Playing: Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn

Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn

Eorzea during sunset

This is what I’m currently playing: Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn, or also known as “ARR”. And this picture above is Oxel Petrichor, the character I’m playing. He’s a Miqo’te: a race of playable characters presumably created for someone with fetish for cat ears and cat tail. Do I have such fetish? I dunno; I never check.

The remake of the second MMO in Final Fantasy (FF) franchise, ARR is something I’ve been wanting to play since its relaunch in August this year. But what with the server problem following it, I’ve just started playing it quite recently. And so far I’m enjoying every moment of it.

Playing ARR is like reminisce of all games in the franchise. Here and there I’m seeing references to the previous FFs, like the Helm of Light (FF I), Magiteks (FF VI) and even Materias (FF VII). The last time I heard, you can even dress up your character in Lightning’s costume (FF XIII) although I don’t know where you can get it. Then again, my character Oxel is male, so perhaps it’s not a good idea to give him a new hobby.

Being an explorer-gamer, I see world/setting creation as something really important — second only to the plot— so thankfully Eorzea, the world of ARR, is really well-design. Each map point has its own backstory and each field is big enough that I haven’t been bored exploring every nook and cranny. And although you can’t talk to all NPCs, you can still see what they were saying through the text bubble above their heads. Too bad players don’t have the same text bubbles — it would make communication between players easier when we were facing strong enemies.

So far I’ve died twice and one of them is suicide — caused by me jumping down to the bottom of the valley because I couldn’t see the way down. I do that quite often — jumping down from somewhere really high — because I like to see how high I can take and still survive. It’s part of exploration — finding out what you can and cannot do. But if I did this in real life, I’d have to live in a loonyhouse for my own safety, so I might as well do it in games. It’s something to do, suicide — as long as not in real life, of course.

The battle system is not exactly the best. It’s not very player-responsive — you just click on a monster and then use the hotbars to perform various skills. You can’t roll on the ground to evade attacks; you don’t have to jump when fighting flying monsters (because the monsters are understanding enough not fly too high). You can walk around to avoid AoE attacks (those red marks on the ground), but I don’t know if this helps or not — sometimes I still take damage even after I’ve walked out of the red marks. And you can’t parry or dodge an attack unless your character has decided to do it.

Strangely enough, this battle system is still fun. Maybe I’m just bored of extremely player-responsive battle systems in Dragon Nest and Guild Wars 2, where I have to keep moving if I don’t want to take damage. I’m actually enjoying the simplicity of ARR, where I don’t have to keep dodging for the futility of it. It’s almost pleasant — I can just relax, attack with combos, heal when necessary, and run away crying when desperate. The lack of battle complication actually means I can just enjoy the story and the world of Eorzea.

I’m playing in Lamia server. Don’t forget to “/wave” at me if you happen to pass by!

Starting My Blog-Portfolio

Mr Smileypants

Mr Smileypants doing a moonwalk

This is Mr Smileypants. You can find him in the junction of William Street and Wellington Street, Perth, Western Australia — the crossing in front of Wellington Bus Station. And I put him here because we all like a good smile.

My name is Aldy Hendradjaja, but “Al Hendra” is enough if you find my name too long. And with this I’m officially opening my first blog-portfolio. I have played with a few blogs before and I have tried to make a printed portfolio, but I’ve never combining the two in one website. Still, there’s always a first time for everything.

I’ve worked as a writer and an editor in several publications and publishing houses. My writing have appeared on various papers and webpages, although often with different pen names. I was recently graduated from a Bachelor of Writing at Edith Cowan University, Australia, and now I’m looking for a steady job in my field of expertise: writing, editing and/or publishing.

In the meantime, I’m re-educating myself about freelancing business in game journalism because I don’t want to waste my time waiting for the phone to ring.

I’m interested in pop culture in general, although my passion lies on video games and books. I like playing with words and metaphors. And I like to smile every day because that’s the kind of person I want to be.