FFXIV Duty Finder

During this weekend of Beta phase 3 I was able to test the duty finder. At first I was afraid it was broken as I didn’t find a party right away, but the more dungeons and content I unlocked throughout my play and the more fights I made myself available for, the quicker my party was ready. I think it worked very smoothly and the experience points were great.

One of my biggest gripes in an MMORPG was finding someone to party with. I even remember in FFXIV 1.0 sitting around Ul’dah shouting for a party or waiting for someone to finally be looking for someone like me for a fight. I could be there for hours and not find anyone, and then get very frustrated. Now with this feature if I want to go through a dungeon, guildleve, or a primal battle, I can do so very easily. And if I don’t want to use the duty finder, or if I still want to form a party with my other guild members, I can do that too.

Of course, with the convenience people will complain how this is too easy, or too different, or there is something that doesn’t work the way they want. To those people I say: get a life. This feature was designed for those who would rather do what they came into the game to do. It is a way to work smarter, not harder. Yeah you could have spent the entire game of Skyrim walking to all your destinations instead of fast travel. Yeah, you could play a shooter game with just the starting pistol and slowly fought your way through. Yeah, you could keep the same sword in FFVII and slowly pick away at enemies for a challenge. Some people will always want things to be a challenge. But some people are also casual and want to enjoy the experience of the game world more than the challenge. This is why we have game saves now instead of having to play Mario all the way to the end in one sitting. This is why we have checkpoints in games so we can redo difficult parts from a certain point. This is why we have health packs and shields so we can push through to the next level or the next area.

The duty finder is a great way for us to get to what we want without having to do a lot of extra work and effort and waiting around. It is to math what the calculator was compared to using the slide rule. Some people will argue the slide rule was cool, and I agree it looked awesome. But I’d rather use the calculator.


Finishing Bioshock Infinite

So I finished Bioshock Infinite the other day, went to Reddit, read their reactions, and looked it up on the Wikipedia to see if there was anything more to the game I had missed.  Turns out I mostly had gotten the full experience of the game during my play through.  The game, however, left me with way too many questions about what happened and what could have happened and what certain things meant and what type of things I could expect from the future of this game.

First of all – if you haven’t played the game yet I suggest you play it.  There are too many references in the gaming community to this game that if you don’t take the time to go and play it you’ll miss out on a lot of good conversations.  The game itself is not too difficult, doesn’t take too long to beat, and has a lot of good detail and story to it.  There are, of course, many things I would change in the game if I had my preferences considered, but it is still a solid game

Second of all, don’t do like I did and read ahead on all the spoilers and the story ending until you’ve gone through it yourself.  Knowing what I knew before the game ended, it was more like watching the inevitable unfold rather than wondering what that unfolding would be.  If someone tells you before watching The Sixth Sense that Bruce WIllis’ character is actually dead throughout the whole movie, then you miss that shock moment when you finally realize he was dead the whole time.  It’s like knowing how a magic trick is done before seeing the trick – just don’t know about it beforehand and you’ll enjoy it a lot more.

Thirdly, once you beat this game it might be a good idea to replay the game knowing what you know from the first time around.  There are a lot of little details placed in the game that didn’t make sense the first time, but will give you the “ah ha!” moment the second time.  If you get the Season Pass DLC, you’ll also get some very exciting gear and health/shield/vigor upgrades starting out which makes going through the game a second time much more easy and enjoyable.  There is nothing from the old game that carries over into a new game, so having this DLC makes it worth a replay.  Plus with the Season Pass there is no additional charge for DLC once it becomes available over the following months.

As a final thought – please take some time to discuss the game with other players and read up on how their experience was.  Take some time to discuss the different ways of looking at the story and what parts made you feel emotional and what parts confused you in this game.  When I first finished the game, there were many questions in my mind as far as what happened and what didn’t make sense.  People are debating the game and coming up with very interesting ways to explain and make sense of everything that happened and what might happen in the future with new story missions in the DLC.

While this isn’t the greatest game I’ve ever played and there are some issues with the mechanics and story that I wish were changed, in the end it was a very fun and enjoyable experience.  If I had to give it a rating, I would give it a 4/5