I remember when World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King came out years and years ago, one of my best friends made the jump from The Lord of the Rings Online to Warcraft with some buddies. I tried my hand at the MMO as well, wanting to keep the group together, and found myself metriculating back to LotRO rather quickly. Something about World of Warcraft at the time just didn't draw me in - maybe it was the idea of paying another subscription fee when my family was just starting to grow and I was still working on a less-than-liveable wage. Part of it I think too was simply the world. I was drawn to LotRO because of my love of Middle-earth first before my love of the genre kept me there.
But as my friend played WoW and it got more and more popular, I found myself wishing I had been able to stick with the MMO at the time. The real sense of FOMO rose in me, and I felt weird not being part of the craze.
This has replicated itself over the years and new MMO after new MMO has come out. I've since gotten into World of Warcraft, loving my Monk and Shadow Priest characters. But games like Age of Conan, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, and even one as seemingly beloved as WildStar never really hooked me.
I'm actually finding myself feeling this with what is considered to be the best MMO on the market by much of the industry: Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers.
I've had a really hard time getting into FFXIV long-term. I've played it quite a bit and I really enjoy my Red Mage that I wrote about a year or so ago. However, I'm still slowly making my way through the Shadowbringers story in an attempt to be caught up in time for Endwalker - and I'm not sure I'm really enjoying myself as much as I do other MMOs.
And that's not a knock on FFXIV I don't think. Clearly they are doing something right. Shadowbringers has been a critical and commercial success, with many of my colleagues considering it possibly the best MMO story told in recent memory. For some reason I just find myself feeling bored with the combat, my eyes glazing over at times when dealing damage from afar.
Maybe I should just try a new job, but one of the major reasons I played FFXIV was my love of Red Mages from other Final Fantasy games. A friend of mine has seemingly maxed out almost every major job from White Mage to Samurai, and the variety really seems like one of the ways that keeps him engaged in the MMO. That variety might save me.
It's weird, because in other MMOs, I'm not someone who really cares about multiple playstyles for myself. I've largely played the same Hunter since LotRO launched in 2007, and while I have both a Monk and a Priest leveled to do the Shadowlands content, I've really only focused on one of them during this expansion. Usually I'm content with the class I play and don't stray too far away during my time in an MMO. Even The Elder Scrolls Online has me playing largely the same character instead of really leveling up a new one, with the major exception being leveling when a new class is released like the Necromancer a few years back.
I'm really wondering if my inability to really get heavily into Final Fantasy XIV like I should stems from this desire to just stick with one major job, or if it's simply the MMO itself. Either way, I'd love to hear if you all have experienced something similar throughout the years of playing MMOs. Have you ever had one that seemingly everyone got into and priased, only for you to struggle to get into the game in the end? Did you overcome it, or simply move onto something more your speed? Let us know in the comments below.