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Do these Fallout 4 VR mods make the game worth revisiting after the TV show?
1:00 pm

The first time I played Fallout 4 VR was in a tiny little booth after Bethesda’s 2016 E3 conference. I called my short time with the game ‘underwhelming‘ back then because the whole experience was little more than a stationary shooting gallery with bottles for targets. Even then though, it was still a thrill to feel like I was actually standing next to a real-life Red Rocket gas station.

Fallout 4 VR finally released in December 2017 to fairly positive reviews, even though there was a lot of criticism about the VR implementation and its lacklustre graphics. Despite these faults however, most helmet-heads on PC were thrilled to have the opportunity to play through the entirety of Fallout 4 in virtual reality. Sure there were some corners cut here and there but still, props to Bethesda for even attempting this port in the first place, I wish more developers and publishers would do the same.

In the roughly 6.5 years since Fallout 4 VR’s release, enterprising modders have been attempting to improve the vanilla experience one tiny mod at a time. But there are some, like content creator, GingasVR, who have put together huge mod lists that aim to alter the original version of Fallout 4 VR and bring it up to the standards of something like Half Life: Alyx.

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Overcoming Tank anxiety in FFXIV made me a better player (and a Dark Knight main)
2:46 am

Dark Knight in Final Fantasy XIV

Within any traditional Final Fantasy XIV party, there are three roles to fill: one Tank, one Healer, and two DPS in a light party or double that in 8-man groups. For a long time, I checked that last box as a strictly DPS-only player. It wasn’t until years into my adventures that I’d stray from my comfort zone, thrust headfirst into tanking.

I’ll never forget my first proper tanking experience in FFXIV. My FC (Free Company) mates at the time, whom I will honestly never forgive but always be grateful to, insisted I give the role a try. They promised to go easy on me and promised I’d be fine. Reluctantly, I agreed. I was among friends; it couldn’t be that bad, right?

Wrong. But before we get into that, let me explain something. I had tanked before, but never with actual people. I’d clawed my way through the levels using Duty Support and a seemingly never-ending list of side quests and, eventually, by avoiding people in Eureka, the Bozjan Southern Front, and Zadnor. My Tank Job, a Paladin at the time, sat comfortably at level 80, and I was happy never to never reprise the role until the call of peer pressure.

Paladin in Final Fantasy XIV
Screenshot by Destructoid

Then, the leader of our ready-made light party dropped us directly into Paglth’an. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite dungeons of all time now, but back then it was a horrifying hellscape that I was quite happy never to visit again. When I tell you that I tanked that dungeon while screaming both internally and externally, shaking like a leaf and almost hyperventilating, I am not exaggerating. It was, in equal measure, the most enlightening and terrifying experience I’ve ever had in FFXIV. I was horrified at the thought of leading the party in that way.

For a while, I refused to jump back onto Paladin. I never wanted what felt like so much responsibility again, at least not with other people who would need to suffer through my mistakes. But then I saw the blasted Amaro mount, the reward for reaching level 80 in each class. 

Amaro mount in Final Fantasy XIV
Screenshot by Destructoid

The Amaro is, to this day, my favorite mount. I call mine X-Wing and it ties me irrevocably to the one main story character who has touched me most deeply in my journey throughout Eorzea — Ardbert.

So, of course, I had to have it, and that meant I had no alternative but to pick up a sword, axe, and gunbladeto get there. This was the start of my deep dive into tanking, and through this, I’ve become a tank main. I overcame that miserable tanking anxiety, and it wasn’t easy, but it’s taught me so much. Mostly thanks to X-Wing, but helped along by the tank titles and rewards. They gave me something purposeful, something actionable I could work toward to feel a little proud of the baby steps there.

I threw myself in with full force, learning a laundry list of important MMO skills — like the importance of frank communication. I lost count of the number of times I immediately announced that I was new to an instance, asking for a little patience and grace. Sometimes people just dropped without saying a word, which I understood to mean they didn’t want to play with a rookie tank. I can’t say I didn’t take it personally at times, but I pulled up my pants and gave myself a pep talk while we waited for a replacement.

Gunbreaker in Final Fantasy XIV
Screenshot by Destructoid

Most of the time, though, people were unbelievably understanding. They’d give tips, tell me I was doing a good job, and help me along the way. It’s this kind of behaviour that kept me going. It’s also this kind of behaviour that drove me to become a mentor, to help others with those same anxieties.

When I met my fiancé, I strove to help him try other roles one and only Job — Summoner. Not against his will, I should add. Summoner had just been completely overhauled with the Endwalker expansion, and he was complaining that he was bored. After my own experiences, I was already getting a knack for teaching, and now he’s got a full roster of level 90 jobs, including Tanks, and mains Healer. Yes, we’re the dreaded healer-tank couple, but try not to judge us for it. 

Dark Knight and Sage in Final Fantasy XIV
Screenshot by Destructoid

That was two and a half years ago, and it’s hard to believe it’s been that long since Endwalker dropped. But now here I am, a Dark Knight main, and I can’t DPS without getting bored. Of course, I’m going to level everything after Dawntrail releases, but I will always go back to tanking. 

Tanking did more than teach me a new role, too. It gave me perspective on fights I didn’t have before. I get why and when a Tank will move so early in some boss fights, so it doesn’t catch me off guard. I see the importance of a wall-to-wall pull in certain dungeons and how much time the DPS have to light the mob up before, well, the mob lights the tank up.

Gunbreaker in Final Fantasy XIV
Screenshot by Destructoid

That’s not to say that I’m a perfect Tank. I’m pretty far from perfect. I forget my tank stance more than I’d like to admit, I still manage to lose aggro on stragglers in a big pull, and I still get a little annoyed when I’m watching the other Tanks battle it out for aggro during an Alliance Raid, but I’ve learned not to take it too seriously. 

What’s the worst that can happen? We wipe? That’s not so bad. If someone else wants aggro in an Alliance Raid, I’m happy to give it to them and turn myself into a blue DPS. If I forget to turn on my Tank stance, I laugh it off and send a quick “well that could have gone better” in chat. Humor helps, and people seem to appreciate it. 

Warrior in Final Fantasy XIV
Screenshot by Destructoid

Believe me, I know how petrifying Tank anxiety, or anxiety over any role, can be. Even if it’s not in the Job description, your party often looks to you as a de facto leader, and that comes with pressure. But if you’re unsure about it, or feel like you can’t do it, I’m here to tell you that you can. It may not come easily at first, but communicating your fears and inexperience is part of venturing out of your comfort zone on a new Job. Laugh it off; people are, usually, more understanding than you think. Give it a few runs, and I promise you’ll not only be a better player for it, but maybe you’ll pick up a new main Job, too.

The post Overcoming Tank anxiety in FFXIV made me a better player (and a Dark Knight main) appeared first on Destructoid.


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