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

Massively Overthinking: Disassembling MMORPGs for parts

This week’s Massively Overthinking comes to us from Xijit — and I think you’ll agree it’s quite timely.

“In light of The Secret World getting reworked into more of a single-player or online-but-not-actually-an-MMO title, what other MMOs would you like to see downgraded from the full MMO format and turned into a single-player-focused or limited multiplayer title?”

I’d like to say I can speak for everyone and say NONE ZERO NEVER STOPPIT. But I bet our staff — and you — can probably think of a few MMOs that might be better suited for a different format. Let’s dive in to this pool full of poop jello and fight it out.

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Perfect Ten: Time travel in MMORPGs

Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of time in MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that developers probably don’t want you thinking about too closely, since it could create a crack in the world illusion that they’ve created. But really, how does time work in these games? Are you forever frozen in the same fixed point in history, advancing only to a new era when a patch or expansion releases? Does the timeline advance only as you go through new quests and hit arbitrary milestones?

Even more fascinating is when developers decide to have a little fun with their storytelling by throwing players into the past and future via time travel. It’s not even strictly for science-fiction games, either; plenty of fantasy MMOs work in time travel at one point or the other. It can be a great way of expanding upon the game’s lore and giving players an insight into events that led up to the modern era.

Today we’re going to look at 10 instances of how MMORPGs have used time travel with reckless regard to paradoxes and splintering the world into millions of alternate universes.

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Massively Overthinking: MMOs, from hardcore to casual and back again

Massively OP reader Suikoden wrote this great question to the podcast — too good to let just Justin and me answer it. It’s a two-parter!

“Back when I used to be a hardcore MMO gamer circa 2000-2010, I felt that MMOs of that era were designed more toward the hardcore gamer and even catered to us more. Within the last 5 years, I’ve had to develop into more of a casual player. However, I now feel that games once again cater to me and my current playstyle. Did the MMO genre evolve alongside me, from a more hardcore-centric genre to a more casual playerbase? Or is it the same as it always was and I just feel that it caters to me because it’s designed to feel like it caters to all playstyles? And if there was a change, do you feel it is for the better or for the worse for the genre?”

I posted Suikoden’s questions to the team for this week’s Massively Overthinking!

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward in review, part two

Here’s a fun fact: I don’t actually know how long this series of columns is going to be at this point. That shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of it, but it’s still true. I just know that I want to cover the entire expansion, top to bottom, and last week we started in by looking at the main scenario quests and story. I hate scores, so I didn’t assign it one, but it was a pretty positive evaluation, so that’s a good thing for Final Fantasy XIV’s first expansion.

Unfortunately for the overall evaluation, that leaves us today diving into the side stories… which is a much less positive tale. Because some of these were just weak, some of them were mildly engaging, and several were flat-out bad. But there were a lot of them, so I can’t be too harsh to the conceptual level, even if the execution was… lacking. Severely, in some places.

So let’s start in with the part of the stories that almost everyone seems to have forgot existed.

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The MOP Up: Scorpio’s doomsday device (April 9, 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 Pokemon GoDCUOPortal KnightsEscape from TarkovFinal Fantasy XILOTROWorld of TanksStar Trek OnlineArmored WarfareTree of SaviorPath of Exile, and Worlds Adrift, all waiting for you after the break!

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Final Fantasy XI’s April update arrives with a new Ark Angel ally

It’s been a very long time since the Ark Angels have been a going concern in Final Fantasy XI, but they were most definitely antagonists when they showed up. Not the tragically misunderstood sort of antagonist, either; these were just straight-up enemies you had to fight. So it’s a little on the nose that the game’s most recent update adds the Ark Angel MR to your lineup of summoned Alter Egos to accompany you into battle. Then again, considering that particular Ark Angel represented envy, perhaps you just wanted it enough.

The version update also adds new Records of Eminence, new enemies and mechanics for Ambuscade, and improved display for Escutcheon crafting. In other words, it’s a usual monthly update for the game that gives players just a little more to do until the next monthly update. So go ahead, hop in, and start walking around with your literal avatar of envy. You know you want to.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward in review, part one

I never really had a chance to explore Final Fantasy XI expansion by expansion. By the time the game launched in North America, the first expansion was already out and was bundled with the game. But Final Fantasy XIV has been worldwide since its launch, which means that I can look at the game both before and after Heavensward in something approaching real time.

