Final Fantasy XI Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Final Fantasy XI RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Final Fantasy XI Mobile is Canceled, Long Live FFXI https://www.gameskinny.com/m0dfs/final-fantasy-xi-mobile-is-canceled-long-live-ffxi https://www.gameskinny.com/m0dfs/final-fantasy-xi-mobile-is-canceled-long-live-ffxi Tue, 23 Mar 2021 12:53:51 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Square Enix has worked wonders with Final Fantasy XI over the years, adding new updates to the almost 20-year-old game and even working on a mobile port called Final Fantasy XI R with Nexon. Even wonders have a limit, though, as Final Fantasy XI's mobile port is canceled.

Gamebiz.jp (translated by Gematsu) said Square Enix and Nexon canceled FFXI on mobile after seeing it "did not meet the quality standards expected by fans of the Final Fantasy series from a creative perspective."

The meaning of that statement is a bit up for grabs, since neither developer offered further description or any new screenshots. The report also said staff working on FFXI mobile have been moved to other projects.

Anyone still playing FFXI elsewhere has more content to look forward to in March, however. The Voracious Resurgence storyline continues with new quests and rewards, there's a new Ambuscade challenge revolving around leech monsters, and a new Odyssey monster to fight in Sheol called Gaol. That's in addition to daily login bonuses for the month and more.

[Source: Gematsu]

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Monsters, Moogles, and Mentors Highlight Final Fantasy XI's New Update https://www.gameskinny.com/zkme8/monsters-moogles-and-mentors-highlight-final-fantasy-xis-new-update https://www.gameskinny.com/zkme8/monsters-moogles-and-mentors-highlight-final-fantasy-xis-new-update Tue, 03 Nov 2020 17:16:18 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Final Fantasy XI is getting new notorious monsters and a slew of new quests, producer Akihiko Matsui said. This month sees Square Enix add a dual-pronged ambuscade, a new chapter for the Voracious Resurgence, and more.

A new, two-part ambuscade pits players against a Mamool Ja and the Bomb family of monsters to earn special bonuses. Figuring out what those bonuses are isn't quite so straightforward, though, and Matsui said it will take some work.

The Voracious Resurgence gets new quests in the first portion of Part Two, which takes place in Windurst.

Final Fantasy XI's Assist system is getting an overhaul. Square Enix is refining mentor qualifications to ensure new players get paired with the right folks who can lend a happy, helping hand.

Finally, the Record of Eminence has updated objectives for the month, and there's the usual suite of new items added over the course of the month.

Final Fantasy XIV might be Square Enix's flagship online game at the moment with the bulk of the new content, but it seems Square Enix plans on keeping Final Fantasy XI alive and well for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Final Fantasy XI news as it develops.

[Source: Square Enix]

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New Final Fantasy XI Story Update Breathes Life Into Slumbering Legend https://www.gameskinny.com/9pjq3/new-final-fantasy-xi-story-update-breathes-life-into-slumbering-legend https://www.gameskinny.com/9pjq3/new-final-fantasy-xi-story-update-breathes-life-into-slumbering-legend Mon, 03 Aug 2020 13:19:04 -0400 Josh Broadwell

After lying nearly dormant, even presumed extinct, for five years, there's some new Final Fantasy XI story content coming soon. It's not just a one-off, as Akihiko Matsui, the game's producer, said the new content is part of a series of updates starting August 3.

The new Final Fantasy XI story update is called The Voracious Resurgence, and Matsui said players will need to have completed the Rhapsodies of Vana'diel — the last major content update — to access it.

There's a small blurb accompanying the announcement on the official Final Fantasy XI site, offering some background on the journey ahead.

The Voracious Resurgence update revolves around strange eggs spoken of in Beastmen legends and appearing across Vana'diel. The story that unfolds around these eggs will take adventurers brave enough "... beyond the veil of death [to] unravel the tangled threads of a conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of the world."

The August update includes a number of other adjustments, such as job set alterations, new items, and brand-new quests. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Final Fantasy XI news as it develops.

[Source: RPGSite]

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The Upcoming RPG Seventh Rebirth: What Happens When You Mix a FFXI Producer and Chrono Trigger Composer? https://www.gameskinny.com/ask1k/the-upcoming-rpg-seventh-rebirth-what-happens-when-you-mix-a-ffxi-producer-and-chrono-trigger-composer https://www.gameskinny.com/ask1k/the-upcoming-rpg-seventh-rebirth-what-happens-when-you-mix-a-ffxi-producer-and-chrono-trigger-composer Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:23:01 -0400 Janette Ceballos

Final Fantasy XI producer Hiromichi Tanaka, Chrono Trigger composer Yasunori Mitsuda, and publisher GungHo Online Entertainment have worked together to create the smartphone-based RPG, Seventh Rebirth. Tanaka has previous experience with this genre as the producer of Square Enix’s first MMORPG, FFXI, while GungHo has been publishing mobile games since 2002, making for a good combination.

The first video trailer has been uploaded to YouTube with information on the story of the game. Every thousand years, the world undergoes a great destruction and rebirth, with this game beginning in the seventh cycle. The main character is a young mayor adventuring to build and protect their village.

While the video shows no actual gameplay, Tanaka promises a relatively traditional RPG, saying in a recent interview that, “it is basically being made to be a very orthodox RPG. Instead of something shiny, we’re making it into a fun and fleshed out game.”

The game will be free to download, but will contain in-app purchases.

A pre-registration campaign in Japan has been ongoing since October 19 in preparation for the 2016 autumn release. The campaign is a tier-based system where a threshold number of people joining determines the in-game bonuses players will receive when they download the game. These bonuses include villagers and weapons or attacks based on previous GungHo games such as Puzzle and Dragons, Divine Gate, and Princess Punt.

Seventh Rebirth will be available in Japan for Android and iOS this fall with no word as to whether there will be an English release.

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The Community Divide: Modern MMO Communities Are Different, Not Worse https://www.gameskinny.com/gpk8j/the-community-divide-modern-mmo-communities-are-different-not-worse https://www.gameskinny.com/gpk8j/the-community-divide-modern-mmo-communities-are-different-not-worse Fri, 19 Aug 2016 07:00:01 -0400 Eliot Lefebvre

If you've played MMOs as long as I have and been around the games for a while, you hear a refrain over and over: the games just aren't as social as they used to be. People don't talk any more, everything is about instant gratification, people just want to play the game solo and no one wants to team up for things any more.

This isn't just rose-tinted glasses, either. It's kind of true. MMOs definitely have a very different emphasis on community than they did back at the turn of the century, when the genre was still finding its sea legs. Heck, it's even changed within given games; back in the day, I'd have to shout for groups when playing World of Warcraft and leveling. Now, questing pretty much never requires me to group up with another player; I only have to join a party when I actually want to or I feel the urge to do a dungeon, which is also easy to reach at this point.

So there's no space to argue that things haven't changed. But have they changed for the worse, or is this just... different?

You no longer need the community

Let's be clear about something right off -- in the first MMOs, we had a term for people who didn't engage with the community at all, and that term was "former player." It wasn't just something that was detrimental, it was something that actively shut you out of the game. I started playing in Final Fantasy XI, and if you acquired a reputation as a toxic and unpleasant person, you just wouldn't be invited into parties any more, and that would be it for your time in the game. There was no content you could complete solo, no options for leveling solo, little to be done except beg and plead or find people who didn't yet know you by reputation.

As a result, everyone who was in a given game was part of the community. You had to be. It also meant that you had to put up with a lot of people you otherwise wouldn't give the time of day. Sure, Dale's a racist jerk, but he's a good tank and he likes you, so you should stay on Dale's good side. Your personal distaste for Dale doesn't enter the equation. The community needs to be respected.

