Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Final Fantasy Mentality

Before you can play the game Final Fantasy XI, you should know why you're playing the game and what drives you to play that game. For me, I needed something to do to fill in my evening hours between school and sleep. Of course, over the years, I've had other things introduced into my life that made my game time less and less but I am still able to enjoy this game quite a bit even with a limited time schedule.

That is one of the hardest things to do in this game: being able to enjoy it with the limit time we have. It is a bit funny too. People have always thought that end-game is a huge time sink and you have to devote your entire life to it and so on and so forth. I beg to differ here. In my LS, we do quite a bit of end game and spend a lot of effort into it. However, a good chunk of our members work a 9-5 job, occasionally go out every so often and live normal social lives. It is a bit ironic too because I see a lot of people who do spend a lot of time playing this game end up saying that end game is too much for them to handle in their lives. However, I'm not gonna continue stating my opinion of others on that aspect. I will try to help players who don't have time be able to properly make the time to play this game.

First thing is that one of your main goals in FFXI when you first start off is to be able to hit level 75 on a job. This can be a bit rough in the beginning, especially when there is sort of a period in our early FFXI lives, called the "newb" period. Now, yes we all start off as newer players into the game and well, we need to adjust. So do many others and also, many people can click in really well or they take a bit of time to get better. Either way, this s an issue that you will face as you will be forced to party for XP for quite a duration of time. Later on, the process of this can be changed but it requires a bit of leveling subs and so on to be able to solo by yourself. This is probably the only real time sink you'll encounter in FFXI. There are ways to make this easier for yourself though and this requires knowing a few people.

Linkshells are very important. Much like guilds but not as exclusive, Linkshells allow you to connect to a network of other FFXI players who can help you or at least entertain your eyes. Make some friends and try to find some people of identical level. Once you do, you can actually do an EXP party with less than 6 people if you know what you're doing. A lot of people that do pick up parties will opt for 6 members. However, if you remove that restriction and have a few friends that can work something out, you can get guite a bit of EXP and maybe even some nice stories to tell. Just remember, Signet helps you a lot as EXP is slightly increased with a party of 2-5. You can completely negate the entire 2 hour party search this way if you know a few friends.

However, I'm sure there are some anti-social people out there who have a hard time making connections. Trust me, being able to be friends with people is a great way to enjoy this game. Anyways, there are some options for you as a soloing player. Note that with how the game is now, you can probably solo from 1 to 75. However, it would be a process that can take quite a bit of time but lets what your options are. Also, this can apply to any player out there and you can do this to help you with things as well.

Goblin Pets. They are the key to soloing at certain levels. By doing a bit of research, you can find some pets that you can take down easily and earn EXP that way. Note that this can be hard to do for certain jobs. I'll let that for you to experiment and decide (as that is what half the fun in FFXI is).

ENMs. Some of them can be soloed but you can only do this once every week and also, you need to get a group to even get you to some of these in the first place. ENMs are much like BCNMs, in the sense that they are closed battle fields where you fight a monster or group of monsters. When you win, you get a good chunk of EXP and also even some items that you can sell. It is a good deal indeed.

Campaigns. You can do these completely solo and if you had the patience, you can probably do them for a good chunk of experience. What is also cool is that it is widely acceptable to look for party while taking part in campaign. Definately something you can do while looking for an EXP party.

Certain jobs have the ability to solo mobs that certain other jobs can't. THF is a good example of this. BST can practically solo from 1 to 75, PUP can do quite a bit of soloing themselves.

What I really want to poiint out though is that with all of these things, it will take time but some of these things can be just "your time" and you can stop whenever you want. That is kind of a nice thing isn't it? You go to school, you're restricted to the professor's lecture time. You go work and you're restricted to the hours you were assigned to. FFXI doesn't need to be that way and a lot of people sometimes treat it as so and they get burned out easily.

So, now that you realize that you have more control over your time than you think, lets talk about ways to make your time playing FFXI from being too boring. A grind is a grind no matter how you look at it... but lets try to find ways to reduce that. It is much like trying to go through your day job and trying to kill the few minutes until your shift is over. Except you have your whole house to yourself so you should have more... options, right? Some don't do this for whatever reason and there will be times in FFXI where it can get slow.

First, do you have a Gameboy? A Nintendo DS? A Playstation Portable? Some sort of handheld game? If so, try some games that you can play during the periods that you have to wait or if you want to take a quick break. Short and quick games work well but it all depends on what type of gamer are you. Oh, but you're not really a "gamer?" Well, there are quite a bit of things on the Nintendo DS and PSP that doesn't require "twitch" reaction to play or anything of that sort. Sudoku... Tetris... Nintendogs. The list goes on. Try looking at a list of games for the DS or the PSP. I consider myself fairly knowledged about video games in general so feel free to even drop me a line as to what games I think you would enjoy a lot.

