives old rewards. You’re constantly going back and doing older content, which forces you to play with newer players over and over again. It gives you a mindset of expecting players who may have no clue what they’re doing. One of WoW’s biggest downsides is having no reason to go back and do old content. When new people catch up to you, they’re living in a world where everyone knows what they’re doing while they’re still brand new. In FFXIV, new players are just as wide-eyed as you were when they first got to certain fights. Suddenly, you become a big brother or sister to these new players. [1:03:22]

Many of the newer FFXIV players interviewed on MogTalk share similar stories of veteran players trading them fun items or gear while they were sprouts. Now, Jesse walks around and shares extra Bozja loot with sprouts, bringing his experience full circle. This is different from starting out in WoW, as new players go through a different segmented leveling experience compared to those in the endgame. 

FrostyTV: Jesse, what was the reason you started out in FFXIV? Were you bored with WoW or did you just want to play a Final Fantasy game? [1:27:56]

JesseCox: I got asked by a friend, and I remember not liking it before. He said “Trust me. You’re going to love this.” I came back and had the exact same thought I did years ago. I barely remembered anything but didn’t want to start over. A lot of people watching suggested I should play Red Mage instead of Black Mage. I switched, and it clicked instantly. Suddenly, I was having way more fun. I came back when 5.3 came out. Not only did I get to experience the end of A Realm Reborn, but I could fly in all of the old zones. [1:28:11]

FrostyTV: How long did it take for you to turn off that mount music? [1:33:48] 

JesseCox: I am what the industry calls a whale. I’m the guy who spends all that money on dumb stuff. I went to MogStation and bought the Spriggan mount. I love that sweet boy. I also got the FFVII mount and love riding to the FFVII music. For the most part, A Realm Reborn’s zone music isn’t too impactful. It wasn’t until the end of Heavensward and definitely in Stormblood that I realized the zone music was getting pretty good. Eventually, I annoyed chat because I would sing along and create lyrics to the Stormblood music. I have not turned the mount music back on since. [1:33:55]

AnnieFuchsia: Mine is also off. I don’t remember which mount or area I was in, but I kept having to mount up in the same zone. It felt very disruptive, and that’s when I switched it off. I have noticed that the general ambient sound in Heavensward is pretty cool, and I’m a big fan of the wintery zones. While I’m exploring, it’s nicer to hear the music of the zone that I’m in. [1:35:37]

JesseCox: At some point, someone said “Take the leash off, Soken.” There’s a point in Stormblood where I had no idea musically where the game was going, but every single song is a banger. It’s crazy. Thematically, it all ties together while being so varied and different. [1:37:29] 

Frosty, who has been playing FFXIV since A Realm Reborn, shared his thoughts on the community and why he enjoys making content for the game.

FrostyTV: The reason I keep playing this game and have been in it for so long is the community. I can’t stop doing this show or the world race stuff because I want to do it for the community. I want to be here and be a part of the community because I love all of them. During world races, people from all over the planet come together and show their love for this game. It’s so much fun, and I can’t experience it anywhere else. [1:48:15]

Before ending the show, our wholesome host asked his guests how they felt about joining the FFXIV community in the long term.

FrostyTV: Jesse, this looks like it’s going to be a long-term MMO for you. You’re going to be here forever, right? [2:02:02]

JesseCox: Yeah, as long as they’ll keep me around. At some point, they might say “This guy is a goober. Get out of here.” [2:02:09]

FrostyTV: Annie, with what you’ve experienced so far, does it look like this is a possibility for a long-term game for you? [2:02:29]

AnnieFuchsia: I think so, yes. A lot of people say that A Realm Reborn starts slow and that it’s bad, but I’m really enjoying myself. For me, it’s more than just the main story because I like to do everything in the game. I’m doing the hunting logs and recently discovered treasure maps. I’m huge on completion. In WoW, I ended Battle for Azeroth with four achievements remaining, meaning I’m really close to 100% completion. That’s the way I enjoy playing games, and I can see myself doing that in FFXIV. I’ve done all the grinds in WoW, so it’s nice and fun to be able to have that experience in a new game. [2:02:39]

Click here to enjoy the entire conversation.

MogTalk is a weekly podcast airing every Saturday at 5PM ET on twitch.tv/Frosty_TV. The show is entirely focused on bringing the community together to discuss topics of interest regarding FFXIV, including patch notes, game mechanics, and raid insights. MogTalk Digests are now available thanks to Patreon supporters! If you are interested in supporting all of the content MogTalk has to offer, please visit our Patreon page.

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