This is no longer the case. I can play World of Warcraft without forcing myself to get invested in the community, and in fact I can get invested in communities that are entirely separate from one another. The larger WoW community is mostly just united by its shared game of choice; within that community is a lot of smaller subgroups. There are certain things you can say are true about the majority of players, but very few of them come down to personal taste outside of certain content that is or is not well-loved. And that's a pretty big difference.

Different communities exist as contemporaries

My main game, at this point, is Final Fantasy XIV. I'm a part of the roleplaying community there, I'm part of the high-end non-raid community, I'm part of the housing community. I have friends that are part of the roleplaying community and also part of the raid community, or the ultra-casual community, or part of the PvP community, and so on. There are, in other words, a lot of different little communities that all exist simultaneously.

When World of Warcraft exploded in popularity, one of the things that quickly happened was that the game got too big for a single community umbrella to cover everything. This was unusual; when you were dealing with games that had smaller populations and were built to handle smaller populations, you could reasonably expect that everyone playing your game was cut from a similar cloth. Heck, if you were playing Ultima Online in 1997, you had a gaming PC with a reliable online connection; two decades ago, that was a very dedicated hobbyist setup, not something that you could get for a discount at dozens of big-box stores.

The result is that unlike classic MMOs, modern games have lots of different communities running at the same time. The communities still work like the communities used to work, of course; they're based around social need. You can't be part of the roleplaying community if you have no one to roleplay with, after all, and if you acquire a nasty reputation within that community, people won't want to be around you any longer. But even so, there are parts of the game that just aren't subject to the community any longer.

The game is much more accessible

There will never come a point in Star Wars: The Old Republic where the community can prevent you from doing dungeons. It's not possible. I don't mean just that most of them have solo modes now; I mean that I can always hop on, queue up in the group finder, be matched with a group, and get dropped into the content. That's a pretty big change, and it's the sort of thing that can easily lead to a feeling that the whole thing is much more fire-and-forget now. After all, if you can just hop into content from anywhere, instantly, you no longer need to talk with people, slowly work your way through things, work together... you just go and forget about it.

Except -- and I say this as someone on multiple sides of this community gulf -- the difference is not between "do content slowly" and "do content quickly." Because that "slow" method was the sort of thing that could, and did, eat up entire days of time.

People talk about how certain dungeons in WoW used to feel large, and that's entirely true, but Blackrock Depths was a dungeon that I never saw in its entirety. It was so sprawling that it was, functionally, an entirely new zone that could only be explored with a group, filled with no clear path and misunderstandings about where to go next. It was exhausting. Every death meant a long run back, every misunderstanding meant a death, and it was very easy to sign up for a group at noon and have to log off for dinner hours later without having accomplished any of your goals.

For a lot of players, this was death to any dreams of playing an MMO. If you didn't have hours of free time, you just... wouldn't see any of this. That got you kicked out of the culture, which meant you couldn't do anything more. The community was stronger and singular, but it was also far more insular and mercenary at the same time; you either played the way the community did, or you just didn't play.

And herein comes a big chunk of the divide. The people who played the game back in the day see all of these people playing and not being part of the community, wondering why this is necessary, because the people who used to play in the older games were part of the community and enjoyed it. It's easy to miss that this is a self-selected bias, that by definition the people who thought things were just fine were the people not locked out by the time investments necessary.

That's not even getting into the sheer simplicity of mechanics when the main challenge was "getting people together and make it through to the end," like the fights in WoW where your healer either cleansed a debuff or the party died, and that was it. We sure as heck don't see that any more.

Everything evolves

I'm not going to say that the old days of MMOs were horrible, because they weren't. They fostered a love of the genre in me that's lasted to this day, making up nearly half of my life and having an enormous impact on my career. Clearly, those games were doing a lot of things right. But they were also doing a lot of things wrong, and over the years, accepted design consensus has steadily changed to the point where things like group finders are expected, not unusual.

And I think it's a good thing. I no longer need to be a part of a community just because I need to get content done; I can be a part of a community because I want to be. If I spend five hours in dungeons in a game, it's because I've done lots of dungeons on a given day and I'm having fun. I spend less time fussing around and calling people and more time actually doing things.

It's easy to miss all of this if you're in one of those communities. If you always were perfectly happy with the old way of doing things, the fact that you no longer need the community feels slightly off. But it also means that more people get to enjoy the game and experience what it has to offer. Some things have been lost in the exchange, but ultimately, it means more people can have fun, and that's a positive thing if you really love the game.

Sure, it means that casual grouping is less necessary than it was before. There's a mid-tier range of content that largely doesn't exist any longer. But I think that, ultimately, some of that comes down to how you cultivate the communities you are part of. There's no longer an endless pool of people to draw from who have to be part of a given community, but that change means the people who do want to be there are going to be there for a long time.

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What does Microsoft's cross-play move really mean? https://www.gameskinny.com/i2rtk/what-does-microsofts-cross-play-move-really-mean https://www.gameskinny.com/i2rtk/what-does-microsofts-cross-play-move-really-mean Wed, 04 May 2016 09:30:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

The dream of full cross-platform gaming is a concept that seems appallingly obvious (imagine how much less useful your cell phone would be if it only called other phones on your network), yet for a multitude of reasons has never been completely realized.

Now there's buzz that may not be the case much longer, when Microsoft's Chris Carla released a statement in March indicating that not only will Xbox One to Windows 10 functionality be extended, but soon Xbox One to competing console functionality will be a possibility.

Since Microsoft has a vested interest in both Windows 10 and Xbox One dominating, it shouldn't be much of surprise that there's cross-platforming going on between those systems with select games. The real zinger was the clear implication that Microsoft is trying to open the floodgates in multiplayer to the PS4 legions.

Is This Even A Modern Concept?

Although it suddenly hit the spotlight, cross-platform gaming isn't actually new. The Dreamcast had cross-platform functionality on Quake III Arena more than 15 years ago. The Final Fantasy XI MMORPG had cross compatibility between PC and PS2 more than a decade ago.

This concept isn't even new to the current console cycle – or originated by Microsoft. War Thunder has offered crossplay from PS4 to PC since 2014.

The response from the other side after Microsoft's surprise announcement wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of cross-console becoming a reality, and Sony made sure to mention they've been doing Playstation to PC titles for a good long time now. GameSpot.com reported this quote from Sony:

"PlayStation has been supporting cross-platform play between PC on several software titles starting with Final Fantasy XI on PS2 and PC back in 2002. We would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross-platform play."

 A little late to the party there, Microsoft!

Who Does This Help?

On the Microsoft side, it seems like a clear attempt to revive interest in the Xbox One. If cross-platform is implemented to a widespread degree, then you can have your cake and eat it too. You get your Halo and your Quantum Break and your Gears Of War 4 exclusives, and you can join a match of whatever non-exclusive multiplayer title has got people buzzing lately.

On the other hand, if there's less to make either console distinct, there's less reason to go one way or the other, so in the end, cross-platform play may be a wash on the sales boosting front. It potentially helps Microsoft, but doesn't seem to offer much to Sony, which is ahead on the console sales front.

There's another clear boon for Microsoft though, as one consequence of cross-platform play will be encouraging everyone to stay on a similar operating system. For instance, to cross-platform games from Xbox One to PC you must have Windows 10 and Xbox Live.

Controller sales may also get a slight bump, since there will be incentive to have two Xbox One controllers if you plan to cross-play a game with a family member in the same home: one using the Xbox One, the other using a PC with an Xbox controller.

Haven't upgraded yet? You have to if you want to compete against Xbox One players. 

What Does Cross-Platform Mean For The Games?

If it actually becomes widespread, this “let's all get along” philosophy could obviously lead to fewer exclusives since gamers will come to expect the ability to play with friends regardless of console.

