It’s a bit strange to have new players come into a game and expect them to be good, don’t you think? 

Let’s step back a bit. Remember when in World of Warcraft, that you can get a free level-90 character or some odd nonsense that there was an uproar? It wasn’t just nerds being elitist assholes, because yes they are but yes they are also right to be upset.

You start a game with a new class and you start with the building blocks for that new class. For tanks, it’s about building agro to make sure that enemies don’t beat on the other people in your party, then work your way up to using damage mitigation moves and finally enemy movement. Damage Dealers deal with learning a rotation and finding out the best order of what skill produce the highest damage output, starting with only a few moves in your skillset and slowly finding a place for each new move that you learn… Healers just learn to heal and cleanse at the right times while dealing with “don’t stand in the bad stuff” mechanics.

But the reason why people were upset about the free level-90 was because you now have new players come in and have all of these moves and no training in how to use them. There are no fundamental building blocks to build on-top of, just a clutter of skills and an intense memorization that needs to happen in just remembering what skills are useful for what situation. You typical “oh-shit I’m about to die” buttons aren’t second-nature and you’re hunting and pecking to find the next move that should be useful instead of being used to a particular combination that gets the job done effectively.

This matters because the Final Fantasy XIV Convention Events have and always will have this problem. PAX Prime 2015 was no different, having a group of 8 random people tackling Ravana Hardmode. Easy enough for people who are into the game, but not everyone plays the game outside of the convention, and not everyone knows the mechanics to survive.

PAX Prime 2015 FFXIV Wideshot

The developers try to help you out a bit, though. You’re put at level 60 (max level at the time), get a full set of endgame gear (ilvl200) and a stock of any class that you want to play. No real pointers in how to play your class, no tips on how to beat the boss.

I took up the challenge with a few of my raid members who could attend but the rest of our group doesn’t play the game at all, and that’s a scary thought. The four of us that played at least formed a decent composition, 1 tank, 1 healer, 2 dps, but it was still a bit daunting to think of having to carry the 4 other people through the fight, a fight with one-hit-kill mechanics and plenty of mechanics for all classes during the fight.

We gave the basics for the fight as much as possible before we got started, kill the adds, avoid stepping in bad stuff and get your back to the wall when he charges up and we were hoping the four of us could pick up the rest of the mechanics as we go along but that wasn’t a possibly once we entered. 2 tanks, 2 healers, 4 dps. A normal party composition, sure, but our tank wasn’t the main tank. And that’s where things go badly.

The fight began and things went swimmingly for a while except that our damage output wasn’t the greatest, a byproduct of those uncomfortable with their newly chosen classes. Butterflies come down, and a few of us were able to kill them before they turned into swords. The problem was that the healers and tanks had to also help because the rest of the dps couldn’t keep track as easily.

Phase change, knock back.

No body dies.

Good thing.

Aoe after aoe keeps coming out and out tanks are fighting for the bosses attention to keep the aoe from hitting the rest of us. Many of us kept getting hit. There were many deaths. My mana pool couldn’t take it. We revived as many as possible to keep the dps us, but I had no more mana to give and we had lost one our dps in the frey. Before the next set of aoes comes out had to be our chance. So with a Dragoon limit-break and a final wave of damage from everybody including the last of my healer’s mana we take Ravana down.

PAX Prime 2015 FFXIV Upfront

And got a fancy “I defeated Ravana” and all I got were regrets from playing with scrubs T-shirt.

That’s not completely true. For four people to have walked into a game and learn how to play a class enough to survive and learn how a higher level fight, even with all of the handicaps, was commendable in itself. It’s just a bit unfair to have people learn the more technical fights of the game on the fly and expect them to produce a moderately high competency with the game with only 3 minutes of setting up your hotbar and hitting a practice dummy if you even get to that point.

I don’t hate them for it and I’m not bitter about it, but it just seems like having a time to practice would make the experience for newcomers a whole lot better if they had an expedited tutorial of their class before tackling a hard fight like this.

At least wasn’t Ravana EX this time.

Twitter: @GIntrospection

Blaugust Day 28