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Today I thought I would give you some information on what I like to refer to as history of XIV raiding.
Please keep in mind the title is not a slander toward anyone but myself yus yus.
You see, many whom talk to me might think I hate the savage raiders and think them all elitist or toxic. The very opposite can be said to be honest. To me, a player should be allowed to play the way they wish. The Savage/Ultimate/Extreme scene to me is actually quite exciting to watch. (so long as it does not contain spoilers.)
However, much like the ENTIRE game of XIV, raiding has gone through many different changes. Most of which were designed for the ultimate good of the entire XIV community.
When the first section of raids were released, the game was very new feeling, with some exceptionally old systems in place. Back then, many Free Companies had resorted to having there own FC web page where they could take applications for there new raiders.
This was also a time before discord was released, therefore most would use ventrilo and TeamSpeak and other things of the sort to communicate with each other.
The first raid section, The Binding of the Coils of Bahamut was released with A Realm Reborn. Before any could enter, they were required to be level 50, had cleared Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan Hard Mode. Then they could unlock the quest to begin.
In order to participate in the coils of bahamut you required creating your own personal party. (Note, the party finder was not introduced until 2.1.)
If anyone was further in the raid then the leader of the party, entry to the turn was denied.
Ultimately this was a very limiting experience which made raiding both very difficult merely just to enter and also frustrating. Thus did the raiders tend to lean more upon ensuring the team which would enter with them, would be 100% up to the task, or replaced if not.
As we can see today, this was Square-Enix first attempt at creating a unique raid experience. The final boss took some time in actually completing. During A Realm Reborn, there was not a normal and savage mode exactly as we know of today. This tended to limit the experience to a smaller amount of players than the development team had initially intended.
Crafting has always had a big part in the raid scene as well. At first, crafted items were released to be at the same item level as other items between tomes and drops from raids. However, this was drastically changed due to how incredibly powerful crafted gear became due to materia melds.
(To note quickly, materia was not available on any tome/raid gear until 3.2. Midas raid and Primal tome gear)
In patch 2.1 we saw the release of ALL extreme primals available at the time, with the inclusion of King Mog and Ultima ballad.
With 2.1 crafting items were lowered 10 item level in order to attempt to keep each set of items competitive.
The first 24 man raid was released known as Crystal Tower: Labyrinth of the Ancients.
With it's release began an entirely new conflict between players. Many thought it to be very easy, and some even felt it wrong to make such available to all players rather then the raiders alone.
At the time however, the developers clarified the extreme primals were designed to be the content for them to clear while waiting for new coils raids to open.
The Party Finder was officially released in 2.1. This allowed many players seek out more for all content.
There was a small problem with the party finder for a long time however. Where there were learning parties for many fights, there were also many whom took advantage of the party finder as a means to carry people through fights for money.
Often times, this lead to many trying to join farm groups for things just to clear the content.
This also lead to many refusing to help clear content with those whom have not cleared content.
Over time the party finder has become better all around with new means to control the party, what you are seeking from it and since the cross server compatibility released in patch 3.5, the community has become much stronger in many ways.
In 2.2 we saw the release of what is still considered the Wall.
The 2nd coils of bahamut final boss was an incredibly difficult feat to get past which often lead to raid groups disbanding. However, many would press onward and the dev team would learn from this experience. This was also a defining point which allowed the dev team to realize how cut off the raid scene was from the rest of the player base as a whole.
In 2.3 the first Savage raid content was released for the 2nd coil of bahamut. Savage was designed merely as a means to give the raiders something to do during what they considered the raider drought. The dev teamed learned much from this experience but did not release another savage raid during A Realm Reborn expansion, due to a lack in players seeking the content and the decision to reformat.
Along side it, the 24 man raid Syrcus Tower released, with many complaints of it being far to easy.
2.4 released The Final Coil of Bahamut, with a rare treat. An ingame full cinematic cutscene known as Flames of Truth. Again, a learning experience for the development team, for where they had given an exclusive content to raiders, they had kept a majority of players away from story driven content.
This being a Final Fantasy game first, and then MMO, it sent out the wrong signal. Though they did not adjust it in any means, they fully intended to keep it the same for future players to come in and experience when they had the time.
