Final Fantasy XI development is focusing on something ‘that can surprise everyone later on’

    
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We're going to be here for a very long while, princess.

The amount of support that Final Fantasy XI gets in a declared maintenance mode is in and of itself surprising, but that is apparently not surprising enough for the game’s 20th anniversary. No, the developers shared recently that the team is focusing on something new within the next fiscal year with an emphasis on the long-term goal for that aforementioned anniversary, and that’s with the goal of something large-scale and unexpected for the game as a whole.

As a corollary, there’s the expectation that individual version updates for the game on its monthly update cadence may feel somewhat smaller while the game prepares for this surprise; then again, monthly updates for a game in maintenance mode is already better than many non-maintenance mode games get in terms of content, so we’re betting that most fans will be happy for the longer term. Combine that with a promise to streamline and simplify the client download process, and players should be looking forward to whatever happens for the game’s next big update, although considering it’s due out for May of 2022, we expect it’ll be a bit of a wait.

Source: Official Site via Reddit
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Fenrir Wolf

I’d be very okay with having a reason to return to Final Fantasy XI and baffle everyone by being a galka bard, again. I miss that. Galka bards were the best. Truly difficult beasts to muster the ability to play well, but oh so incredibly worthwhile.

To save a group of faltering heroes as a galka bard was a fantastic feeling. It was my obstinate passion as I was told so consistently that one simply couldn’t be a galka bard. How it was the worst race-class combination, et cetera. Ha!

No one rocks FF XI like a galka bard.

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Armsbend

Why do you insist on still calling this game in maintenance mode? You guys got played by a marketing department. Years ago for Christ’s sake. Everytime you mention it you look foolish. Do you know that the marketing department of Square Enix just used you to sell subs?

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Eliandal

(Gasp-how often does this occur ;)!) Agreed! You’re not afraid to call out companies for questionable business tactics any other time, yet when it’s FF/ SQUEE – they get a pass? They played you!

P3lli
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P3lli

Salty because a news website is doing their job, lol

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Armsbend

No, they are doing the opposite of that.

Xijit
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Xijit

“Marketing Maintenance”

… It doesn’t get any expansions or attention from the marketing department / nothing “new” gets “ship” for it.

Thus it is in Maintenance mode, according to the marketing people.

Bereman
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Bereman

What’s more likely – that calling it a game in “maintenance mode” is somehow an underhanded ploy by the marketing team to somehow drive new subs to the game?

Or that the devs perceive maintenance mode as being no longer in active development mode and thus “not getting expansions/new story content as that stuff is finished” rather than what we traditionally view as maintenance mode, which is the “keep the server turned on and running and otherwise don’t touch it cause the game is otherwise dead” approach.

Also, can we talk for a second about how ridiculous this notion is, that labeling it as being in maintenance mode while still putting out minor tweak and minor shifts with content already in the game is somehow going to lead to a growth in subs?

Think realistically for a second and tell me when the last time you saw people hyped to play a game because it had some abilities tweaked and some monsters shuffled around in an instance type content while being several years out from its last major content and story update.

Sometimes it’s worth it to take off those cynicism blinders.

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Loopy

“Maintenance mode” attracts new subs? That sounds counter-intuitive to me.

Oh boy! A game that’s dying and has no further active development planned! Sure sounds like a good choice for subbing!

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Armsbend

No – saying you are going maintenance – basically running a campaign of nostalgia to get people back into the game and then suddenly giving those players a “win” by putting it back into normal updates.

It is the same marketing push as allowing for a tv show to be run after a fan run letter writing campaign or something. They got a bump in subs so they kept the game going. That’s great they got the bump the game kept going. Yay!

BUT – MOP’s insistence on keeping this marketing joke alive from 2015 (4 years ago!!) is ridiculous. Eliot my dear, it is lazy humor at best. At worst – you still don’t get it.

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Fenrir Wolf

I’m confused too, but I believe they’re thinking that maintenance mode means regular maintenance by way of fixes and updates to keep everything shipshape. Whereas I generally understand the term to mean nothing more than “we’re keeping the lights on… for now.”

It’s always seemed to mean that they aren’t really touching the game any more, other than for the barest of bare essentials, just to keep the servers up and running. I think this is a simple hiccup of language, a misunderstanding of words and their meanings.

Like when you suggest to an American that patriotism might be a bad thing. (I’m never doing that again.)

People use words differently all the time. Though in this case, the correct use for the terminology is that the game is active, yet in stasis. I would agree, though, that perhaps it could use a better descriptor as maintenance does suggest more than what’s done for any title that’s gone into maintenance mode.