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Final Fantasy XI

Perfect Ten: Great MMO time travel adventures

World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, EverQuest II, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, RuneScape, The Secret World, RIFT, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

Writers and geeks alike can't seem to get enough of time travel, although the ratio of horribly crafted time travel tales to fun and smart ones is pretty lopsided. I've come to realize that MMOs are positively littered with ways that players are invited to jump around the internal timeline of the game, and I wanted to share a few of them in this week's countdown.

When you think about it, the proliferation of time travel quests makes a lot of sense from a developer viewpoint. There is a ton of lore that goes into each one of these virtual worlds, but for the most part the players are affixed to a very specific (and unmoving) point in time. Hopping about in time is a great way to experience other eras and actually see history instead of just reading it in a quest box. Plus, if done right, these quests can be quite memorable.

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Final Fantasy XI getting AH bid history, merit point changes, and more

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE

Final Fantasy XI wallpaper
Final Fantasy XI's March update is bringing a bit more user friendliness to the world of Vana'diel. A post on the game's official forums notes that the patch will allow combat and magic skills to be increased in Reive battles. Additionally, the amount of merit points necessary to gain entry into high-tier battlefields is being reduced.

The game's auction house will feature new bid history options, too! Click through the links below to read further details.

Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #20-11

Age of Conan, Darkfall, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Allods Online, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Defiance, Jukebox Heroes, Dragon's Prophet, Music

We're growing ever closer to my top picks for MMO theme songs, but we're not quite at the end yet. This week we are on to the third part of our Top 40 MMO main themes countdown. To repeat my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game. I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed earlier parts of this series, check out themes #40-31 and #30-21. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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Final Fantasy producers talk player numbers, what makes an MMO fun

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Culture, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Final Fantasy XIV finger wag
An enterprising user on the Square-Enix forums has translated a lengthy interview with Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy XI producer Akihiko Matsui, and Dragon Quest X producer Yousuke Saito. The piece originally ran on 4gamer.net, and it focuses on everything from the three developers' backgrounds to what makes an MMORPG fun.

Yoshida also drops a few hints about A Realm Reborn's player numbers, which include approximately 1.8 million accounts and 500,000 daily active users worldwide.

[Thanks Rohan!]

Perfect Ten: Game franchises that became MMOs

World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Final Fantasy XI, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Ultima Online, Champions Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Allods Online, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wizardry Online, Elite: Dangerous

Popular franchises have been known to jump between various entertainment media, from games to television to movies to comic books and even to pogs. We should not gasp in utter amazement that this is also the case with many of our beloved MMOs; we should nod sagely and accept the terrible truth.

There are several video game franchises that have culminated in -- or at least have taken a detour through -- the land of MMOs. For gamers who wanted more and especially did not want to see their journey end, an MMO continuation is a welcome answer that's usually hiding its own problems. But nevermind that; let's march down the halls of history and see the yearbook photos of these franchises when they were young!

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Cait Sith avatar coming to Final Fantasy XI

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE

Final Fantasy XI Cait Sith art
The latest bit of Final Fantasy XI fan service takes the form of Cait Sith. More specifically, FFXI Summoners are getting a Cait Sith avatar which will offer various types of magic damage as well as anti-wipe spells like raise and re-raise.

ZAM reports on a new Caith Sith acquisition quest, which requires that players complete the Wings of the Goddess "A Token of Troth" mission. More details are available on the FFXI forums.

Final Fantasy XI easing up on world transfer costs

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Business Models, Subscription

Skipping around Final Fantasy XI's worlds will soon be for the filthy commoner as well as the richest king, as Square Enix is preparing to lower costs and reduce the cooldown associated with transfers.

Starting on April 1st, the price to transfer a character between worlds in the game will go from $25 down to $18. Even better, players will no longer have to wait 90 days before utilizing this service again, as the time between transfers will be reduced to a mere three days.

Go ahead and put your April Fools' quip in the comments section. You know you want to do it.

Final Fantasy XI update introduces more missions, a new zone, and more

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Patches, News Items, Subscription

Screenshot -- Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XI, despite being over a decade old, is receiving a rather substantial update today that will introduce a plethora of new content for players to enjoy, including new missions, quests, monsters, synthesis recipes, and even a new zone. Adventurers of Vana'diel will be able to put their skills to the test by participating in new Seekers of Adoulin missions and exploring the new zone of Outer Ra'Kaznar. Players who prefer to go it alone are also in for a treat, as the update also adds a selection of new alter egos to the Trust Initiative, providing a wider array of summonable NPCs with whom to adventure.

In addition, Geomancers and Rune Fencers will now be able to undertake a series of quests that reward "relic-equivalent" equipment for those classes, and those already in possession of relic equipment can now reforge said relics to different item levels. On top of the new content, the update also brings a number of adjustments to existing game systems, including some rebalancing for the Puppetmaster, Dancer, and Rune Fencer classes and -- notably -- a major reduction in the amount of experience players lose upon death. That's only a small taste of the various additions and adjustments the latest update brings, but if you want every last detail, the full change log is available on the official FFXI forums at the link below.

