Final Fantasy XIV is a unique game. It has two sets of servers – one set for its Japanese players, and another set from its English players. Ideally, the players who speak those languages should have congregated on their native server, right? Well, when the game first came out, no one could access the English servers, so many of us English players were forced to play on the Japanese servers. There’s nothing inherently different about each server, mind – the client is still in the user’s chosen language. The only difference that you see is, on occasion, Japanese speakers talking in the chat box. While the game will autotranslate basic and game-relevant phrases, such as “Hi!”, full conversations are, alas, out of reach.
Which brings me to the point of today’s post. While waiting for the Duty Finder to, well, find me something to do, I was wandering about in the area of the game called Coerthas. It was me and a couple of others, and we were wandering between the areas that are called FATEs – basically, a bunch of enemies or a boss will spawn, and if you clear them, you get bonus experience. These couple of others and I would wander between the FATEs and help each other kill whatever it was that needed killing, without any words said. It was only after about an hour of this that they finally said something – in Japanese.
Without realizing it, I had been running around with players that didn’t even speak my language.
However, that’s sort of the beauty of it. We didn’t need to share a common language in order to enjoy this game and assist each other. Their interface was Japanese, true, and mine was English, but our goals were the same. We played the roles our characters were in (I healed them and buffed them, they did damage) without needing to be prodded. When I ended up chased by all the monsters that were angry at my healing, they would draw them off me and let me heal myself.
I’m in awe at this, and at FFXIV as a whole. Yes, I love this game – but now I have a whole new appreciation for it. It brings people from opposite sides of the world together, and you don’t even have to speak a word of Japanese.
The Duty Finder didn’t do its job, though. Maintenance is here and I didn’t get to do my dungeon. Oh well.