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Atma; the chase that teases of a lifetime to fulfill

Atma of the Fish; acquired but rarely without a stink...
Atma of the Fish; acquired but rarely without a stink...
Final Fantasy XIV & Square Enix

While there have been a large number of updates and content released to the Final Fantasy XIV game; one complaint can still be heard throughout a number of zones and chats within the game. Regardless how these complaints are worded, their source of outrage remains the same, Atma.

Every MMO has come up with a number of mechanics in efforts to keep end-game content interesting and players anxious to play even after reaching the 'end' of whatever saga questing may entail. While Final Fantasy XIV is no exception whatsoever to this, the mechanic involving the chase for Atma is definitely not helping their players to avoid frustration even if/when it manages to keep them playing. The mechanic involves chasing 'Fates' that randomly spawn within specified zones for a chance at finding a specific Atma for that zone. There are a total of twelve Atma needed to complete the quest involved, and upon completion the players' Zenith weapon will be upgraded by the quest-giver. The chances of finding these Atma however can sometimes prove extremely frustrating for those with this upgrade as their sole objective within the game. Many feel there will come a point when the developers will increase the odds for Atma to drop, but whether that is going to be anytime soon remains to be seen. As many as forty or more Fates can see completion by a player with not a single Atma to show for it. These Fates can last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes depending on how many players are taking part in them, and while some may find the lacking of Atma irritating others have surrendered their efforts altogether.

Whether a good or bad mechanic for end-game content, remains to be seen by the player involved; the reality is once completed for one job/class, should you wish to upgrade any other's the quest begins again from the first step as the Atma acquired only applies for the job/class utilized when seeking them and having that Zenith weapon equipped. Some players have seen this as a very strong grief that detracts from their ability to truly enjoy the game; failing to recognize that as an end-game element this is actually fairly genius of their developers. While players have any number of intrigues to keep their attention, some unfortunately can get tunnel-vision when it comes to upgrading that Zenith weapon in hand. Another added element many players overlook is how these locations for Atma to drop result in high level players running alongside any range of new players taking part in the Fates throughout the zone. This not only provisions an opportunity to further socializing with these new players, it even gives a window into the future they are pursuing. Seeing their job/class of choice in action, and potential garb and gear that their efforts can result can sometimes increase the odds a new player will stick with the game and progress through it. However this door swings both ways, observing the shouts of outrage and frustration many have made clear can also work to dishearten some new players and potentially run them off to other titles or back to prior titles where minimal effort was needed to succeed in some end-game element.

Atma may be a rare drop for some to acquire, and possibly quickly acquired by another; but the reality that this is not in any way the single means of enjoying the end-game continues to be seen regularly as new updates and content have been released steadily by the Square Enix team. If you find yourself caught in the Atma tunnel-vision, sometimes it pays to take part in some other entertainment until this frustration passes. Granted it may be a temporary relief to /shout your outrage to the zone; it could also cost you a valuable ally from a future that will never pass as they surrender their progress for fear of what their future may hold.