I learned something a long time ago about myself: I don't play nice with people who don't play nice. I learned it, and, frankly, it's probably the only reason I'm still here and kicking 41 years in.
I don't know what this next year will bring for me personally, but I hope it's better than the last 12 months. The last 12 months were a trying time for me and my friends, especially my roommate. But we're still here, and they haven't gotten rid of us yet.
Of course, people (especially FFXI players and followers) will know January 22nd for a very different purpose: The day that, despite even Square-Enix' continued efforts to promote FFXI to this day (and to their Feb. 28, 2010 VanaFest in Tokyo), FFXI died at the hands of nearly a thousand cheaters whom Square-Enix could no longer ignore.
And we all know, even to today, how much Square-Enix continues to ignore massive fraud, theft, and illegal (in-game and law) activity in Vana'diel.
So we're a year past the Salvage Bans... What have we learned?
Those cheaters who haven't quit have dug in against the Terms of Service and Square-Enix, leading to several update nerfs (fishing, gardening, NPC sales, etc.), as well as the December 24, 2009 statement against third-party programs (which I feel Square-Enix doesn't have a prayer of enforcing unless it can figure out how to immediately slash the number of servers in half...)
Don't believe me? I discussed that at length about three weeks ago.
That said, it's clear that I have been branded everything from RP (a role-player, whom, to most of FFXI, is a bad name!) to so many names behind my back that it would take a decade to finish the list (and they're all derogatory!!).
But the one thing I've learned is this: I have to look myself in the mirror while I'm in the game and while I'm not. (I actually found a $100 bill on the ground during my work, while doing all the "Flamage" posts and the like. I had to seek out it's owner. Why? Because if I'm going to talk it here, I have to walk it there.)
And the day that what I say has absolutely no value (and that's not something the vast majority of the players -- those who cheat -- can declare (nor, really, can I)), then they better decide to deal with me in the most forceful way possible, because I know what I can do if I ever felt (like most FFXI players) that the right thing to do is no longer necessary or even possible.
A year ago, this game was exposed as a motherfucking fraud: Fraud by the players, fraud by the company, and fraud by the community (yes, I'm talking to you, Chinchilla and Pet Food Cheater).
If Square-Enix is serious about refuting that statement, ban every App and NASA user at minimum, and try to deal with Windower once and for all.
Stop the theft and start prosecuting RMT, wherever they are.
Make the efforts you have to make to even try to make FFXIV a purportedly reasonable game, and not the cheating non-starter it appears as if it's going to be.
As for me, I'll raise Hell til they lock me up. God put me on this Earth 41 years ago, and there's days I truly believe that this is the purpose for which I was put here.