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Final Fantasy XI
Fainaru Fantajī XI
Developer(s) Square Co., Ltd.
Publisher(s) Square Co., Ltd.
Release date
Playstation 2 version:
Japan May 16, 2002
United States/Canada March 23, 2004

PC version:

United States Canada October 28, 2003
Europe Australia September 27, 2004

Xbox 360 version:

United States Canada April 18, 2006
Japan April 20, 2006
Europe/Australia April 21, 2006
Game modes Massive Multiplayer Online
Ratings ESRB:TeenTeen
USK: 12+ 12+
OFLC: G8+ (PC); PG (X360)
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox 360

Final Fantasy XI, also known as Final Fantasy XI Online is the franchise's first MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online RPG). Final Fantasy XI was the world's first cross-platform MMORPG, currently available for Windows, PlayStation 2, and Xbox 360.

Due to the nature of online RPGs, Final Fantasy XI differs from previous installments of the series, in that you are not the only hero. Instead, each player creates a customizable character and adventures through the world of Vana'diel with other players; leveling up, exploring, completing missions, quests, and much more. Like most of the gameplay, leveling up requires a group of people working together in what is called a 'Party', each contributing their own skills to help take down the foe and gain experience points. Battles occur in real-time, taking the ATB system to a new level, which was emulated again to a certain extent in Final Fantasy XII.

Currently there are some five hundred thousand people playing FFXI, utilizing over two million characters. With constant updates and Expansions added to the game, Vana'diel is not a static world; instead, it changes and evolves with the passage of time.



Basic Gameplay

In this party situation, a Monk uses large amounts of damage to keep their Enmity above everyone else's, and thus keep the monster occupied on them. However, in the second picture, the Ranger has done too much damage, gaining massive Enmity and taking the monsters' attention off the Monk, putting their character in danger of a K.O
Players start by creating a character which may be customized. Unlike previous games in the series, Final Fantasy XI allows a player to choose Race, Gender, facial features, hair color, and height. Players then select one of three starter cities to pledge allegiance to and reside in — the Republic of Bastok, the Kingdom of San d'Oria, or the Federation of Windurst. Life in Vana'diel then begins.

Final Fantasy XI's main plot lines are advanced through Missions, which are offered from city-states and several NPCs. While advancing the game's story, Missions also offer various rewards, such as items, Rank, and access to new areas. NPCs also offer various Quests, which are story-based activities separate from the game's main plot. Compared to Missions, Quests are generally shorter in length, and more numerous in number. Quests flesh out the game's world, offer various rewards, and enhance a player's Fame, an invisible status which affects NPC reactions to the player's character.

Battles in Final Fantasy XI take place within the game world; no separate screen is loaded, as is common in previous Final Fantasy games. Instead, monsters can be found roaming the land, and can be freely attacked. Some monsters may also attack the player, retaining some "random battle" elements from previous games. Final Fantasy uses a "Claim" and "Enmity" system with regard to monsters. Once an aggressive action is taken against a foe, it becomes "claimed" as part of the record of the character performing the action — this prevents any passersby from interfering. Others may help with the battle if a Party is formed. Partying allows selected players to group together and take down foes, which is standard in most game play. When in a Party, monsters' aggressive actions are determined by an "Enmity" system. Almost every action taken during a battle generates Enmity, commonly referred to as "Hate"; whoever possess the most Enmity will have the monsters' attention, and subsequently be attacked. A key to succeeding in Party battle is managing Enmity in order to protect vulnerable party members; there are several means at the player's disposal to accomplish this.

Job System

Final Fantasy XI uses the concept of changing jobs in a similar fashion to Final Fantasy III, and currently has 20 jobs available for play. Each job has unique abilities, which must be activated by the player in order to come into effect, last a limited time, and have a cool-down period before they can be used again. Traits are also standard to each job, which are passive abilities that are always in effect. Additionally, each job has a special two-hour ability that performs some extraordinary function to help in a dire situation. Players must use this special power wisely because, as the name suggests, it can only be released once every two hours. Players are able to change jobs any time they wish inside their Mog House.

The unique system of Final Fantasy XI's job system is the "Support Job." This system allows a player to augment their character with Abilities, Traits, and Spells from another chosen job at half the level of their current job. For instance, a Level 20 Warrior could set Ninja as their support job. This allows them to use all Ninja Abilities, Traits, and Spells up to that of a Level 10 Ninja, while still primarily being a Level 20 warrior. The support job system allows for job-merges never before seen in the Final Fantasy series.

The six standard jobs available to pick at the start of the game are:

Beside the six standard jobs, there are also fourteen extra jobs in the game. These are accessible by levelling a standard job to 30, and then completing a quest in order to unlock the new job. These jobs are:

Weapon Skills

Final Fantasy XI's incarnation of Limit Breaks are Weapon Skills. Physical Damage given and received fills a Tactical Points bar, to a maximum of 300%. Any amount above 100% is able to be used up by being channeled into a Weapon Skill. These skills vary in effect depending on job class, what weapon is equipped, how full the Tactical Points bar is, and how proficient the player is with the weapon. If adventuring with others, players may use these Weapon Skills in succession in order to create a Skillchain. A Skillchain creates additional damage after a series of Weapon Skills are used. Building on this even further, Magic used on a Skillchain at the right time will receive a damage boost; this is called a Magic Burst. In order to create the best possible Skillchains and Magic Bursts, players must work together, focusing on each others actions and timing.

