Once again I’m going to talk about Final Fantasy XIV. And once again I’m going to stand on the shoulders of giants here — specifically, Eliot Lefebvre’s newest Wisdom of Nym column where he offers some advice to new players and veterans alike. That said, this topic was also on my mind pretty recently, both in terms of Discord chatting, Twitter scrolling, and the overall conversation topic of the FFXIV community:
For those who aren’t familiar with the vernacular, a sprout is a name for the new players and references the game’s mentor system and novice network, specifically the novice icon being a little plant sprout next to their name to denote them as a new arrival. FFXIV has seen something of a surge in new player activity, prompting discussion, reaction, and of course a whole lotta memeing. And every single bit of it has made me super happy to witness.
I’ve run into a couple of sprouts myself — most of whom are trying to get into the game’s roleplay scene — but otherwise my personal sproutling experience has been second-hand. I’ve been watching video clips of people experiencing some of the game’s raid mechanics and dungeons for the first time. I’ve read some people’s reaction to the game. And, of course, one of my favorite recent sprout moments is related to a new player’s mention of the character Edda and their hopes for the NPC. Which… well, those who know know (and I hope they also keep the secret).
This new player welcoming has extended to my husband as well. Several of his friends have just recently jumped into FFXIV — enough now for them to have a static light party of four people — and every night he comes home ready to ferry his friends through the game, and has even made a new character on a new server specifically to facilitate their arrival. Incidentally, you can follow along with all of that on his YouTube vlog if you’re so inclined.
Overall, the fresh face flood that’s happening at the time of this post’s writing is more a sense of energy and life; that whole latent charge and MMO community buzz that I’ve written about earlier. Things just, for some reason, feel different right now. They feel overall positive and full of promise. They feel like a sort of fresh renaissance for the game even though its newest and biggest content won’t be until November. They just feel good.
I know this is a short blog post (which might feel like cheating in terms of Blaugust) but I just needed to get that out there. I love these new arrivals. I love sprouts. And if any of them happen to be reading this, welcome to Eorzea.