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Article - 'The Future Of Gaming: Final Fantasy XI' by Darius

An item about Miscellanious posted on Aug 8, 2003


An article from the series called "The Future Of Gaming: A Look At What's To Come" based on the up-coming Final Fantasy XI.


-The Future Of Gaming: A Look At What's To Come-

Where are games going? What's coming out next? How long do we have to wait? These are all
questions that this series of articles "The Future Of Gaming: A Look At What's To Come" will
focus on and provide information about. This article focuses on the upcoming debut of sony's
first MMORPG and squares big break into online gaming production: Final Fantasy XI. It will also
have much focus on thoughts of people about onlnie play for the game.

Final Fantasy is a name that many have heard and always look foreward to. Ever since a small
known virtually bankrupt company called squaresoft produced what they thought would be their last
game, with a fitting title Final Fantasy, gamers all over the world have looked foreward to, and
done anything for these games. I'm sure you remember Final Fantasy III (Japan Final Fantasy VI)
the game that was in such high demand that it was nearly impossible to acquire. Who would've
thought that a company of such small proportions could grow from making games that no one ever
heard of to games no one will ever forget? Well, SquareSoft has done just so, and their legacy
continues with the up-and-coming Final Fantasy XI!

--------What is Expected?--------

Final Fantasy XI is the first game to take PS2 gamers into the world of online gaming, not to
mention the many hardcore Squaresoft fans who will be experiencing their first MMORPG (Multi-
Media Online Role Playing Game). What do you think of this? As with many of my articles, I will
be interviewing someone familliar with the topic. In this case it is BrokenShadow, a long time
RPG'er and one very familiar with the Final Fantasy series and the modern gaming world.

Me: Hello.
Shadow: Hey.
Me: So How long have you been playing RPG's?
Shadow: 13 years, since I was 7.
Me: What was the first RPG you ever played?
Shadow: Crystalis.
Shadow: Then later found my brothers game Final Fantasy and started on that.
Me: So you are familiar with the Final Fantasy series, and RPG's in general?
Shadow: Yes.
Shadow: If you'd like details just hollar.
Me: Okay, what did you think of Final Fantasy X?
shadow: I have to say that it was a mixture between 7, 8, and 9. In that 7 was the start of the
playstation series, 8 lead away from the basic Final Fantasy gameplay, but lead more into the
indeapth story and animation. And with Final Fantasy 9, it put it all together, mixing all the
Shadow: Then for Final Fantasy X, it took those three elements and added them together, grabbing
you like Final Fantasy has a tenedncy to do, having an indeapth story, and wonderfull game play.
Me: I agree, so you liked the gameplay better or worse than some of the older style RPG's?
Shadow: I'd have to say better.
Me: So I take it you have been looking foreward to Final Fantasy XI?
Shadow: To tell you the truth, I'm not. I'm not much of an internet person, and I feel with a
game, it's better if you only have the option to do something, but not have to do it to play.
Becuase it puts a strain on thoses that want to play it and have been looking foreward to it,
but don't have the neccessary link ups.
Me: So you don't like the idea of the online play?
Shadow: I do like it, but not the way that they have it.
Me: What do you mean?
Shadow: Just think, if someone gives you the option to play it online, you can still play it on
just the system. Now, that would save you the hassle of paying for the modem, and then having
to pay for the internet usage.
Me: Good point, I agree.
Me: So where do you think the world of RPGaming is going?
Shadow: I feel it's going to have to be those who live on the internet to play the RPG's.
Because everyone wants to have contact with someone else. I do have to say, I am also interested
in that element, because I have played and still gotten the same responces every time, but with
MMORPG, you are talking to real people, and you have real responces.
Me: I think we can all appriciate that.
Me: Any other thoughts on this matter of FFXI going online?
Shadow: That's pretty much all I have to say.
Me: Okay, thanks for your time.
Shadow: No problem, any time.

I got the same response from many people, that they do not like the idea of STRICKLY online play.

--------Preview Time!--------

Well, enough thoughts, let's get to some actual info on the game. Final Fantasy XI will never
end, it will be updated often with new quests. There will be NO monthly charge but the game
itself will be a bit more expensive than a regular PS2 game. You will have to buy the PS2 modem
which will be $49.99 U.S. The game has different races and job classes as expected, and brings
back the leveling system that was lost in Final Fantasy X. There is much hype about FFXI because
of the great games released from the series thus far, but will it live up to it's name? Many say
online gameplay can never amount to that of regular PS2 games, but is it true? Many are saying
no as more info comes out. The world of FFXI has an elaborate Ecosystem that consists of ambient
life, changes from day and night, and random weather. Each area has different ambient life forms
on it, and different races of people. Even chocobos come in different sizes, such as the small
chocobos for the Taru-Taru race. The job class system is very similar to that of Final Fantasy V
or Final Fantasy Tactics. Your character can pick from over a dozen different jobs! Just to
mention a few square has annonced: Thief, Monk, Black Mage, Bard, Beastmaster, Ranger, and Dark
Knight. Each job has it's own characteristics and specialities of course, and special skills you
learn. FFXI also has a mission ranking system, though it has nothing to do with the job classes,
it does reflect upon your group. It is influenced by your preformance on mission completion. If
you have a high mission rank, you may get promotions in your group. The experience system is
very unlike the other Final Fantasy games, in this game the ammount of experience you get is
determined by your level; the higher the level, the less experience. When you're fighting with
a group, your experience is determined by the character with the highest level, then devided.
There is also a new feature much like Final Fantasy VII's limit breaks, it is called weapon skill
system. You gain TP (Tactical Points) when you use your weapon and when the meter fills, your
weapon can do a special weapon skill. The game is based around 8 elements; fire, water, earth,
ice, wind, thunder, light, and darkness. These elements are concealed in crystals which are of
much importance in the game. There are countless uses for these crystals such as; combining and
creating new items, or using them with the elemental power they conceal. some uses of a crystal
require that you know a certain skill first, and some require that you have attained a certain

We can obviously see that for an online RPG, Final Fantasy XI has an indeapth story and gameplay.
It stays true to the series and lives up to it's name just as any of the others do. This game
will surely change peoples ideas about MMORPG's and gaming in general. It is sceduled for an
early fall release in 2002. Can't wait!