Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XI Developer(s) Square Product Development Division 3 (pre-April 1, 2003)
Square Enix Product Development Division 3
Publisher(s) PlayStation 2
Sony Computer Entertainment
Windows (PC)/Xbox 360
Square (pre-April 1, 2003)
Distributor(s) Director(s) Koichi Ishii (until 2003)
Nobuaki Komoto (from 2003 until 2008)
Koichi Ogawa (from 2008 until 2010)
Akihiko Matsui (2010)
Mizuki Ito (from 2010)
Producer(s) Hiromichi Tanaka
Yasu Kurosawa (2011)
Artist(s) Tetsuya Nomura
Writer(s) Masato Kato
Composer(s) Naoshi Mizuta
Series Final Fantasy series Platform(s) PlayStation 2 (non-slim models), Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 Release date(s) PlayStation 2
- NA April 18, 2006
Genre(s) Massively multiplayer online role-playing game Mode(s) Multiplayer Rating(s) ACB: G8+ (PC) and PG (Xbox 360)
ESRB: T (Teen) (13+)
CERO: B (Ages 12 and up)
Media/distribution DVD-ROM, CD-ROM System requirements
Pentium III 800 Mhz CPU, Windows 2000/XP, 128 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, DirectX 8.1, Nvidia GeForce with 32 MB or ATI Radeon 9000 or higher, 9.5 GB free hard drive space. Internet (TCP/IP) connection required.
Final Fantasy XI (ファイナルファンタジーXI Fainaru Fantajī Irebun ), also known as Final Fantasy XI Online, is a MMORPG developed and published by Square (later Square Enix) as part of the Final Fantasy series. It was released in Japan on Sony's PlayStation 2 on May 16, 2002, and was released for Microsoft's Windows-based personal computers in November 2002. The PC version was released in North America on October 28, 2003, and the PlayStation 2 version on March 23, 2004. In Europe, only the Windows version was released, on September 17, 2004. An Xbox 360 version was released worldwide in April 2006 for all regions, as the system's first MMORPG and the first cross-platform MMORPG. All versions require a monthly subscription to the game and the Xbox 360 version does not require an Xbox Live Gold account to play.
The story is set in the fantasy world of Vana'diel, where player-created avatars can both compete and cooperate in a variety of objectives to develop an assortment of jobs, skills, and in-game item rewards. Players can also undertake an array of quests and progress through the in-game hierarchy and thus though the major plot of the game. Since its debut in 2002, four expansion packs have also been released, adding numerous areas, quests, and item rewards to the Final Fantasy XI world.
As of 2006, between 200,000 and 300,000 active players logged in per day, and the game was the dominant MMORPG in Japan. As of 2008, in an announcement for three additional expansions in development, SE noted Final Fantasy XI still has a strong user base of around 500,000 subscribers. In April 2009, Square Enix announced that the total number of active characters exceeded 2 million for the first time.
On April 8, 2011, a 12-month roadmap for future development was announced. Contained within this roadmap was an announcement of plans to create a "Test server," which will coincide with a new development cycle. The new development cycle will incorporate feedback and testing from players.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Plot
- 3 Development
- 4 Music
- 5 Reception
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Final Fantasy XI, in addition to being an MMORPG, differs from previous titles in the series in several ways. Unlike the predefined main characters of previous Final Fantasy titles, players are able to customize their characters in limited ways, including race, gender, face, hair color, body size, job, and allegiance. Also diverging from previous games in the series, all battles are real time, and enemies are no longer randomly encountered, a trend continued in FFXII and FFXIII.
There are 32 public game worlds, a cluster of servers, available for play with approximately 15,000 to 20,000 players in each. The servers are named after summoned monsters from previous Final Fantasy titles, such as Ifrit and Diabolos. Players have the ability to move between servers, though Square-Enix charges a "world transfer" fee to do so. There are no region-specific or system-specific servers, and unlike most online games, players of different languages play in the same world and can interact through automatic language translation from a library of translated phrases. The game servers are run by Square-Enix as part of their PlayOnline network.
