Moogle Stole My Bike: Volume 1

Hello everyone, and welcome to a brand new Nitrobeard-exclusive editorial column by yours truly, entitled 'Moogle Stole My Bike'! In this weekly column, you'll see my adventures in the land of Vana'diel, the world in which Final Fantasy XI takes place. I'm starting a main playthrough of Final Fantasy XI with some friends from various message boards (Penny Arcade, NeoGAF, SomethingAwful) on the Garuda server. In the day and age of World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online, City of Heroes, and the upcoming Star Trek Online, it seems that Square's first MMO venture is getting left by the wayside. No more, says I!

I cannot take complete credit for this idea, though: This will be formatted very similarly to 'My Life In Vana'diel', an absolutely fantastic blog produced by ex-1up/EGM editor James Mielke. In this column, he would talk (in great detail) on mechanics, builds, and boss strategies for FFXI's endgame. I was always a fan of the blog, not because I was keeping up with the number crunching, or that I was even interested in playing the game at that time: It caught my attention because there was a sense of adventure to his posts, and the sense of detail he paid not only the game, but to the readers. He was literally living in Vana'diel, and we were lucky enough to go along for the ride.

That's where I come in: I know a majority of readers will look at this post, and the first thing to cross their mind is 'Really, Wes? Final Fantasy XI?'. Your mindset at this idea was literally the thing that sparked it in the first place: 'Sure, Final Fantasy XI! Why not Final Fantasy XI? Everyone plays WoW/Warhammer/Champions Online/Aion, so what's the fun in reading about it?'

Let it be known, that I've never played Final Fantasy XI. Not a lick of it. I have no idea how the mechanics work, I have no preconceived notions about proper builds, ways to min/max weapon and armor's attributes, or even where I can buy a potion, but that's the point: Where Mielke would dedicate his posts to the hardcore endgamer, I'm dedicating my posts to the beginner, or even people that have always been curious about FFXI, but never took the plunge. I'll be talking about mechanics, friends I met, the situations I get myself into, and even the bad times. It's all part of the journey, and that's what I'm excited about.

Don't get me wrong, I dont' have illusions of grandeur: I will never be an endgame raider. I'll never be the top DPS on my server, and I'll never be the guy that can pull an ElitistJerk algorithm from the tip of my tongue, it's not about that. It's truly about the day-to-day, about developing a personality in this digital universe, and making it a place that will reward my time investment in the best possible way. Do I want a kickass chocobo mount? Do I want to customize my own house? Do I want to topple an extravagant boss with a group of people I've never met? Absolutely. That's where the magic is.

So, join me, weary travelers, on my ventures, failures, successes, triumphs, and defeats. We will go through this journey together, from the very beginning, until the very end. I'm hoping that this becomes the MMO that sticks with me, the one I can go back to time after time, and feel right at home. Let's get this shindig started, yo.

But seriously, though, that moogle did steal my bike.