One of the most precious things about Final Fantasy XIV is the sheer amount of players willing to go above and beyond to create communities, content, and foster one of the kindest communities I’ve experienced in an MMO. In today’s article, I talk with Varicray about his global initiative project to mark the five year FFXIV anniversary which intends to not only bring the wider community closer but to also raise money for the ‘1000 Dreams Fund’. Hundreds of content creators have already joined the community, offering their time, support and creative energies to the project.
Each year Final Fantasy XIV marks its anniversary with an event called ‘The Rising’. This year we aid Dural Tharal from the Mythril Eye in his quest to discover more about the Calamity from those who experienced it. The quest sets to highlight the history of this devastating moment in Eorzean history along with highlighting the heroic actions of countless adventurers.
Once again, Naoki Yoshida reprises his role as the ‘Wandering Minstrel’ in order to convey his and his team’s heartfelt message to us, the players, who have found ourselves a home within his world. We also gain access to instanced content called ‘The Calamity Retold’ where players take to the streets of Ul’Dah to battle against various challenging monsters with other adventurers in a recreation of the events preceding the Calamity. Players are rewarded tokens for each monster they kill, which they can spend on event items. The Rising also rewards a minion and orchestrion roll.
To me, this is one of the more special events as it feels like a direct connection between each and every player to the games’ producer and director. I just want to blub at the monitor ‘thank you Yoshi P!!’ Everyone on the development team at Square Enix has given us such an amazing world to build very special memories within.
Which leads me onto what this article is truly about: community.
What is it? Hydaelyn International is a community project which will be organizing various events, streams, and creative projects to celebrate the FFXIV 5th year Anniversary and beyond.
When is it? September 14-16, starting at 7 PM EDT, or midnight in the UK.
Community: Discord link
This year FFXIV celebrates their 5th year anniversary and I’ve been lucky enough to be included in this global community project, founded by Varicray.
Vari very kindly agreed to answer my questions listed below and provide all the information you could need about the project which will be going live this coming weekend.
What is Hydaelyn International?
Hydaelyn International is a community collaboration project which will run events and streams. There will be fundraising in aid of the 1000 Dreams Fund which is an organization that helps young women in tech to get financed to achieve their goals, be it education, content creation or otherwise. We think that’s an admirable and important goal as gamers ourselves that enjoy and use a lot of tech on a daily basis.
What will happen is that most, if not all of our streamers will plan server or region-specific events, inviting everyone to play with them or together with other streamers. The idea is to flood Twitch and lift the game up in the game directory and celebrate its 5 year anniversary as a combined community to show our appreciation. Everyone else who’s not a streamer may contribute in whatever way they can and play with a lot of us as well live on various streams.
- The event will focus on celebrating the FFXIV 5th anniversary, HI will together as a community celebrate with events, streams, articles, art & other things. It starts at 7 PM EDT / 12 AM BST on September 14 or September 15 at 7 AM AWST for the people in Australia. We will run an optional to join charity with this.
- Each datacenter has leaders planning events with fellow streamers, friends and viewers. Everyone involved with streams will be listed under the FFXIVHI Twitch community. Some of our partners will also run events, streams, podcasts and do things on their own, or with others.
- The event goes on for 48H to give everyone plenty of time to take part, stream or undertake another project within the allotted time frame. It’s very relaxed & it had to be this way due to short notice, up to 16 hours time difference with participants & just the sheer size of HI itself.
- Once the event is done, HI will move on to expand its features while also planning for the next event, this time with a lot more prep-time. The ultimate goal & also my original idea & intent is to turn this into a social gathering hub for all sorts of creative people to come together.
More about the Founder
Before we skip on ahead to more details about HI, let’s find out a little more about the leader of this project, Vari, and his experiences in relation to Final Fantasy XIV.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Vari, a 29-year-old Swedish full-time FFXIV focused streamer with a passion for community relationships and building long-lasting connections between people. I work part-time in IT privately and I usually play video games on a daily basis.
In FFXIV I main a Lalafell Bard (Vari Cray) on Odin on the Chaos datacenter but I also play a lot of other jobs quite frequently. I lead our FC’s static and I’m one of it’s officers as well. At heart and skill, I’ve always been a more raid focused player in any MMORPG.
I come from a long history of playing MMORPG’s. I found FFXIV during Patch 3.3 and quickly got involved with the game’s existing community which I really enjoyed. I enjoyed the game and its open job system and most of the content it had to offer. I found friends, like-minded people and a place to fit in more than I used to in other previous game communities. I actually never even met people I played with in real life until FFXIV and that was also big for me. My experience with the game and the community around it has been mostly positive, for me, in overall.
What inspired you to create this event?
