As I mentioned in my Blaugust kick-off post, this started as a blog dedicated to leveling alts in World of Warcraft, but over the years, I've taken a shot at various other games and have talked about them here. Some are ones I enjoyed for a while, but I am no longer playing, like Rift, SWTOR, and Wildstar. Others, I continue to play at varying intensity levels, including FFXIV, GW2, and ESO.
Here are my current thoughts on each of the games that I'm currently playing.
Final Fantasy was a great distraction for me when I was getting seriously burnt out on World of Warcraft early in Shadowlands. The things that I really enjoyed about FFXIV was the consistent ongoing storyline, characters that you really became very invested in, and the ability to do lots of different jobs on a single character. You could essentially be an altoholic, without ever giving up your character identity. The community in FFXIV is also fantastic. They've designed the gaming systems in a way that rewards people for being patient and helpful and that really shows.
The main downside for me of FFXIV is that once you've worked through the MSQ a single time on whatever job you choose to do it on, the most efficient way to level other jobs is by just constantly queuing for dungeons and raids. I wish more than anything that FFXIV had a questing experience that was feasible for leveling alt jobs on a single character.
Part of the reason I started playing World of Warcraft in the first place is that I enjoyed playing games like Oblivion and Morrowind with my son. I expected then, when they came out with an MMO version of those games, that it would be something I loved and naturally gravitated to. That didn't initially turn out to be the case, but it's something I picked up again once I'd stepped away from World of Warcraft and is now a game that I really enjoy.
The open-world questing content for me really fits well with my play style, which can result in regular interruptions and makes constant raids and dungeons challenging. The storyline and ambiance are very familiar from years ago playing those original games. It's not something that I'm able to dedicate myself to entirely, but when I just need a break from some of the other games, ESO is always a great place to go.
My big wish for ESO is that they had a more typical auction house set up.
This is a game that I have picked up and put back down a lot since it was initially released many years ago. It was something that I always struggled to push through. However, in the content draught before Endwalker released for FFXIV, I picked it up again and finally managed to push a character all the way through the story. Initially, it was a ranger that I leveled through the original old-world content, but once I got the boost from purchasing some of the expansions, I switched to necromancer.
I like the story-driven content of GW2 and the ability to always be doing something interesting in the open world. I don't like having the elite specializations locked behind significant grinds for points, or the fact that everything that performs really well in the game seems to be melee. Even for my necromancer. This is definitely a game that I enjoy playing now a lot more than I did when it was first released and something that I find myself picking up again from time to time, particularly when new content batches get released.
In terms of recommendations, if you are an absolute solo player that would prefer not to engage with anyone, I'd recommend ESO, if you love thriving communities and tear-jerking stories, FFXIV is the place to be. If you're looking for something with challenging game play where you can do a little of both, GW2 might be worth checking out.
That's it for now.