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News & Features Discussion  » Final Fantasy XI: MMORPG.com Review

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  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  10/13/06 12:24:21 PM#1

Every year, it is our goal to take a look at the major MMORPGs. Today, we take a peek at one that slipped through the cracks when it first launched. Final Fantasy XI is now available on the PS2, XBOX360 and PC. This review is for the PC version, although all three do exist in one world.

One of the more interesting aspects of FFXI is that there is a dark, complex storyline supporting the mainframe of the game. The opening movie will show you the background concerning the war between the Beastmen and the Alliance of mankind. Before one can even begin to immerse oneself in the world of FFXI, players will pledge their Allegiance to one of three nations; Bastok, San'Doria, or Windurst. Each nation has its own separate storyline, yet all three will guide players to uncovering the secret evil that lies in the shadows in the world of Vana'Diel. Players advance through the storyline by completing missions issued by their home nation. By advancing their "Rank", players will be rewarded with more storyline details, access to new areas to explore, and even exclusive pieces of gear. There are other hidden privileges as well to gaining rank... such as the ability to travel between cities on the infamous airships!

On top of the original storyline, the numerous expansion packs have added in-depth sub-plots into the game. The "Rise of the Zilart", the "Chains of Promathia", and the "Treasures of Aht-Urghan" all present new challenges, storylines, and rewards to the players who dare to complete them. The storyline is one of the finest qualities about FFXI, as it provides even the highest level players with something to do after they've hit the level cap.

The full review is here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  Shadrak

Novice Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 381

10/13/06 1:16:41 PM#2
Great review! FFXI is not newbie friendly and the lower level trials can destroy a persons intrest in this game. I suggest BYOG(bring your own group) for this game otherwise expect to spend alot of time working your way from lvl 1-30 where the game really picks up.
  ldyofthskull

Novice Member

Joined: 7/06/06
Posts: 18

10/13/06 1:33:52 PM#3
We,ve and I do say that we (son and I) have been experiencing FFXI since July '06. I,being new to the FF series as well as rpg/mmorpg and my son, a pro. No online gaming experience is ever perfect but much of the problems that we have experienced have been minimal. We play using the 360 but I am considering using the pc and the graphics are a concern (I will miss the hd experience that the xbox allows) as I have encountered many players that have used their pc for years and complain that installing the expansion packs are a bit of a problem since they are playing with the original and second is the graphics since they are playing with this older version. Rescuing a dormant account is another gripe ,one player who capped at lvl 75 mage left for 6 months and now has to start all over again,he doesn't gripe so much as is a tad bit disgruntled. The players make the game. More team work and less in ls fighting would be appreciated and shame on the mercenary ls that dare to charge newbs  and advancing members for assisting in quests,pls and raises. All the flaws that you have correctly pointed out are a concern but they really don't truly detract from the beauty of the graphics, the entrancement of gameplay nor the team work involved and that is one that our particular linkshell prides ourselves on....I do have one sore spot here and that is the inability to conversate with other players using ps2 and pc this is a feature that 360 has and can only be used with others that have a 360; the translator feature for German and French as well as Japanese players is still a mystery for us 360 users. All over a great game but SE....as a player to you are you listening?
  UnrealSWAT

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/06
Posts: 181

10/13/06 2:03:02 PM#4
small error detected, you said PS3

I think that people are forgetting how to get the 2048x2048 textures, you just adjust the two registry keys under square enix and i think the two numbers are meant to be 800 and 800 then you have 2048x2048 textures. the game looks much nicher. also if you have a HD tv then you can plug your computer into your TV I have a HDMI enabled graphics card and can run it at 1080i and 1080p (almost 2000 pixels width!!! cant remember the height though)

The sounds are gradually being fixed. In the review it mentions the graphics but to be honest that would take absolutly months!!! remodelling the characters for the smoother looking bodies so that the upgraded textures look right on it as well. then of course there is the incredibly massive world that would need retexturing! and finally think of the weapons and armour that would have to be rebuilt. This would be great but I would rather have more options for changing the characters looks (like face and torso)

The communuity is great and I find that at level 20 I can solo just fine. It is good when you get into the game!