In the short term it might mean more work for developers, since they have to be on board with supporting multiplayer between the systems. It doesn't matter whether the functionality exists or not if no one on the development side is taking advantage of it. But in the long term, this could actually be a boon for developers, as hardware comes more in line to offer support between the various platforms. Larger player bases are also good for publishers and developers, since it potentially means more in-game purchases.

What should be getting gamers excited by this prospect (beyond the obvious of playing with your friends, regardless of which console you own), is how this might extended the life of multiplayer for any given game. If the pool of people to play with is larger, people are going to keep playing longer.

There are plenty of games on the Xbox 360 containing multiplayer-based achievements that are simply no longer unlockable because there aren't enough people still joining matches. That life period gets an extension if you effectively double the pool of players.

Pros And Cons

Cross-platform playing also has the possibility to erase a practice that is pretty much universally reviled among gamers.

Think of the hodge-podge of exclusive bonus content across various platforms and even from different retailers that exist now, or the timed exclusives where one console gets the DLC earlier. In a fully cross-platform universe, that all goes away, which is good for gamers everywhere.

Together at last?

Don't get your hopes too high, though. As a realist, I can't help but think publishers are already cooking up new and inventive cross-platform ways to screw over the consumers. Imagine a scenario where a publisher might push a developer to make certain content only unlockable if you have both console versions, or manage to complete X number of rounds against a cross-platform opponent.

A very real scenario to consider that won't go over well with everyone is the potential dumbing down of games to accommodate cross-console play. If you want a title to play well and at a decent frame rate on both systems, corners have to be cut as the hardware is not equal on all systems.

Continuing that cell phone analogy, cross-platform may impact the changing console landscape as both Microsoft and Sony gear up to officially announce their “.5” editions. It seems like we're moving away from decade-long consoles cycles and moving into something akin to a cell phone plan, with hardware upgrades arriving every two years or so.

Of course the new big hardware developments are VR and 4K televisions, which people will have more incentive to buy if the consoles require them and you can play with your buddies regardless of what console they are using.

Where Does This All Lead?

Taken to its logical (although perhaps unlikely) extreme, in the long term, complete cross-platform compatibility might mean a clear winner in the never-ending console war, with one blended device finally arriving and one company taking the subservient role.

That's speculation for down the line, however. While sales have lagged behind Sony, I doubt Microsoft is ready to wave the white flag and ditch the console business anytime soon.

So what does the cross-play move really mean? At the moment, not much. There's a lot of bluster and hype, but it will be some time before anything actually comes of it, if it does at all.

At best, we can hope to play a few rounds of Rocket League or Call Of Duty with friends this cycle between the consoles. Time will tell if cross-platform manages to take hold from there.

 

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Deals and discounts to celebrate Final Fantasy XI's latest (and last) update https://www.gameskinny.com/6wva5/deals-and-discounts-to-celebrate-final-fantasy-xis-latest-and-last-update https://www.gameskinny.com/6wva5/deals-and-discounts-to-celebrate-final-fantasy-xis-latest-and-last-update Thu, 12 Nov 2015 20:21:15 -0500 Thewritevictor

Final Fantasy XI, the massive online multiplayer game that has been running strong for more than 14 years, is finally receiving its last large-scale update. The major update, Rhapsodies of Vana’diel, is the last chapter of the main storyline and shifts the stage to a new area of Reisenjima.

As part of the large-scale update where players ultimately decide the fate of Vana'diel, Square Enix is offering players who have inactive accounts the opportunity to play this final chapter for free. That's right, free! Players who have an inactive PlayOnline or Square Enix account as of October 23 will be able to join in the final saga with everyone else during the event, which lasts from November 13 - 24.

But that's not all Square Enix is up to with Final Fantasy XI. On top of offering the ending story line for free to inactive accounts, Square Enix is offering massive discounts on all previous expansions for the game. All promotions will begin November 11 and last till November 30. Check out some of the deals!

  • “Seekers of Adoulin” Expansion Pack (digital download)
    • Now $4.99 (originally $9.99)
  • Final Fantasy XI: Ultimate Collection Seekers Edition (digital download)
    • Now $9.99 (originally $39.99)
  • World Transfer Service
    • Now $9.00 (originally $18.00)

Check out Final Fantasy XI's official webpage for more updates, and don't miss out on your chance to experience this one-of-a-kind JRPG!

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Just die already: Longest boss fights in video games https://www.gameskinny.com/xer28/just-die-already-longest-boss-fights-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/xer28/just-die-already-longest-boss-fights-in-video-games Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:46:03 -0400 Dani Gosha

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Time to sound off. What are some of the hardest and longest battles in gaming that you have faced? Which have you beat and which ones still elude you? 

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Pandemonium Warden

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Final Fantasy XI
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Don't worry, this is the last Final Fantasy boss that will be gracing the list of ridiculously long boss fights. However, it isn't far from the truth that the other FF bosses don't even touch the Pandemonium Warden. 

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The guy is so hard (and such a health hazard) that Square Enix was forced to not only adjust the Warden's difficulty level, but they also had to put a time limit on the battle to prevent players from overexerting themselves. So if you can't defeat the guy in two hours or less, kiss your chance of victory goodbye, as he will grow bored and leave the field of battle.

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While that is unfortunate for most competitive of gamers, it is good to know that Square Enix valued the well-being of their customers over the ability of being able to boast about having an impossible-to-beat boss. 

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The Immortal One

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Lost Odyssey 
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Lost Odyssey may not be as popular as previously mentioned titles, but when it comes to the hardest battle within the game, The Immortal One is the most popular. 

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If you want to have a snow ball's chance in hell with this guy, all your Immortals need to be at least level 75. Even still, just hacking and slashing until the thing's dead isn't going to get you anywhere; it's only going to prolong this already tedious fight. If you're not a tactician, good luck, because you're going to need it. 

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Penance

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Final Fantasy X
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Honestly, this whole list could have been Final Fantasy monsters but, to keep interesting and fair to other franchises with despicably long battles, I couldn't possibly have done that. 

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If you've never fought Penance, you should be thankful - you have more than likely avoided an aneurysm. Penance is a boss only available in the PAL and International versions of FFX. While he isn't quite up to Yiazmat's ability, he does boast 12 million HP, while his arms have 500,000 HP each.

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That might seem like nothing compared to other FF bosses, but Penance has the honor of being the only boss in Final Fantasy X that hasn't been defeated without the use of Yojimbo's Zanmato, which administers an instant kill. 

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Melbu Frahma

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The Legend of Dragoon
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After several - and I mean several - hours of gameplay, you don't know how happy I was to finally get to the fourth disk of The Legend of Dragoon. That is, until Melbu Frahma dashed all my hopes of ever finishing the game. 

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I did it though. Granted not before turning the game off several times, because it just wasn't fair. Frahma has to be one of the most staged bosses in gaming history. He warps through the ages of creation specific to the Legend of Dragoon history, each stage having you praying between combos that this is the last one. 

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Much like Yiazmat, the fight against Melbu Frahma leaves you susceptible to instant kills and stuns, thanks to the several Virages that you face in various forms throughout the entire game. Still to this day, I shake my fist at this battle.

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The Caranthir

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The Witcher 3
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If you haven't got this far in The Witcher 3, I won't spoil it for you but I will say you are in for a long one. 

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The Caranthir may not be the longest boss fight in video game history, but it is certainly one of the longest in the latest The Witcher installment. The good news, however, is that once you disband The Caranthir, you are just about done with the game. 

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Absolute Virtue

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Final Fantasy XI
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Absolute Virtue? More like Absolute Horror! As I have stated before, Final Fantasy bosses are no joke, especially when they start causing players to vomit and even faint because they're that hard. 

