This week on Geek Devotions, special guest Drew; of The Cel Cast Podcast, joins us to talk about Final Fantasy XIV. This popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game ( MMO RPG) has a wild past where the original version actually had to die in order for there to be a new beginning. How does this apply to us?

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Written Version of Devotion

Hello and welcome to Geek Devotions, the show from devoted geeks who are devoted to letting people know that they are loved. Im Drew and if you’re new to Geek Devotions, we take Geek pop-culture items like movies, video games and comics and use them to let people know that they are loved. So if you don’t watch past this moment, know this.  You’re loved, you’re cared for, there is a plan and a purpose for your life. Don’t give up.

Along with being the cohost of a podcast all about the promotion and enjoyment of animated movies and tv shows, The Cel Cast which you can go check out at, (That’s cel with one L), I’m also an avid gamer and the game I tend to fall back on is Final Fantasy XIV and with the newest expansion, Endwalker, coming out on December 7th , I’ve been getting caught back up on the Main Storyline Quest, and I can’t help but be reminded of the stories I’ve heard of when version 1.0 was released back in 2010.

Version 1.0 of the game released to abysmal reviews, with metacritic averaging it’s score to 49 out of 100. The game was full of bugs, questionable design decisions, and flower pots so meticulously rendered, that due to the sheer number of these flower pots, the game’s framerate was slowed to a crawl on even the most high end PCs at the time. The game even included a fatigue system to keep hard core players from outpacing the casual players. Although in reality it was really hiding the fact that at launch the game had absolutely nothing for you to do when you hit max level. It would later be determined that the promised Playstation 3 Release could not happen, and the game’s code was so horribly spaghettified that programmers were hesitant to work on it because they didn’t know how any change would affect seemingly unconnected parts of the game.

Because of all the problems the game was having, the game’s director , Nobuaki Komoto, and it’s producer, Hiromichi Tanaka, were forced to step down from their roles and were replaced by a newcomer to the Final Fantasy Franchise,  Naoki Yoshida, or Yoshi-P as the community know him. He was tasked with saving FFXIV and get the ps3 version released by Square-Enix. After reporting back to them all of the problems he saw that the game had, He said that if the game were to continue version 2.0 would have to be built from the ground up, however instead of just killing off version 1.0 he suggested they keep supporting it with updates until 2.0 was ready. And he suggested they finally start charging the subscription fees that XIV was supposed to have but hadn’t started due to all the problems. It was with this seemingly crazy plan, that it started to become the game we know today.

With patch 1.19 a small white speck near the moon in FFXIV’s night sky turned red. Cultists known as the Lambs of Dalamud, spurred on by the Garlean Empire’s 7th legion, started a ritual that would bring the lesser moon of Dalamud crashing down into Eorzea, While the players were able to stop the ritual, they were too late to stop the moon, it’s momentum would bring it down.. As Dalamud neared, high level monsters began spawning near the gates of the three city states, and rushing in to destroy all sense of  safety the city states were supposed to provide. On one server I heard, players riding atop goobbue mounts surrounded the city of UlDah to protect those inside. With patch 1.23b all music in the game was replaced with one track “Answers (Reprise)” for the final week of Version 1.0, and when Eorzea needed her heroes most, they were forced out of the game due to the connection to the server being lost. However as the servers went offline the players were treated to one of the greatest cutscenes ever created. Whether or not you ever plan to play FFXIV I HIGHLY suggest going to watch “End of an Era”  on FFXIV official youtube channel.

The “End of an Era” cutscene ends with the phrase “But Every End marks a new Beginning…”

When the game Relaunched, it carried the subtitle “A Realm Reborn”, and in many ways it was. The game grew in success with metacritic reporting an average score of 84. It spawned 4 expansions so far, “Heavensward”, “Stormblood”, “Shadowbringers”, and the soon to be released, “Endwalker”, and the current subscriber count  is estimated at 24 million. But as great as all that is, perhaps the first ray of hope for the game came before  the game’s release. In order to encourage players to continue paying their subscriptions for 1.0 after A Realm Reborn had been announced, the team invited players who had accumulated 90 days of subscription time to register as legacy players. Along with some other perks, and as long as they signed up in time, Legacy Players would get their name in the End Credits of A Realm Reborn when it was released.  So many players signed up for this program in time that at the Final Fantasy Fan Fest in Frankfort Germany in 2017, The Guiness Book of World Records awarded Final Fantasy XIV the award for Longest End Credits in an MMO Video game at 1 Hour 38 Minutes, of which most of the time is nothing but the listing of Legacy Players.

So What does this have to do with anything you may ask?
In 2nd Corinthians 5:17 in the ESV, it states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Before we were Christians we were the director’s of our lives, and as sinners we made questionable decisions that had we stayed in the director’s chair,  would not have turned out good, But By us stepping down from the director’s chair and letting God direct our lives, even when we go through a Calamity that will bring about the end of the world, according to what Romans 8:28 says –  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.” and our world our I guess you could say our Realm will pass away and a new one will be Reborn in it’s place, at least that what Revelation 21 1-5 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”