UnrealSWAT
  Vallenar

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/06
Posts: 124

10/13/06 2:11:26 PM#5

Square Enix should stick with RPG's on the next-gen consoles.

 

  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  10/13/06 3:01:26 PM#6

Originally posted by UnrealSWAT
small error detected, you said PS3

UnrealSWAT

Good eye, fixed.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  Rattrap

Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/04
Posts: 1594

Freedom of choice
is what you got,
freedom from choice
is what you want!

10/13/06 5:14:54 PM#7
The game sounds like lot of horse crap , thanks for good rewiev! 

"Before this battle is over all the world will know that few...stood against many." - King Leonidas

  User Deleted
10/13/06 5:19:21 PM#8

The game was definitely memorable, but too much of a timesink. Everything in the game was tedious, and not really fun, but the atmosphere and everything was awesome. I want to go back to it every now and then, but I just can't do it, especially since all my characters have been deleted now and I don't wanna start over.

The thing that really screwed the game up for me -- and it relates to customer service -- was that on two different occasions, they charged me twice for one account. My cousin and I both played, and we had an account for each of us (we live in the same house, and are charged on the same credit card), and for some reason, my account was charged twice and his once, two different times. Called customer service and asked them what to do, and they said to fax it over to them and they should fix it. Long story short: they never fixed the problem, I quit, and I will never trust another asian company, and thus, refuse to pay monthly for any of their MMO's from that point on.

  Cymdai

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/05/05
Posts: 1084

It's my job to be objective, it's my right to have an opinion.

10/13/06 5:34:15 PM#9
I'm glad to be seeing some positive feedback =]

Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

  Jerch

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/06
Posts: 1

10/13/06 6:35:05 PM#10
I played the game from 2003-2006. I made some amazing friends that even a year after I quit this past january, I still talk to them. The game itself survives off of the friendships made in-game until after the 4th or 5th job to 75 you're paying for a very ornate and beautiful chat room. It is not a game for end-gamers. It is a game for adventurers.
  User Deleted
10/13/06 10:10:18 PM#11
I very much agree with the review and, sadly, feel the mediocre rating is deserved and earned.

I played FFXI from its NA launch on PC and I have seen the game go from one that I once considered the greatest game ever to one that I've finally decided to walk away from for good, overwhelmingly in disappointment of what it's become.

I *especially* agree with the part about the community. The community in FFXI used to be one of its strongest qualities, in my opinion. However, over time the game has been reduced to a literal grind-fest as everyone follows the same step-by-scripted-step treadmill to the "end-game" to farm Sky/Sea or Dynamis/Limbus, etc. etc. Experimentation and exploration are not embraced as you are expected to stick to a very limited handful of leveling spots at any given level-range; suggestions to try other spots are met with incredulity and scorn - how dare you suggest going off the beaten path! Need proof? Ask most players what they think of Valkurm Dunes, or Garlaige Citadel... then watch their faces distort into all manner of disgust. Then, offer an alternative spot to try out instead... and watch their faces distort into expressions of disbelief and disapproval at the very suggestion, as they rattle off the mantra "no.. you're supposed to level there at levels x-y!". Players have reduced progress in FFXI down to near cook-book rigidity. So, very very much of the expansive world created by SE goes unused.. a mere place to get through on the way to somewhere else.

The heavily party-centric gameplay would be wonderful - were the mentality of most players compatible with it. The gameplay/quests/missions in FFXI are built around people maintaining a degree of selflessness and embracing the sense of "team" and helping each other achieve common goals. Sounds wonderful, don't it? However, the ugly truth is that the mentality of too many players is oil to SE's water...

You can almost make a theme song of the self-centered, opportunistic attitude that pervades a large portion of FFXI's player-base...