Aside from that, take a few steps away from your computer or console and just simply walk around for a bit, get that blood flow going and get some water. Come back fresh, heck, bring a sandwich with you too.

Also, try to see if your linkshell has a Ventrilo/TeamSpeak server. It can help a lot with the long grind if you have someone to talk to that you can also relate to in the game. Talking makes time fly by fast so it helps a lot.

Find out what works for you and go for it. It'll help you enjoy the game more.

And as for that... keep your spirits high. Even though things may be hard to grasp in this game, it is much like real life. Strive to keep your eye on what you want most and work as hard as you can to get it. Don't think "Oh man, I can't afford it." Instead, think "What do I need to do to get this?"

You will be surprised.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Money makes the world go 'round

Gil will get you a lot of things in Final Fantasy XI. Eventually, down your career in FFXI, you will need to spend your hard earned gil on some really expensive items. For example, as a Samurai, I had to purchase things up towards a good 5 million or so gil. Something as high as that can be discouraging but there are ways to get around this and "farming" (the act of going out in the field and killing monsters for gil or a sellable product) isn't just the only way.

Lets start at lower levels and habits to develop. At lower levels, your demand for gil isn't so high. You need a million gil off the bat but you will need quite a bit to get your spells and early gear going. It would be pretty difficult for even a new player to start getting their fancy gear going and trying to maintain that gil for later on is going to be rough. So, what can you do? At lower levels, there isn't too much of an option from 1-10. However, think about it as this: "How much gear do you really need to hit level 10?" Not many and in all reality, you can hit level 10 with just your RSE gear and maybe at least upgrade your weapon. So, if you don't really need to, don't bother spending the extra gil for items that you don't really need...

HOWEVER ... Once you hit a party environment, it would be very unwise to stay in your weakest gear as there might be other things that can benefit you greatly and allow you to kill more efficiently. After all, if you think you can hit 75 with just your RSE level 1 gear, that kinda negates the point I'm making here. So, lets try to be frugal here but not gimp yourself where you'll be a walking paper bag that can't do anything. First off, lets actually try making some gil here...

You would be surprised what you can make some good pocket change with at a lower level. When you get to a higher enough level to walk around Giddeus/Ghelsba Outpost/Gusgen Mines, try bringing out some Sickles, Hatchets, or Pickaxes and do some harvesting, logging, and mining. Some of those things end up being cheap and should be NPCed or even tossed at times but quite a few things can net quite a bit of gil. It can be a long and tedious moment but also try to keep yourself occupied. Make it a game, like it's supposed to be. Just try to think about how fast you can hit each point and move on to the next one so you can constantly pull the resources out of them.

If you want to spend a little time and set yourself up a bit for the future, fishing might be up your alley as well. If you level up your cooking a bit to around 29 and make yourself Insect Balls, you can fish up a lot of moat carp within your nation's walls. Granted, you would be limited by the fishing limitation they placed (200 some fish I believe the cap is), but if you choose not to do the associated quest with it, that's about 50k a day you can fish up depending on price and the demand for moat carp is pretty high. Fishing in general can even get you some nice money if you're not doing much of anything.

Now, if you want to try your luck, you can go into the Chocobo Circuit and bet gil on the best two chocobos in a race. However, it can end up being very random and difficult to predict. Alternatively, you can raise your chocobo and compete against these chocobos for some gil as well. If one were to win the C1 Race, that's 100k gil per day with a 10k bet. Not too bad if I say so myself.

These are all just a few alternatives you can do to get some gil in your wallet. Of course you can always farm but please make sure you research what you're farming and try to get more gil out of it with every second you spend out there. Time is money so try to make the best of it and don't spend too much time going out there for nothing.

Now as for habits, lets list a few:

1. If there is a significantly close or equal item equipment that you can get at a later level, save your gil and wait for then.

2. If you're a mage, don't even worry about too much about any equipment that has only defense on them. Sure, you can argue that you'll need it to stay alive if a mob hits you... but if you don't make the mob hit you, you would have no problem, right?

3. While food makes your character powerful, try to be light on it if you can. There are food out there that don't cost a ton but will make your character efficient. Likewise, there are food out there that are pretty expensive but they don't suit what you're doing. Would be pointless to use something like a Carbonara if you're not even /SAM or tanking something in a merit party, for example. For the 75 people out there, just don't use food at Bird Camp. I mean it's great for killing things faster and all but if you're the only one using it, you're constantly eating them down. Maybe it works if you have all the people using food and keeping up with the hate but that's money saved regardless.

