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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 12:51PM Vandell said

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Final Fantasy is bad and you should feel bad.

Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 12:52PM Dblade said

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I really appreciate the press, thanks a lot for covering FFXI. I have to take issue with some aspects of the guide though.

While the races vary in stats, it's possible to play any class with any race well, and as you level up, the stat bonuses become minor. It's actually more of an issue starting out than later on, so if you have thoughts about being a tarutaru warrior, it is possible, although early on it takes more work. Most forums will say that the main determining factor in choosing your race is what kind of backside you want to stare at for hundreds of hours.

There is a caveat on the ring, only races native to the nation get it. If you want to be a hume mage in windurst, you wont get the ring. However the ring is a very minor piece of equipment, and not missed. National allegiance when starting out balances out fairly well among the three starting nations, so again, pick what you like.

You are definitely right about the npcs though, and also about the future article on FoV. They make the starting experience much easier. To find the adventurer's coupon npc on your map, choose markers and cycle through the different types, it will show up.

Also, what's very important is to know where to research. FFXI is notorious for not giving much information on quests and missions, and a good site is the wiki at http://wiki.ffxiclopedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Don't be afraid to ask in-game as well. The FFXI community is very good about providing info when asked.


Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 1:02PM Seraphina Brennan said

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While it's true that eventually the ring and race bonuses are outclassed in later levels, this guide is directed entirely on the low to mid levels, where they can make a difference. Therefore, I wanted to mention them now, as they can give a character an extra edge in the lower levels that they could otherwise miss out on -- especially as very few people know that trick when they're first starting the game.

I did note the ring's caveat, I just hope I put enough emphasis on that it will only be given to you should your race match to the race's home city.

Thank you for your additions though. All help for new players is good help for new players. :)
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Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 1:15PM Dalrint said

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I always wonder if I was missing some mystical 'point' when I tried FFXI. I played it for about a month, got up to level...eleven or twelve, I guess, in several classes. And then I couldn't kill anything anymore, and there were never any groups going to kill things in the places I needed.

I don't know. Even when I was just doing the first bit of leveling, it wasn't really 'fun'. It ended up feeling like work. And I love final fantasy stuff, but...

Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 2:07PM (Unverified) said

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I had a similar experience. Played for about a month and got to level 10 or 11 as a White Mage, but I haven't logged in since. In that time, I was only in one group (if you can call teaming with one other person a group). You'd think more people would want to team with a White Mage, but apparently not.

The thing that really irked me about FFXI was the fact that all the classes I wanted to play had to be unlocked. After those first 10/11 levels of near-pure grind, I had enough. I just wanted to play a flipping Summoner.
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Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 2:36PM (Unverified) said

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I bought the game, played for about two minutes and QUIT!! You shouldn't need a DAMN guide just to get started in a game!! Plus UI is HORRIBLE!!

Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 2:44PM (Unverified) said

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I have tried a few times to get into FFXI, and have failed on every single attempt for the reasons those before me stated. I would have loved to play a corsair, or dragoon but instead you pretty much get stuck grinding off monsters for a very, very long time. There are actually plenty of free MMOs that allow you to do the same exact thing - grind endlessly off monsters to level up.
The missions never told me whether my level was appropriate for them or not and I wouldn't find out until after I got to the area and wiped a few times off tough monsters. The Playonline viewer is extremely prehistoric, I mean, I wish they'd just get rid of it already. I know a few people who absolutely love this game and I suppose that's why I always feel the urge to give it a go again, but I always feel like I'm missing something once I finally get into the game. I appreciate the guide, because I just downloaded the free trial and started a tarutaru. Of course, the NPC that is trying to "help me out" just told me to go level my dagger skill...so....more endless grinding u__u
I don't know, it looked interesting but I think I'm done trying to play FFXI permanently.

Posted: Mar 9th 2009 4:54PM (Unverified) said

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Sorry about the frustration, maybe this will help?
The NPC is trying to demonstrate to you how a weapon skill is earned and it is actually done really fast with minimal amount of grinding, at least it was that way for me. The hardest part of the (San d'Orian) tutorial for me was trying to get the two mobs in La Thien Plateau after the NPC awards you with the Reraise Earring.
I am pretty sure that part of the tutorial is teaching you how to minimize death time by properly leveling or getting into a pt prior to entering higher level areas.

Hope things work out or you at least find a game you are enjoying :).
-Vahl
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Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 3:38PM (Unverified) said

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FFXI is a game you either love or hate. The depth of the world is very engrossing and involved. Others believe it is just pointlessly complicated. The designers at Square Enix have poured life and love into this virtual world they call Vana'diel. Once you get into the story line, if you care about story at all, you will be interested in digging deeper. I love that Final Fantasy is a mashup of all this world's lore and mythology with a heavy dose their own creative chaos. Some people react the opposite way, thinking its a stupid gimmick and SE is unoriginal.

