While I’ve been scarce for the past couple of months, I’ve reacquainted myself with an old friend, Final Fantasy XI.
I really thought I was done with this game. I mean, I was completely through. I deleted all of my character data, cancelled my subscriptions and said farewell to all of my linkshell friends years ago. I moved on from my first-ever MMO, and so did they.
And then, in mid-September, I got an email from a good, real-life friend back in the States who proposed jumping back in for one last hurrah. The kicker was that it wasn’t just him; it was also a few other of my close friends. Seeing that I’m still stuck in UK visa limbo, I couldn’t resist. I had dropped this game because I had too much going on, and what better time to play than when I have absolutely nothing on my plate?
So, here I am about two months in and still having a blast with the game that changed my life nearly eight years ago. The kicker is that I’m probably having as much fun now as I ever did. Things are different, to be sure, but I’m finding joy in new places. For instance, the game’s difficulty has been curbed considerably, and as a casual player I’m able to experience a whole slew of story content that was previously inaccessible.
It’s also great running around with the friends I can’t currently hang out with. It helps keep us close and lets us feel like we’re actually doing something, even if we are just staring at avatars. There’s no obsessing about gear or scheduled events, and it’s more about just exploring, helping each other and having fun–as it should be I think. It’s good to be back.