Final Fantasy XI looks back on the game’s history in 2006 and continues its industry interviews

    
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DUDE

When Final Fantasy XI released its third expansion, Treasures of Aht Urhgan, the playerbase rejoiced and had a particular love of the new jobs released with the expansion. Blue Mage, Puppetmaster, and Corsair were all seen as welcome and positive improvements to the game as a whole. But the original plan was to have even more added to the game according to the latest look at the game’s history behind the scenes on the anniversary site; director Koichi Ogawa notes that at one point the intent was to have four new jobs with the expansion:

Also, our original plans were to add four jobs, but things happened and we ended up with three. I uh, don’t remember what the fourth job was supposed to be.

The site has also updated with a new contemporary interview with Capcom producer Minae Matsukawa, sharing her own memories of playing the game as a peer around the time that the game’s first expansion was released in Japan. (FFXI did not release in the west until after the first expansion was already out.) Matsukawa recollects about her early leveling experiences as well as the moment a random stranger raised her following a defeat, prompting her to dedicate her time to playing a Red Mage to help players in a similar fashion.

Source: Official Site (1, 2)
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Justin Olson

I remember the game being very tough and unforgiving. Really a sort of second job, with a brutal death mechanic that dissuaded any exploration or risk-taking. A complete lack of solo advancement after the teen levels.

But so much to love as well. The community was incredible, and because you could have just one character, your reputation stayed with you. The brutal challenge meant that accomplishments felt all the more epic. For me, nothing quite compared to getting my first Avatar as summoner, or completing the glorious Dragoon artifact armor set.

These days I wouldn’t have the free time to invest in the leveling grind of such a game. But back in college, it allowed for many fantastic adventures and building of close friendships.

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Andrew Clear

Aht Urghan also brought in a lot of great game systems as well for end game.