I can't imagine playing FFXI without a group of friends either in real life or in-game. If you are only out for gold and gear, it will be a grind. If you are out for fellowship and glory, you will likely enjoy your stay in Vana'diel.

Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 4:07PM (Unverified) said

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I wanted to love FFXI. I loved FFVI and X/X-2, and enjoyed VII. However, the simple fact that I couldn't even choose a job that I wanted to play from the get-go was extremely disappointing. I was forced to grind one of 6 classes that, to be honest, didn't interest me in the least all the way to level 30 just to acquire a difficult quest to unlock a job I bought the game to play.

That said, I can't say I hate the game. I was just disappointed at the lack of first job selection.
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Posted: Mar 4th 2009 4:17AM (Unverified) said

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"I can't imagine playing FFXI without a group of friends either in real life or in-game. If you are only out for gold and gear, it will be a grind. If you are out for fellowship and glory, you will likely enjoy your stay in Vana'diel."

QTF sir, QTF.
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Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 4:08PM Cendres said

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I just returned to Vanad'iel, yet again, after hearing how great Fields of Valor is. Played today on my level 33 white mage/beastmaster and had such a wonderful time, there is no more grind in this game at least not at the painful level it used to be.

I have been disatisfied with the current and latest MMOs and FFXI was my second MMO ever and my most cherished. I never got to end game before and I probably would never have the time anyway, part of the reason why I kept leaving was because of the huge time sink anything requires to get done. But Square is making a genuine effort in making their game more casual and dare I say more fun.

The thing that kept me coming back is simply how complete this game is in terms of PvE it just has it all. For people not getting into it I suggest you try it your first mission which can be completed very early on (level 10 or so can't remember). If you hate the UI I've only this to say to you; it's clean and simple and is best used with a game pad. I hate cluttered UIs as much as you hate FFXI's UI. :D

Still the game is definitely not for the slouch, but if you like being truly immersed in a game I've yet to play anything that really does it better.

Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 4:38PM (Unverified) said

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I was really excited to see this article come to be! I will keep up with it. It is interesting to see just how many players are unaware of the full benefits of the FOV system and of the new tutorial npcs. I look forward to your coverage of the game.

Prior to FOV I used the Emperor band. After trying FOV with an alt character and the Empress, I went back to the the Empress band. Both rings offer the 50% bonus experience but differ in charge duration, number of charges available and max bonus per charge.
I found that when adding FOV's mob schedule, I stay on track more and can easily use the full 180 minute charge with no waste.

I also like having the Empress band for seven sessions instead of the Emperor's three. It works for me :)

The tutorial NPC's quests are also fun to do, so I look forward to your coverage of it.
Also, the New Player Tutorial on the Play Online Home page is very informative, even provides tips on how to profit by using various buying and selling techniques in the auction houses!

Well end rant, thank you for the article!
-Vahl

Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 5:12PM (Unverified) said

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I looked at the new player guide and it was WORTHLESS totally disagree with that being helpful in the slightest.

Posted: Mar 3rd 2009 7:50PM (Unverified) said

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For those that mentioned how much they loved the consoles and the "portables", if you didn't notice...many, if not all, included party "level grinding". I like have a selection of jobs to pick from instead of "1 character, 1 job". All in all, FFXI is easier than it has been, I should know, I've been soloing it for about 4 years now :)

Posted: Mar 4th 2009 8:33PM (Unverified) said

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Square made an interesting decision when they made FFXI: they put almost all of the story in areas or quests which were not immediately available. To truly get to the meat of the plot, you pretty much have to reach level 50 in one job, just to be able to confront most of the monsters and not be pounded flat. However, when the story DOES get moving, it is quite interesting.

That said, the game does start out as a grind-fest, and it encourages you to start looking for parties early on. Fortunately, thanks to the new level-cap system, finding parties is much easier than it once was.

The real caveat here, though, is the amount of time you'll spend in the starting zones. When you first start the game, the chances are that you'll find a guide, either a book or online, and browse through the classes. This is fine. Go ahead and figure out the class combination you want to play down the road (choose both your main job, and one of the recommended subjobs, as they become important quickly). Now, realize that you have to work, and work hard, to get that combination.

If either your main or subjob are one of the six starter classes, you're in luck! Start with that job. If not, look at the job combination, and think about what it emphasizes. If you want to concentrate on melee damage, then look at the Warrior or Monk classes. If you plan on casting a lot of magic, look at the Black or Red Mage. And if you want to do party support, check out Thief or White Mage.