The developers (Square Enix) just recently did a 14-hour long celebration stream and have many other things going on worldwide. So I sat there one evening thinking “This is something we as players could do as well, let’s see how many content creators I can get in on this”. From that point on everything just expanded and escalated extremely quickly. We included everyone who has a creative spark within themselves to freely contribute FFXIV content.
How did you begin to organize such a large-scale event?
I started with asking fellow co-streamers that I’ve done work or projects with before, in the end, I think I’ve contacted or been contacted by probably 150-200 people during this process and more come in as word spreads.
I started out alone but have since got a bit more extra help from other project members, it’s been a crazy ride these last four days of planning, to say the least.
Although events will vary in game content, here’s one of the events put together by Tarno from Mateus:
Date: Friday September 14th at 8:00PM EST
Location: Plot: Mist Ward 13, Plot 5
Genisys is a popular Nightclub FC that throws server wide, Mixed-RP events for the Mateus community; rewarding such as Mogstation prizes. To celebrate the 5-year anniversary with the Hydaelyn International project, our nightclub theme is Hydaelyn Adventurer. Come as your best you. We will not be judging glams this time around as we understand that there will be alts joining Mateus for this event. Instead we’ll be rewarding over $50 worth of Mogstation prizes through our door raffle. Partygoers will have a shot to win the new Mogstation mount Red Hare an account wide item!
Our events are Mixed-RP. You will find RPers and non-RPers in attendance. For RP purposes we have a custom-made drink and dinner menu for the club we will also be providing a RL music playlist.
How many communities and countries are currently involved?
Right now we have six official community partners and there will likely be many more on the way. The reception has been incredibly exciting, strong and at this time everything is incredibly busy. Right now we have Aetherflow Media, a fan magazine who will do a podcast during the event and cover what transpired during it with some articles. We have The Wandering Unity, a FFXIV creator hub, who will help promote the event and just back us up with planning. Another fan magazine called Fat Cat Chronicles will be taking part, they have been helping out by listing participants, promoting the community and just doing a lot of grunt work. They will also make some content post the event to showcase.
We also have two screenshot communities with us, FFXIVSnaps and GPOSERS. FFXIVSnaps will provide us with image coverage of the event and take character portraits of attendees. GPOSERS will provide their own streamer coverage and do a few articles as well after the event. Lastly we have Maelstrom Media, a stream podcast who will help us with promotion, streaming and more. We have other participants pending community and project requests from others that needs to be communicated and agreed upon.
How can other players contribute to the project?
Anyone who has a drive or passion for anything creative can take part and contribute however much they like into the project, it’s all fully optional.
It doesn’t matter how small or big it is, we leave that up to you!
If you are not a content creator can you still take part?
Yes, we don’t define the ‘content creator’ to strictly live streaming or video editing. We have artists, writers, cosplayers, musicians, community leaders, screenshot editors, designers and all sorts of creative people on board.
If you don’t possess any creative skills, you can still contribute just by supporting us as well and join us during the various events. We’re all inclusive, that’s our goal.
Do you have a list of events/times per-server and what types of events will be taking place?
We don’t have a list right now but have several leaders for each region planning loads of in-game events and our partners are planning their own things. Each individual streamer will be dealing with their viewers or other streamers as well.
How can players support the event during the week?
Watch your favorite streamer during the event, give us feedback and play some Final Fantasy XIV with us. You mean as much to us as we do to you!
What do you hope will be achieved?
We are hoping to achieve nothing less than a tremendously big, active, fun, heartfelt and inclusive event to celebrate the game and its community.
Will you be looking to leave a lasting legacy?
Yes, once the event is over the community will keep existing and become a hub for all content creators to plan future events and also advise/teach our skills to others.
Do you have a dedicated website where updated information can be easily found?
We have a Discord server that will become public in the next few days, but also started an official Twitter account and a Twitch community for everyone to check out. No website plans as of right now, but the future isn’t fully decided yet!
Social Media Links
Huge thank you to Vari for finding time to provide so much information for us during this Incredibly busy time. I wish everyone the happiest of 5th year anniversary celebrations and lots of success to all those participating in the HI project!
Thank you for reading! Please accept my sincerest apologies for being unable to produce articles lately, hopefully I’ll be back very soon with a continuation of the Photography to Screenshot principles series, ReShade and GPose guides. I will also be trying to take part in the HI anniversary celebration by streaming a creative take on FFXIV by purging my current filter package and starting ReShade from scratch and offering up the filters in return.
If you would like me to write on a particular topic later down the line in relation to today’s article or screenography just let me know in the comments below or via Twitter.Related: Anniversary, Community, Echoes of Eorzea, Event, Final Fantasy XIV, Hydaelyn International, Interview, MMORPG