I technically entered the PC gaming world significantly later than many of my peers. My family did not get a PC Compatible until 1992 when we took home a 386×16 from Sears and Roebuck with a colossal two full megs of ram. The very first game that I purchased for it was a copy of Sim City. There was just something about the idea of building my own town that appealed to me. Everything about the game was a bit cludgy including the black text on red note card that served as copy protection… but quite honestly I did not care. I was getting to build a world on screen and my enjoyment soared once I learned that I could put in a cheat and simply build freely without rules. That right there was the great possibility for Sim City, that you could color outside the lines and create some really interesting stuff in the process.
Yesterday the news broke that Electronic Arts has shuttered the Maxis Emeryville studio that was the birthplace of the various Sim franchise games that we all loved. I will admit that the last version of Sim City was the only version that I did not purchase at release. Quite honestly I still have not purchased it, because it felt too icky. Initially I set back watching as friends got frustrated with the online only functionality, and ultimately had my nose turned up at the Sims-like piecemeal DLC bonanza that started. What made Sim City so great was that it was this toolbox for us to design our own cities of the future… but when you start attaching real world price tags to those cities, it just feels wrong. Electronic Arts clearly knows what they are doing, as they still manage to turn a profit in spite of all the various heinous activities they have done in the past. I just find it deeply saddening that yet another “classic” studio has in essence been destroyed by them. They now get to party with the other dead studios like Origin Systems, Westwood, Bullfrog… and I feel like I am missing a few names from the list.
Right now I am on a bit of a mission in Final Fantasy XIV. With the current access to both Carboncoat and Carbontwine through the weekly quest, I have been trying to do everything I can to get my poetics gear quickly. I freely admit I was doing fairly good at making sure I hit the poetics cap every single week, until the launch of Warlords of Draenor. After that I fell off the deep end and only really returned to playing Final Fantasy XIV on a nightly basis after the 2.5 patch. As such my poetics gear is woefully behind where it should be had I been as diligent as I could have been. Thankfully this just means that I am essentially in the same boat as the rest of our free company. So now I am trying to at the very least get in a single expert roulette each day. Last night I spent my night running several different kinds of roulettes to try and make up for lost time seeing as I didn’t actually get any on Tuesday.
One would think that doing the highest level repeatable content in the game would mean that I would run into some assholes. I know Kodra ran into a single elitist player from the Death and Taxes guild the other night, but in truth most of my interactions have been largely positive. In Keeper of the Lake that run went as smoothly as I could have possibly imagined, with players actively conversing and talking about what needs to be done. Then I got Snowcloak and the moment we zoned in, a player said that it was their first time there. As such I took up the role of giving them the information that they need to be able to complete the fights successfully. We had a single wipe from the tank over pulling, but no one got grumpy and we just kept pushing forward. It is nights like last night that make me realize what a rare community Final Fantasy XIV really has.
The other day we came to the realization that our Free Company has been back playing Final Fantasy XIV for around seven months. I think I already commented on this being some what of a record for us, with quite honestly our group rarely sticking in one place for more than a couple of months at a time. We are very rarely one month players, but by the same token when a new game comes out we rarely make it past the three month marker. In truth Final Fantasy XIV represents one of the longest uninterrupted stretches of playing any game ever for me. I played World of Warcraft for about seven years without pause, Everquest for 3, and Dark Age of Camelot for 2. As such Final Fantasy XIV sits as fourth place already in this hierarchy of longevity. I think the reason why it is working so well this time is the fact that I am still playing other games at the same time, and because of this Final Fantasy XIV feels like a constantly fresh experience.
For years I have been enthralled by the schedule that Sypster keeps with his gaming, because he is the only person that I know who has quite literally a specific game that he plays on a given day of the week. The other day I realized that maybe this is precisely why this current volley of gaming has been so successful. I have a very distinct schedule, I just didn’t realize it until I started thinking about my various in game commitments. On Tuesday and Thursday for example I am raiding in World of Warcraft, so as such I tend to devote those days entirely to that game regardless of what else I might be playing. Monday and recently Saturday before we record our podcast we have been raiding in Final Fantasy XIV so those days naturally become something that I log in and devote my entire energy to that game. Everything else is pretty variable, but I tend to mix in at least a little Guild Wars 2 daily so I can get the login bonuses, and lately quite a bit of Sky Saga. So ultimately my schedule seems to have enough structure to keep me focused, but enough freedom to know that I am only a few days away from having a more freeform night of gaming. It seems to work for me, and I am hoping that means I have finally stabilized in my gaming habits… as quite honestly I had gotten tired of jumping from game to game every two to three months.
Source: Tales of the Aggronaut