Why are players moving from World of Warcraft to Final Fantasy 14

Why are players moving from World of Warcraft to Final Fantasy 14
Final Fantasy XIV ShadowBringers

It's a pretty complex situation currently going on. For the last few months, you may have noticed that many big content streamers, and perhaps a few of your friends have moved to FF14. Every player will change games for different reasons. It's not a one size fits all scenario, but I think a lot of WoW players are tired of the direction that WoW is going. Some players do like the direction that Blizzard is taking WoW, and that's okay. For the rest of us though it's time to move on my friends.

Let's start back to when I first started playing World of Warcraft, way back into Vanilla WoW. I still to this day remember waking up for Christmas and unwrapping a new family PC. Way back then it was rare for everyone to have a PC. So most families had a family PC that everyone shared.  I was beyond excited! With a new PC, I can finally log into the next Baal run on Diablo 2 instead of sitting at loading screens and losing my spot! Then the next present handed to me was World of Warcraft. I had wanted this game as soon as it was announced. I was a huge Warcraft 2 fan. I was so excited, and I remember it took 1.5 DAYS to install this game. This includes the download time, and man was it finally done I was ready to play. I had spent all of my Christmas day reading the handbook that came with the game.

Looking back now I see why that moment of finally getting into the game was so exciting to me. It really was a massive world! I quickly learned other players' names and even seen them around the world. It was amazing! I quickly learned the enemy players too. Mostly the ones who kicked my ass so hard I had no idea what hit me. I can't for the life of me remember the Tauren hunter's name that made sure my leveling experience in Darkshore was exciting. He was level 60 and every day he would visit Darkshore and a massive amount of low-level noobies like me would swarm him and try to take him down. That is about 12 years ago this all happened, and I still remember most of it. Ask me how many memories I have like this from WoW for the last 2 expansions? I can't really think of any. The world just doesn't feel alive anymore for me. I don't care what others are doing because I'll never see them again. The world feels dead. The players are all from different servers, and I'll mostly never see them again. If they die to a mob next to me who cares. They might as well be an NPC at this point. I have no connection to these players. Other than common courtesy why should I be involved?

Final Fantasy isn't rainbows on this front either, but man does the world feel alive. Even when I created my account, or rerolled a different job I run into so many other players. I see the novice chat popping off with players talking, I even know a few by their names now. I'm looking at you Bongo Cat. I don't think I have ever joined a group and not been greeted in FF14. On the flip side, it's rare if anyone says anything in my WoW groups.  Even when I try to spark conversation no one really seems interested. Why would they? They will never see me again.

From a lore standpoint, I really struggle to say FF14 has a better story/lore. I have been involved with WoW for almost 15 years at this point. What I can tell you is that FF14 is a more story-driven game than WoW is. WoW has books, a movie, a bunch of Twitter posts, and sure some in-game stuff as well. However, it's hard to feasibly collect all of that content and put it together. FF14 is all in-game for what you need to know. Love it or hate it the Main Story Quest (MSQ) will take you literally hours. Probably upwards of 100 hours if not more if you read it.  I really did not expect me to get pulled into the story as much as I did. Personally, the first expansion is what sold me on the story. Base game I wanted to skip through it as fast as possible. I feel like WoW struggles with their story. WoW's cinematics is incredible, and they blow FF14 away in my opinion.

One huge bonus for FF14 and I wish wow was similar is that you only need 1 character. One character can be every job in the game. Think of jobs as a class in WoW. What this boils down to is if you did a huge rep grind, and now you want to change your class you don't have to do that rep grind again. It's done. You did it on your character who can be in every class. It can even be every job for the crafting system all in one! No more making alt alchemy characters for transmutes. Just level the job on your char and that's it.

If you stuck through all that background and long-winded stuff then you're probably sitting there waiting for me to talk about the gameplay, and how it is. If you like PvP then stay with WoW. FF14 has it, but from what I've seen it's not that great, and honestly, I can't see the FF14 engine being able to compete with how fluid WoW PvP really is. I'm a huge PvP player, but FF14 still has my attention over WoW. FF14 seems to value my time more. Every expansion doesn't wipe out what I have done or make old content irrelevant. For instance, you can be level 80 and then go back to the level 50 content and crush it if you want, or you can set it to sync you down to level 50, set your item level to the min to enter. Now you have the challenge of being there again just like it was. I have so much content I can experience and it not be a complete joke.

Fat Black Chocobo. Aint he cute?

The actual combat though for me is the worst part. To this day I am still struggling to find a DPS class that I enjoy. With WoW I always loved Shadow Priest, or maybe a rogue if I want to piss everyone off around me on the battlegrounds. With FF14 they all just seem slow... Now it does get better. Oh, man does it get better. If you dislike the combat please keep playing. You can use the free trial all the way to level 60 and you get to experience the first expansion all for free.  By level 60 you should have a few skills that are off the miserable 2.5 second global cooldown. What this means is that when you use a skill that triggers the GCD you can use an off-global cooldown. So essentially you will weave your GCD and OGCD together to do the most damage possible. FF14 really holds your hand when it comes to getting new skills, and it makes the early game a drag if you are a veteran player.

The systems in FF14 seem to respect players' time more as well. I'm an avid no-flying player in WoW. I don't think it should exist, but I'm a PvP player. I want world PvP where you can't just mount and be safe. Look at current WoW and how hard it is to fly. You have to beat almost all the storylines, and then grind rep for countless factions using daily quests. Then you can fly when you have no content left. In FF14, you can fly once you beat the base game MSQ. Then for the expansions, you unlock flying early on. The MSQ will give you an Aether Shard. Collect enough of these you can fly. Generally, just beat the MSQ in the zone, and a few side quests clearly marked. Then find them in the world. You're talking hours max if you have the MSQ done already.

Like I said it's a very complicated scenario on why players are shifting from WoW to FF14, and everyone has their reasons. I think the community and the world are some of the big reasons people shift. FF14 appears to respect your time a lot better than WoW, and all the old content is still there for you to enjoy. Go at your pace and enjoy the game. I really recommend trying out the free trial they offer. The game does pick up later on generally after level 50.