Leveling and Partying

As in some previous Final Fantasy games, leveling up in Final Fantasy XI is based upon Experience Points. Experience points can be gained by several means, including defeating foes, completing Quests, finishing Missions, Campaign Battles, and various other activities. Generally, the most efficient way to gain Experience points with the intention to level up is to Party. A Party is a group of up to six people working together in order to bring down foes for EXP. Partying allows each job to excel at their roll, and subsequently kill harder monsters faster, thus giving more EXP than solo play. For instance, a White Mage excels at keeping others alive, but they are, however, physically weak and defenseless. Subsequently, they would find it difficult to kill hard foes. However, if a White Mage Parties with a Paladin, who excels at physical defense and Enmity generation, and a Monk whose specialty lies in damage output, the three can work together using their strengths and bring down powerful foes, netting lots of experience. Killing hard monsters quickly in succession grants a bonus to experience, known as a Chain.

The Enmity system discussed earlier comes into full force when Partying, as it is essential to keep powerful monsters diverted away from those in the party who have low defense, such as Black and White Mages. Players must pick and choose actions while thinking about how it will affect their Enmity, and therefore the entire group. Because of this, certain jobs are tasked with trying to create the most Enmity possible, in order to hold the monster's attention. Skillchains and Magic Bursts may also be used in Parties.

The maximum level attainable in Final Fantasy XI is 75. When this is reached, a player starts converting EXP earned to Limit Points. Limit Points can be used to customize a player's character, effectively being used to buy new Abilities, Traits, and Stats.



The area of Vana'diel that is currently accessible to players, said to be about 1/4 of the world. Marked are the major continents and the five nations of the Enlightened Races.
Main article: Vana'diel

Final Fantasy XI takes place in the world of Vana'diel, a diverse planet with regions ranging from blinding-hot deserts to ice-cold glaciers. Vana'diel's inhabitants range from the Enlightened Races and Beastmen to simple fiends.

Ancient lore states that Vana'diel was created as a playground for the Gods, who themselves were spawned form an enormous and sentient Crystal. For eons, the Gods joyfully played until eventually falling into a deep slumber. It was during this slumber that the children of the Gods rose and flourished in Vana'diel, extracting gold from stones, traveling through the sky, building mighty cities, and giving birth to grasslands across the world.

Eventually, the children longed to join their parents, and constructed a pathway to the Divine Entrance of Paradise. Enraged by such an insolent act, the Holy Gatekeeper smote the children, and cast their cities to the bottom of the sea.

Shortly thereafter, the Goddess Altana awoke, and saw the ruin that had once been Vana'diel. Filled with an emotion that the likes of a God had never felt before — sadness — Altana wept five divine tears. When the five tears fell upon the earth, they gave life to the five races of Vana'diel.

However, the God of Twilight, Promathia, observed this act from his place in the shadows. Promathia saw fit to condemn her weakness and the life that arose from it. Promathia cursed the five races with eternal conflict amongst themselves by bringing forth their darkest attributes. The apathy of the Humes, the arrogance of the Elvaan, the rage of the Galka, the cowardice of the Tarutaru, and the envy of the Mithra. He created terrible beasts and spread them across the world, commanding them to forever fight the people of Vana'diel and occupy their minds. Never again would anyone think to open the Gate of the Gods.

Recent History

Main article: History of Vana'diel

20 years ago, The Great Crystal War ravaged Vana'diel. The Shadow Lord united the Beastmen races and lead them into war, and their armies waged total destruction on the five enlightened races of Altana, bringing chaos to the land.

In the opening stages of the war, the nations of Vana'diel attempted to fight the Beastmen independently, only to suffer repeated losses against their enemies' vastly-superior numbers. At the behest of Archduke Kam'lanaut of Jeuno, the nations of San d'Oria, Bastok, Windurst, and Tavnazia put aside their historical enmities, and for the first time in history stood united as the Allied Forces of Altana. As the isolated nations began sharing information and resources, they gradually developed the infrastructure to plan operations that would span entire continents.

After more then two years of bloody battles, the Alliance of Altana defeated the Shadow Lord and his Beastmen forces. Victory came at a high price, however — many of the city-states were in ruins, and Tavnazia was completely wiped off the map altogether. The death toll was estimated to be in the tens of thousands.

Vana'diel has drastically changed in the 20 years since the war; a period of tentative calm presides. The Alliance of Altana still stands between the remaining nations, and with it comes a new age. Many places have managed to rebuild and achieve some standards of life that existed before the Great War, while trade and Airship routes between once-isolated nations now exist. The city-states have not yet fully recovered from the drastic loss of personnel, and subsequently rely on every day Adventurers to do their bidding. Adventurers are charged with the task of maintaining the fragile peace across the lands, as rumors of a brooding darkness once again begin to circulate.