Players have the option of using any combination of a keyboard, mouse, and controller to play Final Fantasy XI. While by default, a player using a PlayStation 2 or an Xbox 360 uses a virtual/in-game keyboard option, the player is able to use an external keyboard that is USB compatible for communication within the game. The heads-up display in Final Fantasy XI consists of a log window, menus, and several game information elements. The log window at the bottom of the screen displays system messages, battle messages, and text input by other players. Players may choose to filter what appears in the log window. "Menus" allow the player to access different commands, status windows, and configuration options. The "action command menu" appears just above the log window and gives the player several options to interact with the game world. Several menu options are available through the use of keyboard shortcuts, as well.
Gameplay in Final Fantasy XI consists of two major components: missions, through which the main storyline of the game is told, and quests, which do not advance the main storyline, but fill out the game's fantasy world. Missions are undertaken to advance in rank, access new areas, gain new privileges and advance the various storylines. Each nation and expansion has its own set of missions and quests, which a player must complete to advance in rank; a player may only complete missions for his home country, though it is relatively simple to change allegiances to a different nation. Quests may be undertaken for various rewards and fame. At release, over one hundred quests were available to play and new quests are added frequently.
Battles in Final Fantasy XI take place in the same world in which players move around, unlike previous Final Fantasy games in which a battle would take place in a new screen. Monsters within the game operate under a system of "claim" and "enmity". A monster is "claimed" the moment a player performs any offensive action upon it, including physical or magical attacks or offensive job abilities. With some exceptions, once a monster is "claimed" it can only be attacked by players in the party or alliance of the player that claimed it. A monster will focus its attention on whoever has built up the most enmity. Players have several means at their disposal, from spells to abilities to items, to build up enmity and shed it to their advantage in battle. Players obtain in-game money known as gil by defeating a type of monster called Beastmen, though, unlike previous Final Fantasy games, these monsters leave only small amounts.
Unlike many MMORPGs, there is no way to attack other players. However, since 2004, several ways of competing with other players have been added. The system of player competition is known as "Conflict", and occurs only with the permission of both players. The first form of competition was called "Ballista", in which players scored points by throwing petras into a castle-like structure known as a "Rook". In February 2006, a second form of competition was released called "Brenner", in which players steal the opposing team's flames and place them in a container on their own side. By maintaining these flames, points are awarded which determine the winner. New battle events have also been introduced including "Salvage", "Einherjar", and "Pankration". Square Enix has also instituted a "marriage ceremony" for those who wish to do so (same-sex character couplings are not permitted).
Players are forced to band into parties in order to defeat more powerful monsters. A regular party has room for six members. Like in many other games, a well balanced party will consist of several archetypes- namely a healer, a tank (the party member with high defense that will be the main target of the monster), and the damage dealer. A well balanced team working together is the only way to defeat many of the game's enemies.
Partying expands into alliances with up to 3 parties combined (18 total players). Alliances are necessary to complete more difficult challenges: including missions, quests, nation or territory driven events, and defeating Notorious Monsters (which are rare and much more powerful to their counterpart basic enemy family or can be completely unique). Much of end-game play consists of alliance forces overcoming these higher level challenges and can even allow several alliances to enter into specific instances owned by a group of players (e.g. Dynamis instances entry controlled by an hourglass item).
Final Fantasy XI's job system is largely adapted from Final Fantasy III or Final Fantasy Tactics. Each job has unique abilities, which must be activated by the player in order to come into effect, last a limited time, and have a "cooldown" period before they can be used again; traits, which are passive abilities that are always in effect; and a special "2-hour" ability that performs some extraordinary function and has an extraordinary 2-hour-long cooldown period to go with it. Players are able to change their jobs any time they wish inside their 'Mog House' or by speaking with a 'Nomad Moogle', and are also able to get a “support job” once they reach level 18 by completing a certain quest, though the job will be half the level of the player's main job. Players are able to improve their job abilities through defeating monsters or completing quests. It was announced at Vanafest 2010 that the long-standing level limit of 75 would be increasing in the upcoming version updates. The level cap was raised to level 80 in the June 2010 version update with new abilities and spells added to all jobs, level 85 in the September 2010 version update, and level 90 in the December 2010 version update with even more new abilities and spells added to all jobs.
