Why I Decided to Become an Final Fantasy XIV Elitist
Hi, all! It's Scarlet Haze again with more thoughts sure to ruffle some feathers but things that need to be said.
Up until now, I've despised the casual/hardcore dichotomies because I think they're artificial and overly simplistic. I dislike any attempt to label people in order to create an in-group and an out-group.
Now for the big BUT (I like big buts and I cannot lie).
There is one group, the elitist, that has gotten particular flak. These are the players that do a fight 100 times and then tell everyone else how easy it is.
The fights ARE easy if you do them 100 times. I was telling someone yesterday how I remember when it seemed I didn't have any time in Final Fantasy XIV Titan EX. Mad scramble to avoid WotL, mad scramble to avoid LS, OMG add phase! OMG gaols! OMG bombs!
Now it's like: run in, move, stack, move, stack, Titan jumps, Stoneskin everyone in the group and go make dinner while waiting for him to land again, stack, move, stack, move, win.
It seems like things go in slow motion now with infinite time to do whatever in between moves. It seems like there is so much time, I've been referring to it as "downtime."
"Yeah, PLD Stoneskin is great. I can buff up everyone during 'downtime.'"
But then you join these Final Fantasy XIV groups and the people have never done it and they all die. You see 4 people carrying the other 4 and the 4 that keep on dying seem totally fine with this. They laugh, they joke, they're having a great time (losing is super fun!)
And the 4 good ffxiv players don't say anything. They're trying to be nice, they think they can still get it done (higher ilevel, echo, luck, whatever). Then the group loses when the boss is at like 5% and the 4 who died ages ago are like "You should've used LB. You should've drank a potion. You should've won SOMEHOW, even though we haven't contributed like AT ALL."
Then the good players get tired, they feel their frustration mounting. Maybe they lash out, maybe they just leave. The carried players, still unable to get their clears come to the forums and post things like: "Increase penalty timer for leaving an instance. Community is toxic. I can't get a group. Nerf this fight. Game is full of elitists."
Dictionary: Final Fantasy XIV Elitist - a person or class of person considered superior by others or by themselves.
While this term is subjective in many ways, I would argue that it is not COMPLETELY subjective. That is, there are some objective measures of superiority. For example, if I can perfectly execute fight mechanics and you cannot, then I am, objectively, superior to you (at least for that fight).
But apparently, some Final Fantasy XIV players do not want superior players in their game.
Only I don't think this is really true.
What I think is that players group themselves together based on FFXIV Skill. We're all playing (and paying) to have fun. It just isn't fun to spend a lot of time on old fights losing over and over because a few players keep wiping the team. That is not to say that experienced players don't sometimes have fun helping less experienced players but there is a tendency to focus on newer content and experienced players generally can't clear it AT ALL with less experienced players.
This is partly Final Fantasy XIV SE's fault. They've made mechanics where if someone drops a meteor in the wrong place (T9) it wipes the whole raid. We're not talking about healers having to rez someone a few extra times. Heck, if I ran a carry group (I don't run carry groups), I'd have to tell the purchaser to run into the wall and die to make sure they didn't kill us all. These types of things have made new players into total liabilities.
Yet these players come to the forums and post things like: "PF groups want experienced Final Fantasy XIV players only. People disband after 2 wipes. I got kicked because I said I was new. FFXIV Players flipped out because they saw the soldiery ffxiv gil bonus."
It's just the metagame we play in, folks. It's nothing personal.
And that brings me back to my point about elitism. Just a moment ago I said that I didn't think players are really mad that elitists exist. Now let me tell you what I do think some players are mad about. They're mad that elitists just don't want to help them.
Yes, there's attitude and hostility that often comes along with elitism, as evidenced sometimes by name-calling. But the actual act of exclusion makes sense because pixelated gear trumps the feelings of a total stranger. I'm not being funny here. Playing with a competent team is super fun, clearing content, upgrading gear, and most of all getting to grow one's own abilities (if you never make it past the early phases of a fight because of others, how will you learn the later phases?). Being held back, on the other hand, is very, very frustrating.
So what happens? Players form their own cliques to maximize their fun and minimize their frustrations. And so the transformation to elitist is complete.
The point of all this is that we call people "elitists" as though it is a bad thing (and certainly name-calling and putting down others is a bad thing). But striving to be the best and picking a winning team are natural parts of MMO culture (and many other games, even the game of life).
Some players don't care about improving. They make up rules like: "I won't watch a guide" and "I can join PFs that explicitly ask for experienced players only."
Then they reject vote abandons as if to hold the experienced players hostage with the penalty timer. But the experienced players will still leave, no matter what the penalty is, no matter how much you increase it, because they aren't having fun and they just don't want to play with those other players.
I have seen both sides of this. I have tasted Titan's lava many times. I have prayed for groups to win while I was lying in the dirt. The only thing that ever made my experience better was striving ever harder to be a contributing member of my party. To that end I gear up as much as possible before taking on fights, I watch guides, I practice often.
I'm not here to preach how easy this game is (it's not easy if you don't do those things above). I just want to offer a different way of looking at so-called elitism: as a mindset that is not okay with mediocrity, not just in others, but in one's self as well.
Yes, FFXIV is just a game but while you're telling yourself that, I'll be off killing more primals (and updating my stock portfolio in between Titan's jumps)
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