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There's only 24 hours in a day, but with a lot of persistence and strategy, a group of 18 people managed to defeat this nightmare in 18 hours. Absolute Virtue holds a video game record for being the single longest enemy that doesn't have any change in form. 

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The End

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Metal Gear Solid 3
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Less of a battle and more of a test of endurance and skill, some might call facing The End boring. But either way, it is long.

\n

This not-so-real battle requires you to tap into your stealth ability to face off against The Boss's mentor and world's greatest sniper in something of a snipe-off. But be careful - one wrong move can send you right back to the beginning. That's why this fight winds up being so long. It requires precision and patience, and if you don't have it, you're likely to end the fight early via rage quitting. But if you take your time, you're sure to get the job done within an hour or two. 

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Yiazmat

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Final Fantasy XII
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Final Fantasy is known for creative and sometimes ridiculous bosses, so it should come as no surprise that the series features some rather long-winded boss battles. 

\n

Yiazmat from the twelfth game is one of the most recent of these famously long fights. This bad boy has an HP that is over 50 million -- sorry, not even a Vegeta 9000 joke can touch this. Out of all the bosses to grace the franchise, Yiazmat gets honorable mention because he holds the record for the most health out of any of the bosses - now that's serious. 

\n

Thanks to his out-of-this-world HP, the ability to administer sudden death hits and moves that petrify your character, Yiazmat takes gamers and average of 2-4 hours to defeat. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/6/6/3660e8c5650813e99b9e8ce8c1a3a22e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/6/6/tiny_3660e8c5650813e99b9e8ce8c1a3a22e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72175","description":"

Have you ever encountered a boss and just thought halfway through; "would you die already!?" Surely I'm not the only one.

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Boss battles are an integral part of gameplay and video games as a whole. They help push stories along, as well as test your skill level and ability as a gamer,. But even then, there are times where you find yourself asking "why?"

\n

Sometimes boss battles are too easy, and merely an insult to the intellect and skill of seasoned gamers. But other times they're nearly impossible and ridiculously long. Luckily this isn't a habit in games, but when it does happen it is worth mentioning.

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Keep reading for 8 of the longest boss battles gamers have faced in the last several years. 

"}]]]>
Final Fantasy XI: An End is Finally Coming https://www.gameskinny.com/od1bt/final-fantasy-xi-an-end-is-finally-coming https://www.gameskinny.com/od1bt/final-fantasy-xi-an-end-is-finally-coming Thu, 19 Mar 2015 05:22:31 -0400 GabrielKross

The story of FFXI is drawing to a close this year. Announced early this morning, The final expansion of FFXI, Rhapsodies of Vana'diel is launching May 2015, with the last major update to follow in November 2015. Furthermore, console support is ending in March of 2016. The PC version's service will continue.

As a former hardcore player of FFXI this news is both good and bad. It's good because there will be an ending to one of the absolute best MMO stories. On the other hand, there will no longer be anything to strive for once this new content is completed. For a game that's been around since 2002, it's heartbreaking to see the legacy coming to an end, I just hope the ending lives up to the story thus far.

Art by Tetsuya Nomura

During the press conference, Square Enix also announced a new mobile game coming called Final Fantasy Grandmasters. This game has no release date as of yet, but it's set in the world of Vana'diel just like Final Fantasy XI. They closed out the conference with an announcement that Nexon is developing a mobile client for FFXI, this is seperate from the Final Fantasy Grandmasters game.

Let me know your thoughts on this announcement in the comments below. Do you plan on returning to Vana'diel to see the story end? Are you glad it's ending, or do you wish the story would continue? 

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13 of The Longest Living Playstation 2 Multiplayer Games https://www.gameskinny.com/jgupp/13-of-the-longest-living-playstation-2-multiplayer-games https://www.gameskinny.com/jgupp/13-of-the-longest-living-playstation-2-multiplayer-games Mon, 12 May 2014 11:54:05 -0400 Elijah Beahm

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e54495c0b3188ce469d7802e72ed31a9.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e54495c0b3188ce469d7802e72ed31a9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"44947","description":"

Toasty! Both Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and Mortal Kombat: Deception are available as online fighter options for PS2. Considering Armageddon offers every character in the series ever, it was certainly a strong title for the closing time of the PS2's new releases.

These all aren't even counting the titles that lasted for years like Area 51 (which held out until 2012) and the PS2 entries of the SOCOM franchise. Are there any PS2 multiplayer games I missed? Any titles you wish were still active? Any fan-restoration efforts you've heard of? Let me know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d15cdd25d7ae0780a9dc483ad8ae537a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_d15cdd25d7ae0780a9dc483ad8ae537a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"44945","description":"

Resident Evil: Outbreak. This title was a divisive one, as it offered a multiplayer oriented survival horror experience back before the days of DayZ and the co-op shenanigans of Resident Evil 5 and 6.

\n

It was popular enough though that fans have restored the online support through hacks and a custom client. The reverse-engineered support however is limited to the Japanese versions at this present time.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a73d369b5435e622540a12b29a06838f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a73d369b5435e622540a12b29a06838f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"44944","description":"

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is another title that will be hurt by the discontinued support by EA, but thanks to the original already being saved by OpenSpy, it's likely the same will be the case for this one.

\n

Retaining an active player base on PC, PSP, and Playstation 2, it remains one of the most popular shooters of the PS2 era and one of the most popular Star Wars games period.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/685b3fc529146c90ed928a31abc33941.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_685b3fc529146c90ed928a31abc33941.jpg","type":"slide","id":"44943","description":"

Before the days of dubstep, single-player campaigns starring Hollywood actors, and killstreaks, there was Battlefield 2. As it turns out, Battlefield 2 was (and for the time being until EA shuts their official servers down) still popular and active on the PS2 through the spin-off title Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.

\n

Vehicle combat, infantry warfare, grand scale maps, commands, conquest -- you name it, they had it shoved tightly onto that single DVD disc.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9522c758751e5a4ea5866415203a5879.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_9522c758751e5a4ea5866415203a5879.jpg","type":"slide","id":"44941","description":"

X-Men! Attack! Yes, as crazy as it may seem considering Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 couldn't even keep its DLC active on PS3 and Xbox 360 for more than a few years after release, it is apparently possible to play X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse online through your PS2.

\n

So if you've been hankering for some dungeon crawling, mutant action, the X-Men are still there to satisfy that urge. If you want a more general Marvel roster though, Marvel Ultimate Alliance's first entry is also available with online support to boot!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/82400f2a9cc72efa8165163eb9e8db2e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_82400f2a9cc72efa8165163eb9e8db2e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"44939","description":"

Call of Duty: Finest Hour, Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, and Call of Duty 3 are all still available as online experiences.

\n

World at War lacked a multiplayer component for Playstation 2 but if you want some WWII shooting at its finest, Call of Duty remains an open option on PS2. Finest Hour and Big Red One are available through OpenSpy whilst Call of Duty 3 is still receiving official server support. Stimulus packages not needed.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/98681d43b5e60da69580b1ec7a93d7d7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_98681d43b5e60da69580b1ec7a93d7d7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"44936","description":"

Not only is Final Fantasy XI still active on PS2, it holds the claim to fame of releasing one of the last PS2 releases, an expansion pack back in 2013.

\n

It remains active on Playstation 2, Xbox 360, and PC, having been far more successful than its intended successor, Final Fantasy XIV.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/64f9530f6f56be3e791dc099642179ca.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_64f9530f6f56be3e791dc099642179ca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"44934","description":"

Disappointed you couldn't play the original Killzone multiplayer in its online form with the HD update? No worries, the original PS2 title's multiplayer is not only still online but has a small yet active player base.

