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Dynamic Lighting

I have played many popular MMORPGs, as well as participated in betas for the most obscure of games. I like to think I know a thing or two about the industry, and so I write about it.

Author: NotArkard

Contributor: NotBrandon

FFXI Level Sync Feature

Posted by NotArkard Thursday September 11 2008 at 2:53PM
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I had heard about this feature from a friend of mine, but didn't entirely understand how it was supposed to work or what benefits the level sync system was suppossed to bring. Now, some light has been shed on the matter as I read the newsletter sent to my e-mail inbox by Square Enix. First off, I am no longer playing the game. The last time I played the game was about a year ago; I experienced a lot of resistance from Square Enix to help me retrieve the account I made back when the game was released, and was forced to buy a new copy of the game. I later cancelled after the staggering realization that I'd have to spend so much time of my life working on re-gaining what I had lost, and only then could I begin working on what I hadn't finished. That's another story, altogether, though.

 The level sync system appears to be in place to allow people with higher level jobs to group with people of lower level jobs by down-ranking their own level(similar to Age of Conan's mentor system, except you make your friends higher in level). This, apparently, allows players in your linkshell to down-level their higher level jobs and assist you in the, usually, extremely excruciating process that is leveling in FFXI. I decided to further study how the level sync system reads, by actually following some of the links on the newsletter. Just think, I'm one of the most pessimistic people I know, and I was excited about Square Enix getting something right. As I continued to read about the level sync feature, it became clear that my excitement was not misplaced.


Now, Final Fantasy XI has always been one of the most time-consuming games on the market. Whether you're an avid lover of the game, or simply hate it for your own reasons, you can't dispute this fact: the game was simply designed to eat up half of your life. Now, I had a couple of classes at level 75, and every other class at random levels ranging anywhere from 10 to 56, so I originally thought: Why not just use one of your alts to help your linkshell friends level? What's the use in bringing your higher level guy when you could be leveling another job?


First of all, the system will benefit both the higher level jobbers, and the lower level jobbers. If you thought there was nothing in place to benefit veteran players, and that this is one of those features to attract new players, then you are absolutely wrong. Quoting from their article: "When Level Sync is in effect, players will gain 100% of the experience and limit points possible to gain at their reduced level." Just imagine! Being able to obtain limit points on your level 75 warrior while helping someone level an alt job! This is great for people who don't have the patience to level alts themselves, and instead want to focus on one character. Rather than ignoring everyone else for self-benefit(one of the oldest features in FFXI), you can now benefit yourself and others by partying with them at lower levels!


Before I continue my analysis, let's post a few more facts about the system:

- The system works in a way where the party leader designates a "target player." Everyone in the party will become the level of the target player. When the target player levels, everyone will be bumped up a notch, granted they have already completed that level previously. For example, let's say you have four level 75 characters, a level 22 character, and a level 23 character. The leader designates the level 23 character to be the target level. Everyone will be level 23, but the level 22 character will remain level 22. If the level 23 levels before the level 22, everyone but the level 22 will become level 24.

-Square Enix is usually for preventing problems before they begin. Unless you count their customer service, but we'll make my blood boil later. For now, let's discuss the restrictions. Firstly, the player must be at least level 10; you can not designate a player below that level to be your target player. The party leader and the target player must be in the same area, and finally, there will be what they call a "buffer period" for 30 seconds once the feature has been deactivated.

-Lastly, the system introduces a way to down-rank your gear when you down-level. Finally, something extremely useful for people who were used to carrying thousands of sets of gear, or paying an extra $10 to have enough alts to hold that gear. Now you can join BCNMs, mission scenarios, Ballista, and other level-capped events without having to bring level 40, or level 50 gear, or whatever the level cap happens to be. Instead, your level 75 gear will be down-ranked so that it has stats appropriate for the level you're being capped to.


Let's consider the benefits. You can now level an alt with an army of level 75s with downranked gear, that will still be incredibly amazing since there are many stats that end-game gear has that leveling gear does not. Using a stupid example, enmity. Enmity- is not seen until the 70s on caster gear, and even if it is downranked, it is unlike any other stat found on gear for level 40, let's say. Now the characters are incredibly overpowered, right? Wrong! I comically misled you, sorry. According to SE, a lot of the stats found on higher armor will be negated entirely. Things like enmity will be downranked to match the level you are downranking to. So, if you're downranking to level 40, it's obvious that your gear will lose its enmity bonus.


