Well, it's been a few days now since my last blog, because I've been quite busy, spending all day playing FFXI. It's a very fun game to be honest, and I'm enjoying myself a lot. It has some interesting game mechanics that I haven't seen in an MMORPG before; which is quite refreshing, and being able to play it on my Xbox 360, with full graphics, is a nice change from the overheating and low-graphic settings my laptop often gets.
Well, the last blog I had, I talked about how long the registration was, and that it took me a long time to do it without the chatpad...well, ladies and Gentleman, I now am the proud owner of an Xbox 360 Chatpad, which allows me to chat much easier with my fellow Vana'diel citizens. I've so far made 13 new friends, and have joined a linkshell.
A linkshell in of itself is an interesting concept of the game. There is no actual guild, or grouping of the players, rather think of it as a pass-word protected IRC. Instead of a password however; there are linkpearls...the in-game explanation, is that a linkpearl is imbued with magic that allows you to contact your friends and peers no matter where they are in Vana'diel. It creates a chatroom (The name of the linkshell I am in; is called PigLatin), just like any other MMORPG chatroom; but only people who own these certain Linkpearls, are able to chat in it. It's a rather interesting concept, both with taking thought into storyline, and that being a social game, large groups of friends are bound to eventually build.
My linkshell has been very kind, and very helpful to me in my newby days; which I expect are to last for quite some time still. They have helped me with my questions, and even helped me gather certain items needed for a very special, very essential quest (Thank you Opticon!).
The game is very social, and in a way I have not really seen much in an MMORPG. Everyone is helpful, and everyone is willing to just strike up a conversation, on pretty much anything. It's a very laid back community (Possibly due to the wonderful flutes, guitars, and piano music playing throughout your travels), and everyone is always willing to lend a hand.
Speaking of Lending a Hand, one of the other major parts of the game, is partying. The game is pretty much a grindfest (But never a boring one, fights always seem to be different!), and so grouping with people, and taking on very strong monsters is the best way to do things. Whereas a 2-4 minute solo battle for 100 XP is pretty good; in a full group, you can get a 3 minute battle, and receive 200+XP for one kill. When you're going for 4,000+ XP to level, it can be a big time saver.
So far; I've leveled quite a bit in my opinion. I've grown stronger, and I've learned quite a bit so far. I still make stupid mistakes, but that's always to be expected. But this brings me to another interesting mechanic to the game. You pretty much only need one character. You can take your character, over the course of a few years; to every single class available, and through every type of crafting. Your character can essentially become all powerful in every situation...but not at the same time. You see; Final Fantasy XI runs off a 'main job / sub job' system. Your character can have two jobs it's using at one time, once it has one job at lvl 18. But; the subjob is restricted to exactly half of your main job. So, for example if you had...
Level 18 Warrior, and level 18 monk, you could either go 18 warrior/ 9 monk, or 18 monk, and 9 warrior. If you had 18 warrior, and 8 monk however, you could go 18 warrior/ 8 monk, or 8 monk / 4 warrior. It's a very interesting mechanism, and it's fun to test different builds. I started out as a warrior, and reached level 18 not too long ago. My new friend Opticon helped me out with what I needed for a quest, so that I could start using a subjob, and I started my adventure anew. This time; as a level 1 monk/ level 1 warrior.
Knowing your way around places really helps in this game. It's a very large place, with lots to do and see. Starting out this new adventure, I've been leveling quite fast. In a matter of one day's play, I've leveled up my monk job quite fast, currently playing as a 8 monk/4 warrior. One of the best things about being sub-jobbed is that you get to use the job abilities of your sub-job. When I get to be a level 10 monk, I'll be able to use the skills of a level 5 warrior; mainly 'Provoke' which causes my target mob to begin attacking me. A monk/warrior makes a good tank class, mixing high defense, with high evasion...not to mention a good deal of damage added in.
I already have my first 'end game' character plotted out, though it's likely to change as I keep going.
So far; I've gotten pretty far, and I'm enjoying myself quite a bit. I'd definitely recommend some people to pick this game up; if they can find it, and take a crack at it. You'll be surprised at the general generosity and kindness of the players; which is a good opposite of what you can normally see in MMORPG's.
If you already play, and have a character on the 'Seraph' server, give me a /t, my character name is RyokoHakubi (Again, that's the name of the character in the icon I have). I'm the Elvaan Monk/Warrior with a coinpurse full of flies.
Tell me what you think; have you played FFXI? Did this review change your mind about your next purchase? Do you think you'd enjoy the game, from what I've said? Don't be shy, voice your opinion!