\n

The title still has its own section in the Killzone forums, so if you wanted to see what the original game's multiplayer was all about, you can pop in a disc from your local used games store and try it out.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fe488816b2ebe6613cea00bca814102f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_fe488816b2ebe6613cea00bca814102f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"44931","description":"

With recent news of EA no longer supporting several PC and PS2 titles, it feels appropriate to honor those few stand out titles that have survive two new sets of console releases. These games have stood the test of time and maintained active servers to this day. Some (most notably Star Wars: Battlefront 2) were even still being produced and sold new at a few retailer outlets.

"}]]]>
FFXI: Eleventh Anniversary Campaign Brings Several Events https://www.gameskinny.com/c8g1g/ffxi-eleventh-anniversary-campaign-brings-several-events https://www.gameskinny.com/c8g1g/ffxi-eleventh-anniversary-campaign-brings-several-events Tue, 12 Nov 2013 14:06:08 -0500 GabrielKross

The eleventh anniversary of FFXI is upon us. Square Enix has brought us several rewards and events to commemorate the anniversary. Coincidently there are eleven events in total. The event started yesterday at 3 a.m. PST, and is to go until November 25th.

The Events:

There are many cool events offered.

  • Seal drop rate increase.
  • Double synthesis skill up events.
  • Double Skirmish Simulcra Segment drop rate.
  • Mog Gardens Event (1)
  • Mog Gardens Event (2)
  • Double Salvage Plan drop rate.
  • Double experience.
  • Double Monstrosity experience.
  • Abyssea event.
  • Repeat Login Campaign
  • Seals battlefield event.

Seal Drop Rate Increase:

Seals dropped from monsters will be doubled. This includes the new Sacred Kindred Seals. The increased rate is based on the number of members in your party, and caps out at six members.

Double Synthesis Skill Up:

During scheduled times, players will be able to gain double the skill ups while synthing items. All times listed below are in PST.

  • 3:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m.
  • 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Double Skirmish Simulcra Segment Drop Rate:

Simulcra Segment drop rate will be doubled for both Colonization and Lair Reives.

Mog Gardens Events (1) and (2):

Shining stars earned from entering your garden are doubled. Additionally, the Moogle inside your garden will sell seeds and fertilizer. The items available are listed below:

  • Golden Seed Pouch
  • Chestnut Tree Sap
  • Monarch Beetle Saliva
Double Salvage Plan Drop Rate:

Salvage II plan drop rate will be doubled.

Double Experience:

Any experience earned through killing monsters outside Abyssea will be doubled. This includes already enhanced experience gain from the Dedication effect.

Double Monstrosity Experience:

Doubles experience earned by monipulators. Dedication effects do not work for Monstrosity.

Abyssea Event:

The following lights will be set to 100 default: pearlescent, azure, golden, and silvery. Several rewards possible if you haven't previously obtained them. The possible rewards will be obtained through a blue treasure coffer in Port Jeuno. The box will be located next to Horst at position (H-8). The rewards are listed below.

  • 11 types of atma.
  • One Lunar Abyssite
  • 100,000 Crour
Repeat Login Campaign:

Players can earn rewards for logging in every day of the event. If you remain logged in, you will have to log all the way out and then back in for it to count. See the official Repeat Login Campaign details for the specifics.

Seal Battlefield Event:

Several of the seal battlefields will drop additional items during the event. Some items to be included are Dynamis currency and the items to make +2 Empyrean gear. See the official FFXI Anniversary announcement for more details on affected battlefields.

As you can see there is a lot going on for the next 12-13 days. Don't miss out on your chance to take part in this event.

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"Instant Gratification" Is It Ruining Our Online Experience? https://www.gameskinny.com/16g2t/instant-gratification-is-it-ruining-our-online-experience https://www.gameskinny.com/16g2t/instant-gratification-is-it-ruining-our-online-experience Sun, 29 Sep 2013 10:19:04 -0400 [[Deleted]]

MMORPG - Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, it's a term that most of us know well. Being an avid online gamer for just over a decade (since I was old enough to have a credit card to call my own) I can say there has been a definite shift in the way these games are played.

The Good Ol' Days

My first online experience, you could say wasn't even a "real" MMO: it was Phantasy Star Online for the Gamecube. It was more a straight dungeon runner game you could either play split screen with up to 4 players or online with a group of 4. The interesting part I found was that you could use one character both online and offline. Regardless, this game had no real player-based economy and the "measta" currency was basically useless since most players had the maximum carriable limit. Playing the dungeons was all about what level you were so you could play the harder levels and get even more super rare drops for unique and more powerful weapons and armor. You endlessly farmed the whooping 12 different areas with other people, and it was continuously fun

From there I graduated into the big leagues and played Final Fantasy XI. I created my character and was immediately lost on what to do. However, I asked around and it didn't take long to find some people to show me to the town exit so I could start whomping on monsters. Then I hit level 10 and I learned what the definition of MMO, It was time to find a party and band together to kill some pretty mean lizards, the monsters in my current area were no longer yielding experience points of any kind. In order to continue on to the next area you needed some friends, otherwise you'd get 5-hit and rolled over like a coin on railway tracks.

From then on, at least in the beginning of my 7-year FFXI playing streak the entire game was about finding a good party, trying to get to the next level, unlocking other jobs, and repeating this process. Then there were the storyline missions, dungeons, etc, to go through. And considering how hard it was to get a fully balanced party together just to progress through levels, at time the game seemed simply overwhelmingly difficult. 

However, that wasn't necessarily a bad thing, countless nights were "wasted" since you couldn't find a healer, or a tank, or a support, etc - you just couldn't get that final ingredient together to form a well-rounded and balanced team, but it was ok, I don't think most of those nights were truly wasted, after all. I met people, we talked about random things, wether it be current events, or gear, or play styles. Either way, we were actively engaged in a real conversation while scrambling to find that one last player to join us.

Sometimes it all came together, sometimes it didn't and you either disbanded to try again, sat around talking all night, or gave up and logged off. Even if it did all fall into place, there was plenty of time between fights when you needed to rest to recover your hp and mp, the conversations were always lively, well, most of the time. 

The Introduction of "Instant Gratification"

As much as I want to avoid pointing my fingers at a singular game... it was around the release of World of Warcraft that my world of FFXI started to change. Experience boosters started to come out, then after time and more MMO releases, experience quest books. Then, ultimately, an expansion pack came out basically designed to skip the leveling process by introducing an alternate world called "Abyessia" where you got together with 17 other players and slaughtered the same monsters over and over forever increasing XP, plus adding bonus XP for every set amount via quests, bonus XP from chest drops, HP and MP refills left for little to no downtime and you could, even with the increased level cap, hit max level in a day or two.

Then in an effort to make the game more "enjoyable," level restrictions were taken off and the mighty boss engagements became mere childs' play. For example, there was one boss, named "Promathia": he was overly huge in size and difficulty and it took a full alliance (3 groups of 6 people) + 2 reserve groups rotating in and out of combat in order to take him down. It was a grueling fight that lasted for hours. By the time I finished playing FFXI, I had duo'd him with a friend, and it wasn't even hard. Shortly after, I felt the game just wasn't the same, the strong sense of community seemed lost as people just gathered in a few areas to slaughter easy-kill monsters endlessly, and it was rare for a conversation to pop up, other than "we need someone lower level to sync levels with."

From there I hopped around a bit and I'm currently playing Guild Wars 2, however I've tried a plethora of other games, of all magnitudes: Phantasy Star Universe, FFXIV, WoW, Elsword, Rusty Hearts, AION, TERA, and the list goes on, and I have yet to find that same level of community. All these games seem to revolve around running around soloing monsters, gathering loot, and - except for some dungeons, world boss events, and the like - the online world lately seems to be more about playing an online game by yourself.

