Well, going through my mind right now, is the thought that has probably crossed everyone's mind that has played this game for more than a couple of months: What am I still doing in Vana'diel?
I'm not making this post, to be another one of those "This game sucks" posts, but just to post my feelings about my recent play, and hopefully receive some good feedback.
A little background. I started the game as a Tarutaru Black Mage, from San D'oria. Back right around Halloween last year, I remember holding the game in my hands, unable to play, because I had read about "World passes" and the fact that if you wanted to play together with your friends, somebody has to buy you a worldpass to join their server. So my little brother was the first to install the game. Anxiously, my fiancé, now my wife, my best friend, and myself, waited for him to collect enough gil to buy us one. After the first day of him playing, we check up on him, and ask "so how much is a worldpass, and how much gil do you have?" He replies with, well, they are about 1000gil, and I collected 90 gil today, and got level 3. We all fainted. "Was it really this hard?!?" It took him about 4 days to gather 500 gil, and an hour of shouting to find one very nice player, to loan him 500 gil to buy a world pass so we could all join up.
After we were all in, we wanted to play together right away, this was an MMORPG after all. We were told however, that it isn't worth partying until level 10. So, over the next month, we all struggled on our own to reach level 10, and then joined our first group. The rest is history.
In the beginning, everything is new to you, journeying to distant places, meeting others from accross the globe, making barely enough gil to afford the Willow Wand, etc. I remember how exciting it was, for all of us to make our first trip from San D'oria, to Windurst, because we were anxious to see what it was like. We took the boat, and nearly died in Buburimu Penninsula, from the higher level goblins. After that, the hour long walk to Jueno, was a very exciting moment.
Soon afterwards, our schedules changed a bit. I got a new job, and I could no longer play in the afternoons (work 2-12). my wife worked as a teacher, from 7-3, and our other friend had a pretty random schedule. we found our times to party together getting fewer. Regardless, my brother and I, having more time online together, ended up doing things such as crafting, and fishing, that we enjoyed. A few months later, my brother and I found boredom in waiting for the other two, so we took up side jobs. We started with combos such as Paladin and Samurai, Summoner and thief, Ninja and Ninja, and then Summoner and Ranger. We changed our minds a few times (and I was getting tired of literally throwing my gil at ninja), and finally settled on a new static with RDM, SMN, RNG. This was the party we played with in the mornings, and weekends were for our original group. Well, the four of us struggled up to level 43, and then my wife, and friend quit.
So that left us, with a lot of wasted time we could've spent leveling our 43 jobs. We pushed on, with our new redmage friend, and made it to 38. It was taking so long to form groups at that point, because less were on (stop at 37 for subs) and JP's nowadays STILL refuse invites from me, even though we've proved our selves many times over (its always funny to search and see them either still seeking, or a few levels behind, because of their own arrogance). So, fed up with taking 2+ hours to make parties, then playing for another two, we switch, yet again, to a trio of beastmasters. The first 5 levels were fun, hacking through gobs, orcs, and such, but then this morning, it was a pain to get to level 8(is with all jobs).
With all of this said, I guess my main question is, what are we working towards? What are you afforded above level 43 to keep you interested in the game? I hear nothing but horror stories about Genkai, and the oodles of experience needed to gain a single level. I want to experience high level play on at least one of my jobs, possibly do HNM, or dynamis.
So, what have you higher levels experienced? How much time is really needed to camp a HNM, and how much time does it take to do a round through dynamis. As I see another schedule change in the near future (gotta love promotions) I want to know if I'm even going to have the time, to sit there and do all of that. I would hate to quit, because i would miss friends in my Linkshells, and I wouldn't have these forums to browse at work, and my FFXI websites i've been working on.
If you read my entire post, I just wanted to thank you in advance and any advice or support you can offer, is appreciated.