Sing along, the words are easy...
"Me me me... mine mine mine.. me me me. No time for you.. It's all about me me me".

To a very large degree, people are only interested in their own progress with little time for, nor interest in helping anyone else. The back-stabbing and deceit the reviewer mentions starts well before the end-game. I, personally, have been stabbed in the back by my own linkshell mates. I've got a novel's worth of stories about such behavior in that game.

Not to make this all negative, the game *does* have beautiful environments and an amazing sense of atmosphere. The earlier ones are, perhaps, the most "mundane" - well, except for the Ronfaure region.. they've captured the feel of a "misty morning forest" better than any other game I've ever played. And as you get farther into the game, the areas become more interesting, more beautiful and, in some cases, alot wierder. The artists and world designers on the FFXI team are *extremely* talented and I give them all kudos for that. In the music department, I agree with the review as well. Some of the tunes in that game are very addictive and often beautiful. Sanctuary of Zi'tah has an amazing theme.

I have many, many fond memories of FFXI from "back in the day". And those are the ones I'll keep going forward. The game has gone very much down-hill in many ways.

Perhaps SE's next MMO will bring a breath of fresh air - for a while.


  Gorukha

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 1448

I r0x j00 r0x we all r0x

10/14/06 1:10:29 AM#12
 Great Review, for once.

It's better be hated for who you are, than loved for who you aren't.

  Cymdai

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/05/05
Posts: 1084

It's my job to be objective, it's my right to have an opinion.

10/14/06 1:46:56 AM#13
By the way...for the final edits on my article, on the Graphics section it says ''MMP'' instead of ''MMO'', and in the community section, towards the very bottom, it says ''game make'' instead of ''game makes''

Sorry...I'm a raging grammar nazi =]

Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

  Sogoro

Novice Member

Joined: 10/14/06
Posts: 1

10/14/06 2:20:27 AM#14
I would suggest having someone who has played since 03 do the rating for this game. And also; the rating categories are a joke.

  UnrealSWAT

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/06
Posts: 181

10/14/06 2:24:37 AM#15

Originally posted by Lepidus

Originally posted by UnrealSWAT
small error detected, you said PS3

UnrealSWAT

Good eye, fixed.


Thanks

but anyway I heartly recommend this game to anyone that enjoys a good mmorpg. I started in March 2006 and the game was good but bored me, so I quit in the may, I restarted in august and the ammount of updates and new things was AWESOME. I am on FFXI quite a bit now if anyone on the fenrir server wants to party.

UnrealSWAT
  bountydog

Novice Member

Joined: 1/20/04
Posts: 27

10/14/06 3:27:06 AM#16
word of warning to any body that wants to try this game. its a good year and a half to 2 years of grinding to lvl up your first 2 jobs. also make sure to look up the excepted job combos our you will never get a group. people are very very picky in this game and most of them would rather sit around and wait then go out with a job combo they think sucks.
  Zyrs

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/14/06
Posts: 1

10/14/06 4:47:53 AM#17
My girlfriend and I have been playing this game since the NA PS2 release.  We enjoy it greatly and look forward to logging in.  She plays on the PC, I play on the PS2. 

Some things I should point out:

1.  Your account is not deleted after 3 months.  Your character data is saved for a year and can be reactivated for the entire year.  This was changed during the "Return to VanaDiel" campaign.

2.  There are no player guilds in the game.  Linkshells take their place.

3.  There are usually 4 or 5 role-playing linkshells per server.  If you enjoy role-playing, you can find like-minded individuals fairly easily.  There are linkshell listings on the Playonline Linkshell Community for every server

4.  Chocobo raising and breeding has been in place for about 50 or so days now.

I recommend this game to everyone.  SE did a great job of creating a world to explore.  The NPC's have personalities that set them apart from the usual "hail fellow well met!  Bring me 12 octopus tentacles and a clove of garlic." questing that I have seen in other games.  The world is beautiful, most of the people you meet are helpful and nice, the ones that aren't you can blacklist and never see or hear a thing they do ever again.  You can change your job at any time with no penalty.  Be a thief one day and a white mage the next.  Spend your day fishing, riding the ferry or the manaclipper, clamming, harvesting, excavating, logging, xping, whatever you decide.

