February 9, 2012

All together now

I had an interesting moment of reflection a few days ago. I saw Alerith online, hanging about in Abyssea-Attohwa. Since I didn't feel like trying to gather the massive amount of +2 items that I have partially completed, I figured I'd go so what he was up to. Well, I actually just volunteered myself and ran out there.

What I found when I arrived was a rather funny, although pitiful, display of people fighting Blazing Eruca. I'm sure we can all agree that figuring out the trigger methods and purposes was a pain in the beginning. Not only were we clueless, but we were also much weaker than we are now. Empyreans at every turn, new weaponskills, better armor, and just a deeper understanding of Abyssea makes most of these fights pretty simple. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for this group.

Anyway, I'm only going to focus on one person for this. The Ninja. I made the joke of her "pinking it up" since she was in full Aurore gear. Personally, I don't care and I'm not going to argue the merits of Aurore vs. Empyrean. She was fighting the NM to get seals, so obviously she didn't have the Empyrean yet. I just like saying "pinking it up." During the fight, she was using Blade: Ten to attack. Based on Blazing's HP bar, that attack wasn't doing much. People started asking if she had Blade: Jin, but she never responded. A couple of fights later, she began using the attack. Progress! Then we had a fight where the trigger was water spells. Ale used what he could, the BLM cast his spells, but nothing happened with the Ninja. Some asked if she tried the spell, but response. Then she states "I don't have the tools for that."

If this were several months to a year ago, before the universal tools were introduced, I'd understand that. Or at least, I'd be more understanding. Carrying all those tools back then was a pain in the ass, and definitely a reason that I had very little interest in leveling Ninja before. That's obviously not the case now. One stack of tools is all you need. Thankfully, Ale had some and gave it to her. So that was one more issue resolved. We move on to another fight, but now the trigger is wind. Once again, Ale does his thing and so does the BLM. When it's the Ninja's turn, she casts...but she casts Huton: Ichi. We tell her it's the wrong spell and she needs to use Ni. As you can guess, she responds by saying that she doesn't have the spell. Now the rage within begins to come out of me. Yet, before I could lash out with a bunch of rude statements that had been filling my head, I had a flashback of when I first started.

I was BLM without a clue, and I happened upon a fellow BLM in Windurst who, out of sheer kindness, gave me a large sum of gil that I immediately and stupidly blew on spells from a vendor instead of the auction house. Regardless, he helped me. I have had help from tons of people over the years, and it was their help that has got me to where I am now. Does that excuse this Ninja and her lack of preparedness? Not in the slightest. At the same time, it made me think. How often do we see ourselves or other people criticizing and calling other people out on their mistakes or "improper" gear choices? I personally see it every single day. Someone out there is an example of "urdoinitwrong" or however people say that silly phrase. However, we rarely ever reach out and show these people the right way, or at least something better. We could argue that this game is old and you can find everything you ever want or need to know with some forum crawling, but does it really hurt you that much to take some time out and help someone else? Even if what you're helping them with is a 10k Huton spell on the Auction House, help is always remembered.

One of the common phrases you see in this game is that it's dead or dying. This game is not dead. There are still plenty of people signing on and doing things. There are still plenty of shouts going on in Port Jeuno and Whitegate. We don't sign on to empty servers and wish that other people were around. What *is* killing this game is people's reluctance to interact with others that they don't already know. It's like joining a linkshell now. When you join a shell, you should be a part of that group. Included in what they do, and feel like a part of something bigger than yourself. Instead, it's "Hi, welcome to the shell. Go get all of your gear upgraded and augmented on your own, build your own Empyrean, and basically do whatever you want by yourself or get people outside the LS to help. Once you have that, come show up for our events. Enjoy!"

When we refuse to help others, we are isolating them. When people feel isolated, they lose their drive. When you have nothing to strive for or you feel that you can't connect with anyone, then why stay? While FFXI is not incredibly difficult in many aspects, it most certainly is a group-oriented game. If all we have are cliques that we refuse to open and bring others into, then we are definitely dooming this game. As people leave, and they will, who is left to fill in the gaps? The people you once refused to help? Good luck with that.


Lisa said...

1. The pink Ninja, maybe she was a starting player? I don't know. But if she isn't a noobie there's no excuse for the mistakes she's been doing.

2. About helping others, that's so true... I'm happy enough to have my small group of friends (that it took me years to find), so I just don't bother meeting new people. I remember back in the day I was always making new friends, now that's just not the case anymore. But fortunately, you don't need more than ONE friend (and the right combo of jobs) to make any accomplishment in the game anymore.