About Alt+Exp

Alt Final Fantasy XIV Experience

I started playing FFXIV back in September 2013, and have played the game consistently ever since. Despite this, it’s taken me almost four years before I actually sat down to organize a proper RP/Story blog about the game. I’ve tried to write a few pieces about various characters, but it’s always been a false start. In the end, the character I really wanted to write about is Benjamin Ya.

Even though FFXIV is a game that almost outright discourages the use of alts, I have always been an alt-aholic in all MMOs I’ve played. So this game ended up no different…

When Red Mage was introduced in the Stormblood expansion, I quickly fell in love with the job. I knew it would be the perfect class for Ben, since Black Mage never really felt right for him. After all, Ben had been a Red Mage back when I played FFXI!

20+ Years in the Making

Ben with Crystal
Ben with Crystal

I keep mentioning Ben, but I haven’t really introduced him or talked about his importance to this project. This is a story that started back in 1992, when I played my first real JRPG, Final Fantasy II/IV.

After finishing the game, I was enthralled with the story of the protagonist, Cecil, finding out his brother was the antagonist-against-his-will, Golbez. Once Golbez was knocked back to his senses, he joined with the good guys to try and (fail) to fight the ultimate bad guy. And then, once the world was saved, the brothers went their own separate ways.

For young teen-aged me, that was heart-wrenching. I started to mull over who this (at that time) unseen and tragic anti-hero might be under all that dark armor. Back in 1992, there was no Internet where fans could come together to speculate about their favorite games. In fact, I was inspired to write my first fan fiction about this character’s development, Coming of the Darkstar, before I’d ever heard the term “fan fiction” or knew that was a thing.

Golbez was an unwieldy name, so I gave him a more human one – Benjamin. Once I discovered the Internet years later, Ben grew to become a sort of flagship character for a lot of my RPs, stories, and even a long-term webcomic, Wayrift. When I play MMOs, I usually try to recreate him in the game as close as I can. Often, this is a straight up mage. But in FFXIV, I can make him the hybrid black/white caster who also uses blades, which is very similar to how I designed his character in my stories.

So,  for a number of reasons, I’m really quite excited to dive into the story of FFXIV while using a Alt-Dimension character from the world of FFIV. I feel like all the elements line up and mesh together nicely, and it should be fun to write things from Ben’s perspective once again. I hope you’ll join me!

~Aywren Sojourner