Now let's talk about the negatives. As far as I read, there aren't any. Sorry, I misled you again, there are in fact some negatives. This appears to be in place mainly for people who are leveling alternate jobs in the game, and want a quick way to get up to 75, or any target level they might be shooting for. New players, who may not know about the feature, or may not have joined a linkshell will completely miss out on the benefits of the system. Let's face it, none of us want pugs in a group, and that's why the system was introduced. What reason do linkshells, or even a small group of 75s partying with a friend have to invite a complete and inexperienced stranger into their fold? The truth is, they have no reason to do so, and they probably won't.


Then again, the FFXI community is a relatively small community where most people who play now have played the game before. There are very few players who have had no previous experience with the game lining up to join the virtual world of Vana'diel. Whether they heard from me that it was an incredible time-sink, or they simply don't even know the game exists, it's just not a heavily marketed game in most places of the world(except maybe Japan?).

Regardless, the level sync feature even had me excited to give the game another chance. Unfortunately, I later remembered that I destroyed the latest copy of the game I bought in a fit of rage. The only thing that remains is my user ID for my old account that SE kept so they can use it to play themselves. But, uh...if you're still playing, I guess this feature is cool and all. Enjoy it!



Dragance writes:

omg omg omg this was seriously a great idea, i wished i still played ffxi now, thnx for the post man

Thu Sep 11 2008 11:23PM Report
TaishiFox writes:

Heh, I quited FFXI so many times I lost count.  I love the game, its just not so fun anymore since, as you say, they're all veterans now and its almost impossible to find parties these days for low levels.  To be honest, I agree with your negative view, I highly doubt any high level is gonna want to downgrade their level in order to help a newbie level, although in saying that they do seem to power level alot for their buddies and any newbie that happens to be in the same party benefits from that said help.  Other than that, yeah, it seems like a great idea, sure wish they had done it before the game started to lose its players though.

As for your game you destroyed, here's a real punch line for ya, it actually does not matter, wanna know why? because you can download the said discs from most torrent sites on the internet, reinstall and use your old account.  Before you say, yeah, I know, you lost your first account but what about your second? And before you ask, no this method is not illegal since you have already registered a paid for legit key that is tied to your account, how you obtain the actual CDs is entirely upto you, even Square Enix themselves informed me of this when I asked if it was ok to download an expansion I had paid for via their online store feature from a torrent site or borrowed a friend's disk and they said it was ok to do either.

Anyways, regardless, unfortunately this new feature does not intrigue me to play because for one thing, like you and I both say, no veteran is gonna consider it, at least not a fair few and its bad enough to find players of your said level as it is let alone find any veteran willing to give a helping hand so you can level... unless of course they are really that desperate/lazy to obtain their LPs  Besides, I'm quite contently happy with Everquest 2, its got plenty more to do than FFXI and you aren't forced to rely on other players to get anywhere within the game.  Anyways, thanks for the scoop, it was an interesting article at least, glad to see SE are actually still trying with this game before they finally give up and pull the plug.

Fri Sep 12 2008 4:09AM Report
anastaia writes:

um... you have some opinions in here that are absolutely wrong. But you state them as fact, i will proceed to elaborate when i get off of work. but until then. if you want more accurate information on the Level Syncing System i suggest you go to

Fri Sep 12 2008 7:07AM Report
NotArkard writes:


FFXI is actually one of the few games I didn't play on and off. I played it when it was first released and kept playing it for almost three straight years. It's a great game, and they keep content coming. Sadly, it's usually not mechanic-altering content like this new system. Usually, they just throw more quests in there, or a completely new story-line with an expansion. I have seen very, very few changes to how the game is actually played since I started.

In a way, I applaud them. They have a tendency to reward their veteran players by giving them items, such as they did during their anniversary thing(or whatever it was). They also tend to stick to their vision of a game, rather than "selling out" and handing out free XP, free mounts, free everything, in a manner reminiscent of WoW. Those are all good things.

Unfortunately, the game is simply too time consuming. I quit the second time around because I realized I spent almost three years fine-tuning my previous account, and lost it all. Even with those new XP rings and things, I still had to get to rank 10, complete Zilart missions, get to 75 on two characters, and do a whole bunch of things to match what my other account had. Then at that point I could begin doing things I hadn't done, like ToAU, and WotG, etc.



Hopefully you clarify. I should've added my source of information to the post, but here it is: . This is the article I used to obtain all my facts. Anything there that's opinion, is stated as opinion, or is an observation from my many years as a FFXI player.

Fri Sep 12 2008 10:06AM Report
stoan writes:

doesn't sound so dynamic.   You suck

Fri Jan 30 2009 9:19PM Report
stoan writes:

doesn't sound so synced. 

Fri Jan 30 2009 9:20PM Report writes:
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