{Taking a Break} Explained.

I decided last week that I needed to take a break from FFXI. I have never taken a break from FFXI in over 7 years. Aside from a couple of weeks’ vacation here and there, I’ve been around pretty constantly. There have been times when I really should have taken a break honestly, but I didn’t. Mostly if I’m honest, out of a sense of loyalty and responsibility. Oh and I’m stubborn.

Two of my sacks also stepped down at the meeting I called. Not unanticipated but it meant as a group the officers of the shell decided to reduce the event schedule until the end of February.

Slaan stepped down because essentially he lives in the future! He was studying in Europe until Dec 2010 but then moved back home to the UAE.  The UAE is GMT+4, only getting slightly more bearable in the summer, because they don’t have Daylight Savings over there. So our event time is 7:30 PM GMT and 11:30 PM Slaan time.  He started a job last summer and the only reason he was able to come to any of our events at all is because Thursday over there is the equivalent of Friday over here. I.e. his weekend is Fri/Sat whereas in the UK & US it’s Sat/Sun. It means that Sunday night is a ‘school night’ as some people put it.  Also, if you want any form of social life, not being available on the equivalent of a Friday night after work is a problem.  He’s still in the shell but he knew his playtime was limited and not a great match for being a sack. It’s a shame, he and I work very well together but it’s all totally understandable.

Ere stepped down because he’s feeling super burnt out right now. He’s in the process of buying his first house and he and his girlfriend have had one purchase fall through and problems finalising this latest deal.  Moving home is one the most stressful things you can do and there’s simply not enough mental space and physical time for Ere to expend on FFXI. He felt like he was only logging in to make sure events happened or because he was obligated to. Which isn’t great. So  he needs to get his house move out the way and then review.

So why did I feel I needed a break? The simple answer is not what some people think.

I’ve been getting very stressed by everyday shell stuff for a while. I need to sit back and clear my thoughts before taking action.  I have lost patience with one particular situation and I need to declutter my thoughts and be clear about what’s bugging me before jumping into a solution.

I’ve become increasingly frustrated with Voidwatch. We’ve switched  focus from Abyssea to Voidwatch. We still do 1/3 Abyssea events a week but people are losing interest fast.  Outside of shell Voidwatch runs I was doing quite a few elsewhere. Now I realise that some people are spamming these constantly, but right now I don’t enjoy them enough to do it. Something snapped in me after yet another round of Akvan where he didn’t put out. I haven’t done hundreds of him but not only did he not put out for me; he didn’t seem to put out for anyone who needed anything important (bullet or body).  The thought of months and months of nothing but Voidwatch just filled me with dread.

The fights aren’t too bad initially, they’re new and interesting and they test you a fair bit more than Abyssea but in the end it comes down to temp items, the right jobs and spamming. The fact that access to VW fights is relatively easy is a positive but what kills it for me is the loot distribution system.

Also I can’t show progression.  If I wanted this level of time sink, I’d have joined a Kings shell back in the day.  I can’t work towards anything. I just have to hope I get lucky. I’ve only done about 30 Akvan so far. That’s potentially 15 hours of fights alone on that mob and I know some people have fought him hundreds of times. Let alone gather time and loss of sleep. Add in all the other fights I have done, we have done. Nothing like the amount Rin, Kai or some of the others have done but I just hate how you can’t share drops.  I’m not earning points, I’m not making any progress. I’m just being forced to spam something over and over and over. Boy does that get old fast.

Suz’ group has helped a ton but to participate I have to stay up til late on a Sat night every week. It’s not that I’m ungrateful it’s just its ridiculous the hours I’ve put into this already, seeing nothing I want for my WHM. Let along seeing so many of my friends desperate for other drops.

Square Enix’ post effectively saying ‘Fuck you guys’ about the loot distribution is what finished me.

Putting something else to compete with others into Dynamis, killed that for me too!

It’s hard to explain really. I’ve always loved Dynamis – since forever. I did 5 years of it pre the changes. Don’t ask me why but I did. I enjoyed it.  The changes regarding access and time actually improved on that. You only need to do it for 2 hrs, you can get time extensions easily and gear is a non-issue. So we started work on Nia’s Aegis.  Now it’s not that it’s impossible for us to go now but I’m then faced with a couple of issues.  In general the zones are busier and now I’m forced to choose between upgrading my gear and focusing on runs for relic +2 or helping Nia.   It’s added a level of pressure I don’t need. Ending up stressed out because you want to help but you have no gil or need to farm the -1 you need (and have been trying to get for months…) isn’t much fun.   Yet Nia’s shield is on stage 5 and will help a ton. Yet Voidwatch hasn’t been that generous to me in terms of most saleable drops and I can’t collect currency.  It upset me far more than it should that Rin finished his Cleric’s pantaloons +2 before me. He totally deserved them, he works hard but I’m a career WHM… and here I was stressed to the nines over it. Incidentally, Rin helped me finish mine – Rin’s a good guy and both him and Poko have been nothing but awesome.

