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Hello there. I used to play FFXI a long time ago on release, and have struggled to find my place among the MMOs of today. Sure, I played Wow, Aion, Guild Wars, ESO, Star Wars, and everything between, but nothing compares to the feelings and experiences FFXI gave me. My first trip on the boat to Selbina, when pirates attacked and a friend told me to hide inside. Parties in the dunes where kind folks explained how a party functioned, and how to do skill chains. My first trek to Jeuno - a taru led me and took down one of those giant trees in Jugner Forest - I was wide eyed, excited, and scared! Oh and my first time on a chocobo - I was straight up giddy.
I really liked the sense of such a massive world. Back before we just warped everywhere it was actually hard getting around, and I loved it! Running through it, seeing the sights, hearing the awesome music, it all felt like a real adventure. That and you really had to rely on others which led to some pretty cool friendships. And death meant something too. With great risk came great reward and a true sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Now a days, I feel like mmos just want me to pay for stuff, regardless of subscription model. Everyone wants me to log in for some daily log on bonus for free stuff that I don't want handed to me. I don't get a sense of awe exploring. The music is not memorable. I mean I wish I could see the weather turn from sunny to rainy in an area.
Gone are the days I suppose. But anyways I'm curious what FFXi folks have moved on to playing these days. I'm sure there are others like me who miss that magic touch from so long ago. I've heard some mention archeage, which looks pretty neat. I think Star Citizen could be pretty awesome too.