I love my children. They are three of the most delightful little humans one could ever meet. I also love video games. Sometimes, these two worlds collide, and I find myself playing a game in their presence, which is usually fine due to the handy pause feature. Regarding games like Final Fantasy XIV, things can get a little dicey. Especially when you’re in a dungeon, and strangers who you’ve never met but you feel oddly obligated to are relying on you.
This all came to a head recently during the Moogle Treasure Trove: The 10th Anniversary Hunt. I wanted a couple of items, and I needed to get on that grind. Out of every dungeon that I could have run, The Praetorium was my dungeon of choice. You may be thinking that this is due to the amazing cutscenes, the time it takes to complete the raid, and the engaging battles. Well, you would be wrong. I chose Prae specifically because I would have the opportunity to multitask, and multitask I did.
Below is an example of one singular Praetorium run out of the many I ran during the Moogle Treasure Trove event.
Queues for The Praetorium
I plan on queuing for The Praetorium and then ensuring that my toddler and infant have what they need and are settled and occupied before I start. Of course, I forgot that leveling my White Mage means that I’m not stuck in the hell that is a DPS queue. It pops almost simultaneously. I hear the telltale notification while trying to get my infant down. I quickly do that and return to the game with seconds to spare. There’s no second player like there is when running a DPS class. So, everyone knew that they were waiting for me.
It’s Time to Watch Cid and Co. Arrive
An immediate cutscene allows me to finish setting up my infant, grabbing my two-year-old a snack, and ensuring my six-year-old is getting ready as we have to go to the airport to pick up my parents shortly. Everyone is settled. This is perfect. I’m ready in my seat, controller in hand. I send my o/ to everyone. We are just about to start, and then my six-year-old desperately needs me to get her a specific water bottle, and it cannot wait. Thankfully, the first pull is insignificant, and a single Regen cast after the Tank has pulled the mob is sufficient.
The first time one really needs to pay attention is after the second pull when the party runs outside and is met with many AOE-based attacks. There’s no standing in one place, and getting distracted could mean that you either die or, potentially, in my case, let someone else die. My six-year-old sits next to me and begins to strike up a conversation.
Poppy: “Why are you doing this one AGAIN?”
Me: “It’s one of the easier ones for me to do right now, and I am trying to get a cute parasol.”
Poppy: “Why would you want a parasol?”
I started to think about it. Why have I run this so many times? Do I want the Fat Cat Parasol that badly? Do I need it? Will it just be bound to storage forever whilst I am permanently impacted by the self-inflected torture that is running the Praetorium?
It’s Cruel Angel Mark II Magitek Colossus Time
I prefer being a DPS because I like being a number in a crowd. I have had fun with my WHM, but by this time, The Praetorium is pretty low stakes. The first boss only requires a singular heal, and then, despite what my parents taught me growing up, I threw a lot of stones at him.
My six-year-old asked what I was doing when I mentioned it to her. I made the mistake of stating that it was an easy boss. Suddenly, she wanted to attempt to fight the boss. Absolutely not. It starts a conversation on why she should be able to try something new, and that’s how you learn. You can try again, and you don’t have to be perfect. She’s throwing all of the logical arguments that I taught her back at me. I’m trying to dodge this real-world attack and FFXIV attacks simultaneously.
Mounting the Magitek Mount
Oh no. My six-year-old’s favorite (and only) thing to do in Final Fantasy XIV is to alternate between the mounts that I own and ride them all. I don’t mind her doing this, as it’s pretty harmless until now. She’s focused on the mount that I just started riding. She wants a turn. She can do it. She assures me that she’s done it before. My toddler opened the cupboard and took out a large snack. “It’s almost dinner!” I shout over to her. She smiled at me and had no desire to put the snack back. My infant starts crying. He needs a bottle. I can’t let my three party members down. They complimented my in-game name, and now we are bonded for life. I can feel my anxiety levels rising. But suddenly, we are saved by the cutscene where we blow the door wide open.
I Don’t Know Who’s Angstier – My Infant or Nero
I quickly make the baby a bottle whilst Nero is in the background trying to sell everyone his sob story. It’s not bad. The judges on a talent show would definitely shed a tear. My six-year-old walks back into the room and asks why he looks like an insect. You know, he has a bit of a locust vibe. The baby is fussy. My usually good eater is suddenly not latching and taking his bottle. Eventually, he does so right before the battle starts. Nice.
I’m Battling the Bottle
Have you ever tried to feed an infant who is too young to hold their own bottle whilst holding a PS5 controller and attempting to complete your rotations perfectly? I also occasionally move out of the odd AOE. It’s not easy. Usually, my infant absolutely loves to eat and just lays back and drinks. He wouldn’t stay still this time, and I constantly had to reposition his bottle. My party members had no idea just how hard I was working. Indeed, I went above and beyond. But we made it! Nero was defeated, and so was the bottle.
A Last-Minute Dash to Clean the House
The kids are settled. The cutscenes are endless, and I am doing last-minute housework to make sure my house is absolutely perfect for my parents. I haven’t seen them for a year and a half—the realities of moving halfway across the world. Suddenly, I heard Gaius’ iconic speech. I started to think about it. I then realized that I had never noticed only half of Praetorium was voiced. How have I never noticed that before? What else haven’t I noticed in my life? I’m having a bit of a crisis as I had never noticed this before. My mind is just as occupied as the Twelve are.
Gaius is the Guy
We are almost done. I can see the finish line. The children are settled. The house is done. I feel like I am the main character who has survived a dystopian movie. Shaken, wounded, but alive. Gaius is prancing around. He’s going to lose. I healed everyone, the DPS did a Limit Break, and we are done! I am free. I thanked everyone and rushed out so I could log off. I earned all three commendations. It feels deserved. I also hit 101 tomestones and can finally get the last item I needed: the Fat Cat Parasol.
And if you’re still wondering why I run Praetorium when there are other more efficient ways of grinding tomestones for this event. It’s because I have three children who need me at the most inconvenient times. The long cutscenes allow me to not only aid them but also get other things done around my house or for work or leisure. Sometimes, I have to do something during a battle, but the mechanics are simple and can be multitasked simultaneously, even as a healer. If you see someone running Praetorium in the next Moogle Treasure Trove event on Leviathan and they look odd, it’s probably me. Doing what I do best: multitasking.