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Final Fantasy XI

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.

The Mog Log: There's nothing to say about Final Fantasy XI

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Consoles, The Mog Log

So I'm going to spend about a thousand words talking about it anyway.  Enjoy!
At a glance, Final Fantasy XI is doing all right for itself. It's been running for over a decade and has had to deal with only occasional server merges. It launched another new expansion this year. It certainly doesn't have the population that it used to have, but the people who are playing seem happy enough with the game, and that's what matters. And yet for all that I ostensibly write about both of Square-Enix's online games, these days it's pretty much all Final Fantasy XIV.

Some readers have asked me why this is. Have I fallen out of love with Final Fantasy XI? Yes. And no. It's complicated. And I think discussing why I'm not writing more about XIV's more classic sibling also bears some discussion in the context of the game as a whole. So let's talk about why there's so little to say about Vana'diel these days, even while Vana'diel continues to be an active environment.

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Final Fantasy XI celebrates 11 years 11 ways

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

And the game has still more tree monsters to throw at you.
Final Fantasy XI is 11 years old this year (11 years and six months at this point, but that's nitpicking). So it seems appropriate that the title is kicking off a big anniversary event on November 11th. Except that it's really kicking off not one big anniversary event but 11 smaller ones. You see the theme at work. Whether you've been around for all 11 years or just 11 days, there's plenty of rewards available for everyone.

Seal drop rates are improved for all characters in a party during the anniversary timeframe, as are are double synthesis skill increase rates and several seal-based battlefield rewards. Players will also earn double experience, doubled Salvage drops, doubled Monstrosity experience, doubled Shining Stars in Mog Gardens... the list goes on. Almost anything you choose to do between now and November 25th will see a significant boost, so take a look at the full list of bonuses and get ready to enjoy 11 bonuses for the next 14 days. (They can't all line up perfectly.)

Final Fantasy XI's newest update offers up artifact armor... again

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Subscription

Now everyone has artifact armor, and if you don't you'll never acquire it.
There was a time when Final Fantasy XI's Artifact Armor was the best equipment you could have on a high-level character, but that was ages and ages ago. Still, the iconic looks are coming back in the game's newest version update, which adds new quests for players to reforge their Artifact pieces as well as Relic, Mythic, and Empyrean weapons. It's not an easy process, but it's a chance to make the old hotness the new hotness all over again.

A pair of new zones has also been added to the Seekers of Adoulin regions with this update, complete with new monsters for players to hunt and kill. Players can also acquire new abilities, including weaponskills that were previously exclusive to certain weapons. And there are updates to Mog Gardens, magic maps, Monstrosity... in other words, the usual kitchen sink of content you expect from a Final Fantasy XI version update. You can take a look at the full list of patch changes and start playing now (or as soon as the patch finishes downloading).

One Shots: Certifiably Insane

Screenshots, EverQuest II, Final Fantasy XI, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, DC Universe Online, Miscellaneous

One Shots Certifiably Insane
One of the things that I love the very most about superhero MMOs is that they give players a great platform to show off their creative designs. Yeah, they can be eyesores too, but I find that that's also a blessing in disguise because it's an easy visual indicator of lazy players whom I probably want to avoid.

I wouldn't want to avoid reader Carla, however, because she's bringing her crazy-A game to DC Universe Online today. "Here is a photo of my supervillain, Certifiably Insane, posing before the city she's conquered," she wrote.

So my question is, what do you do with a city once you conquer it? Get mired in administrative red tape? Does Certifiably Insane have to preside over council meetings and sewage labor union debates now? How does a supervillain deal with zoning issues, anyway?

The answers to that and so very much more are all after the break in this week's One Shots.

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