Final Fantasy Fan Festival Interviews News

Final Fantasy XIV FanFest | Interview with Mizzteq

Whether you’re new to Final Fantasy XIV, or a veteran, you know before any big fight someone always asks: “Did you watch the guide?” The first time I was instructed to watch a guide I fired up YouTube and found one of Mizzteq’s videos. With one view, I was able to fully understand the mechanics, be on the lookout for tankbusters, and direct my party in the right direction. Needless to say, that’s all it took for me to be a Mizzteq fan.

So who is Mizzteq exactly, and what does she do to provide the best guide content known among FFXIV players? Lucky for you, we met up at FanFest and got to talk about all that and then some!

Hi Mizzteq! So nice to finally meet with you. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. How are you doing?

Amazing! Thanks so much for setting this up.

So for those who are unfamiliar with who you are – can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Mizzteq and I’ll be your dungeon guide! *cheesy grin* I am a Content Creator and Twitch Broadcaster that focuses mainly on FFXIV. I love making guides and a lot of my content reflects that.

I’ve got to ask, where did the name Mizzteq come from?

It all started with a really cringey and awkward high school phase where I went by the screen name “tequilA”: tequila because you think alcohol is cool when you aren’t allowed to drink it, and a capital A for my real name. Don’t laugh, I thought I was totally rad. Over time that was shortened to “teq.” Unfortunately, when I first started WoW, no variation of “teq” was available/allowed so I slapped on “Mizz” in front of “teq.” It was meant to signify “Miss Teq” but everyone knows Zs are cooler than Ss, and the rest was history.

When I started my YouTube channel I grabbed the three main letters of Mizzteq to form the “mtq” part. “Capture” was meant to signify the process of video capture/recording my adventures as Mizzteq. Lastly, my character’s full name is “Mizzteq Aran,” the surname obviously influenced by Metroid, one of my favorite video game series!

Hahaha. Tequila and Metroid are both awesome! I wasn’t sure what to expect about your name’s root story, but I love it! How long have you been playing FFXIV? And did you play any of XI?

I never played XI, but I had a few friends who talked a lot about it. I started playing XIV in P4 (Phase 4) beta for A Realm Reborn and have been playing ever since. My horrible secret that everyone knows now is that XIV is my first Final Fantasy game.

Don’t be ashamed – I know plenty of people who hadn’t played a Final Fantasy game prior to XIV. Is this your first MMO, or did you have prior interest in MMOs before this?

What lured me into XIV was the MMO aspect. I played World of Warcraft for years and dabbled in a ton of other MMOs like Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Wildstar… Aside from my WoW addiction, XIV was the only other MMO that managed to hook me in as much as WoW did.

Would you say FFXIV is your favorite? And no shame if it isn’t, by the way.

I always find it hard to pick ONE favorite over every other option. I think the amazing parts of each game stay with you forever, and so when I try to think of just ONE favorite I get flooded by all these different experiences from different games. But there are definitely a lot of things XIV does right in my opinion, so it’s definitely at the top of my list. Right now, because both WoW and XIV have recently had major content patches/expansions they’re fighting to the death in my heart. XIV might be winning by just a little bit.

I started with XI, so I wasn’t able to get into WoW (XI was overly complex and sometimes I wonder how we did it as kids), but I almost wish I did. Still have plenty of friends who play! What would you say is your favorite part of XIV?

RAIDING! I usually play MMOs for the endgame and I think XIV has some of the best PVE (player versus environment) content available. It’s beautiful, it’s challenging, and the music is fantaaaaaastic. Even though we only get four bosses a tier, I’ve always felt they put a lot of work into the encounters, and it shows. There’s nothing quite like the experience of seeing a phase transition with an epic shift in music for the first time. I still get shivers thinking about some of them.

I will definitely agree with you on the music aspect – Final Fantasy games have always been stellar when incorporating music into gameplay and cutscenes. The first time I heard the music in A8 (Alexander Turn 8, an endgame raid), I got so pumped. When did you decide you wanted to do dungeon guides for FFXIV?

I used to make silly guild trailers and the sort for WoW content. Nothing too serious, but the itch to create was always there. I think in the lull between the last beta weekend and the game release I had the idea formed. It basically started with me asking myself if it was something I COULD do. I knew I needed and wanted a creative outlet and I figured since the game was brand new it was a good place to start. I don’t think I really seriously set out to be “Mizzteq the Guide Maker,” and even the whole “I’ll be your dungeon guide” line was a way to poke fun of myself. But, over time I realized how much I enjoyed it and eventually other people started enjoying them as well, and now here I am!

MTQ Capture
If this image pops up on your YouTube search, you know it’s Mizzteq!

I myself am a HUGE fan of your guides. There are a lot of options out there in terms of which guides to listen to/watch, but I feel like you’ve truly nailed a perfect format. Your videos aren’t too short, too long, and they provide all of the necessary information. I’ve never had to replay your video because I “missed” something, information has always been clear. When I have replayed them, it’s simply because I wanted to hear it again to make sure I got it. Were you able to come up with this format immediately, or did it take some trial and error?

I think there was a tiny bit of trial and error involved. My main goal, even from the beginning, was to create guides that were easy to digest. That meant learning how to being concise with what I was saying or how I was explaining things. It meant learning when to remove fluff and recognizing the urge to repeat myself on what I considered to be really important concepts. The hardest thing to learn was how to maintain that short and sweet format as the encounters themselves got more complicated. I still struggle with it, but I think for the most part I’ve learned how to cut out the unnecessary bits.

