Designing the self: WoW vs. FF

Final Fantasy is challenging my abilities. First of all, I need to do more homework (“There’s homework in this game?”) and learn something about how to quest, how to pick attributes, and where to go. Not quite as much hand-holding in FF as there is in WoW.

Second of all, picking a race/class is a very, very different experience. Basically, I pick a “me” and then my actions determine what class I am. If I train with a sword, then it doesn’t matter that I chose caster in the character creation screen. Knowledge makes me the class I am, not some button. Which is…. interesting. C. and I had a little chat about it the other day, which I submit to you here for your perusal. (I did do a little editing and cleaning.)

Me: and….. started Final Fantasy…..

Elzen male and female in FF

C: whats the verdict?
Me: weeeeeeird :) lol
C: hehe
Me: i have no idea what my race is even called. i’m a magic user, of course
C: what does it look like
Me: um…. let’s see. pointy ears – kinda looks like a Draenai. let’s see if i can figure out what it’s called
C: i dont know what its called either lol
Me: this one. Elves, basically. “Elezen”
Me: i need to do some serious homework reading on this, though
Me: now this is cool “whenever you equip a different weapon or tool that is not in your current class, you will instantly change to that class.”
C: yea, its not so much a class system, its your 1 character ad they can be whatever they want
C: although i assume the points kinda dictate where u go end gamish
Me: so yeay i can change to a… what was it called? ah, lancer
C: yea, easily
Me: yes, your “main” class is whatever is highest at that moment, apparently
C: thats kinda depressing to me
Me: why is that?
Me: very interesting in terms of identity, that’s for sure….
C: why make a choice if it doenst mean anything
C: plus im ot one for multiple classes
Me: it’s like life, man…. you can change careers, learn what you want to learn…
C: i disagree, wow is like life. u can change how u affect the world (tank, heal dps) but there’s always that innateness in it. i could be an academic or work at BK, ill state hate idiotic ppl
C: i can tank or heal, ill still use the light, as it were
Me: true, and it does take a certain aspect of deciding a path less definitive
Me: but i’m still thinking that it’s more like life because selecting your tools (skills) affect what you are. so getting trained in Comm makes me a comm scholar, but i could go out tomorrow and train to be a plumber. then i’d be a plumber.
C: but u would be a horrible plumber because at heart ur an academic, u like to learn and research. even in FF, u could switch to a casting class but if you’re all strength what’s the point?
C: clases lets u do everything (and theres only tanking dps and healing) but lets u do them your way. You could be a plumber that would learn everything there is to know about plumbing, is how i see it
Me: true that. i would be a R. plumber
Me: but still, would i not be a Belladonna caster or a Belladonna lancer?
C: well not in game because there is nothing (in game mind u) that makes u belladonna. u would be caster or lancer.
Me: except my conversation.
Me: and very interesting point. is there something in WoW that makes me Lan? i mean, there are other female troll shammys. how am i different than them? if we’re all in tier 10 (or 9 or whatever) we look identical, or very similar…..
Me: customization, i.e., personalization making me unique are so limited there, that there’s nothing really more than chat there to make me, me
C: wow has more things to differentiate… female troll, shaman, ehnahce/resto
Me: but FFXIV has tons more to differentiate
C: how so
Me: combinations, for example. way more look customizations
Me: and things like patron guardian. and my peculiar set of skills and experiences
C: skills and experiences?
Me: so i have a LOT of little character creation choices in FFXVI, as well as changes that happen based on how i play that are much more complex than in WoW
C: how does this change how u play?
Me: yes, so i have 44 points in casting and 556 points in lances and 34534 points in swords and 2 points in fishing….
Me: might change what i do, where i can help, who i work with. not sure
Me: but in any case, the range of possible combinations is far, far greater. and thus much more to differentiate me
C: but if u have pure strength, all the casting in the world won’t make a difference
Me: well that’s another thing!
Me: how many points in all those attributes…. it’s a ton of little options
Me: WoW is a few major options
C: because the options wow has mean so much more
Me: so toons in wow have fewer possible combinations. so how can they be easier to read? I mean, if there are a bunch of troll shamans, they really look so much alike, you can’t tell much from how someone looks. but if you have allllll these customization options, then you *can* look at someone and get some meaning from those choices.
C: I still say it there’s more meaning in the choices in wow
Me: hmmm I’ll have to think more about this :)


2 responses to “Designing the self: WoW vs. FF

  1. notice how the conversation switched from how you interact through the world through your character to how others observe you through your character :)

  2. ooo actually, i hadn’t picked up on that. see, now that’s an interesting line considering self-expression versus considering how the audience perceives us….

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