Earth - June 16th, 2009, 13hrs after Mog Bonanza results are released.
Vana'diel - same time, different universe.
The ports of the various nation-states of Vana'diel are clogged with adventurers, veteran, newcomer, and a vague species known only as 'mule'. Moogles are begging for air under the crush of bodies clamoring for statues of various powerful beasts, while others quietly sneak away, their backbacks larger than they were before.
Across the marketplaces of Aht Urhgan, people are shouting in heated voices about their various fortunes, most of them reeling and financially on the ropes.
Intermingled with shouts of marble misfortunes, another cry was heard: "The sky is falling! The Rapture is come!", or words to that effect. It either starts a heated debate, or is shouted down and dulled by the overwhelming cacophony of voices.
One lone dragoon dares ask for assistance investigating rumors about a crystal spotted in Delkfutt's Tower. She is ignored and so she just shrugs her shoulders. Wanting to escape the barrage of bonanza complaints, she steps into the residential area and has her moogle hand her a battered red chapeau. Immediately she is reeling from an overwhelming array of messages:
"Wanna merit? 5/6"
"Can you solo this monster for me? I'm new, may I have some gil?"
"Do you know any rangers, we could knock out ACP."
"Level Sync, can I have it?"
She hands the hat back to Moogle and thinks for a moment, "The world sure seems like its ending as a Dragoon, but as a Red Mage, the end is far from here."
My compatriot, Thayos, has written a well-thought out editorial from the stance of the 'common man' about the upcoming release of Final Fantasy XIV. Personally, whilst "Rapture" seems interesting enough, it angers me that a video trailer less than two minutes long can almost completely destroy any chance I have of actually enjoying what I, and all of you, actually have in front of us now. This is a classic case of sitting down to your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant and suddenly wanting to order from next month's list of specials.
I have no doubt that FFXIV will be entertaining and amazing. Even the 'less popular' titles in the Final Fantasy line have sold millions of copies, and have loyal fanbases. So why all the fuss over a title that, realistically, will probably not see a retail release for at least 12, if not 18 months? Why do the very things that have made FFXI fun for years suddenly become:
"SE, if you're listening, don't put NMs in 14, they're stupid."
"Don't allow the basement-dwelling mouth-breathers to be the best players in the game. It's not fair."
"Make sure everyone can get everything in this one, please."
Hold up, take a step back, and look at what's around you: One of the most well crafted MMO-worlds on the market today. No, it's not World of Warcraft with its 10million+ subscribers, but no other MMO is (thankfully). Most of you have said that's the main reason you -like- FFXI, it's a reason a lot of you have come back.
How many of you have actually experienced the rush after claiming a NM and getting its coveted drop? How many of you actually enjoyed cutscenes that showed you that your efforts to complete an expansion's storyline were not in vain? How many of you posted threads on the forums, expressing your own joy or relief at "finally" getting what you had worked so hard for? How many of you, after experiencing THIS MMO for so long, are now praying and pleading for FFXIV to be the very thing you state so often that you don't want in your MMO?
You don't have Sea access? Advertise it, get help. Socialise, look outside your current linkshells and friend circles. You 'need' an NM drop? Research it, camp it, level another job if you think that's your best way to get this item you covet. You want an ACP body and don't know enough people for the 'perfect' setup? Think outside the box, find another setup that works.
Think outside the box.
Remember that this game IS about expending effort and being rewarded for that effort. Quit looking for the silver platter and start synthing one for yourself.
And then, Christmas 2010 (maybe) will roll around, and then we can all start exploring Haiderin together.