As someone who's used to soloing in network games, I've been left to my own devices and have typically chosen whichever path suited me, often to the consternation of players who lawyer against one another about what is 'best' in-game.
With the advent of FFXIV, I decided to let go of some projects that had grown stagnant over the past few years, and instead jump into FFXI before the world of Vana'diel goes the way of so many before it. I tried to read up on information geared toward beginners and build up a working understanding of the mechanics of the game, and decided that there was a path for me: to fight in the shadows, defeating opponents through cunning and tenacity. Yet, I also wanted to express my flair for the dramatic and add some flourish to the cold passtime of killing.
In games, I know what I like, and I go for it.
Well, as it turns out... I'm wrong. I'm wrong about this game, and thanks to someone who's seen a lot more than I, I think I'm beginning to lose my misconceptions about FFXI.
The path of the soloist is quiet. Managing tasks is easy. Goals are clear, as are the processes involved in their attainment. There are no entanglements, responsibilities, dependencies, or stipulations: simply act and observe the consequences. My problem in becoming involved with FFXI is this very mindset. In essence, FFXI is dependency, responsibility, and as I am learning, unwelcome entanglement with modes of play in which I did not wish to partake.
It's the old mindset that is going to have to go if I'm to continue exploring Vana'diel. It's the perception that WHM, WAR, or any other of the basic Jobs are highly undesirable that I will have to discard. I'll have to adjust to what can only be a collaborative exercise, or surrender my intent to walk this path.
To be honest, I don't know if I can do it. I'm a creature of my own comforts. Though I have enjoyed the time I have spent with others in my Linkshell, the idea of having to walk unwanted paths, delaying my own progression towards my desired end, is worrisome. Yet, on the other hand... supporting my team, even as an 'ugly job', well... maybe that's the 'hidden end-game' of FFXI. One you can play from the very beginning, but only if you're willing.
I'd like to thank this veteran for providing me with valuable insight into the nature of this network game, and the rest of the Linkshell for understanding that what happens along the way is what makes this game worth playing.
The path to glory just got a whole lot longer. I'm gonna stick it out for a while, and see what happens.