In Another Castle
Last night was my raid night in Final Fantasy XIV, but before hand my key focus was trying to get my Mage to 100. I am not exactly sure what has lit a fire under me, but I am on this mission to have at least one server full with level 100 characters. As you can see in the above image, I am actually extremely close to getting there. Now granted I have the OTHER side of my linked server to start working on… but Belgaoh my Monk remains the only sub-100 character I have on Argent Dawn. The only problem there is he is SIGNIFICANTLY behind the curve sitting at only level 53 right now. I keep thinking that if I can get on at the right time, and have at least one easy to get to invasion event I will be able to push him through to 60 so that he can fly, which is going to be the key to getting more events on him. As of yesterday I thought I was nearing the end of the gear grind and even created a spreadsheet as an attempt to track progress in outfitting my characters in level 700 gear. The take away from that process seemed like I was going to spend the next several days working on my leather wearers to catch them up in progression.
Then this happened. I opened I believe 34 chests that I had gathered up on the mage in leveling from 90 to 100, and out of those chests seven different items came up as warforged. Apparently yesterday during the day at some point they patched in the ability for chests to spawn warforged gear, meaning that all of those characters I thought I had finished with really have only scratched the surface. I still think however my core mission is to get all of my characters outfitted in at least 700 gear, and if some of them get more trips to the candy shop in the hopes of finding warforged… then that is fine too. Ultimately I realize that all of this gear is going to be replaced within the first few minutes of questing in the Broken Isles. However for the time being I think this is probably a brilliant idea. The longer they can keep players actively participating in this event the better, because for the time being it is an amazing source of leveling and gear for everyone involved. I somehow doubt I will be able to get my monk all of the way to 100 in the short time available without focusing ENTIRELY on the monk, but I am definitely going to ride the elevator for as long as I can.
End of Expansion
One of the things I am realizing is that I apparently love the end of expansions. Cataclysm was the expansion that broke me and my desire to be playing World of Warcraft, causing me to fade away and go play other games. However I remember clearly that towards the end of the expansion I came back and really enjoyed myself. There was so much to be doing, and everyone had a great casual attitude about it all. For me personally I knew that nothing I was doing really mattered in the grand scheme of things, because as soon as Pandaria was released every last piece of gear I gathered would be replaced with greens. So in this low pressure environment I allowed myself to piddle around without purpose and had a complete blast. Similarly I remember coming back at the end of Pandaria and having the same fun experience, running around aimlessly on the timeless isle and doing all the little things that were fun but served no major purpose. Here I find myself once again in a similar pattern with Draenor, and I feel completely in my zone. The problem is that I wish I knew how to bottle this feeling and keep it alive during the rest of the expansion.
I am not sure how to take the joy that I feel at the end of an expansion when I am unfettered by expectations and pressures…. and keep that alive during the rest of the game. There is a switch that flips in my brain when an expansion launches that says “okay Bel, you need to be useful… go grind your face off”. I wish I knew how to turn that switch off completely because I think that is the thing that keeps getting in my way when it comes to enjoying an MMO for the long haul. I essentially burn myself out, over and over… game after game… by focusing on some lofty goal that I cannot accomplish without significant help from others. I end up ignoring the goals that are entirely up to me to complete, and those are probably the things that I technically enjoy more. I have had a blast alting my way to 100 over the last few weeks and bringing my own personal army up to snuff. As I look towards Legion, and Starfall Prophecy and whatever the Final Fantasy XIV expansion ends up being… I need to figure out how to keep this magic from the end of an expansion alive every single day I play the game.