Final Fantasy XI's latest patch is now live

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Consoles, Subscription, MMORPG

Final Fantasy XI
Players of Square Enix's Final Fantasy XI were treated to a new patch early this morning, one that makes adjustments to events, battle, items, and more. New objectives have been introduced for Records of Eminence and limited-time challenges have seen their scheduling shifted ever so slightly.

Additionally, new high-tier mission battlefields have been added to the game in the form of Return to Delkfutt's Tower and The Celestial Nexus. Each mission provides five different difficulty settings; content level, boss strength, and drop rates increase as the difficulty goes up. The patch also includes job adjustments for Beastmasters, Ninjas, Dragoons, Summoners, Puppetmasters, and Dancers.

Check out the full notes on the official Final Fantasy XI forums.

Final Fantasy XI introducing challenge versions of old bosses

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles

Because most people who cleared this thought that they couldn't wait to do so again.
Remember Rise of the Zilaart in Final Fantasy XI? For most American players that's kind of difficult to do; the expansion came baked in with the launch client and more or less formed part of the base game from a player standpoint. It's probably part of the reason the expansion's two main antagonists, Kam'lanaut and Eald'narche, have been quietly forgotten, even while the game's other villains have received updated forms (like the Shadow Lord and Promathia) or still command player respect (Odin and Alexander).

But it's time for the brothers to step back into the spotlight with the introduction of new high-level battlefields, pitting players against bosses in recreations of their original arenas. Rewards are given both for surviving and for downing the boss, including materials to upgrade artifact armor to level 119. So if you've been spoiling for a rematch with all of your character's new skills and items, you're about to get your chance.

Jukebox Heroes: Reader request 3

Aion, Final Fantasy XI, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, Miscellaneous, Jukebox Heroes, Music

jukebox heroes
Since it's our very last Jukebox Heroes column of the year on the very last day of the year, I thought it would be most appropriate to open up the reader request lines once again and feature MMO tunes that are your favorites. If you'd like to put in your own request for the next time I run one of these columns, please list your favorite MMO music track in the comments along with an explanation as to what you love about it!

So check out what your fellow soundtrackophiles appreciate and stay tuned for a totally rockin' 2014!

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The Mog Log: 2013 in review for Final Fantasy XI and XIV

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

Took a long time getting here.
This feels as if it's been a really long year to me. Spending an entire year waiting for a game to re-release is certainly part of the reason why, but it really seems that there were a lot of things going on for both Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV over the last 365-ish days. I didn't even do a year-in-review last year because what could be reviewed? One game shut down and was waiting for a full revamp, and the other was just hitting the numbers and moving along.

This year, though, has been the big one. The fifth expansion that no one ever expected to release actually came out. The relaunch happened. A whole lot of mechanics got updated. I flew across the freaking country. It was a big year if you were a fan of online games with moogles, even if that year wound up being a lot bigger for Final Fantasy XIV than Final Fantasy XI.

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Win some Gil and more in Final Fantasy XI's latest Mog Bonanza

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Events (In-Game), News Items, Anniversaries

Are you the gambling type? Does the chance of winning oodles of cash or special items in a lottery thrill and excite you? Then hold on to your helms -- Final Fantasy XI's Mog Bonanza has returned! Until January 23, 2014, at 3:00 a.m. EST, players can purchase Mog Bonanza marbles (up to 10 per character) and inscribe five numbers on each in hopes of winning various prizes, from Gil to a Kraken Club to a Chocobo suit. The cost of each marble is 1,111 Gil, and winning numbers will be announced February 13th at 3:00 a.m EST. For a complete run-down of the rules and a full list of possible prizes, visit the official site.

Pick up MMOs on the cheap in Steam's holiday sale

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Darkfall, EVE Online, Final Fantasy XI, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Defiance, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Steam Holiday Sale
It's that time of year again, folks -- the time when grandfather Valve slides down the chimney and offers you a huge pile of reasonably priced games. Yes, Steam's holiday sale is now in full effect, bringing with it some nice deals on a few MMO titles.

Here's what we've found so far: Keep in mind that sales change daily and that some games above do require subscription fees. The Steam holiday sales ends January 2nd, 2014.

Final Fantasy XI gets a nice juicy patch

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Subscription, MMORPG

Final Fantasy XI
Square Enix is pushing live a hefty patch for Final Fantasy XI. The patch, which lands December 11th JST (Japan Standard Time), includes the Records of Eminence system, the addition of new playable monster families and subfamilies, and the implementation of high-tier mission battlefields.

Also in the patch: new home points in a variety of locations; a host of modifications to the Summoner, Dragoon, and Beastmaster jobs; new synthesis recipes and items; and a movement speed increase for pets, playable characters, and enemies.

Check out the full patch notes for details; there are a lot of changes on deck.

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