Monday, November 21, 2016

Final Fantasy XIV FanFest 2016 - A Guest Blog

We have a special treat today in the form of a Guest Post! YAY! My very bestest friend in the whole entire World got the chance to go to FanFest this year (What a lucky duck!)
and has agreed to share his adventure with us! 
Take it away, Eric!

It is not every day that a fan gets to geek out on their favourite franchise in person. I have been a constant player of FFXIV since the launch of version 1.0 in September 2010. I was there with many others struggling through the overcomplicated systems and empty world to watch the game initially crash and burn, only then to be placed on life support as a new team swept up and spent the next two years trying to make it worthy of the Final Fantasy brand.

Since 2010, Final Fantasy XIV has gained over 5 million subscribers, had one expansion, and releases more content per patch than any other MMORPG on the market.

It's magical to watch your favourite games be loved by millions of people, and to be able to engage with them. So naturally, I jumped at the chance to attend the Final Fantasy XIV FanFest 2016 in Las Vegas last month.

Registration provided me with a loot-bag stuffed full of various goodies, many of which represented in-game items, like a USB version of the tomestones that we constantly grind for.

There were plenty of attendees at the festival dressed up like their favourite characters, or sporting their favourite gear.

During the keynote address from game producer and director Naoki Yoshida, the announcement of the newest expansion, Stormblood, drew an eruption of cheer and applause from the crowd.

When the keybote ended, FanFest truly began! Each attendee became an adventurer, mimicking their role in the virtual game. Adventurers received a journal full of quests to be completed!

The journal encouraged players to socialize and participate in the various activities of the festival, which included minigames...

...unique in-game content...

...and rewards in the form of Triple Triad cards, the most popular mini-game from the franchise.

And of course, the quests led adventurers though the story of FanFest and a haunting that took place in the convention hall.

There was plenty of activities and developer panels to keep adventurers busy, including the very, very, very long line for merch! I swear there's a line in there somewhere...

And, my favourite part: knowing that you shared your FFXIV experience with tons of other adventurers, just like you do in game! (I did say it was a geek out, right?)

Oh yeah, and I got to ride on a fat chocobo. Now I can die a happy man!

Since Eric's move to San Francisco earlier this year, FFXIV has been a wonderful and easy way for us to keep in touch. We see each other almost everyday in this virtual World and I have to agree that this is a pretty amazing community.

That's Eric, myself and Adam hanging out 

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