Final Fantasy XIV is Square Enix’s most recent attempt at an MMORPG after the mixed results of FFXI back in 2002 and the miasmatic and toxic original FFXIV release in 2010. Final Fantasy XIV isn’t a MMO game that focus on the same old, worn-out tale about how you are important and somehow it is up to you to save the entire world. It goes the route in their actual stories.
In a way, making you a small part of a big whole runs contrary to the idea of empowerment that so many games strive for, that making you out to be the hero of the story is what gamers crave. But it doesn’t change the fact that MMOs do this sort of thing so poorly. Because in MMOs, no one is the hero. Or everyone is. Which is the same as saying no one is.
Granted, single player experiences are often tightly corralled and the idea of turning FFXIV or CoH into single player games as they are (or were in CoH’s case) is ludicrous. But there’s no reason they couldn’t have been designed from the ground up as single player games.
MMOs have every right to exist, of course. But I feel like if the creators of a game want to tell a story in which one player is made to feel important and powerful, then they should make a single player game. And I think making such a game into an MMO is not only taking away something very special from the single player experience but also undermining the very idea of a massively multiplayer online game.
Many players indulge in the MMO game world, even though they know the game is a virtual world. But who can guarantee that they can receive the same attention in the real world. After all, the game IS not a real life. Many players prefer to be important and powerful in real life. So, get rid of the idea of the protagonist is important. FFXIV make it!