This is the story about why I quit World of Warcraft and made my way to playing Final Fantasy XIV.
It’s no secret that there are some of us here on The Outerhaven staff who love or used to love, playing MMORPG games, namely World of Warcraft. However, over the last few years, World of Warcraft has lost its luster and all of us have moved away from it.
For Keith, he hasn’t played in a LONG time, and was the first of us to turn away from the game… I think he stopped during Legion, but unlike the rest of us, he dropped off the whole MMORPG thing completely, replacing it with an endless stream of Dark Souls and Dark Souls inspired games, where he can grind his heart out and get the high level of challenge that World of Warcraft began to lack for him.
Josh, probably the most hardcore of us all, turned away from World of Warcraft during Battle for Azeroth, stating that the game had become too easy, and there was just too much drama and requirement for a time sink-in order for him to enjoy the game anymore. While he is still playing Blizzard products in the form of Hearthstone, he is just waiting for Pantheon to start gaining any real momentum and actually have something playable before he will give another MMORPG a try.
Then there is me, a long-time World of Warcraft player mainly due to the friends I had playing the game with me at the time, and others who I met and hung around with over the way too many years I spent playing World of Warcraft. However, the friends I had offline who started playing with me moved on, either onto other servers or just grew away from the game completely, leaving me to fill my time with any guild who would have me and was actually active on Discord.
But even those times were not to last as with World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, which I reviewed on The Outerhaven to great disgust from the World of Warcraft community, caused me to admit something that I didn’t want to at the time: I wasn’t having fun with World of Warcraft anymore.
Not to mention the guild who I was with at the time, a guild that was born from issues in another guild about favoritism and egos taking over what was meant to be a fun casual guild and turning it into a toxic mess, only to have the same mistakes repeated with the new guild. So, with that, the guild broke down, people left, and Discord went quiet.
So, with that, I decided to let my subscription run out, record a video that is posted on The Outerhaven YouTube channel reminding me why I was leaving World of Warcraft, and then uninstalled the game from my system along with Blizzard’s Battle Net Launcher and went back to playing single-player games on consoles and PC.
Not too long afterward, I noticed a change in the World of Warcraft community. More and more people started leaving the game, so many that World of Warcraft had a 41% drop in active players during the great COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, a time in history that saw a huge uptake in video game players overall.
Many people who left World of Warcraft started stating the same thing: World of Warcraft was no longer fun, it was a game that rewards those who spend 100% of their time, from sun up to sundown, playing World of Warcraft and either grinding Mythic dungeons, PVP content, or the raids. Along with these complaints were issues with “borrowed power” where you spend a lot of time building pieces of gear up over time through the expansion, wasting time grinding specific things in order to do so, just so the number would go up on that gear time and time again. There were complaints about doing whatever that Rogue-like dungeon was called over and over again for little to no reward, and also world quests that took way too long for pieces of gear that were extremely under-leveled for the content. And finally, Covenants were just terrible, reducing people to only doing one spec because everything was tied into Covenants for end-game progression.
There was also a huge thing about the Great Vault and the gear you can get from dungeons being horrible, with people having to raid in gear that was never intended to be used in raiding because the piece needed would never drop, as drop rates for gear were reduced to next-to-nothing.
The reply from Blizzard was that everything they put into the game was working as intended, or that this is what the player-base was begging for, even though the player-base was saying otherwise. People noticed that as many of the people behind the original World of Warcraft and some of the better expansions had jumped ship and those left behind were nothing but corporate “yes men” who would do whatever the Activision management told them to do.
As I looked on YouTube during my travels to and from work, and downtime at home, I’d notice that many long-term World of Warcraft dedicated YouTube channels, and Twitch streamers were all doing the same thing… They were leaving World of Warcraft for other games. If you do a search on YouTube, there are many videos all saying the same thing: “Why I left World of Warcraft for Final Fantasy XIV”. As I watched people state their reasons for leaving World of Warcraft, many of their complaints echoing my own and those of the general community, I started watching the two biggest holdouts: Asmongold & Bellular. These two were the biggest shills for World of Warcraft out there, and it was interesting watching these two go against the flow and defend World of Warcraft and Activision/Blizzard’s bad decisions.
Then one cracked… Bellular.
As one of the bigger World of Warcraft YouTube channels out there, it was a surprise when Michael, the man face of the channel, came out and started railing on World of Warcraft much like everyone else, and even more, he came out and said that he was going to drop World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, for the most part, and do like so many others and begin playing Final Fantasy XIV! The verdict came back… He loves it! Stating on many podcast chats that he is now playing Final Fantasy XIV more than World of Warcraft and might stay that way, only returning to World of Warcraft: Shadowlands once the new patch comes out, then go back when he’s finished the content in World of Warcraft.
This was one of the bigger things that made me interested in trying to give Final Fantasy XIV a try. I had created an account only a couple of days after leaving World of Warcraft since Final Fantasy XIV started a new promo where you could download the free Trail Edition of the game and play through the main game, plus the first two expansions without paying a cent. I was wanting to jump right back onto the MMORPG pony, but life found a way of delaying that.
Over time, I would keep an eye on things both World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV, telling myself that at some time I will give Final Fantasy XIV a go. What made things even more enticing was that thanks to people at Square-Enix with whom I have a working relationship, they provided me with a HUGE temptation: All the expansions, including the upcoming Endwalker expansion, for free, provided I do some articles about it… And now I am.
So, what does that mean? Well, it means that I am now playing Final Fantasy XIV, at least for the next 30 days (Which came free with the expansions I was given) … And to be honest, I’m actually enjoying the game.
Join me as I go through my experience with Final Fantasy XIV. You’ll be able to see unedited gameplay footage from Character Creation through the first 21 levels on Youtube soon. As for other content, I’ll be talking about the free Trial Edition experience and the game overall as I progress through it. As I move into higher-end content over time and experience the multiple game stories that are available, I’ll review those too, and hopefully finish with Endwalker when it drops in November 2021.
If you want to try Final Fantasy XIV for yourself, for free, then you can download the game from here. Now is the perfect time to get on board as there is an experience gain increase up to Level 70 (aka just before Shadowbringers), and since the Trail Edition goes up to level 60, that’s a lot of free content. Plus there is a version of Final Fantasy XIV for PlayStation 4 (and a free PlayStation 5 upgrade) available if you don’t own a PC or prefer console games. If you want to try World of Warcraft for yourself, then you can get a free trial here that goes to level 20 and has a lot of restrictions attached to it.