Sometimes it seems like everyone playing Final Fantasy 14 is enjoying the story, well, everyone except me. I read and hear conversation all the time about the latest story missions and what they might mean for the future. Discussions on what the trailer means in relation to the current scenarios. The lore behind locations, mobs, and characters and so much more.
It’s a mmo that seemingly has an ongoing focus on the narrative as well throughout the leveling experience and even beyond that. It’s something that see’s a large amount of updates to the point it’s like a long running t.v show you’re constantly encouraged to tune in for And, there are a lot of people who seem to be really into it. Unfortunately I just don’t care.
I don’t know what it is about games in general but I find it really hard to concentrate on the story unless that is the primary focus of the game. This is especially so for mmo’s. There are some exceptions to this with games and mmo’s that provide an outstanding narrative and presentation but for the usual fare I play it doesn’t seem to matter much.
This is the same with Final Fantasy as well. I know kind of what’s going on. Bad group, doing bad things as they do. Beast tribes and their primal gods. Some weird angry Lalafel with a superiority complex getting up to mischief and a lot more blah blah in between that. It just all becomes white noise after a time and slowly fades out of my mind. I remember glimpses but it’s hardly a thorough account of the story.
This in part is just due to my own failings. With something that doesn’t interest me, or I haven’t engaged with then I just don’t remember. It’s also because when this happens I make no effort to remember either, and such things are usually a conscious effort. Final Fantasy 14 falls in this category for me and the story around it all just becomes background noise.
It might sound like an affront to many but I pretty much skip all the cutscenes now as well. There are some I stick around for if I’m bored enough or it seems like it would be amusing but mostly I really couldn’t be bothered listening when there are other things I want to be doing. Mostly the story doesn’t interest me either; it’s rather cliche and gets incredibly overcomplicated at points with lots of made up jargon that I couldn’t be bothered trying to understand but that seems pretty standard Final fantasy fare.
I guess that isn’t a bad thing sometimes. I’ve read many books and watched shows that can get incredibly complicated with their own sort of rules but here, meh. A bit of it is that silly thought that I have better things to do and ways to maximise my time in a mmo. Sitting back and listening to some narrative isn’t improving my progression at all or improving my skill at playing. It isn’t just the quality these stories either as I’ve watched and read plenty that are far worse.
I guess it all comes down to not really being a passive player, for other mediums you’re that by default but for games it doesn’t suit how I want to play. I want to be part of what’s happening. Be an instigator or a participant in what’s happening before me. Even just an observer but that’s of things I have been, am, or want to be a part of.
But being a passive spectator… yeh, I’d rather not, no matter how much it may be the focus or how interesting the apparent story.