Yes, I'm in a good guild in Guild Wars 2, and we do have some pretty lively conversations on occasion, but for the most part there isn't a whole lot of just running into random people and talking. Everyone is too busy running around trying to level or grab loot. Even the zergs for temples and champ farming is pretty dead conversation, except for of course the outrages at people that interrupt the chain, were all too busy trying to get to the gratification of "accomplishing" something, wether it be getting some rare loot and making some money or gaining some levels... what happened to just playing the game?

So... am I right or wrong? Let me know what you think.

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How different games envision a role: Healer Edition https://www.gameskinny.com/h39xx/how-different-games-envision-a-role-healer-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/h39xx/how-different-games-envision-a-role-healer-edition Mon, 29 Jul 2013 20:51:07 -0400 GabrielKross

I was thinking about all the different approaches to roles in video games, so I figured I'd share my thoughts. This edition of role comparison is going to look at healers. A healer is a pretty self-explanatory role, you target someone and cast a healing spell, but why are there so many different ways to do this?

 Final Fantasy XI

Final Fantasy XI has a few different healer roles that all work differently. The three different roles are as follows.

  • White Mage
  • Scholar
  • Red Mage

First I'll go into the things that are common between all three. The targeting system is a tab target system where you can just scroll through the list of party or raid members to heal the individual that needs it. All three classes run the basic Cure I-IV single target healing spells. Cure IV is highly un-recommended due to its high amount of aggro generation from my last play of the game.

White Mage

White Mage is your primary healer in XI, it's set up to get the big heals off when and where they are needed. White Mage single target heals go up to Cure VI. The addition of Regen spells make it really easy to keep individual parties alive. White Mage also has a job ability that grants Stoneskin to characters that they heal as long as you keep the job ability active. This is the job you will see most often in an endgame event.

Scholar

Scholar, in Addendum White is a very useful healer as well. Scholar makes use of stratagems to do aoe buffs for support and aoe Regen spells for healing over time to make the total healing load less. A Scholar can still do big single target spells getting up to Cure V, so as long as Regen is kept active a Scholar can rival a White Mage in healing.

Red Mage

While a Red Mage isn't a primary healer, you'll want at least one in your raid to support healing. Red Mage gets up to Regen 3 and Cure IV so while it is out classed by the other healers it can cover the minor concerns so that the primary healers can cover the major ones. Red Mage however gets Refresh and Refresh II granting MP regeneration over time. So while a Red Mage is covering the minor heals it's also supporting the primary healers by giving them mp.

Final Fantasy XIV

As of right what has been playable to date there is only one healer in Final Fantasy XIV. Conjurer which becomes White Mage is your healing class. Upon release a second class  will become available which will unlock a healer job as well. Arcanist wich can branch into the Scholar job will also be a healer. Since Not a lot is known on how Scholar will work yet besides it's fairy being used to help heal I'll only cover Conjurer and White Mage.

Conjurer/White Mage

Conjurer which becomes White Mage is a bit different in this game. It's still primarily focused on buffing and healing, but it also receives some of the elemental spells, such as Stone and Aero. In XIV these are primarily debuff spells, Stone adding weight debuff on top of the damage, and Aero being a damage over time spell. The healer/support limit break is on par with the Benediction skill from Final Fantasy XI, so overall it's a pretty interesting new spin on a classic job.

Tera

Tera has only two healer classes, Mystic and Priest. The biggest thing about Tera is it's a point and click style. So a healer has to constantly be running around and manually locking on to targets to heal them. The focus heal is about the only thing these two classes have in common everything else is different.

Priest

The Priest class has more support buffs, lock-on heals, and aoe heals. In theory the Priest class would be the primary healing class if you could find a Priest with the skill to handle it. Unfortunately even with these advantages and the increased effect of Energy Stars in a recent update Priest is still taken less than Mystic.

Mystic

Unlike Priest's multitude of heals Mystic has around three actual heals. The first is a focused heal that allows targeting of multiple party members. The second is an indirect heal, where the Mystic drops an orb and the party member picks it up as needed for a heal over time effect. The third, which has been broken since a recent update is a summon skill. The mystic summons a pet that heals the mystic and the party for a short time. This skill is broken due to the hp decrease of the pet. The mystic is taken over priest due to the fact that a priest can buff before entering a location and then the mystic crit aura and mp regen aura can be used.

Guild Wars 2

The last game I will cover is Guild Wars 2. This game doesn't really have a standardized healer class, the closest thing to that would be Elementalist in water element mode. What Guild Wars 2 does is give the different races and classes unique skills that can optimize team performance. That accompanied with unique weapon skills that you can swap weapons in combat to use make the need of a single individualized healer obsolete.

I hope this has given you some insight to how healers work in different games.

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FFXI vs. FFXIV https://www.gameskinny.com/v4q23/ffxi-vs-ffxiv https://www.gameskinny.com/v4q23/ffxi-vs-ffxiv Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:45:05 -0400 John Babilonia

Ever since Final Fantasy XIV's release in 2010, it has been judged as a newer version of its predecessor, Final Fantasy XI.  Seeing as the bulk of XIV players were making the transition over from XI, the statement does make sense among the consumer populist for the game.  With obvious resemblance to XI, XIV introduced what most would say to be a better looking version of the previous MMO.

Graphics and limitations.

Square Enix explained how XI was limited because of it being both a console and a PC game (the first MMO to port over to a console) hindering any chance of the actual game to render differently on better platforms.  This limitation was not present for XIV which ultimately lead players to believe that the game was designed in XI's image.

New age mechanics.

Final Fantasy XI

XI stayed true to previous Final Fantasy titles implementing a turn-based combat system, the compelling storytelling elements, and the engaging lore present in all previous games in its family.  Compared to World of Warcraft, XI did not use a questing method for character growth (or leveling) but instead made use of its environment and plethora of wildlife (monsters) to encourage exploration.  Open world content set it apart from many MMO to come after and before its release.  With the installment of time spawn NM (Notorious Monsters) that rewarded players with rarely attainable items upon victory, XI became progressively competitive in-game. 

Final Fantasy XIV

XIV on the other hand did not have so much in common as far as content.  The mechanics were shifted towards a more mobile style of combat and less emphasis on spending indefinite amounts of time camping NM.  Very rarely did players see a reference to older Final Fantasy titles or the use of lore within its underdeveloped story line.  Spending even as little as three hours on the game, XI players could of expected a very different experience than they did in the last MMO.

An unfinished product.

There is no argument suitable enough to defend the fact that XIV was rushed and underdeveloped by release. Content was scarce until the addition of Ifrit and two more dungeons (Aurum Vale and Cutter's Cry) after version 1.19.  The time in which it took Square Enix to add newer content made it impossible to charge a subscription fee upon release and kept the game in a perpetual beta test.  This would deter even the more familiar fan base from purchasing the game or continue to play it.

Ultimately the original team behind XIV were relinquished of their positions and replaced with a new producer and team. Naoki Yoshida and his team rushed to saved the game in the same manner it was released.  Introducing a new combat system, battle content, giving the Disciples of the Hand and Land a more in depth purpose, and expanding on existing content within the last few version updates.  Along with his efforts to save the dying game Square Enix also re-established a monthly subscription of 10 USD per month with the promise of a special status (Legacy Status) for players who continued playing the game through its long beta phase and subscribed for a certain period of time, both as a "thank you" and an incentive to continue supporting the game.

Back to the drawing board.

In the end Yoshida decided to scratch the current project and completely rework the game. Closing down XIV servers and putting a halt on playtime, he hoped to start anew and create a better game than previously released.  This left many players confused when announced from a consumer's perspective.  Some arguments lead us to believe that the new team was not able to work with the older build because it was almost impossible to rework the functionality issues and in-game bugs.  From a more adapt perspective some would argue that it would make more sense to rework the entire game instead of working out the abundance of technical issues that range from client to player side failures.

