I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIV since its PS3 beta, though I haven’t been a constant subscriber during that time, often taking quite a bit of time away. However, I did return earlier this year, I’d never finished A Realm Reborn despite upgrading to Heavensward back when that came to PS4.
Anyway, I’ve been grinding my way through the past few months and am well into Heavensward now (but also have the Stormblood and Shadowbringers expansions beyond that), but still have a few ARR endgame bits and pieces on the list, most of those appear to be Trials (big boss fights) that I stick onto my Duty Finder whilst going up through the levels on my gathering jobs (an area of the game I’ve neglected, I’ve not even gotten into crafting), and often have to wait quite a while, even days, before getting full parties together to tick them off.
This Friday gone I finally got to do one of the Extreme difficulty ones, The Striking Tree (Extreme), in which you and seven others fight against the Primal Ramuh (which anyone who has played a Final Fantasy game will know of). Being a Dragoon, and therefore a DPS, my queue times are longer than if I’d have gone down the Tank or Healer routes, I totally appreciate what those guys do, and I’ll be honest, I was attracted to the Dragoon/Lancer role for a purely cosmetic reason, they’re just so cool looking (and this was well before Glamours, as my character doesn’t sport a typical Dragoon look now, I’ve used Glamours to make her look a bit like a succubus).
As you can imagine, doing the Extreme versions of these fights is pretty daunting, so when one of the Tanks asked if anyone was new to this fight, I sheepishly put my hand up. I’m glad I did, it could have gone badly that I admitted that (some people don’t like having new guys in their parties), but thankfully the Tank and a few other players, were incredibly helpful. They explained that we would “wipe” a few times as even to experienced players its a hard fight, we were told what to expect, what to look out for and after every wipe the group would discuss what went wrong, how we could prevent that in future and we’d go again.
We did actually run out of time when trying to defeat Ramuh so the Tank who had taken responsibility for guiding us set up a pick up party, so we all joined that and went again, the pattern continued, I asked a couple of questions between wipes and would change my approach accordingly. There was one moment where I had to be told, whilst fighting, to move away from our Tanks, and I died and had to be revived (alot), but we got there in the end, we defeated (Extreme) Ramuh and the experience was made extremely positive by the constant communication and praise that was given out throughout the two hours it took to get through to the end.
I’m normally very shy with online gaming, on the remote chance you’ve ever watched me stream anything, I don’t tend to talk, thats mostly because I dont really get any viewers and so have no one to chat with, but even so, on my Gran Turismo Sport nights, I’m one of the quieter players. and whilst communication in FFIX is text based, I still find it a bit of an obstacle that I struggle to overcome, so for players like myself, groups like I experienced on Friday evening are incredibly important.