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Scotty_ffgamer
10-12-2014, 08:33 AM
I've often heard people say that XI has the best story out of the entire series. I've heard it enough times to be intrigued by this statement. So I pose this question, what is it about the story in this game that makes it stand out to you above all the others?

Del Murder
10-16-2014, 07:09 PM
I think the vastness of it stands out to me. It has a rich lore and history, and, instead of spoon feeding that history to you through data logs or journal entries, you actually live it and experience it. Hell, one storyline actually takes you into the past to experience first hand the great war that shaped the present day. And that storyline came out like 8 years after the game was released.

On top of that there are many side stories about the locals that are just as engrossing as the major plotlines. And you are free to pick and choose what you experience and when you experience it. While the game stays fairly serious most of the time, there are plenty of comedic relief moments and just flat out silly side stories to experience.

Add all this onto the fact that you are generally experiencing this with a group of people is just the icing on the cake. I still remember the day we beat Alexander. I didn't jump for joy because we just beat some random superboss, I did it because we finally came to the conclusion of an epic storyline that we were all anxious to finish.

chionos
10-16-2014, 09:08 PM
Yup, Del covered it pretty well. It's the immersion, the absolute openness. The way the races and nations interact in what seems like real time.

There's also the way the social element of the game adds to the story. You hear other people talking about going through such-and-such section of the game, fighting such-and-such boss, and you get excited, because they're excited, so you start to imagine it for yourself, and that builds and builds until you get to experience it yourself.

I think the blistering difficulty of the game helped too. It was a detriment to the game in some ways but also one of its greatest strengths. Some missions were quite time consuming, and the fact that you could lose quite easily, meant you had to really focus, which ratcheted up the intensity. Not to mention the fact that most bosses required a length tense trip through monster-infested passages so by the time you even get to the fight, you're tired and stressed, a little slap-happy, but if you can pull it off, it's all worth it and you feel an intense sense of accomplishment.

A good story unfolds. All the elements are there in essence at the beginning, in the fabric of the world, but in a tangle so you can't see how all the parts connect. You begin to unravel the story and things fall into place. For instance there were landmarks built into the landscape that were visually interesting when you first come across them, but had nothing to do with anything as far as you could tell. But later you find out that this ravine you passed by a hundred times was actually created during a great war, or that there used to be a city where this beach now sits, or that this monster used to be one of your own (an early boss in the game, the Shadowlord, is a monstrous hulk, but was once just a Galka, one of the game's playable races, and my main character). The game builds the story off of your own memory, and in some ways on a kind of interactive real-time mimesis, as opposed to throwing one thing at you after another.

To bring in a connection from poetry, FFXI has a ton of whitespace, the differentiating element between poetry and other literary forms. There's space in poetry, the whitespace, for the reader to think, to interact and form his/her own judgments. A line speaks to the reader, the reader speaks back in his/her own mind in the empty spaces of the page, before the poem moves on to the next line. And I think FFXI has a similar flow, a kind of poetry in its openness and its expression.

Scotty_ffgamer
10-17-2014, 12:37 AM
Bah, you both make me really want to play this.

chionos
10-17-2014, 01:20 AM
Well, I make myself want to play it again, so we're even. lol

Scotty_ffgamer
10-17-2014, 01:40 AM
I still regret not getting this game however long ago. My cousin used to talk about it all the time, and convinced me to try to get into it. But then when I had the money for the game, she ended up starting WoW so I got that instead to play with her.

chionos
10-17-2014, 04:13 AM
I still regret not getting this game however long ago. My cousin used to talk about it all the time, and convinced me to try to get into it. But then when I had the money for the game, she ended up starting WoW so I got that instead to play with her.

Oh that was a good choice. :erm: