Just a meandering few thoughts, but I was thinking back to when I started ffxi and how it relates to starting out this week.
I'm not directly comparing of course as they are different games, but there might be a few things similar as we all progress over the next month. There's a lot of trolling going on about the game at the moment, but I find it hard to see how we can all review the game after only playing for a few days.
I remember starting out in Sandy & Ronfare and not having a single clue about what to do. I got lost, it took me forever to find the NPC to get my starter 50gil!! I had no idea what quests were, never mind find them and complete them. I think it took me until about level 9 to realise I could be 'raised' from getting wiped by a goblin.
The game, while soloing around Ronfare, was all consuming for the first week. I made friends, worked out the basics, but didn't really get anywhere near understanding anything. I also ventured to far into the tombs and got buggered sideways by bats and goblins.
Then came the dunes. Do you remember the first time you went there and saw the stark contrast between the starter areas and this white, windy desolate place where everything was deadly, everything you knew and had seen before had a different, more menacing name? There were dead people scattered about in groups of 6! Scary stuff.
The battle mechanics suddenly changed overnight too. No longer were things simple. You got new skills, learnt how to party, learnt about hate, aggro, pulling, all of that - there were no instructions, we learnt it the hard way from each other.
We had subjobs appear at 18, so then we had to start again with a new job, and level all over again, which completely changed the way we partied next time round.
It took weeks to understand what was going on if you were a normal player with a job and a life, and even when I went at it hard over the weekends it often felt like I was seeing only the tip of the iceberg in the early days.
There was so much we couldn't work out, and so much frustration mixed with excitement. Remember trying to get a boat pass so you could level over 25? In fact, remember the vast change again when you first went to Quifim? Mechanics seemed to change every 10 levels, quite drastically dependant on your class.
I guess what I'm saying is, right now, even the most seasoned of us who have played any FF game or any MMO for years actually don't know that much about what lies ahead, especially with the dev team clearly working on new patches and version updates nearly every week until ps3 launch.
There could be all sorts of wonders waiting for us, but many of us are getting tied up in the little frustrations of the starting areas, starting quests, not knowing what to do, not having it all on a plate.
I remember the point of these games was to adventure, to find out, to discover and search, be killed, get wiped, learn not to fight that thing or another thing. Laugh at each other in the process.
We had BCNMs, Misson bosses, all sorts of stuff that we nothing about in the first week of playing. God, do you remember the first time you saw the Windy Dragon? You got owned too didn't you?
We have so much to look forward to. Loads. This game is gonna be great.