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How Final Fantasy 14 brings veterans and newbies together

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Final Fantasy 14 is often praised for how welcoming its community is to new players. Arguably it’s a big part of why the recent influx of World of Warcraft leavers have stuck around. It seems like there’s always a new post on its subreddit expressing genuine surprise at just how patient and encouraging players are, be that waiting for people to enjoy cutscenes or helping guide people through tough mechanics. It also helps that there’s always someone for new players to match with when playing early dungeons, largely because veterans will often revisit older content.

So how has Final Fantasy 14 managed to foster such a positive playerbase while other games struggle to do so? I spoke to director and producer Naoki Yoshida about how the game successfully conditions players new and old to work together and keep kindness in mind.

“FF14’s game design and the team’s policy is to not force new or existing players to play content that has become outdated,” Yoshida tells me. “Naturally, it’s important that in the MMORPG community, veterans and newcomers mix as quickly as possible. So, by providing support in the form of our systems and rewards provided, we aim to bring veteran players and newcomers together in the same party and help them on their way to friendship by letting them play together. As such, it is not important for a player to replay old content but rather, it is more important for them to interact and meet others in order to strengthen the MMORPG community.”

Final Fantasy 14

(Image credit: Square Enix)

For new players coming into FFXIV, this focus ensures they regularly come into contact with people who can help them through the often confusing early stages of learning how an MMO works. This in turn encourages new players to stick around and eventually help newer players themselves. That’s exactly what happened to me when I first started playing in 2013—I’d never seriously played an MMO before so in my naivety I’d try to run through dungeons ahead of others like we were just playing next to each other rather than together.

It’s important that in the MMORPG community, veterans and newcomers mix as quickly as possible.

Naoki Yoshida

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