Why do Japanese players hate PvP in Final Fantasy XIV?
A Japanese X/Twitter user, curious as to why Final Fantasy XIV players seem to dislike PvP play so much, made a series of posts to investigate users’ opinions regarding the topic.
PvP (player versus player) refers to the game mode where players compete against another player or team, as opposed to PvE (player versus environment) gameplay, where players battle NPC characters. Final Fantasy XIV features both PvP and PvE play, but many players aren’t fond of the game’s PvP elements.
The post gained a lot of attention from fans of the game, with many expressing their discontent with PvP gameplay. After reviewing user replies, the user summarized the players’ dissatisfaction in a follow-up post. The OP comments, “Hmm. There were various opinions, but it seems that for many, “I can’t win” tends to turn into “It’s boring.” Additionally, many find it unfair how the outcome in team battles is determined by factors other than their own skill.” It seems not being able to win, especially due to the fault of a weaker teammate, makes PvP lose its charm for many.
Some users complained about PvP exclusive rewards, which disadvantage those uninterested in the play style. One user shares, “I hate the fact that even though I’m not good at PvP in the first place, there’s no other way for me to obtain mounts.” Many users also claimed that the game’s developers are aware of the community’s dislike for PvP, speculating that the game rewards players with exclusive equipment for participating in player battles for this reason.
In addition to the imbalance of allocated equipment, the presence of more experienced PvP players appears to be intimidating for some, creating a barrier for newcomers. One user shared, “I’m not one of the haters, but to start with, the whole way of thinking in PvE and PvP is completely different, so I think people not being confident in it is part of why it’s disliked. For PvE, you’ve developed your understanding over the years and can respond to most situations, but when it comes to PvP you feel like you don’t know anything and you don’t want people to think you suck, that kind of feeling. The feeling of always being compared to high rank players is also a problem I think.”
Understanding some of the more intricate PvP mechanics was another challenge many users mentioned. Even some players who enjoyed the competitive play style themselves expressed their dissatisfaction regarding the clarity of the player battles. One PvP player commented, “I play PvP, but from the opinions around me, it seems like ‘it gets frustrating’ is the most common sentiment. Personally, I find the buffs and debuffs confusing, and that probably leads to many situations where you don’t know what happened to you. Even though I play, I feel like the game design isn’t well-suited for PvP.”
Since many players, while uninterested in PvP, were interested in the exclusive items that could be awarded, the OP took a poll to gauge whether other methods, such as betting on the outcome of player battles, could get more players interested in the competitive gameplay. However, even in this form, a majority of users still reported that they weren’t interested in PvP combat.
Other aspects of PvP culture, such as bad sportsmanship and harassment further deterred some players. Additionally, a large number of users also noted that they simply would rather not play against other players, disliking the competitive gameplay. One user comments, “I seek peace of mind and wonderful memories in FFXIV. PvP, by its nature, involves competition and ranking against others. I think it would be great if it were as wholesome as real-life sports, but there are some who use foul language and criticize others. But I understand that not all PvP players are like that.”
The challenge of mastering additional game mechanics for PvP combat, combined with the perception of being coaxed to play against your will with PvP exclusive rewards, seems to have caused frustration among numerous players. This frustration has, in some cases, led players to reject PvP entirely. It appears that many FFXIV players prefer a less competitive gameplay experience and value creating social connections with other players, choosing to battle NPC characters instead.