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MMO ReRoll – Final Fantasy XI

I by no means actually knew a lot about Remaining Fantasy XI earlier than selecting it for this month’s MMO Reroll. I’ve by no means been within the Remaining Fantasy sequence as a complete, and the one time I ever gave the franchise greater than a sideways look was when just a few guildies pressured me to play Remaining Fantasy XIV. As for FFXI, I principally knew that it existed and little extra. I keep in mind studying a number of years in the past (2015 to be precise) that FFXI was going into maintenance mode. Provided that Remaining Fantasy XI was developed for the PlayStation 2 and launched in 2002, I figured it had a fairly good run. Seeing different firms shut down MMOs that have been nonetheless worthwhile (Metropolis of Heroes anybody?) as a result of it wasn’t definitely worth the effort to maintain them operating, I anticipated that inside a yr or two, Sq. Enix would sundown FFXI

The console variations did get the axe in 2016, and a cell model that was in growth was finally canceled, however the PC model continued on. Somebody should have forgotten to inform the event group that FFXI went into upkeep mode. During the last 5+ years since placing FFXI into upkeep mode, not solely has the decreased growth group continued to patch up outdated bugs, they’ve additionally continued to push out stability updates and new content material. Sure, new content material.

Month after month, new Ambuscale encounters are launched. In 2020 the group added Odyssey, a brand new battle problem for gamers to get pleasure from. And 2020 was additionally the yr that the builders began including a brand new storyline, Voracious Resurgence, to FFXI. That’s proper, an MMO in upkeep mode is getting as a lot or extra new content material than many ‘lively’ MMOs.

With out a big growth group to construct a full-fledged growth pack, Voracious Resurgence has been launched chapter by chapter by the month-to-month updates FFXI was nonetheless receiving. And if you consider it, this design type is a fairly good option to maintain gamers coming again month after month, casually digesting new content material as a substitute of blitzing by a full growth in just a few weeks. Breaking Voracious Resurgence into items has helped maintain the upfront price of growth low whereas protecting the month-to-month sub rely and ensuing income considerably constant. It’s a win-win.

With so many MMOs to select from, and my total lack of curiosity within the franchise, you could be asking why I’ve determined to leap into Remaining Fantasy XI and provides it the Reroll therapy? It’s quite simple, really. August marks the tip of the primary yr of the MMO Reroll column, and since I began the entire thing with Remaining Fantasy XIV, I figured why not end up the yr with the opposite Remaining Fantasy MMO? Yeah, that’s how deep a few of my choices are – extra impulse and randomness than precise thought and planning.

Right here We Go Once more

In the event you recall, the final time I attempted out one of many older MMOs I had by no means performed, issues didn’t go so effectively. Every thing was simply so outdated! This time round, I might as soon as once more complain in regards to the character creation course of, an outdated UI, and a gradual and lonely leveling course of. I might, however I received’t. As somebody identified with my Darkish Age of Camelot Reroll, why state the plain? 

We’re speaking about an MMO that’s almost 20 years outdated, so I shouldn’t be approaching them the identical means I’d a extra fashionable title. I imply, though somebody may choose up Black Desert On-line and count on one thing comparatively fashionable, I doubt anybody is grabbing a replica of Remaining Fantasy XI pondering they’re going to expertise superb graphics and all of the modern high quality of life conveniences which have change into commonplace in MMO growth.

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I am not doing an entire 180 on my course of, although. I am nonetheless going to cowl a few of the ache factors I skilled throughout my time with FFXI. Nevertheless, this time round, I’m going to select my battles. I additionally saved one other criticism of my DAoC Reroll in thoughts and took the time to search out options to the obstacles I confronted as a substitute of merely writing the MMO off as outdated and antiquated. 

Set up

Getting signed up for the FFXI free trial and putting in the sport was a bit of archaic. A fast journey to the Sq. Enix retailer was all it took to get a key for the two-week trial – from there, clicking the Download button loaded up a web page with a multi-step set up course of. It started with downloading a five-part RAR executable. I then unpacked all of the information, picked an set up location, and after just a few moments, the FFXI installer was lastly able to go to work. 

Um, isn’t this 2021? I get that FFXI is sort of 20 years outdated, however Sq. Enix actually must replace the set up course of for FFXI. I discover it foolish {that a} Triple-A studio nonetheless requires a multi-part obtain that must be unpacked simply to get to the purpose you possibly can run the set up. This must be one of many clunkiest installs I’ve seen in a very long time, and contemplating I did the non-public server roundup not too way back, that’s simply unhappy. Sq. Enix can’t even match the set up software program of individuals engaged on a ardour mission! I’m wondering how many individuals by no means even make it by the set up course of?

It seems there’s a higher set up. After downloading and putting in FFXI from the Sq. Enix retailer, I came upon there’s additionally a Steam model out there. The Steam set up is the user-friendly, hit the obtain button and click on the setup file course of I used to be on the lookout for. So in the event you plan on giving FFXI a strive, make sure to obtain it from Steam. It’ll prevent a while. Downside solved.

Consumer Interface

Once I Rerolled by Dark Age of Camelot, I gave low marks for the consumer interface. I imagine the precise phrases I used have been, “It’s a bust.” To all the DAoC followers that took offense, I owe you an apology. My large complaints have been how arduous the font was to learn and having issue with stock administration.