Then comes the hard part. You need to make your way to level 15. At around level 12, you'll be ready to look for a party in one of the two "Mid-Zones," most likely Valkurm Dunes. You WILL want to be in these zones around level 15 at this point, because these zones have a chance, on particular creatures, of dropping one of the three key items needed to earn your sub-job.

If you can't find a group for some reason, stay one zone away until you get to level 15. There's no reason to jump into a zone with monsters you can't fight, particularly in FFXI. Try to stay in an area with creatures you have a decent chance of fighting.

Got your sub-job? Great! Time to choose your subjob, and level it up!

...yeah, you can't just equip the subjob and take off. You have to level it, too. And at this point, you'll want to level it to level 15. Back to town, to start all over.

Time passes. The blood of your foes drips from your blade, or cudgel, or fists. You have reached level 15 once more! Now, to swap back to your main, and continue leveling. Your next stop is level 30. Along the way, you'll want about five handfuls of Ghysal Greens, to complete the Chocobo quest and earn the right to rent a Chocobo. (Breeding takes a lot of gil and patience, so best to wait.) At level 30, it's time to complete your quests for your truly wanted job and subjob!

...and go back to your main city, to start leveling them.

Remember that really awesome plot I was telling you about? Well, you need to get your main to around level 50 to really get into it, which means your sub has to be around level 25. Best case, you level through 75 levels. Worst case, you level through 105 levels. Now that you are forewarned, you can make an informed decision as to whether you, personally, think a well-told story and some truly amazing and edge-of-your-seat fights are worth all the leveling and grinding. It's easier than it was, and you no longer have to worry about out-leveling your friends, or receiving reduced experience from partying with them, and some great times are there to be had, but it's still hard work.

Posted: Mar 5th 2009 10:16AM (Unverified) said

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It seems that level 11-12 is the make or break it point, or at least it used to be. Level 11 is when I made the first terrifying journey across Buburimu Penninsula to take the ferry to Selbina and catch a party at Valkurm Dunes. If you can make it to Valkurm these days, you're golden.

On the other hand, if you couldn't grit your teeth and get one job you didn't like to 30, XI is not for you. You'll hate the subjob system, where you routinely level up jobs to 37 that have no bearing on your main job except one spell or ability.

Posted: Mar 5th 2009 10:52AM (Unverified) said

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You may want to link to http://wiki.ffxiclopedia.org/wiki/Character_Creation, for a more in-depth look at the Character Creation process.

Posted: Mar 5th 2009 6:32PM (Unverified) said

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On the PC version you can get much better graphics by setting the resolution manually in the registry. Full explaination here:

http://wiki.ffxiclopedia.org/wiki/Graphics

You will get the best results by setting the "background" (3D rendering) resolution the same as the "forground" (actual screen) resolution or 2x the forground resolution (for 2x supersampling). FFXI doesn't support FSAA because it uses deferred rendering so the supersampling trick is as close as you will get.

Yes the config util only lists 256x256, 512x512, and 1024x1024 as possible background resolutions but by editing the registry you can set it to whatever you want. (note that 4x actually looks worse that 2x so don't do that)

As for the mip mapping settings in the registry, you will get far better results by just leaving that at the default setting and setting your video card to force ansiotropic filtering.

Posted: Mar 6th 2009 4:29PM (Unverified) said

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FFXI isn't the kind of thing people expect from MMOs. It doesn't have nearly as much instant gratification as other games like WoW or LOTRO, and it is a lot of grind early on. However, once you pass the initial grindfest, find yourself a linkshell with some friends, and pick a job you like, the game turns around.

That's one of the beauties of the game, it works in reverse. Most MMOs are easy as hell to start, and get dull once you get to the cap, but FFXI is dull to start, and exciting post cap. There are nearly a dozen different end-game events for players to participate in, and they're each a bit different to satisfy different types of players. The real strength of FFXI is that you have to WORK for your rewards, making them all that much more awesome when you get them.

People complain about how FFXI is such a bad game, but really, these are the people that can't grasp the concept of earning their rewards, rather than having the stuff handed to them on a silver platter. You can't really ever say WoW is better than FFXI, because they're two totally different games. WoW is easy to get into, but FFXI is incredibly addicting once you get into it.

We have a saying when someone quits FFXI, that generally goes something like "see you in a few months."

Yea, yea, you don't want to work for your fun, but when you put in hard work to earn your fun and your excitement, it's a lot more meaningful than just turning on a game. FFXI's more than a game. It also has a great community, and the average player maturity level is a bit higher than most MMOs(read: No twelve year old "lawl I pwnt U noob" idiots), since you do need to be a little more mature to handle the work for your fun philosophy.

If that sounds fun to you, FFXI is definately your game. It's incredibly rewarding for the time spent, and the people are usually more intelligent.

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