The new build now called Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn still left many of XI's transitioning fan base weary of the games direction. Many are still reluctant to forgive and forget and let the new developers create a new game.  The mechanics from XI are still vastly desired to be implemented in FFXIV: ARR.  Granted that the game already shows signs of a better improved client, graphics, and AI.  The familiarity of the new game is refreshing for many Final Fantasy fans with the addition of story and lore not present during 1.0.  The same level of time dependent competition as rewarding as it may of been, is now part of a legacy and not a recurring theme.

Although there are many aspects of FFXIV: ARR that blatantly resemble other popular MMO, it is still a Final Fantasy game.  The environmental designs and story elements are still a major factor that make these games so intriguing.  Also, take into consideration that it is not a sandbox game, the story flow matches the progression for newer and older players to enjoy at a casual level. Yoshida made great efforts to introduce breathtaking and equally difficult content during the last days of 1.0, and even though a lot of the endgame is still unclear as to how challenging it may be after the game is finally released, it would seem irrational if he did not add similar mechanics that made fights like Ifrit (Extreme) difficult.

(Its like the only image I could find with a wipe~)

It is completely understandable that previous XI players, being the bulk of XIV players, want content that worked flawlessly for XI, but with the introduction of newer MMO up to date with the current market, FFXIV: ARR not only has to bring in the fan base but also the new age consumer.  The game also has a subscription fee which seems to be a dying breed this day in age, not being able to attract a wider audience will lead the already over budget game to its downfall.

(Lets hope it doesn't come to that..)

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Needless Grinding, Staggered Releases, Bad Translations and Silly Names: The 4 Horsemen of the JRPG Apocalypse https://www.gameskinny.com/qd75t/needless-grinding-staggered-releases-bad-translations-and-silly-names-the-4-horsemen-of-the-jrpg-apocalypse https://www.gameskinny.com/qd75t/needless-grinding-staggered-releases-bad-translations-and-silly-names-the-4-horsemen-of-the-jrpg-apocalypse Thu, 23 May 2013 13:03:19 -0400 Max Jay

I, for one, am not a fan of JRPGs.

I have liked one JRPG in my entire gaming life, and that was Final Fantasy X (which, in my nearly infinite childhood stupidity, I called “Final Fantasy Ex.” It’s okay, you can laugh).  

I remember spending HOURS playing that game… Something in the neighborhood of 26 hours in two days.

Of course, I didn't beat it.

Sin was crazy hard and I didn't feel like slaying ten billion level 2 Fire Anuses with my comically huge sword for another 72 hours to get to the end. In my experienced opinion, that is a significant problem.

**There is no way you're one-handing that thing**

Grinding Sucks

Barely anyone likes grinding (feel free to debate with me on this topic). It makes sense to have it within the context of a game I guess, but after a point it's not fun and it can ruin the flow of a solid turn based JRPG. I also understand that this style is a tradition within the realm of JRPGs; it was how RPGs began! We can't just eliminate the turn based play-style, and while I personally would rather be strapped to the back of a truck and dragged through a desert naked, grinding is something that is inseparable from the classic JRPG equation.

But the traditional turn based style was implemented due to technical restrictions (limited animations and whatnot), which renders the classic play style not only obsolete, but also archaic. It’s equivalent to using a horse and buggy to get around as opposed to a bus, cab, or personal vehicle. But fear not, sad people: there is a solution! Make the combat better!

**Just kill 7,000,000 more and we'll level up**

In recent years JRPGs have been experimenting a little more. Games like Eternal Sonata, and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, allow a sort of turn-based strategy with more in-battle freedom and depth. Unfortunately those games didn't really get the attention they deserve, in spite of solid reviews (80 and 85 on Metacritic respectively). For the record I've only played Eternal Sonata briefly (still not my jam, though its unique theme was a breath of fresh air) and I'm waiting for Ni no Kuni to get a bit more of a price reduction before I pick it up.

To expand upon these novel gameplay ideas is the key to appealing to the Western market, which in today’s industry climate is the linchpin to commercial success. I honestly don’t think that Japanese developers are lazy or stuck in the past or anything (which certain industry professionals have recently declared). I think they're tremendously talented people that over-concentrate on unimportant things, like how real they can make human skin look. I'm not sure they realize that - while impressive - we don't really care. We just want good games. I really don’t need to see every pore of a digital person; at a certain point it just seems like they’re trying to throw a cosmetically impressive curtain over the deformed monster into which JRPGs have morphed. You can tell when someone has had excessive plastic surgery over, and over, and over: It’s the same concept: spending too much time on trying to make things look better without improving actual gameplay will only enrage gamers. And we are an unforgiving, and sometimes hypercritical, bunch.

The overall aim of grinding is to make the player feel like they’re overcoming insurmountable odds in a gradual and organic fashion, but it gets to be too much. However, plenty of games balance grinding with compelling combat, great story and similarly vast scale. Having gamers spend $60 on a game only to say “now kill things for 200 hours so you can beat it,” then claiming to have a game that’s over 200 hours is really lame. It would be like buying a car for good gas mileage, only to find out you have to propel the damn thing Flintstones style everywhere you go, then having the dealer tell you, “look how many miles you can get without filling up!” At the end of the day, it’s misleading and kind of obnoxious.


**Wait.. when did she say.... Wait, what?**

You're Kidding Me... Right? RIGHT?!

Another issue that has actually been vastly improved upon in this console generation is the JRPG's absolutely dim-witted dialogue. I realize that all of this is written in Japanese, and I appreciate the time and money it takes to translate that volume of text have it read well, but guys… it is seriously painful sometimes. I’m not exaggerating here, it puts me physical and emotional pain to the point where, were you in the U.S., I could hire a lawyer, sue you for emotional distress and win. You spend 5 years and $18 million on this game; I would literally come in TOMORROW for FREE and just say: “No that sounds like a 6-year-old wrote it, which would be adorable… but you’re not 6, so change that immediately.” The ham-fisted dialogue has to be cut out in order to have anyone take the game seriously. It makes the characters completely unrelatable, and could potentially ruin important plot moments within a story.

**"Maybe if we look up all pensive-like they'll think we're cool?"**

What's in a Name?

Less important, but within the same vein: stop giving characters names like ‘Lightning’ and ‘Snow.’ The only people in the world with those names are Brooklyn hipsters and Gwyneth Paltrow’s children. I’m not saying that you should name them ‘Bill’ or ‘Travis’ either, but you can be edgy and unique without being silly. Or you could always pull a Kojima (I know he doesn’t make JRPGs, but he’s a Japanese developer) and give everyone ridiculous/awesome code names to compensate thematically for the silly name you want to give the character. Someone named ‘Amanda’ with a code name ‘Lightning’ is infinitely cooler than someone trying to convince us that someone’s parents willingly named her 'Lightning'. I’ll grant that this is nit-picky, but it takes me out of the game and makes me doubt the legitimacy of the world on which the developers are trying to sell me.

 

**Couldn't have said it better myself**

Stop With the Staggered Releases

In today's world with all the MyFaces and Twitter-machines staggered releases have become a sin comprable to hate crimes. JRPG fans want their games on the shelves of their stores, not imported. The reason for these staggered releases (which all too often turn into never releases) is that the developer is not sure if bringing a game to the U.S. and E.U. regions is worth their time and money. Japanese developers have been having a terrible time 'reaching' the Western gamer this past generation, and while it may be more cost effective, they end up alienating an entire region of the world. Then, if the games do manage to make it to the other regions the developers sit and scratch their heads when the sales are terrible.