Of course, it’s also difficult to evaluate expansions as they’re live, simply because you lack a certain degree of perspective. Still, Heavensward is over, and while I can’t put it in the context of the game’s overall history, I can look at it as it stands as a whole. With five major patches and a whole lot of storytelling, how was the expansion? Didi it start strong and then falter? Did it deliver what it promised? Was it fun all the way through?

The answers to those questions are complex. Fortunately, we’ve got a couple of months to examine the expansion before the next one comes out. So let’s get started with the story.

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April Fools’ Day 2017: Hijinks across the MMOverse

If you don’t like tricks and jokes, just stop reading right now, turn the lights off, and go climb back into bed. Nothing on the internet is going to bring you joy today, so just sit this one out. Trust us.

For everyone else, there’s April Fools’ Day! Follow along as we rattle off all the great MMORPG pranks and events we’ve found so far this morning.

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Jukebox Heroes: Your favorite MMO themes, #12-7

It’s starting to get serious now.

As we well know, people are highly opinionated about everything, but when it comes to music, there seems to be a (pardon the pun) higher pitch to the passion of those arguments. I’ve been doing an MMO music podcast for over three years now, and believe me when I say that there have been countless times when myself and my cohosts were aghast when someone hated a tune we liked and vice-versa, even though we shouldn’t have been surprised.

So as we head into the top 10 of the best MMO theme songs, as voted on by the Massively OP community, expect a lot of opinions and controversies. You may not like the picks, the order, or the comments, but hopefully one or two of these will make you happy (and there’s always room to be pleasantly surprised by a track you never heard before!). Suck it up and jump with me!

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Final Fantasy XI previews its April version update

The monthly update cadence of Final Fantasy XI is continuing into April, but this time around the game is actually moving backwards a little bit. Just a little bit, though; it’s bringing back one of the more popular Ambuscade foes for players to face once more, complete with new rewards available. If you couldn’t get enough of fighting the Gigas, you’ll have another opportunity.

Players can also see another old foe with a long history of being fought as another Ark Angel joins the list of Trust companions, this time the Ark Angel MR. There’s also new log messages in the chat window for crafting gains to facilitate the Escutcheon line, new Records of Eminence objectives, and a few other quality of life features. Just because some of the monthly update content is glancing backwards doesn’t mean the game as a whole isn’t moving forward just the same.

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Final Fantasy XI opens up bonus reward campaigns for the start of spring

Spring is just around the corner, bringing with it a desire for most people to head outside to enjoy fresh air. Or you could stay inside, which is clearly the direction Final Fantasy XI is hoping for with its assortment of bonus campaigns starting on April 11th. They’re all going to be familiar to long-time players, but they’re also all the sorts of campaigns that the game frequently runs, where doing various activities gets you more rewards for the same effort.

More seals will drop, more Mweya Plasm will drop in Delves, more silt will come from Geas Fate content, and so forth. Players can also activate the special Adoulin reward dial for the Goblin Mystery Box, get additional personal loot from Geas Fate, and get more rewards from digging with a chocobo (including in areas where chocobos have only recently been added as mounts). The campaigns will start on April 11th and run until April 30th, so there’s plenty of time for dedicated players to rack up plenty of extra rewards.

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Final Fantasy XI players gather cherished memories for anniversary celebration

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Final Fantasy franchise, but it also marks the 15th anniversary of Final Fantasy XI. And yes, the game is looking quite good for a 15-year-old title. Players have taken the initiative to celebrate the lengthy history in other ways, however, by kicking off a community project to gather up the playerbase’s cherished memories of the game over the 15 years of history.

The plan is to gather up all of the messages of player memories and send them in to the developers, showing them how profoundly and positively the game has impacted its playerbase. If you’ve played the game in the past and want to let the Japanese team know how much that’s meant to you, hop on by and fire off a message of goodwill, whether you’re a former player or someone who’s been in-game since the lights came on.

Source: Reddit; thanks to Luis for the tip!

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The MOP Up: Wakfu hikes up a mountain (March 12, 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 Heroes and Generals, Faeria, City of HeroesLineage MArmored WarfareWakfuArk ParkDauntlessDark Age of CamelotOverwatchBlade and Soul: Table ArenaLeague of LegendsStrikers Edge, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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