final fantasy xi

Official Site: Final Fantasy XI
Studio: Square Enix
Launch Date: May 16, 2002 (in de facto maintenance mode as of November 10, 2015)
Genre: Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: Subscription
Platform: PC, PS2, Xbox 360

Boot up your Age of Conan account for a free level 80 toon on its ninth birthday

So, Age of Conan players. Let’s talk. I know this year has been kinda rough on you. You found out, as we did, that your game was going to be maintenance-moded just a few months ago in a tiny aside in a financial letter to corporate investors. That hurt. And your baby brother, Conan Exiles, has sucked up all of dad’s attention. And money. You could rant at the unfairness of it all, or you could be grateful that at least you’re not being sunsetted like so many great MMORPGs before you. I won’t judge you for either.

But if you are playing, or think you might someday again, maybe take a peek right now as the elder Conan game turns nine years old. Yes, nine years ago this very month, we all logged into Tortage… no, actually, let’s not talk about Tortage. It’s birthday time. And Funcom is trying to make it worth your while with a free level 80 character boost and a free character slot, as long as you had an account before today, and as long as you log in before May runs out.

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Final Fantasy XI will let you pick your own trust companion for the anniversary

If you’re worried about the future of Final Fantasy XI being available, you can rest assured that the 15th anniversary letter by producer Akihiko Matsui is quite confident in it. Matsui mentions that the team is small enough that no new major content can be rolled out, but the team did add Omen and Ambuscade to the game while rolling out monthly update. And players can celebrate 15 years of the game even further beyond the anniversary events with the upcoming “One I Can Trust” campaign, allowing you to create your own Trust NPC for the next year.

Players simply need to name an in-game NPC who currently lacks an alter ego and what effects said alter ego should provide; this can differ from player to player. Once you’ve specified your preferred companion, you’ll have a year to adventure with your companion at your side, so pick someone you want around for a while. That’s in addition to the many, many other events, including discounts, the Return to Vana’diel campaign, anniversary quiz rewards, and… well, everything you could ask for as a fan of the game, whether you’ve been playing for 15 years or just a few months.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward in review – odds and ends

By the time you read this, I’ll be up in the air flying across the country. Assuming you read it on the day it publishes, anyhow, and odds are that you will do so since you certainly won’t be playing Final Fantasy XIV today. Which makes for a good day to take a closer look at the odds and ends of Heavensward, doesn’t it? I sure hope so, because that’s what I’ve got lined up, it’s going to cause problems if this is a bad time.

We’ve covered the majority of the game’s battle content, but there’s still a bit more stuff to cover, and I could probably go into more depth on a few areas if I wanted this to be even longer. But let’s start by covering the content that, arguably, flopped pretty badly on launch, to the point where the whole system got yanked, revised, and returned in a much more tolerable form. Which has its own problems, but hopefully provides a good template moving forward.

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The MOP Up: Life is Feudal’s building sim (May 14, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from MapleStoryHeroes of the StormIngressWurm OnlineDCUOHellionLife is FeudalSkyforgeOverwatchH1Z1Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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Square-Enix financials show steady incoming but slow sales on online gaming

If you’re worried about the overall health of Square-Enix, a glance at the company’s most recent financials should assuage any concerns, since the past financial year was quite good for the company. That’s with an extraordinary loss in the company’s yearly evaluation, even. But if you’re worried about the company’s health when it comes just to online games, that’s… also just fine, according to the same report. It’s not as good as it could be, but it’s fine.

The report states that ongoing revenue from the company’s online titles (Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XIV, and Dragon Quest X in Japan) was steady and reliable, although actual sales and operating income were lower due to the lack of an expansion disk during the year. Considering that the point of comparison was the previous financial year and the release of Heavensward, this would fall under the “unsurprising” header. With Stormblood on the way later this year, it’s good for fans to see that the company continues to post solid results for its various online offerings.

Source: PR Newswire

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Perfect Ten: My MMO hate list

One thing that I strive for in my professional career is basing things on sources more robust than my own biases. That’s not to say I believe I can remain entirely dispassionate and objective at all times; it just means that while I might have my biases, I need more than just that bias to say something is good or bad. I may not like gender-locked classes, for example, but if a game with gender-locked classes does well for itself, there’s more going on there and it’s worth examining.

But sometimes you just need to rant about stuff.

Hence, this list. This is not an objective list in any way, shape, or form. These are just things that tick me off about MMOs  and have always ticked me off about MMOs, and their absence will often give me a more positive impression of a game no matter how little it may be justified. In the words of George Carlin, I don’t have pet peeves; I have major psychotic [REDACTED] hatreds, and it makes the world a lot easier to sort out.