Finally in 2.5, we saw the release of World of Darkness 24 man raid. This was considered a bit difficult by many (for the time) and almost hit the note which the dev team were trying to hit. In some ways, it was still a bit easier then they wished, but for the time, it kept the interest of players.
Heavensward brought with it several changes to the raid scene as a whole. Normal raids were now something you could que up for using the duty finder, and made to be easier for all players to join and enjoy.
What is not often talked about is how this actually annoyed many raiders. They now felt they were no longer given exclusive content meant for just themselves. Many would actually quit due to this, but also return often.
Savage raids were released to take the primary spot for the main raid scene. Immediately they were introduced to the wall known as Faust.
To this day, I consider Faust a defining moment in raiding for XIV due to how long it took for players to get past, (not even the boss). This would help shape raiding along the hardship road that lay before them.
With 3.5, the party finder went cross server. This allowed for all players to suddenly seek each other out on a data center. Ultimately this improved the raid scene and lead to many new unique parties to be formed along the way.
The rest is a bit more new, but history as it were, cross server linkshells and communities came into play and now we can form savage raids and all sorts of parties together, no matter the server.
Why are raiders looked upon as toxic or elitist still? Well, again, today we can consider it growing pains. XIV was no different from WoW and other "hardcore" raid scenes for a long time. Today it is still considered some of the hardest content to clear, and we should all honestly be proud of this.
Our community is not however innocent nor did they avoid elitist and toxic practices along the way. However, we have grown all around. We still have certain issues like "only meta" but, to be fair, this is a game where we can play as whatever, so it's not horrible.
We can still improve, the most interesting thing about players in this game is how often we tend be willing to teach and help clear things in a rather nice community.
Many however, need to be open minded and willing to learn along the way. You could be doing something wrong, you should be willing to learn how to fix it yus yus.
That is all for now, I would go further into other raid content, however, I feel there may be a lot of people out there unaware of the roots. It is not all doom and gloom back there, but players did what they had to do to get things done. As the game has been adapted, the players and the community has happily adapted with it.
Hope you enjoyed this read. Sorry it is a bit extensive. Let me know if you enjoyed it, or if you feel I am wrong on everything.
(Note, this all comes from what was considered a "Filthy Casual" whom constantly watched with interest over the years since A Realm Reborn released. I am not an expert, nor am I in the raid scene at this point. I raided for roughly six years in world of warcraft and have still been a bit hesitant since to join such again. To me, a raid group takes commitment and time willing to spend. I am often these days more committed to my life and my hubby. <3 <3)
Also, please note, I do not intend this to be a slant toward anyone nor part of the community. XIVs community and players have shown that it is possible to get along with each other despite not always agreeing. That is the best place to be yus yus.
"Why are raiders looked upon as toxic or elitist still?" Because people believe stereotypes about those who do.
These stereotypes are perpetuated by people who have not actually done the content, and have no intention to. They are often based on a handful of incidents that occurred long ago, and are not an accurate representation of the community on a day to day basis. You may not intend it as slander, but there is nothing positive about this.
Case in point, you say "We still have certain issues like "only meta"". However, from my personal experience, nobody in PF cares about what job you play as long as all 5 roles are present (and sometimes, not even that). You can look at PF yourself, and see how many parties have slots locked to the meta jobs.
Such parties are very rare, and in fact, most people advise to avoid such parties.
I don't mean any offense, but if you're not aware of this, I am skeptical that this history is accurate. As an observer, you know, you will hear all the noisiest voices, and those are usually the really negative people. You won't have met the ones who are fighting and clearing.
In any case, I can see the truth with my own eyes and witness history in the making when I go into PF again tomorrow.
Personally, I think it's folly to go "raiders this, raiders that". We are all Final Fantasy fans and why do people insist on tearing us apart based on something as small as the content we do?
But we don’t much do so anymore siggy. That was kind of the bigger point behind the post, to show how much the entire community has grown as a whole.
This is not some sort of bash on anyone.
All of the information taken down happened. I did leave out the part that Pepsi man savage actually wrecked a lot of groups as well however.
This is not entirely the outside looking in. It was an experience that has since become something great!