When I first began getting into Savage, in March last year, I was warned. Savage is where the tryhards and the elitists live, the place for people who treat the game like a job. If you make a single mistake, ACT will sound an alarm on everyone's computers. The party will all laugh at you and kick you, then inform all raiders to blacklist you so you can never do Savage again, and a team of elite FFLogs inspectors will come to your house to uninstall FFXIV.
Ok, so I exaggerated just to be humorous. However, it is certainly true that the reputation that Savage and its players had was not good. Toxicity, elitism and harassment came to mind whenever people talked about raiding.
I was not content with playing casual content and wanted a challenge. Even though I was discouraged, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. On 11 Mar 2019, I stepped into the learning party for the first time.
A few days later, I cleared O9S, and it was actually very chill. I thought to myself: the content is old (Alphascape had been released for almost 6 months by then), so the serious players must be elsewhere.
I cleared E1S and E2S, and it was fairly calm. There were a number of disagreements over positions and strategy, but almost every party was able to work together. In the very worst case, the party would just disband or those who could not get along would leave. I thought to myself, the lower levels are relatively easy, maybe it will be less friendly in the upper levels.
I progressed through the stages, and I never saw any greyed-out PF's, nor was I kicked from parties due to low dps. Even when I only had grey (<25th percentile, or the lowest band of dps) logs on FFLogs, I was not refused entry from any learning, clear or farm party.
I reached E4S, and it was very hard. Many parties were not consistent enough to reach the later phases. Frustration was everywhere. However, open arguments and bickering were extremely rare, and not even once was there finger pointing or calling for certain people to be kicked.
Finally, I cleared E4S. I was touched and said to my party, "It's the first Savage tier I've cleared," and my co-tank turned to me and said, "me too." As I stood before the open chest, rolling for loot, I realized the toxicity I had been warned about was nowhere in sight. I remembered the Ultimate raiders who taught me E2S. I remembered the 99th percentile SCH who helped me clear E3S. I remembered hundreds of people who spent countless hours making guides, uploading POVs and answering questions. I remembered the people who pored over my logs to give me advice.
At last, my confusion turned into anger. Not only was I lied to, good people have been slandered.
I learned that much of what is said about Savage comes from people who not only have not done the content, but have no intention of doing it.
When I was a newbie, taking my first hesitant steps into the content, irresponsible people such as these discouraged me instead of encouraging me.
I believe there are 3 reasons why Savage and its players have such a bad reputation.
First, there is the "plane crash effect". Even though aircraft are much safer than cars and motor vehicles, people fear aircraft crashes more, because they are more high profile with large death tolls. Similarly, while most people in Savage are quite chill, a handful of horrific incidents linger in the public imagination and dominate conversations about Savage. While such incidents must be prevented, they are hardly representative of a community as a whole.
Secondly, people draw upon negative experiences they have had with the raiding communities and hardcore players of other games, primarily WoW. However, I feel this is not reasonable as the games have very different cultures and communities. In particular, WoW is a culture unto its own. There are a lot of people who play WoW who do not play other MMO's, or even other video games in general.
But perhaps most of all, I believe that the reputation of Savage comes from bias in the minds of those who talk about it.
As humans have a natural urge to maintain a positive self-image, people who are not able to do Savage may speak negatively about Savage content and its players in order to feel good about themselves. After all, if we convince ourselves that we are doing ourselves a favor by not doing this content - that it is not fun, unpleasant and full of toxicity - then we won't feel bad that we're not able to do it. Downplaying or dismissing skills we do not have is also a common self-enhancement strategy.
The perception that raiding is related to toxicity is subject to massive confirmation bias. For example, when we see someone with Savage gear or an Ultimate title behave badly, we conclude , "raiders are toxic". However, if someone without such gear behaves badly, we do not conclude "casual players are toxic".
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I normally try to keep my blog a very positive place, so I apologize for the negative tone of this post.
I do not consider myself a "raider" (since that word seems to be associated with higher skill in general). However, as someone who fought, learned and taught in the Savage PF, I cannot tolerate misinformation being spread and entire communities being slandered as toxic, elitist and harassing.
If you are considering playing Savage yourself, I encourage you not to listen to popular perception, but to go into the learning party and see for yourself the truth of what Savage is.
I leave you with a final anecdote on what raiders are really like.
I was discussing the race for Alexander Ultimate world first, and there was an excited conversation about the Fate Calibration mechanic. I posted something like, "I'm not good enough to do this content, but it's amazing that the developers are so creative."
Immediately a bunch of Ultimate raiders came and posted things like "Don't count yourself out yet" and "If you practice enough you can do it". I thought it was funny at first, these people do not know me, how can they say these things? But then I realized, as people who have endured up to 100 hours of progression, they know more than anyone else the power of practice and perseverance. I was impressed by their growth mentality and their can-do attitude, a mindset I wish so badly my own students have.
Does this sound like elitism to you? I rest my case.
I am sorry, please just ignore my stupidity. I do not mean any ill will toward what was stated. If you don't want me to talk anymore with you, I understand, i'm sorry yus yus
and maybe I will take part in savage content someday. But I hoped it would be with friends like you.
Honestly I have not seen any elitism in raids/Savage or extremes. I have seen it in feast to some degree. But not too terrible. Ff14 isn't anything like WOW or other games where toxicity is high and extremely immature.
I hope people reading your post will understand that anyone could do Savage. Give it a try. I bet you'll enjoy it. I didn't finish the whole tier in Savage. I was satisfied that I did finish es1. Hope everyone has fun today :)
First of all, Espy, please don't call yourself stupid. Nobody called you this in chat, and if they did, that would be very wrong. Secondly, I have never said not to talk with me again, so there is no need to worry.
I am very sorry if I came off as aggressive, however I think this is a serious issue. Because experienced raiders do not communicate well with the casual playerbase, and they are a minority, their voice is not heard, so it's important to avoid stereotypes.
We can disagree on what rewards are suitable for what content, however, suggesting that "if you give X and Y to this content, the people doing it will become elitist, toxic, etc." does imply something negative about the character of the people doing it.
You can look at yourself the ilvl required by Savage PF, whether for learning or weekly 2 chest. Learning usually require 470 (480 for the higher floors), which is min ilvl, and even in the later weeks, is unlikely to ever exceed 480.
Parties that require abnormally high ilvl are rare, and generally limited to parse runs (to get high scores on FFLogs), so they do not really affect normal players.
I definitely will join any learning party with you in it if you want to try out Savage, although I think you should also not feel pressured to do it. Just go with an open mind, and I think you will find that people in PF are not that different from in DF.
Aala, thank you. I agree, although I admit I never played WoW. I can only report what I experienced myself, which is that it is rare that people are unpleasant in PF. And yes, even if you cannot clear the entire tier, being able to clear something, or even gain experience of a fight can be enjoyable. I hope you have fun in the new raid tier!