As of April 2008, a player may choose from 20 different jobs. The first six job classes available were:
Job Name Description Warrior Specializing in the arts of battle, Warriors (WAR) are masters of all aspects of melee combat and are able to divert an enemy's attention away from weaker party members. Monk With their bodies that double as deadly weapons, Monks (MNK) pound their enemies into submission with their fists and fanciful footwork. White Mage Armed with the most efficient recovery and protection spells, White Mages (WHM) can ensure a party's survival in the most dire of situations. Black Mage Through devastating elemental and dark magic spells, Black Mages (BLM) sacrifice physical strength to bring tremendous magical firepower to the battlefield. Red Mage Red Mages (RDM) are called the Jack of All Trades by many, as they are skilled in both melee and magic attacks. They are also the masters of enfeebling magic, which can cripple even the fiercest of enemies. Thief Using their mastery of stealth and deception, Thieves (THF) aim for the perfect opportunity to attack the enemy and increase the odds of the party finding rare loot.
Upon achieving level 30 in any of these jobs, a player may opt to complete quests to unlock the following extra jobs:
Job Name Description Paladin Like Warriors, Paladins (PLD) engage in close-range combat, but these holy knights also specialize in shields and can cast white-magic, making them the premier "tank" (damage absorbing) job. Dark Knight Dark Knights (DRK) are powerful combatants who augment their damage by using select Black Magic spells to steal attributes from their enemies. Beastmaster Based on their knowledge of monsters, Beastmasters (BST) can charm the beasts of Vana'diel to fight alongside them, call beasts to their side, and intimidate creatures foolish enough to attack them. Ranger With unparalleled tracking abilities and the highest skill with ranged weapons, Rangers (RNG) are experts in the field of both hunting and hurting their enemies from far away. Bard The mighty minstrels of Vana'diel, Bards (BRD) use songs as the job's main advantage to boost the party's fighting capabilities and break the will of their enemies. Summoner The heretic mages known as Summoners (SMN) have unlocked the secrets of the forbidden magic of Vana'diel by defeating and creating pacts with mystic Avatars—astral beings that possess unspeakable power. Samurai1 The Samurai (SAM) focus on the mastery of quickly raising their tactical points to unleash a barrage of weaponskills, inflicting massive damage to their foe. Ninja1 Strict training in the forbidden arts of the Far East have transformed Ninja (NIN) into cold, hard, killing machines. High evasion and the ability to create shadow copies of themselves make Ninjas a good "tank" choice in many situations. Dragoon1 With their lances in hand and their faithful wyvern by their sides, Dragoons (DRG) surprise their enemies with their unique jumping abilities. Blue Mage2 A Blue Mage (BLU) can employ the legendary arts of the Aht Urhgan Immortals, a unit of elite imperial special forces, to master the attacks of the many enemies throughout Vana'diel and use them in combat. Corsair2 Descendants of the dauntless pirates that once scourged the seas of the Near East, Corsairs (COR) rely on the Hexagun as their main weapon and use their luck-based abilities to increase the odds for the entire party. Puppetmaster2 The wandering performers known as Puppetmasters (PUP) entertain crowds and confound their enemies with a customizable puppet known as an automaton. Dancer3 Dancers (DNC) are front-line healers that can both benefit the party and enfeeble monsters with their dancing skills. Scholar3 Extensive knowledge of ancient magical theory has granted Scholars (SCH) the ability to wield dual schools of magic as well as influence the weather to boost elemental attacks.