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Final Fantasy XI preps a new event for its 15th anniversary

It’s been 15 years now since Final Fantasy XI first launched in Japan, and the game is still receiving updates to this day. (Seriously, we’ve made hundreds of “maintenance mode” jokes by now.) So it’s probably no surprise that a new anniversary event is coming to the game starting on May 16th. We don’t know what it’s going to include just yet, but we know there will be crab shirts and fantastic prizes for players to earn celebrating a game that launched closer to the creation of the world wide web than to the present day.

Of course, if anniversary events aren’t your thing, you could instead fill your time with a bit of good old-fashioned Mog Bonanza antics. Yet another lottery is coming, and plays can start purchasing marbles on May 16th. So you’ll have plenty of chances to celebrate the game, and you’ll have a chance to gamble big and totally lose out on what you wanted. It’s really the full FFXI experience right there.

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Massively Overthinking: Competitive PvE in MMORPGs

During last week’s podcast, Justin and I bumped into a tangential topic about competitive PvE and how relatively rare it is in MMORPGs, which seems weird, right? It was once the nature of MMOs to make us scuffle with other guilds in open-world dungeons, but with the dawn of instanced PvE content, devs didn’t replace that type of content the same way they’ve embraced raiding and PvP. You’ve got achievements, sure, and gear show-offs, but outside of Guild Wars-esque challenge missions and WildStar PvE leaderboards, it’s just not something most MMOs bother with.

Why is that? Should they? And how do you want to see it done? I posed all these questions to the Massively OP team this week for Massively Overthinking!

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Perfect Ten: Exploring MMORPGs from the far corners of the world

Have you ever noticed that while there’s an entire world out there, most all of the MMORPGs we discuss and play tend to either be ones crafted in the USA or imports from China or Korea? We even have a shorthand for this: “western” and “eastern” MMOs. We’re usually not talking about entire hemispheres with these references, but rather about categorizing three countries that are big into the MMORPG business.

But what about the rest of the world? Are all of these other countries so uncaring about this genre that they’ve never tried their hand at making an MMO? Of course not; as I’m about to show you, there are plenty of online RPGs that have been made in countries other than China, the USA, and South Korea. It’s just that for various reasons, those three countries ended up fostering concentrations of video game developers who knew how to create these types of games.

So let’s take a tour around the world and see if we can’t give some credit to other countries for their contributions to the MMORPG genre past, present, and future. Before you click the link, see how many you can name off the top of your head!

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Final Fantasy XI prepares for its May version update

This month’s version update for Final Fantasy XI is a little bit smaller than normal. Of course, that’s understandable; there’s a 15-year anniversary celebration to plan, that’s going to eat up a lot of time and resources. (Also, you know, the game is supposed to be in maintenance mode, which would be a bit of a red flag to most games.) But there’s still an update on the way, bringing along with it more Escutcheon progress, adding new Ambuscade enemies, and even upping the level cap on the game’s free trial.

Players will also be able to pick up another Ark Angel alter ego and can look forward to new Records of Eminence objectives along with some job adjustments. There are even going to be new pieces of equipment to synthesize for players who need a little more incentive. So after 15 years, there’s still new stuff arriving in Vana’diel for players to enjoy. Possibly crab-related.

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The MOP Up: Warface meets Crysis (April 30, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from Conan ExilesOsirisFinal Fantasy XIUltima OnlineTree of SaviorLineage IIWarfaceGames of GloryElswordSplatoonSkyforge, all waiting for you after the break!

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Massively Overthinking: Are MMORPG players a minority in their own genre?

Deep in the comments of the MMOs-vs.-survival-sandboxes thread from last week, reader miol_ produced a beautiful comment about how MMO players have become a minority in their own genre, which he then expounded upon for us in this provocative email.

“I’ve reached the opinion, that since the launch of WoW and its clones, the ‘original’ MMO-playerbase became a minority in their own genre. Before, we were but hundreds of thousands of MMO players, but then came Blizzard with WoW and its legions of fans in the dozen of millions at its peak, starting to dictate what the new success of MMOs should look like. Even if we others tried to vote with our wallet and feet, we became a minority, having only a fraction of our initial influence, while many devs tried desperately time and again to find ways to get at least a portion of the new Blizzard playerbase.

“Am I wrong with that perception of history? Am I totally missing something? Or are ‘we’ are slowly becoming a majority again, now that WoW and its clones are seeing steadily declining numbers (instead of us winning more players to ‘our side’)? How do we lobby better for ‘our cause’? Or can we only wait and see, until the genre is small enough again? Or is it too late? Have we ourselves grown too far apart into our even more niche corners of personal taste since SWG, while production costs and our demands for production value have skyrocketed at the same time? How could we come closer again?”

Let’s tackle miol_’s questions in this week’s Massively Overthinking.

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