The one greatest aspect of MMOs is also the genre’s worst. That aspect, naturally, is humanity. Most of the time your fellow players end up falling into helpful or unhelpful categories. Rarely do you properly bond with other players. It is only in instances of shared problems that you break down and start conversation. Playing the Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Early Access was a whole lot of pain. Players got stuck trying to get into instanced content early on into the new main scenario quest line, which left us all clustering around an NPC.
But sitting in that cluster reminded me of just how great it is to share horrible experiences with other people. Its a kind of bonding you just don’t get in singelplaysr games- even if you run into the same error. The chat box and emotes allow you to share your pain in an immediate sense.
And we tried so many things. We formed lines. We kicked out under-levelled players, we kept trying to enter the instance in the very literally definition of insanity. Eventually, we gave in and started worshipping that NPC as the Keeper of the Instance.
Sure, the issue has been fixed. This morning the instance was much more easily accessible, and players could run through Stormblood at their leisure, but those moments of bonding reminded me why I love MMOs. Most of the time, it’s the continued content, the gear grind, and the joy of increased challenges that keep me going, but at the end of the day, its humanity that makes MMOs what they are.
And as annoyed as I am for sitting in a clump of players for days while trying to access other instanced content in the hopes of alleviating boredom at the risk of server disconnect issues, I’m actually somewhat thankful. If it weren’t for “Best Served With Cold Steel” and the enforced contact with masses of other players, I might have continued in forgetting just why I play massive multiplayer games.
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