"A video game comic and blog that would have been awesome and relevant 10 years ago. Maybe." -Famous Website
When I was in high school, I remember wanting so badly, a game where you can make your own character and to have them actually feel naturally incorporated as part of the narrative and world.
As I've expressed a couple times before, I'm so impressed and enthralled about how good of a job Final Fantasy 14 does in bringing your character to life and making them a core part in the story. The character creation experience is pretty standard with other modern day MMOs with a few really nice additional personal touches, like hair highlights, choosing from a selection of voices with different personalities, and a patron deity that's associated to lore themes and elemental affinities. =)
When you get in-game however is where the magic really begins for me. I've seen the opening sequence probably at least ten times since we started the game, and I always love seeing the cinematic where your character arrives at their beginning town in awe, like a country bumpkin coming to the big city for the first time. XD It just exudes the feeling of the beginning of a long, grand adventure; it gets me excited! =3
The character motions, personality, expressions, and the nuances in the player emotes are all just so charming, I can't help but want to watch and study them over and over again. For a time, I was continuously compelled to hop in game just to watch them. I even have an alt character on a different server that I hop on once in a while just to watch the emotes of that particular other race. XD
There's just something magical about a personal creation being given a breath of life, to move, to interact, and seemingly become more than just a simple concept or a soulless vessel.
Though your character is a silent protagonist, they are still given center stage and it doesn't feel robotically unnatural. Even if they don't have anything to say during gripping parts of the story, you can still see the tension in their expression, the awe, the shock, the somberness, the joys, the uneasiness. There're even times when your character and long time comrades will exchange glances, as if you both are having similar thoughts that don't need to be said, the affirmation of a silent bond between friends; in what other MMO can you say have you EVER had a similar situation? XD
I love seeing my character come to life in FF14's story so much. The development team's way of directing the experience has made such a strong, positive, impression on me, it's inspiring and is something I'll remember fondly for the rest of my life. I figure it's also probably one of the reasons why it's a little deflating to hear of players who skip all the story segments, because that's when I feel like a lot of the magic happens.