From a viewer’s standpoint, I think you’ve done a fantastic job. A couple people from my Free Company said they admire your voice (not in a creepy way, I promise!). You do have a very calm and collected tone when doing these videos. Do you use your normal speaking voice, or do you change it a bit to fit the video?

I tend to stumble over words a lot when I get excited in real life/on stream (which happens a lot) so I think there is a bit of a difference in tone/cadence. When I was little my grandma (who didn’t speak English too well) would always scold me, saying she couldn’t understand me because I spoke too fast, and that I should consider speaking “slowly and articulately like they do on the BBC.” So now, I like to imagine my guide voice as this calm and collected voice that even my grandma could understand. There’s also a running joke on my stream to “do the mizzVoice” so I think there’s a definite difference. It’s still my real voice. It’s just more.. Aware of what I’m saying than it normally is, haha!

I get really excited and talk fast, too, so I totally relate! Haha. When new content comes out, how long does it take you to put up the new guide? Do you have to run it several times? Do you take notes? Give us a little bit of insight on your process.

There are a few stages. The first is the “capture” stage, where I’ll go in for the first time and blindly record the run. If it’s a raid, there’s a lot of wiping and hard drive space involved. While this is happening, I’ll have a basic idea of each encounter/specific mechanics form in my mind. Then I’ll start writing – this first writing step usually involves a lot of word vomit, some stream of consciousness ramblings about things I should check the next run, and a whole lot of questions. At this point, I’ll watch the footage I recorded and answer a majority of the questions I have.

I’ll edit what I wrote again and see what else is missing. This next stage usually involves going back in (either on the same character or an alt*), asking others in the group if they noticed X during Y mechanic, or getting footage from others to look through. Once I have everything figured out I’ll write the rest of the guide and eventually make a script that I’ll use for the video. I’ll record the audio for the video, edit it and then begin editing the video, using my recorded audio as a backbone to build the visuals from. Finally, I’ll render everything and slap it up on YouTube. I think the actual editing of the video is maybe about 10% of the whole process.

How many runs on average would you say it takes to fully understand the mechanics? And do you ever play on different data centers**?

For a dungeon usually one or two runs will do the trick. For raids, by the time we kill it I think we’ve wiped enough to learn the mechanics three times over. I’ve only ever played on Behemoth, but I now have a character on Ragnarok as well.

If you ever want to come to Excalibur, you have a home with the Discordians! Which type of guide would you say is most popular (or most requested) with your followers?

Whatever guide isn’t out yet, usually. Haha! It’s pretty rough at the beginning of patches to get all the guides out at once, so I usually prioritize some over others. Of course, then I get more people asking about when the lower priority stuff is coming. I don’t really mind it though, it keeps me motivated. I think people generally prefer the raid/primal guides over the other stuff.

Mizzteq and Black Mage
Mizzteq and Erin the OG Black Mage!

I definitely look forward to all of your videos, and utilize each of them. Let’s talk Fanfest – is this your first one?

It is! I knew about the first one and watched the coverage of it on Twitch but I never thought to go. After seeing everything I promised myself I wouldn’t miss the next one.

This is my first one as well, and I’ve had friends that have gone, but I never actually watched the footage. Do you think the people watching at home still get a pretty good idea of what’s going on here at Fanfest?

I think so! They probably miss out on the most important experience of any cons: the lines. But, that might not be a bad thing? Hahaha! They seemed to do a good job covering the major events on stream, but of course I have no idea what else was happening behind the scenes.

What do you want to see at this year’s Fanfest?

I’m secretly hoping for all sorts of expansion news. But I’m definitely looking forward to meeting all the different types of people that enjoy this game. It always blows my mind how games like this bring people together. And hopefully I get to see Yoshi-P. Possibly give him a high five.

I’m hoping for an announcement of support jobs and maybe the ability to change certain jobs to DPS. One thing I miss was dark knight DPS with the scythe.. I think it’d be really cool if there was a system that could change Warriors and DRKs to DPS with a certain weapon type change. I also miss Red Mage and Samurai.. And the six-player party system. But of course making those things work would be hella complicated, haha. Are there any jobs (or types of jobs, not sure what your knowledge is of older Final Fantasy job classes is haha) or things you’d like to see in the next expansion or big patch?

I think they should give Paladin an AoE (area of effect***) heal, and a combat res, DPS limit break, Fel Cleave and a pet. And I’m not just saying that because I play PLD. In all seriousness, I’ve been told that Red Mage had the capability of healing through its damage output, similar to Chloromancer in Rift. That’s always seemed like a really cool idea for a healing class to me so I’d love to see the Final Fantasy spin on it. I really love druid in WoW, so some sort of shapeshifter would be amazing too!

Red Mage in XI was just.. Fricken awesome. I’m a Paladin main, too! I don’t care what people say, Paladin is the best tank, and always will be the best tank. XI did a better job of making PLD self-sufficient, though. I’d love to see more of that in an expansion. Well Mizzteq, that’s all I have for you today. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me!

Thanks for having me! Enjoy the rest of Fan Fest.

* alt means “alternate character,” which many FFXIV players use if they want to try other servers, or just have another character to play around with.

** data centers are a cluster of servers. Square Enix utilizes several data centers that have a handful of servers in each one. This helps with overall server traffic, and management.

*** AoE, or “area of effect,” refers to an ability that effects a certain radius around the player instead of only doing damage to the main target.