1: Requires the "Rise of the Zilart" expansion
2: Requires the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion
3: Requires the Wings of the Goddess expansion
Crafting and hobbies
In addition to completing quests and missions, players can participate in several side-minigames and other activities. One such minigame is fishing, where players can measure their strength against the fish they attempt to catch. Another is clamming, where players collect as many fish or sea creatures as possible without going over their bucket's size limit. Gardening allows players to raise plants in their residence, or "Mog House" as it is known in the game. The raising and breeding of Chocobos was a long-requested activity enabled in the summer 2006 update. Chocobo racing began in March 2007, which allowed for the racing of player-raised Chocobos against non-player characters (NPCs). Winning racers can earn "Chocobucks", which can be used to buy, for example, items that assist Chocobo breeding.
An important part of the game is the accumulation of items, especially rare ones, which allow players to create powerful weapons, armour and food. There are many ways to obtain items, such as harvesting, excavating, logging, mining, defeating monsters, and digging by using Chocobos. Square Enix attempted to increase the opportunity for players to find rare items in order to equalize the game and stop the practice of "gil selling", or exchanging real money for in-game items. The item auction system was shut down temporarily once due to some players exploiting the system. Items can be created by consuming elemental crystals (obtained by fighting monsters) with other ingredients in a process called "synthesis". Recipe results can vary widely based on the player's skill, the quality of the player's equipment worn, and the ingredients used. There is large speculation (though nothing evidently documented as of yet) about the moon phase, direction the player is facing, in-game day (every day of the week is assigned an element), and even time of day the synthesis is performed to either increase or reduce the results of the recipe.
Final Fantasy XI has a largely player-based economy, with a heavy reliance on "Auction Houses" in each of the major cities of Vana'diel. There are certain economic controls in place mainly in the form of fees for putting items up for auction. Transportation, auction house, item storage, and fees do not go to players; these gil sinks effectively remove money from the economy to prevent inflation. The city of Jeuno used to levy a tax on bazaar purchases inside the city, but it was removed in a patch in the December 2008 version update. This tax remains in place in the areas of Aht Urghan Whitegate and Al Zahbi.
Square Enix has stated that the trade of items for real currency is officially a violation of the Terms of Service for Final Fantasy XI. In early 2006, Square Enix discovered that a group of players had found a way to generate game currency and exchange it for real currency, which, in turn, drove up prices for all items across the game. In response, 700 accounts were permanently banned and 300 billion gil was removed from circulation. In July 2006, Square Enix banned or suspended over 8,000 other accounts for similar manipulation and commerce. Since 2006, Square Enix has regularly banned accounts found to be in violation of the terms, some of them using third-party tools, effectively removing billions of gil from the in-game economy.
Final Fantasy worlds
The world of Final Fantasy XI is known as Vana'diel. It consists of two main landmasses with two smaller islands flanking them, which in turn are surrounded by small islands. It features diverse climates, ranging from the northern glaciers to the southern deserts. The four main cities in Vana'diel are Bastok, San d'Oria, Windurst, and Jeuno. The expansion Treasures of Aht Urhgan added the large Aht Urhgan Whitegate/Al Zahbi city area. The rest of Vana'diel is made up of a number of outdoor, dungeon, and minor town areas split into various regions. While most areas are accessible by walking, various modes of transportation, ranging from the classic Final Fantasy Chocobo and airships to special spells, facilitate movement across the game world.
The events of the game are set 20 years after the Crystal War, when the nations of San d'Oria, Bastok, and Windurst on the main continent of Vana'diel fought and defeated the Shadow Lord and his army of beastmen. A parallel world named Dynamis, in which the beastmen succeeded in conquering Vana'diel, can also be explored. It is described as a dream world created by the Avatar of Dreams, Diabolos.
The five playable races in Final Fantasy XI are
- Elvaan—strong melee fighters, reasonable healers but weak in black magic.
- Hume—a race resembling humans, with no notable strengths or weaknesses.
- Galka—an all male race, masculine in appearance, they resemble large pale lizards; their face, however, is slightly ursine. Strong and tough, but weak with magic; they reproduce through reincarnation.
- Mithra—cat-like humanoids, of which only the females are playable characters, agile and dexterous, but slightly lacking in charisma and strength.
