Right there with you Chief.
10 years later.... Man.
So for whatever reason I felt like poking around to see if any names I would recognize were discussing the old days. I didn't play FFXI very much or very long, and I doubt I'll ever return. I did want to share somewhere, with anyone I may have encountered during the year I spent exploring vana'diel, what a wonderful experience I had while I was at it. MMOs were entirely new to me at the time, and having played one or two since I can honestly say that nothing ever came close to the sense of wonder I felt while I was discovering the unique world that FFXI presented me with.
I actually met several of my best friends in part because of this game - Andrew (known as Rakumaru during his brief tenure on Cerberus) spotted my nerdy *** reading a (Prima or Brady?) guide in home room one day and said something to the effect of "Wait - like, oh my god. You play Final Fantasy? You have to join my server." So I did. He would later introduce me to Jonas (aka Toxin), and the three of us spent much of our freshman year of high school conferencing each other after school on our parents' cordless landlines while we played final fantasy together. On at least one occasion it came to light that we had all independently faked sick to stay home and play. Those were really good times. I haven't spoken to Andrew in a while - he's been busy learning every Asiatic language known to man (a pursuit for which I do believe Final Fantasy deserves some credit). Jonas and I on the other hand see each other all the time when one of us is not away at school or halfway around the world (hello from South Africa!) I'm glad to be able to call these guys my good friends, and, while it's true that the three of us would likely have seen each other almost every day during four years of high school anyway, it's Final Fantasy I have to thank for kickstarting two rewarding friendships.
That said, I want to name a few people that played on Cerberus during my short FFXI career and contributed to my enjoyment of the game:
Raku/Toxin - Naturally. Thanks for healing for me Andrew. I remember going to your house one day and you showed me the macro you had created: cast cure on Giddion > Wait 5 > cast cure II on Giddion. Etc. all so you could go make tea or hot pockets and watch tv while we adventured. you lazy WHM you. I did appreciate the confidence though. Jonas, I thought I was a pretty good tank but I'm glad I stopped playing before you achieved godlike status via your HNM linkshells. How in the world did anyone keep you alive?
Contra - never sure if you were the 13 year old schoolkid or the 30-something English (or whatever) teacher you professed to be at various times. Either way, I remember you and hope you're doing well.
Laksu - I think that's how this mnk spelled his name. You compensated for your apparent lack of English skills with a shy friendliness and lots of smileys. Good man.
Daemen/Diosa - The leaders of my linkshell, TheChosen. I saw a picture of you once Dio. You fine as hell. Just how 14 year old me hoped the female FFXI players looked like. I would soon discover that gender in Final Fantasy was less of an identity and more of a mood. Daemen - your then-girlfriend was cute. Sup. In all serious though you were both great. Friendly and helpful, just like the Linkshell as a whole.
Thelan - You were a cool guy to play with. Heard you jacked Toxin's account. If that's true, then thank you for delivering him to real life once more.
Ravencutthrote - this one is very important. I'll never forget our virtual time together - discussing movies, playing trivia, hiding from my friends. I know I left abruptly; I still feel bad about it. Despite my pretense of maturity I wasn't ready to comprehend what an adult's life might be like, and the line between role play and reality just wasn't readily apparent to me. I wish I'd reacted differently; I must have made you feel terrible. I'm so sorry. I'll always remember the warm, caring and fun personality behind the mithra. Boot to the head!
To the rest of TheChosen, and the denizens of Cerberus server - the game would be nothing without you guys. I've never been a part of any online community like the one I was fortunate enough to encounter in Vana'diel. I consider myself lucky to have been a part of it. A big thank you to each of you for making my experience so much fun.
If anyone wants to say hello then please do so. I'm also thinking of posting this on reddit just to see if I catch an old friend or two.
Giddion, Elvaan PLD/WAR. Level ??. TheChosen and LostSoulsTavern. Cerberus.