Tagged With ffxi

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"When will MMOs return to their glory days?," I'd ask whenever the genre of /whispers and warlocks came up in conversation. "Just look at these MMO youngsters fast-travelling across an entire world when, back in 2005, I had to run across five zones for two hours to get where I wanted — and if I died along the way, I'd have to do it all over." The grind made every bit of progress so sweet, I'd tell myself.

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Back in the early 2000s, Final Fantasy 11 was famous for completely disrespecting players' time. Masochistic and convoluted, the MMO drew in thousands of dedicated players who traded hours upon hours of grinding for the sweet feeling of accomplishment. Fifteen years later, more player-friendly MMOs monopolise the genre. And yet, there are still hundreds of fans foregoing cleaner gaming experiences for FF11's endlessly time-consuming and punishing challenges on legacy servers.

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When Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida revealed the MMORPG's upcoming Palace of the Dead dungeon last April, I had what I now realise was an embarrassingly romantic notion of what it would be: dungeon-crawling with friendly strangers, sneaking by traps and strategically navigating its roguelike-inspired, randomised maps to best an onslaught of challenging monsters.