- Tarutaru—tiny humanoids with incredible power over magic, but physically weak.
In addition to the player races, there are two primary non-playable races known as the Zilart, an ancient race which is the focus of the first two game expansions, and the Kuluu, a race of beings similar to the Zilart and thought to be inferior to it. There is also a huge supporting cast of NPCs who give quests and missions and appear in the game's storylines. The game features several typical Final Fantasy monsters, including races such as Goblins, Sahagins and Tonberries. Some of these creatures follow the Shadow Lord, a source of the game's conflict.
Shantotto, a Tarutaru non-player character, is the heroine and sole character representing Final Fantasy XI in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, where she is voiced by famed voice actress Megumi Hayashibara in the Japanese version and Candi Milo in English. In the game's prequel Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, another non-player character, Prishe, is added as the game series's second Final Fantasy XI representative.
The storyline is primarily followed with missions through the governing nations that exist in the base game as well as each expansion that the player is affiliated with. Nation or governing body affiliation is relatively simple, sometimes requiring prerequisite quests being completed and have several stages of progression to achieve higher recognition and reward throughout each story. Some missions are even required to be completed to further progress into the start of the additional storylines of each expansion or specific areas.
Players begin the game as residents of one of the three main countries: San d'Oria, Bastok, and Windurst, and must help band the nations together against the resurrected Shadow Lord.
The expansion Rise of the Zilart reveals that the Crystal War and the resurrection of the Shadow Lord had been masterminded by the Zilart princes Eald'Narche and Kam'lanaut, who survived the extinction of their race. The two Zilarts plan to become Gods by opening the path to paradise, and the player is charged with thwarting their plans.
Chains of Promathia revolves around a Elvaan girl named Prishe and the dead Twilight God Promathia, who had originally cursed the Zilart race, and the attempts of various factions to either complete or stop his resurrection. The wyrmking Bahamut is involved in these events, and intends to destroy Vana'diel to prevent Promathia from absorbing the life of the world.
Treasures of Aht Urhgan concerns the Empire of Aht Urhgan which opens up to the nations of midlands after years of self-imposed isolation. As a new and powerful nation, it is of concern to the nation of the player, who is sent as a representative. The player then becomes embroiled in the intrigues of the Empress's court and the growing fears of war and darkness coming to Aht Urhgan.
Wings of the Goddess primarily occurs in the era of the Crystal War, 20 years in the past from the main Final Fantasy XI setting. The player discovers and crosses mysterious time portals alongside the Hume/Elvaan mix Lilisette, and are led to help the Regal Feline Cait Sith reduce the suffering of the era. However, Lilisette and her partner encounter Lilith, an alternate timeline version of herself who wishes to keep the war going to maintain her time while negating Lilisette's.
The idea to develop Final Fantasy XI as an online game was conceived by Hironobu Sakaguchi when establishing Square Pictures headquarters in Hawaii. Impressed by western MMORPGs that he discovered there, such as EverQuest, Sakaguchi convinced Square to begin the development of their own MMORPG and suggested that it be based on the Final Fantasy series. The team responsible for Chrono Cross was assigned to the development of Final Fantasy XI after the English localization of the former title. The game was the first developed under Square's new philosophy to develop for "all platforms and media". Hiromichi Tanaka, the producer of the game, has stated Final Fantasy XI is heavily influenced by Final Fantasy III, especially in its battle and magic systems. According to Tanaka, Square put in Final Fantasy XI what they could not put in the first Final Fantasy titles due to technical limitations, thus making Final Fantasy XI the "most [representative] Final Fantasy of all the installments". The game was developed and ran on the Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti GPU, which the President of Square Yoichi Wada described as the most powerful graphics processor available at the time. The game cost two to three billion yen (~$17–25 million) to create along with the PlayOnline Network Service and was assumed to become profitable over a five year timespan. By creating a unified game world instead of different ones balkanized by language, development costs were cut 66%. Since recurring monsters of the series are known by different names in the Japanese and English versions of the other installments, it was decided for Final Fantasy XI to use both Japanese and English names for different varieties of the same monsters.