The quests range from very easy to very hard.  The missions are graded in difficulty by rank and they do get harder as you increase your rank but all them them are doable before you reach level 69, much less the level cap of 75.  Although most of the missions are team-based, there are a few that you can get through solo with sneak and invisible.

Sure, you can decide that you want to get to 'endgame' really fast and do nothing but level if that is how you want to play the game.  I know a few people who did that in a couple of months.  It's all up to you!

edit: too early in the am, I can't spell.
  User Deleted
10/14/06 7:31:46 AM#18

Originally posted by bountydog
word of warning to any body that wants to try this game. its a good year and a half to 2 years of grinding to lvl up your first 2 jobs. also make sure to look up the excepted job combos our you will never get a group. people are very very picky in this game and most of them would rather sit around and wait then go out with a job combo they think sucks.

Amen to that. I was gonna touch on that in my response (above), but figured it was negative enough :-).

Part of the rigidity and "script-like" treadmill the players have introduced is exactly what bountydog says. There are a total of 300 or so possible job combinations in FFXI. Only a relative handful are "accepted".. or, rather, "demanded".

In the same vein as trying different places to hunt and gain xp, don't dare try any job combination not on that "approved" list, you know.. to experiment, or perhaps get something more out of the game than what everyone else does and expects you to do. You will be called  "noob", you will be berated and lectured and shunned from parties and told you don't know how to play. It happens all the tme.

You might notice that 90% of my disappointment with FFXI is related to the player-base, not the game itself. With a different, less egocentric player mentality pervading it, FFXI would be a drastically different experience, and likely still the most amazing MMO I'd ever played.


  Obsuro

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/14/06
Posts: 1

"when thiers nothing left to burn, one must set its self on fire"

-a random band i heard once

10/14/06 9:49:03 AM#19
this game is awsome, even though im not a level seventy five this game is alot of fun...... also wat is great about this game is that the community is generaly nice and helpful. i tried to play maple story and ppl rip u off try to cheat u and wont help, and ussaly discourage u, but in ffxi that seldom happens.  Characters are ussally helpful and can help u do stuff. I hav a high level linkshell and thier really kind and will help me on tedious missoins.  If u ask politly almost all the time a person will help u or do it for u o think this game is great

i got shot ten times in the head

  Cymdai

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/05/05
Posts: 1084

It's my job to be objective, it's my right to have an opinion.

10/14/06 2:10:02 PM#20
Sogoro, I've played since release. Thank you for your consideration though =]

Zyrs, when this was originally written, the balance patch and chocobo breeding had not yet been implemented. So it's slightly dated now...but not by too much. Another person also wrote me in about the character deletion thing, my mistake there.

WSIMike, I'm generally in agreement with you on many aspects regarding FFXI. I honestly enjoyed the game a great degree, it's the people who detracted from the overall experience. HNM linkshells, NM botters, gilsellers, bossy elitists, greedy players, and dramaqueens definitely deteriorate from the Community as a whole. Honestly, had I written this game in the first few months of playing, maybe up to even the first year of player, my review would be rather different, and likely much more positive overall. However, I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly over the years....and I think it's important to make potential players aware of what they'll be getting themselves into with FFXI.

To all those who read the review, I hope you're not getting overly discouraged from even giving it a try, but please consider that FFXI really is a committment. If you're not willing to dedicate a good month of solid playtime to it...FFXI isn't for you. I know of very few people who logged on for 1 day for 1 hour and decided to play the game for years. Generally, it's the person who logs on for a couple times for a couple hours, despite initial frustrations, and sticks with it. Those are the people you'll see at the end-game.

Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

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