I know it’s not an anime, but I need to share my somewhat-related love for this game somewhere—so, here we are!
I have been for the past few years a staunch believer in non-subscription based games. I never felt tempted by the monthly fee of WoW or FFIXIV; they seemed inferior models to the buy-once example set by Guild Wars 2, which also excelled in its combat system and built upon my love of its predecessor and my gateway into online gaming, Guild Wars. Very early into my marriage I convinced my spouse to try out the free trial version knowing full well he would end up transitioning to the full, paid game. We joined a guild, went through guild drama, and ended up leading and organizing groups into the endgame.
And then we hit the wall.
I could wax on about the weaknesses of Guild Wars 2’s endgame with its lack of truly difficulty content and teamwork with raid-level encounters, but this is not the place for that. Instead, let’s focus on the topic, shall we?
After investing so much time and energy into a product we no longer felt reciprocated the same, we were convinced by the testimonies of numerous friends to try out Final Fantasy XIV. Of course it helped that not only the base game, but also the first expansion were available for free trial—Square Enix knows full well that anyone who makes it through both will never be satisfied stopping there. Of course we made it through Heavensward and wanted to continue. Of course we paid up for the monthly fees. Of course we prepaid for Endwalker and vowed to catch up on all the expansions prior so we could ride that hype train along with everyone else (which we did).
You might consider us still in the honeymoon phase of our love for this game since we haven’t even scratched endgame, but I’d say we’ve been in it long enough now to appreciate the amount of content this community has not only with the base game, but also with the follow up releases between expansions of story, class balance, raids of varying styles and difficulties, PvP, and role play. When you’ve been in a desert, you recognize an ocean when you see one—and no, I’m not looking at a mirage, because then I’d still only be in Guild Wars 2.