It was originally announced that there would be a simultaneous release on the PlayStation 2 and PC as well as concurrent Japanese and American release, but this was later changed. There was also discussion of an Xbox release, but it was abandoned mainly because of its small 8 GB hard drive. Originally announced in January 2000 at the Yokohama Millennium Conference, there was a great deal of negative press. There were questions raised about naming the game the eleventh in the series, since it was not clear whether the game would have a structured story, which it ended up having, and the title of Final Fantasy Online was suggested. Following an August 2001 beta test in Japan, a public Japanese beta test was done in December 2001.
Following its PC release, Final Fantasy XI was listed as one of IGN's most anticipated PlayStation 2 games of 2004. Sony launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign to promote Final Fantasy XI along with the PlayStation 2 hard drive add-on which the game required. Having been released on the PlayStation 2 as well as the personal computer, it became the first cross-platform MMORPG ever created. On June 14, 2002, the game server was down for four hours for maintenance to the database servers, bug fixes on the text interface, and a new patch for the game client. This is thought to be the first patch ever released for a console game. Other early issues included complaints by American players that experienced Japanese players had already completed all the quests. Square Enix responded by adding new servers in order to have game worlds with fewer expert players.
Final Fantasy XI is one of the first cross-console video games, and has continued to update its software to allow the game to run on new consoles. Square Enix noted that Nintendo's use of "friend codes" was the primary reason Final Fantasy XI was not brought to the Wii. In December 2006, the PlayStation 2 versions of PlayOnline and Final Fantasy XI were able to install and run on the PlayStation 3. The Vana'diel Collection 2008 discs for the PlayStation 2 had installation issues on the PlayStation 3, causing them to be unusable at first since they weren't on Sony's list of HDD compatible titles in the firmware the PlayStation 3 had at the time. This problem was fixed on December 18, 2007 when Sony released firmware update 2.10 for the PlayStation 3. This allowed all backwards compatible models—20GB model #CECHB01, 60GB model #CECHA01 and 80GB model #CECHE01—to play FFXI. After working with Microsoft to resolve Final Fantasy XI's incompatibility issues with Windows Vista, Square Enix released a downloadable version of the PlayOnline client which is compatible with the operating system, although small bugs have appeared.
On September 1, 2010, Akihiko Matsui became the director of Final Fantasy XI. Only three months later, on December 10, 2010, Matsui left the Final Fantasy XI team to work as "Lead Combat System Designer" on Square Enix's new MMO, Final Fantasy XIV. His replacement as director of Final Fantasy XI is Mizuki Ito.
On July 13, 2011, information from a Famitsu interview with former Final Fantasy XI producer Hiromichi Tanaka revealed that Square-Enix is looking in to the possibility of porting Final Fantasy XI to Sony PlayStation Vita.
Title Year Notes Rise of the Zilart (ジラートの幻影 Jirāto no Gen'ei , lit. "Phantoms of the Zilart")  When news was first circulated about an expansion to Final Fantasy XI, it was thought that the game's title would be Final Fantasy XI: Vision of Girade and it was unclear whether it would be a free upgrade or not. The Xbox Live version was also beta tested to see how their online playing system supported Final Fantasy XI. A demo version of the Xbox 360 release of the game was the first game on the Xbox 360 to require the use of its hard drive addition. The game introduced the Dragoon as well as the Samurai and Ninja. Chains of Promathia (プロマシアの呪縛 Puromashia no Jubaku , lit. "Curse of Promathia") On November 7, 2006, a new version of "Vana'diel Collection" for 2007 was released including the original game and both expansions. Forty new areas were made available to explore, as well as new quests and missions, but no new jobs for characters to learn or new game mechanics. Treasures of Aht Urhgan (アトルガンの秘宝 Atorugan no Hihō , lit. "Hidden Treasure of Aht Urghan") The game was also released on the Xbox 360 bundled with all three of the expansions released to date, and on the PC as "Vana'diel Collection 2007". The expansion included three new jobs; Puppetmaster, Corsair, and Blue Mage. The expansion's final update in fall 2007 finally allowed the player to advance to the rank of "Captain." Wings of the Goddess (アルタナの神兵 Arutana no Shinpei , lit. "Divine Soldiers of Altana") The fourth expansion of Final Fantasy XI was announced on May 12, 2007 at the Square Enix Party event in Japan. The expansion shipped for PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 on November 20; the PC version was delayed until November 21 due to manufacturing issues. The expansion went live and became playable on November 22, 2007. On November 20, 2007, Square Enix updated Final Fantasy XI in preparation for the expansion. This update included a new large-scale battle known as "Campaign" and various new spells and job abilities. The Dancer and Scholar jobs were introduced in the expansion, and their equipment known as "artifact armor" was released in the March 10, 2008, update.