This getting stressed over gear has just been getting me down.  I couldn’t login without someone showing off about something they’d gotten for a job they levelled yesterday. I was playing a lot and I couldn’t keep up, just because I had to go to work.  Levelling jobs is fun, I see that, but I don’t get where in the manual it says ‘be a tactless idiot to your shell mates’ once you’ve levelled. I should stress here, this is in no way related to Rin!

Outside of XI itself you then need to add in 3 or more personal factors.

Recently my work situation has been a bit insecure.  I have a job and for a long while it looked like I was going to lose it mid Feb. It looks like I won’t now because they’re going to transfer the role over to another employer. However, my contract is fast coming to an end, jobs are not coming up very often (I’ve been looking for months) and the details haven’t been fleshed out. I’m probably ok, but I’m not sure yet. It’s added to the underlying stress.

I also need to free up some time and energy because I’m making a move this year into a new field and I need to work on where I’m living, getting some volunteering experience and enrolling in some part time courses.

One of my close friends reappeared from the void. He’s  someone I met in FFXI (Clevan) and later in real life. We’ve always communicated outside game via email/msn/phone/skype etc. As some of you know, he was diagnosed with and treated for lung cancer. He did come back to XI once his treatment stopped but he disappeared fairly abruptly last summer. I barely heard anything from him for 3-4 months and then he came out of the woodwork again.  Since when he’s been making a real effort to stay in touch. So far he’s 10-11 months clear of cancer so wish him well but because he lives 3000 miles away, spending time online is the only way we can hang out. He doesn’t wanna play XI right now because he doesn’t want the pressure and commitment.  He may in the future, but right now his gaming world is all about SWTOR. So that meant I got sweet-talked into pre-ordering it. I got access not long before Christmas and then had 2 weeks off work. During which I played a lot of SWTOR with him. We had a ball.

I can already see that for me SWTOR isn’t the answer. It will get repetitive and it’s quick to complete.  It’s like a Dragon Age game in a Star Wars universe. This is understandable and many people say it’s a bit like Mass Effect. I never played that.

But, what SWTOR hanging out with C did for me was make me realise a few things. One was that I am totally burnt out on the bs that comes with having to run a linkshell.  Another was I liked not having to worry about where my gear comes from because you get so much good stuff along the way or can work towards it with in game achievements.   AH prices are reasonable because gear is so readily available. You can find gear you like the look of and modify it to have the right stats.  You can earn your gear (and the best gear) solo if you want. If I want to play SWTOR as a kickass healer, I can totally do it looking like a Slave Girl or one of the Sand People if I truly desire.

I also realised I like being able to do something in under an hour right now. If I want I can login, do a Space mission and logout. I can queue for PvP.  I have a totally kickass NPC buddy.

SWTOR won’t last me forever, I can see me getting to 50 (I’m 37 Sage, 17 Scoundrel) very quickly and moving on. There are things I don’t like about it already. But right now… the commitment I need to progress is far less than I need in FFXI. I can hang out with C, get on the bandwagon and treat SWTOR as FFXI’s methodone until I get some perspective back.

So that’s what’s up with me. General burnout really. All being well I’ll enjoy my timeout until I can get some perspective and resolve a few real life issues. Til then, enjoy yourselves.

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Categories: drama, Events, ffxi, linkshell, Online Life


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3 Comments on “{Taking a Break} Explained.”

  1. BA
    January 17, 2012 at 07:07 #

    enjoy your time away, and rest, rest well 😉


  2. Shao
    January 17, 2012 at 16:32 #

    The only thing I can offer you is a /hug.
    If it can make you feel better you can always come stalk me again 😛

    PS: Say “hi” to Clevan for me. I wish him the best.


  3. browolf
    January 17, 2012 at 17:19 #

    the trouble (perhaps) with VW is it’s not something where one gradually accumulates progress. As in previous endgame activities. It seems to be more of the case of “if you happen to get something good you’re just lucky”. Clearly ones luck does not necessarily improve how ever many times you do it. I can understand how that would annoy the playerbase although personally there’s plenty of old stuff I never got done and i don’t often have the time spare to get thru T1-T4 runs.


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