The biggest problem with staggered releases isn't the release itself, but the marketing post-Japanese release. The game looses momentum; the press forgets, the gamers forget and the hardcore fans feel left out. It's a real shame because you can have a great game like Valkyria Chronicles (definitely real screenshot pictured above) sitting on a shelf collecting dust for something that could have been avoided by just delaying the game for a couple of months. 

These things have gotten better with time, but it’s beginning to seem too little too late. All the industry needs is one really great, AAA, multiplatform JRPG to get the world back on the side of companies like Square Enix, which has been floundering for several years now. The president and CEO of Square Enix America, Mike Fischer, even left today, which could be indicative of the company’s troubles as a whole. Games like Final Fantasy used to be the pinnacle of the gaming universe; yet recently they have been degraded to a series of in-jokes and misplaced expectations.


**More please...**

JRPGs are not lacking in creativity. They often have very stylish and well designed characters, and worlds that are compelling and fun to explore. But as the industry continues to grow, so too must our games, and this is one thing the JRPG fails to do. No one would expect anyone to purchase and play a first person shooter that plays like Doom, not because it wasn't and isn't good, but because literally no one will pay full price for something we've played before (except for Call of Duty... they market really well).

There are few genres with more passionate or dedicated fans than the JRPG, so what do you guys and gals think? Are you still waiting on bated breath for the next JRPG, or are you sick and tired of the same old stuff. Am I being too harsh, or are there truths in my words? Comment down below, I love a good debate! If you do maybe we can be best friends forever!

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Breaking into Tabletop RPGs as an MMO Player Part 1 https://www.gameskinny.com/accyy/breaking-into-tabletop-rpgs-as-an-mmo-player-part-1 https://www.gameskinny.com/accyy/breaking-into-tabletop-rpgs-as-an-mmo-player-part-1 Wed, 01 May 2013 08:41:06 -0400 Joseph Rowe

With Neverwinter going into open beta this week, there will undoubtedly be tons of new players who grow curious about what actual Dungeons and Dragons is like. Even if you're not participating in the open beta and are from another MMO, you're most likely here because you want to learn more about tabletop RPGs.

What is a Tabletop RPG?

This is a bit difficult to define due to various players' differing definitions, but I think the easiest way to understand it is to dissect what role-playing game implies. The role-playing part covers how players will describe their character's actions and speak as him/her. The game aspect covers the rule mechanics in place, ranging from stats to abilities to dice rolls.

This concept becomes easier to understand through example; let's take a look at the archetypal pen-and-paper RPG Dungeons and Dragons.

The Player

Players will have a character sheet with their stats, inventory, abilities, etc. as well as a set of dice for determining whether or not their player can perform an action which, in D&D 4th edition (which will be elaborated on later), depends on the difficulty class the Dungeon Master sets.

The character creation in most games will feature a way to generate ability scores. Players will usually either roll for their scores, use a standard array (pre-generated numbers they apply to each score), or use a point buy system which is seen in a lot of video games.

In D&D, there are six ability scores: strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma. A modifier number exists based on what your score in the given attribute is. Characters with a score of 8-9 in a stat will get a -1, 10-11 a +0, 11-12 a +1, etc. So, if a character has a charisma score of 12, they will get a +1 bonus to dice rolls that use that score.

Let's use the the Neverwinter setting (same as the new MMO) for this example: the player of a Half-Orc Barbarian wants to intimidate a Nasher agent. The player would roll a d20 (20-sided die) and add their charisma modifier to the number they rolled and add any appropriate modifiers from things like buffs or debuffs.

If the difficulty class (number needed to be met or exceeded for an action to succeed) is 15 and the player rolls a 14 on the die but has a modifier of at least +1, then the player will have successfully intimidated the Nasher agent.

Some players are satisfied simply playing with only the mechanical functions of the game. These are players who are usually more interested in the strategic part of the miniature combat in games like D&D 4th edition. However, many, if not most, players think that role-playing is more important than mechanics, myself included.

If you are an actor, a writer, or even just a creative person in general, role-playing will most likely become addictive. At first, pretending to be a Dwarf Cleric might seem a bit awkward, but as soon as you let yourself become immersed, you can have the kind of fun that is nigh impossible to achieve in a video game.

Many video game RPGs pride themselves on the freedom they give their players, but ultimately, choosing whether or not your character's dialogue makes it seem like he's a jerk or a protector of the weak pales in comparison to what you can do in a game like D&D, Shadowrun, or Exalted.

What is it that you can do? Well, practically anything you can think of, so long as the Dungeon Master (DM) allows it.

The Dungeon Master/Game Master

Outside of D&D, this role is usually referred to as a Game Master (GM). The DM takes the role of the computer in video games. To put it simply, s/he controls non-player characters, creates the plot of the campaign, makes the towns and dungeons players will visit, and is more or less a referee that enforces the rules.

Being a DM is much more work than playing a character, but it provides a level of satisfaction on a different level than what playing a good character does.

When you play an interesting character, you're doing a good job writing one part and acting it out. When you are an interesting DM, you're doing a good job writing several parts and acting them out, more or less ruling over an entire (in-game) universe, and most importantly creating ways for your players to have fun.

While the ability to create your own universe and make interesting plot lines is alluring, the key to being a successful DM is to ensure that your players and yourself are having fun.

Unfortunately, I do not have the space to write in the required detail just what it takes to be a good DM or a good player. Luckily, source books for Dungeons and Dragons and other RPGs will lead you in the right direction for that.

Check out the second half of this article to find out how to get started and what to expect in your first venture into D&D and tabletop RPGs in general.

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Final Fantasy XI Update! https://www.gameskinny.com/0hkq3/final-fantasy-xi-update https://www.gameskinny.com/0hkq3/final-fantasy-xi-update Tue, 29 Jan 2013 11:34:56 -0500 JediSange

Final Fantasy XI is a game that has been around a long time.  With the announcement of its online sequel, Final Fantasy XIV, a lot of players thought Square would give up on this old maid.  However, since that announcement we have seen massive developments in the game with the addition of several mini-expansions, level cap increases, and a wealth of new end-game content that is geared specifically at low-man groups.

Yesterday, FFXI released it's newest patch.  It is geared at an in-game event known as Meeble Burrows.  

Meeble Burrows is dungeon content in which intrepid players sneak into underground caves and participate in various research expeditions, delving ever farther until they best the dreadful beasts in the far recesses of the caverns.

It reminds me of an older system in the game that saw very little success, Mobline Maze Mongers.  However, it seems this new event is going to drop some pretty awesome equipment.

With constant updates that provide new content and gear for their players, Square is also slated to release it's new expansion, Seekers of Adoulin, on March 26th.

Source

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Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin Expansion Coming in March https://www.gameskinny.com/qtzfm/final-fantasy-xi-seekers-of-adoulin-expansion-coming-in-march https://www.gameskinny.com/qtzfm/final-fantasy-xi-seekers-of-adoulin-expansion-coming-in-march Mon, 31 Dec 2012 16:09:27 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Final Fantasy XI is still alive and kicking, and the game is getting a new expansion for those still enjoying their time in Vana'diel. Seekers of Adoulin will be bringing new locations, enemies, job classes, and more to the game -- and it may be just what the doctor ordered for fans waiting for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to launch.

Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin will be adding a new continent, dubbed Ulbuka, which will contain several new areas for adventurers to explore. Even more exciting are the two new job classes coming: Geomancer and Rune Fencer, both of which looking to do something new among the already expansive class selection found in the game.

There is more to be revealed on the expansion, but we don't get a look at that yet!

Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin will be making its way to PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game on March 26th in North America and March 27th in Europe. The PlayStation 2 version will also be getting the expansion in Japan, making it one of the last titles to be released on the console.

Source: Official Site
Via: Massively

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