Final Fantasy XIV - The Dark Side Of The Community
A few weeks ago, an article was written that talked about how friendly and helpful the FFXIV community is. While I don’t necessarily disagree with those statements, the community also has a seriously deep issue with toxicity and impatience for new players.
Depending on what Data Center/Server you’re on, your experience might not ever come close to matching what I’ve seen. I play on Ultros, located on the Primal server, and I constantly see people who say and do super negative things that would discourage new players. Party finder, more often than not, typically has notes that range anywhere from “know the mechanics” to “baddies = kicked”. While I can somewhat understand the appeal of farm parties not being willing to bring players who are new to the trial/raid, it doesn’t make for a very inviting party with a description that makes you nervous before you ever even do the thing you’re queuing for.
Speaking of knowing the mechanics, there’s often a ton of people that expect first timers to have watched a YouTube video or looked up a strategy for every single dungeon boss/trial/raid encounter they get to. Where’s the fun in looking up a strategy for something you’ve never seen/done before? Sure, you could spoil the event for yourself in order to avoid wasting other people’s time, but then you don’t get to experience anything as a surprise. Is that really fair to newer players or anyone who hasn’t ever done an event before?
I see this a lot in story-based dungeons. People continually complain that someone is watching the cutscenes when they just want to kill the bosses. In my opinion, that’s acceptable in a party finder group, but it’s not when you’re matched up doing Duty Roulettes. People who get to a dungeon as they’re progressing the main story questline shouldn’t be required to “not waste people’s time”. The story dungeons and events have cutscenes that provide more information as to what’s going on with the story, and asking people to skip those is unfair to their experience given how FFXIV is a completely story-driven experience.
So then, what’s the problem with ignoring those people and just going in blind? The problem is, you’ll often get flamed if you mess up. Here’s a tweet I saw a while back which actually inspired this piece:
How is that going to help your current run? What good does it to someone for you to rip them to shreds over not knowing what to do? Why not take a few moments to encourage those people or simply explain what they did wrong and now to fix it, so that both of you have a better experience going forward? Thankfully, flaming isn’t always the norm but it’s still pretty common on my DC.
As a community, I believe telling your group “hey, this is my first time doing this” is a great way to communicate with your party, and in turn, they can provide encouragement and feedback for those players without making them feel overwhelmed. Some fights can be extremely tricky the first time, but there’s a certain amount of charm seeing a new mechanic for the first time without being shown what to do by looking up instructions. I know the first time I did Titan Remixed in the Eden raids; I had a ton more fun trying to figure out how to dodge and survive than I would have had I looked up a strategy guide.
Either way, FFXIV is known for having a tremendously welcoming community and I hope that’s a tradition that continues, but it’s up to us as players to keep the community healthy and happy instead belittling people for not knowing something or simply trying to enjoy the game as it was meant to be played. I like to remind people who start flaming that they’re not helping the situation, and encourage them to show that if they’re as good as they think they are, to help players instead of berate them. If that doesn’t work, I just kick them from party and find someone else. The game is a blast, but no games are fun if the people you’re playing with are being jerks for no reason.
As an unrelated reminder: Don’t forget that The Rising is currently going on. Go get some cool paintings for your house and that sweet Y’shtola minion! Head on over to the Bloodshore in Eastern La Noscea and get your goodies!