Closing Fantasy XIV is suffering from success. There’s been a latest explosion in energetic customers driving up queue occasions and flooding the FFXIV subreddit with each day threads complaining about mentioned queue occasions. Sq. Enix is engaged on the issue however within the meantime, the latest patch, deployed throughout final evening’s upkeep, will now sign off gamers who’ve been idle for half-hour.
To probably the most seasoned of MMO gamers, this appears like an affordable response. People who find themselves AFK (or away from keyboard) for an prolonged time frame are, by definition, not enjoying the sport and thereby sucking away useful bandwidth from gamers who need to expertise all FFXIV has to supply. However, simply because the veteran MMO gamers experiencing the sport for the primary time are determining, FFXIV is simply constructed totally different. And kicking idle gamers, irrespective of how affordable it’s, truly deprives gamers, energetic individuals and AFK-ers alike, of foundational FFXIV experiences.
Let me begin by saying that sure, eradicating idlers after a time frame is okay. It’s extra vital to me that gamers are capable of entry the sport as simply as potential than it’s for a bard to spend 12 hours enjoying freebird on the panpipes. With that out of the way in which, a part of what makes FFXIV such a transformative MMO is that there’s a lot one can do and expertise by actually doing nothing.
I believe my first real shock from Closing Fantasy XIV—after the story, in fact—got here from its idling digicam. I tabbed out to do one thing and got here again to a display screen that was now not centered on my character however as an alternative on a bit of cockatrice creature simply chilling out on the grass. I waited some time and the scene modified to a different participant close by who was preventing a type of cockatrices. The idling digicam removes the UI so all I may see was this gunbreaker and their spells and skills glowing round them. And although this participant was locked in mortal fight with what quantities to a fats, indignant rooster, it was nonetheless actually cool to have the sport totally take away me from the equation and deal with different gamers as if to say, “Eorzea actually is a residing, respiration world and it continues with out you. Here’s what you might be lacking.”
Past even my private circumstance, idling is a crucial recreation perform that provides character and depth to the participant expertise. I logged on this morning to see a bard, perched on a stone fixture in Limsa Lominsa performing “Zelda’s Lullaby’’ in a steady loop whereas one other participant carried out the allure emote as if the 2 had been roleplaying idol and devotee collectively. And that’s simply one of many tens of millions of examples of individuals making their servers a wild and great place to be whereas AFK.
Take the Jades for instance. Jades are members of a Free Firm on the Famfrit server. They’re all people with the identical mannequin and the identical glamour arrange and will be present in Limsa Lominsa…simply doing bizarre shit. Generally they dance, different occasions they carry out, and another occasions they simply lay there. In a Reddit thread discussing the brand new patch notes, one of many first reactions was gamers discussing how the brand new rule may restrict the Jades from doing regardless of the hell it’s they do.
The best way Closing Fantasy XIV is designed with its emotes, glamours, and efficiency actions—all issues that may be achieved with out steady participant enter—lends itself to hilarious and even touching strategies of expression. The flash mob of darkish knights that stood vigil for hours after Berserk creator Kentaro Miura died, can not occur with the brand new AFK guidelines.
AFK-ers, whether or not they’re performing bards, role-players masquerading as a tablecloth, or simply of us like me utilizing the sights and sounds of a panoramic world as background noise, are simply as vital to their servers as gamers. They’re the fixtures of their servers identical to the congenial drunk is a fixture at your native bar. Yeah they do bizarre, generally disruptive shit (like inflate queue occasions), but when they had been gone, your native watering gap (or your MMO) could be lesser for it.