Playable Races

The five Enlightened Races of Vana'diel are available to play as:
From left to right; A Galka, Mithra, Hume, Elvaan and TaruTaru
The Humes built their city, the Republic of Bastok, in the wastes of Gustaburg. They posses near-equal abilities in all fields, and are physically-basic compared to other races. It is the Humes' adaptability that has spread them throughout the lands, making them the most numerous of the five races. Humes are said to suffer from the sin of Apathy.
The most imposing of all the races, the Galka possess towering, bulky physiques. Their home city was destroyed hundreds of years ago by the Anticans, making the Galkan people refugees. Many have since settled in Bastok with the Humes; however, they are regarded as an underclass. Galkas are unique from other races, as they posses no gender, instead reproducing through reincarnation. They posses high Vitality and HP, but have the lowest MP of the five races. They are said to suffer from the sin of Rage.
Native to The Kingdom of San d'Oria, the Elvaan are characterised by their tall, slender figures and large, pointed ears. Many Elvaan are deeply religious, possessing an unbreakable faith that is reflected in their everyday life. They are blessed with high Strength and Mind; however, also possessing low Intelligence. The Elvaan are said to suffer from the sin of Arrogance.
The cat-like race of Mithras posses a gender imbalance, with a high ratio of females to males. As such, only women are allowed away from the safety of their homeland to adventure around Vana'diel. They posses excellent Agility and Dexterity. Mithras are said to suffer from the sin of Envy.
The tiny Tarutarus' age is not reflected in their size. Residing in the Federation of Windurst, the Tarutaru are famed for their discovery and development of magic, which they excel at, thanks to their high Intelligence. However, the small physique of a Taru means they have the lowest Strength compared to other races. Tarutaru are said to suffer from the sin of Cowardice.


For storyline added by expansion packs, please see the Expansions Section below.


Expansion Packs

Final Fantasy XI currently has four expansion packs available. Each pack adds its own new story to the game for players to complete. New areas are also available to explore where the player my find new weapons, armor, equipment, creatures, and even new methods of gameplay (e.g., Assault, Campaign, or Besieged):

  • Final Fantasy XI: Rise of the Zilart
Stating immediately after the original FFXI story is completed, the player finds out that two of the ancient Zilart race survived extinction. The player must fight to find out the truth behind the Great Crystal War, and stop the Gate of the Gods from opening, which will destroy Vana'diel as we know it.
  • Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia
After discovering a way to enter the gigantic ancient Crags that can be found all over the middle lands, a phenomenon known as "The Emptiness" is found to be eating away at the heart of Vana'diel. A mysterious pale child seems to be at the center of the goings-on. Could the old tales of the Twilight God Promathia be somehow related?
  • Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan
The xenophobic Aht Urhgan Empire opens its borders to the Middle Lands after years of self-imposed isolation. Worried about this new power, the leaders of each city send a representative to assess the situation. You are chosen for the task of unearthing the Empire's true intentions, and begin to uncover the secrets of the life-giving Astral Candescence, Dark Riders, and Dauntless Pirates.
  • Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess
Cavernous Maws appearing all over the land have been found to teleport people backwards in time 20 years, a time when the Great Crystal War raged. The player is greeted by Cait Sith, who asks for their help in easing the suffering of the people in this time period. What effects could this have on the future?


In addition to the Expansion Packs, there are three add-on chapters. Unlike full expansion packs, which expand the world of Vana'diel, add-ons focus primarily on adding story to the game:

  • Final Fantasy XI: A Crystalline Prophecy: Ode to Life Bestowing
A mysterious crystal appears above Vana'diel, singing of the world's demise. Adventurers must find out why this crystal has appeared, and who this young boy resembling Aldo is...
  • Final Fantasy XI: A Moogle Kupo d'Etat: Evil in Small Doses
The storyline begins simply, with an innocent drop of rainwater that falls upon a ramshackle Moogle house. However, this minor event unleashes a nightmare never before seen in the history of Moogle-kind.
  • Final Fantasy XI: A Shantotto Ascension: The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born
After an unexplained absence, Professor Shantotto returns to Windurst, and then begins to shock her colleagues with outrageous behavior. Shantotto then goes as far as to declare herself the ruler of her own personal empire. Adventurers must go out into the world to discover the source behind the new Empress's change in character.


The original idea for Final Fantasy XI was conceived by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and the game was first announced in 2000 at the Square Millennium Event in Japan, along with the announcements for Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XI. The very first teaser trailer can be seen here: [1].

Packaging Artwork

External Links

  • Official Final Fantasy XI promotional site
  • Official PlayOnline site
  • Final Fantasy XI at Wikipedia
  • Final Fantasy XI Wiki
  • Allakhazam Community Forum
  • Killing Ifrit Community Forum
  • BlueGartr Community Forum
  • FFXI Map Database
  • Live Auction House & Community

This article uses material from the "Final Fantasy XI" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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