So, now that I’ve gotten my Machinist to level 60 and brought it to my highest item level I’ve obtained with any class and I’m almost at 60 with my Dragoon and I’ve brought my 50+ class club to four and my 60 class club nearly to three, I’ve found myself becoming that guy in a Duty Finder instance. In case you’re new to Final Fantasy XIV or you haven’t played or you’re duller than a door knob, then let me explain it for you. When you go into a Duty Finder instance – basically a matchmaking service for content in the game across all servers – there’s four types of players: you have the strong, silent types, which come in all kinds of skill levels and player styles but know when to listen and when to shut the hell up; you have your well-meaning, always advising, always kind of silly, sometimes role players that are just generally chipper and awesome to play with until they start clogging up the chat with endless macros and bits that make no sense; you have the salty players who live to stir shit up, argue with people, make sure everyone knows they’re the best, grief others, and just generally try to ruin the experience for others, and then you have that guy.
Who’s “That Guy”?
If you’ve played any MMORPG through until its end game content, you know the guy I’m talking about – the guy nitpicking his hotbar, the guy nitpicking the gear of his party, the guy leaving an instance the moment they realize the tank has gatherer gear on, the guy who works in the slightest bit of nonsense to eke out a little bit more DPS because the guides say that 1% counts – he’s annoying as all hell but his utility is amazing. I’d taken this guy for granted and really combated their opinions as contrarian to me having a good time but that’s exactly the difference between having fun and doing well: being hardcore, totally committing. Today, when I was in an instance, someone mentioned to me that I could squeeze in an ability I rarely used into my rotation that would get me 15% more DPS for a duration and I immediately, mid-battle, swapped them out and politely went about my way by saying “Thanks for that but what the hell are you doing in Snowcloak with a level 40 axe?” to my tank. We had kind of a good laugh because they nitpicked my rotations and I nitpicked his gear and that’s when it hit me: I’ve officially become that guy. I’m the guy who’s like “yeah, bud, not sure if you know this, but there’s tanking guides out there and, no offense, you should probably read one or two.” I’m the guy flipping his lid because there’s members of my party who are horribly under geared, moving ahead of the tank, flailing about like it’s their first time with a controller or mouse, and just generally getting in the way of whatever it is I’m trying to do at the time.
It’s especially annoying when I have to be the first one to leave an instance because I know that, especially if the offender is a tank, it’s doomed to fail and I have to eat up the penalty of 30 minutes without being able to queue up for Duty Finder. I know that there’s worse things in the world but there’s few games that I turn to, to help me unwind after being at an ultimately frustrating job full of stupids on both sides of the interactions I deal with; I don’t want to have to deal with an endless supply of stupids here, too.
The Casual/Hardcore Divide
Honestly, some casual players might think I’m entering the realm of elitism and I don’t think I am: you might look at the above graphic and go “whoa, that’s too much for me” to which I respond “perhaps you shouldn’t be playing an MMO.” Like any game, there’s a difference between winning and losing and some games are more forgiving than others, especially in the last ten years, and with games like this, you can tell right off the hop that someone’s not going to do well and it’s going to go horribly for his team. That’s like a star hitter on a baseball team coming to bat with a large styrofoam surfboard. Oh, sure, he’s gonna hit that ball, but its just causing confusion and it’s gonna most certainly end badly. Makes you wonder if he should even be playing baseball, right? That’s exactly what I’m saying. It’s this kind of disregard for the basic understanding of the game that really sets apart the casuals from the hardcore and it’s one of those things that, in some extreme cases, makes you wonder what some people are thinking.
I’d seen, on a couple instances, where I queued up for The Aery with a Gladiator as our tank that had red gear on and had a couple pieces of gathering gear on. That’s not a mistake, that’s using a trout as a stick in a hockey game. That’s something that most certainly makes everyone think “what the hell is this guy thinking?” This is the kind of thing I get really aggravated and verbal about when I see it in my Duty Finder groups. However, while some may understand where I’m coming from, some people will just know me as that guy.