I actually did love the grind, because like you say it was a legitimate team game and there was a tangible difference in how fast you levelled based on not just how well you knew your job but how well your teammates knew theirs and eachothers jobs. This was a big part of what went right.
>>323345414 It got a real second chance with it's global release. There was no lingering stigma of how shit it used to be when it first launched because barely anyone outside of Japan knew how shit it had been in the first place, unlike XIVARR which constantly had >4.0 hanging over it's head.
Actually needing a party of people for almost all content. It forged relationships. It forced people to know their job. It separated the shit players from the competent. You had a real rep. You made friends. And above all else it was satisfying to beat that boss. To sneak through that zone. To finally earn that gear.
I don't enjoy FFXIV as much because it is far to easy to just que up for an instanced dungeon. And you could be paired up with anyone from any server. You could get an entire team of idiots relying on the matchmaking to carry them. And everything comes too easy. Everything is too streamlined. There is no real penalty for failing.
FFXI before that manburning shit, and SWE pre CU were god tier.
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