In 2009, three add-on scenarios were released for download for all platforms and regions:
- A Crystalline Prophecy: Ode of Life Bestowing (Release date: March 22, 2009).
- A Moogle Kupo d'Etat: Evil in Small Doses (Release date: July 6, 2009).
- A Shantotto Ascension: The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born (Release date: November 9, 2009).
Masato Kato, the original scenario writer of Final Fantasy XI and the expansion pack Rise of the Zilart, will return to work on these add-on scenarios. A separate development team has been established for these new chapters, so that updates for Wings of the Goddess can continue to be released in parallel. Unlike traditional expansion packs, these chapters, conceived as interactive "novelettes", will focus on deepening the storylines of existing locations rather than introducing new areas.
On November 10, 2009, Square Enix released a 2009 collection of games. Titled Final Fantasy XI: Ultimate Collection, this collection includes all four main expansions as well as the three add-on scenarios. It was released for PC and Xbox 360.
In February 2010, Square Enix announced a new series of battlefield add-ons to be released in the second half of 2010.[dated info]
- Vision of Abyssea (Release date: June 21, 2010).
- Scars of Abyssea (Release date: September 8, 2010).
- Heroes of Abyssea (Release date: December 6, 2010).
The music of Final Fantasy XI was scored by Nobuo Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta, and Kumi Tanioka. Composer Yasunori Mitsuda was also asked to contribute, but he was busy scoring Xenosaga. The expansion packs were scored by Mizuta alone after Tanioka left to pursue other projects and Uematsu left Square Enix. The opening of the game features choral music with lyrics in Esperanto. According to Uematsu, the choice of language was meant to symbolize the developers' hope that their online game could contribute to cross-cultural communication and cooperation. He also noted the increased difficulty of scoring a game for which there was no linear plotline, a major change from the previous Final Fantasy games. It was the first game in the series for which he composed while he was no longer a Square employee. New music has been employed for special events, such as a holiday score titled Jeuno -Starlight Celebration- which can be heard in the city of Jeuno each mid-to-late December since 2004. Unlike its immediate predecessor, Final Fantasy XI features almost no voice acting. Vocalizations are portrayed by battle cries and related sounds. Text descriptions are instead utilized to express player communication.
The game's music has been released in CD form several times and has been featured in Final Fantasy concerts. Some of the game's music has been released on iTunes for download, such as the vocal "Distant Worlds", which was released on the Japanese iTunes Music Store on September 13, 2005, having been put in the game in a July 2005 patch. A compilation CD box was released on March 28, 2007, titled Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack Premium Box, which included the four original soundtracks from Final Fantasy XI and its three expansion sets, as well as the previously unreleased tracks from the game and the unreleased Final Fantasy XI Piano Collections. Dear Friends -Music from Final Fantasy-, a 2004–2005 concert series, featured "Ronfaure" from Final Fantasy XI. A ten-track album of music inspired by Final Fantasy XI entitled Music from the Other Side of Vana'diel was released by The Star Onions on August 24, 2005.
