I’ve got an unwieldy pile of Final Fantasy 14 artbooks and soundtracks. In that stack lies nearly every single one of them from launch except for one, which still drives me mad to this day. I’ve always collected artbooks of my favorite games, so that’s no big deal, but if I could forgo the soundtracks and trade for the digital editions, I would. “Just buy the damn digital edition then,” you might say, but I can’t. I’m hopelessly into minion and mount collecting in Final Fantasy 14, and I refuse to skip out on the chance to nab one.
My little hobby-within-a-hobby occupies a couple of nights a week for me now. It started out more casual back in A Realm Reborn, when I noticed a Delivery Moogle plushie in the Square Enix store and absolutely lost my mind over it. My best friend had noticed my dedication to Final Fantasy 14 back then and got the adorable plush for me as a gift. It came with the Wind-up Delivery Moogle, and then it’s all downhill from there.
Not really, though, I say it jokingly, but my minion and mount collecting in Final Fantasy 14 isn’t actually a problem. It’s my comfort food, my go-to when I don’t know what to do at any point on a given day. I’m still missing a ton of mounts, but my minion collection hovers around 90 percent complete – it’s a point of silly in-game pride. I like collecting these little bits because, wow the number goes up, sure, but I like to think there’s more to it sometimes.
Beyond just collecting for the chance to show off, I love finding people like me to connect with. I have a few friends that are just as dedicated as I am, meticulously combing through new content to see where new opportunities to collect may lie. I’ll group up with seven others like me and farm the same ten-minute boss fight for hours, slaying whatever primal it is for the chance to add a new mount to our collections.
And as monotonous as it all sounds – it’s oddly cathartic. When things are rough for me, I find that I’m more drawn to these repetitive, tedious experiences. I like having something that requires a routine of me. I enjoy being told that I must do x, y, or z thing over and over for a week to obtain this or that new item. In a game that I sometimes overwhelm myself with from practicing the most difficult content, I am drawn to those moments where I can still experience the routine of it all but on a less demanding level.
So yes, I’m saying that my collection of tiny Final Fantasy mascots and weird modes of transportation brings me a ton of joy and comfort. I think it’s more of the hunt for those things than the actual item I enjoy, but it’s a part of the game that’s become a surprisingly big factor for my reason to log in. Now, if I could just improve my poor rolls a bit, I’ll finish my collection before the game eventually shuts down.
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