Nicely, I’m sorry. I used to be unsuitable to guage so harshly. Looking back, these have been actually simply minor inconveniences and have been nothing in comparison with what was in retailer for me with FFXI. It has been a very long time since I’ve needed to navigate a UI like what’s present in FFXI

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For these of you who haven’t performed Remaining Fantasy XI, the consumer interface is menu-driven. Identical to different RPGs from the flip of the century, you will need to navigate by submenu after submenu to entry character sheets, ability lists, quests, and customarily each different perform you may have to carry out. It’s cumbersome at greatest, and I can solely think about how a lot worse it might be if I traded in my keyboard and mouse for a PS2 controller.

I do should admit there’s a optimistic aspect to the menu system. Hiding every part away within the menus means there aren’t a bunch of hotbars obscuring my view. Aside from a small hitpoint bar and a configurable chat window, there’s an open view of your character and their environment.

The place the menu system actually turns into a difficulty for me is throughout fight. Going by a number of menu layers simply to decide on between bodily or magical assaults has at all times been a ache, and I say that with turn-based cRPGs in thoughts. Having to do it in a real-time fight system? It is loopy tough. 

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It took a short while, however I did begin getting used to the menu system throughout fight. The entire time, I saved pondering I used to be lacking one thing, although. On the lookout for a magical reply to my menu woes, I hit up the web. As I suspected, between macros, command-line shortcuts, and pure muscle reminiscence, veterans have been whipping by macro books to forged spells, change gear, and do absolutely anything else you would consider with little effort. If I have been a betting man, I’d wager that FFXI gamers who’ve mastered the menus and macros are as fast as, if not faster, than somebody utilizing the a number of hotbars present in different video games.

The place To Go? What To Do?

Remaining Fantasy XI is the epitome of the Previous College MMO expertise. After character creation, you’re thrown into your beginning zone with little concept of what to do subsequent. In the event you’re on the lookout for a hand-holding tutorial, you may as effectively uninstall FFXI and discover a completely different recreation to play. There’s a tutorial of types, however it’s tremendous straightforward to overlook (aka I wasn’t paying consideration). So step primary find your means on this planet of Vana’diel – take note of the NPCs and maintain monitor of what they need you to do.

Fully misplaced and not sure what to do, I turned to the group and the web for assist. What transpired subsequent falls below the class of ‘web rabbit gap.’ In the event you aren’t certain what that’s, it’s once you change into utterly engrossed in a subject and begin clicking hyperlink after hyperlink, solely to resurface later to search out hours of your life are lacking. It’s nearly like being kidnapped by aliens.

My FFXI rabbit gap started with a easy sufficient search – FFXI beginners guide. If I needed to make a guess, I’d say that I then spent as a lot time looking the web for how-to guides and tutorial movies as I did really taking part in FFXI. The sheer variety of official and community-created guides is sort of overwhelming. After my preliminary seek for a rookies information, of which I discovered a number of, I spent a complete afternoon working by guides to improve the visuals of FFXI (I’m nonetheless undecided I had every part put in accurately and dealing 100%).

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Hours spent for higher visuals

Some extra time so as to add a mini-map. Then, extra time determining which different addons have been useful and which may very well be ignored. I even spent a bunch of time studying and watching movies on easy methods to set up macros. I by no means even acquired to the purpose the place I really created any macros; God is aware of how way more time that might have taken. Then…effectively, you get the purpose. Some folks will need to determine every part out on their very own, however in the event you aren’t that type of particular person, there’s loads of sources that can assist you discover your means in FFXI. 

Remaining Ideas

It didn’t take me lengthy to understand I didn’t need to play Remaining Fantasy XI. I by no means even made it previous degree 10. If I have been keen to type by all the community-made made guides and mods to maximise the FFXI expertise? I nonetheless wouldn’t select to play Remaining Fantasy XI. Truthfully, although, that’s extra in regards to the time I’ve already invested in FFXIV than there being something unsuitable with Remaining Fantasy XI

That doesn’t imply that others shouldn’t give FFXI a strive. In the event you’re keen to go looking by all of the guides and mods to improve the consumer interface after which push by the primary few hours, Remaining Fantasy XI holds a world stuffed with lore and story. With nearly twenty years price of content material, it’ll take a protracted whereas to discover all that FFXI has to supply, and the builders don’t present any signal of packing their baggage and transferring on.

Subsequent Steps

We’re one yr into the MMO Reroll now, and I’ve gone on twelve fantastic adventures. For many who caught with me by all of them, thanks. I hope you’ve had as a lot enjoyable as I’ve had revisiting the MMOs of my previous. Some months have been a superb time, others not a lot, however no less than each certainly one of them sparked some dialog over the MMO lined.

As I put together to start out Season Two of the MMO Reroll, I’m wondering how issues will go? A number of new MMOs are popping out over the subsequent few months that I plan on testing, and I’m wondering what sort of an affect these video games can have on my impressions of the Reroll titles. Will taking part in one thing with shiny graphics and fashionable conveniences drive one other nail into the coffin of the video games I’ve left behind, or will the fashionable MMO panorama assist me higher recognize the MMOs of the previous? I assume we’ll see quickly sufficient.

https://www.mmog.com/columns/mmo-reroll-final-fantasy-xi-2000122918 | MMO ReRoll – Remaining Fantasy XI

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