Sales and subscriptions
The user base for the PlayStation 2 version was truncated initially because of limited sales of the PlayStation 2's hard drive and network adapters that were needed for the game. The Japanese release of Rise of the Zilart was the number one selling game when it debuted with 90,000 copies sold in the first week. The Final Fantasy XI All-in-One Pack was number 36 and Wings of the Goddess was number 40 on the top 50 best-selling Xbox 360 games in Japan as of December 2007.
For the April–September 2004 financial period, Square Enix saw online gaming, particularly Final Fantasy XI, sales increase by 101 percent and operating profit increase by 230.9 percent. Revenues held steady from subscription services in the summer of 2006; in the fall, however, Square acknowledged that online subscription revenues were "unsatisfactory", despite the steady performance of Final Fantasy XI.
In December 2003, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada announced that there were over 200,000 subscribers to Final Fantasy XI, allowing the company to break even and start making a profit. There were between 200,000 and 300,000 active players daily in 2006. As of August 14, 2006 the Xbox 360 version was the sixth most played game on Xbox Live.
Reception Aggregate scores Aggregator Score GameRankings 85.13% (PS2)
Metacritic 85/100 (PS2)
Review scores Publication Score Famitsu 38 out of 40 GameSpot 8.2 out of 10 (PC) GameSpy 4 out of 5 (PC) IGN 8.8 out of 10 (PS2)
Famitsu rated Final Fantasy XI 38 out of 40. Computer and Video Games Magazine noted that it was one of the most welcoming MMORPGs despite the cumbersome initial registration and setup. IGN called it a well done but unoriginal game and also noted that North American players were forced to play with already much more experienced Japanese players who had already completed the game's various quests. GameSpot criticized it at release for having an unconventional control system, a lengthy installation, and having no player versus player (PvP) aspects. Other elements receiving criticism include the EXP grind, which involves constant battles to access different parts of the game, and overcrowded camp sites. The expansions have been mostly positively received, with praise for the amount of content added, but increasing signs that the graphics of the game are becoming outdated. IGN review of the Xbox 360 release was similar, noting that it was a large amount of game content, but had a protracted setup process and elements of the game design that require a large time investment. It has also been noted that this game is the first to move in a wildly different direction while remaining in the main numbering line, as opposed to the Tactics and Crystal Chronicles games which became their own side series.
Awards and legacy
Final Fantasy XI was awarded the grand prize from the Japan's Consumer Entertainment Software Association (CESA) for 2002–2003 along with Taiko no Tatsujin. It has also received GameSpy's 2003 PC MMORPG Game of the Year Award and IGN's Game of the Month for March 2004, citing the game's huge customization and its successful cross-platform and cross-language game world. Final Fantasy XI was referenced in the online game Minna no Golf Online in the form of a Final Fantasy XI-themed lobby. At 2009's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Square Enix revealed Final Fantasy XIV Online, which will be Square Enix's next MMORPG.
The game has spawned several written adaptations and related merchandise. Starting in 2003, a series of Final Fantasy XI novels was written by Miyabi Hasegawa and released in Japanese, German, and French. Additionally, in 2004, Adventure Log, a webcomic by Scott Ramsoomair, was commissioned by Square Enix starting in 2007. Final Fantasy XI PlayOnline Visa and MasterCard credit cards were available in Japan, with features including no annual fees as long as cardholders remain PlayOnline subscribers and various other rewards. There have also been posters with limited edition phone cards and keychains released, also exclusively in Japan. Several T-shirts have been made available for order in North America, and various stuffed animals and gashapon figurines have also been made available to order of different races from the series. A Vana'diel clock which displayed the in-game time was also marketed, as well as CDs of the game's music.
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- Final Fantasy XI Official Forum (all languages)
- Official English Twitterpage for Final Fantasy XI; maintained by FFXI's community team. Initially focused on delivering information regarding game updates, but focus has now shifted to providing information regarding posts on the recently established Official Forums.
- European official website
- American official website
- Promotional website for Final Fantasy XI from Square Enix
Final Fantasy series Final Fantasy XI Main games Related games Related series Films and animationThe Spirits Within • Unlimited
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