4. Avoid using Whitegate to sell your items. Go to Jeuno or Tavnazia and save the precious little bits of gil for the transaction fee. If anything, bazaar your item outside of Jeuno if the item is a few hundred grand or million.

5. Use up your Imperial Standing as a mid-high leveler. Sell of your Gold Coins as they are always in demand for certain items in Aht Urhgan.

6. If you have nothing better to do, Besieged or Campaign when you have the chance. Besieged gets you some Imperial Standing and allows you to skill up and kill some stuff. Campaign doesn't really net you a lot of gil with Allied Notes (but it can if you look around a bit) but you gain XP without having to jump into a party and you don't have to worry about consuming food or spending much money to get to where you need to go.

7. After every update, research new items. If you get the jump on things, people usually buy things at ridiculously high prices. Don't feel bad about the people, feel good about the money you're making due to another person's impatience.

8. Overall, just keep a note at what is hot, what is cold and what hidden things you can find that people can take a bit of an advantage of.

Of course, you can forgo all that and buy gil... but, that's up to you. I won't say it is a bad thing or say it is a good thing, I will say that it is against Square Enix and PlayOnline's Terms of Service to involve real money trade with the items in game. So, if you do buy gil, you know the risk.

In a later post: More gil making options and maybe a little light on some Chocobo Racing!

Oh, and I would like to make a quick reference to my personal blog for Campaigning. It is a little guide to figure out how to get the most out of Campaign for jobs that can't really do those battles that well for EXP. However, it can be used if you want to be a little bit lazy but don't try to do it too much, after all, the fate of Vana'diel's past does lie in your hands.

The post can be found here: Campaign Battles and Earning XP

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Leveling 1-10

It is now time to go out to the wild world of Vana'diel and kill some things. Here are some things you'll notice that is in your inventory; you have some items to start you out. Depending on what job you pick will depend on what items you start with. You should have the level 1 Race Specific Armor (or RSE) that is for your selected race, you should also have a spell scroll depending if you have a mage job and you will have a weapon or a belt if you're a MNK.

By the way, I suggest getting used to the terminology as most players will describe each job by their 3 letter initials.

Now, you will have very little gil (the currency in the game) and there's a little quest that you can do from the start with a coupon that will get you a little more. Here's where you might be a bit frustrated as you might end up with next to no new equipment if you don't look around a bit. I'll be covering how to get some gil on you in a later post. For right now, I want to concentrate on just leveling your character.

Very important thing: Before you venture outside and kill things randomly, get Signet. There are gate guard NPCs that can give you Signet and it'll help you in various ways:

1. It gives you Conquest Points based on EXP earned. Those Conquest Points can be traded in for new equipment or items that you can sell.
2. When fighting a monster that checks as "Even Match" or lower, you will get a boost to your defense and evasion.
3. When you heal (when your character kneels/sits down to recover HP/MP), your HP will heal significantly faster than if you don't have Signet.
4. Under certain circumstances, you will get more EXP based on the number of party members you have.

Pretty much, its a free enhancement (or buff) that you can get that will only benefit you. There's more to it as we move on to later expansions but for right now, this is all you should be concerned about.

Now that you're outside, here are some general guidelines.

1. When you attack a monster, you will make it go into a "claimed" state. No one outside of you/party/alliance can interact with it.

2. You can "Check" monsters to see what its relative level is at.

Too Weak to be Worthwhile = The monster will net you no XP if you kill it.
Easy Prey = The monster is at a level significantly lower than you but it can still kill you if you're not careful.
Decent Challenge = The monster is just under your level.
Even Match = The monster is your level... but this doesn't mean this is an "even match..."
Tough = The level is slightly higher than your level
Very Tough = And higher...
Incredibly Tough = The monster is to the point where you cannot decern it from high or low level as this is the highest ranking. It can be 30 levels higher from your level or 80 levels higher.

Occasionally, you amy check a monster and it'll say "Impossible to Gauge." Usually these monsters are of the "Notorious Monster" variety. Those types of monsters con drop some rare items but they can be rare themselves. Some of them may only be for story/quest purposes as well and do not drop a single thing.

From level 1-10, you will want to fight things along the "Even Match" area but you will often find yourself killing a lot of "Easy Prey" as you progress higher.

3. In the latest patch, you can now Auto-Sort your inventory. Use this to your advantage and try to keep some of the items on you. Use this to get yourself gil. (This point will be emphasized in a later post).

4. Dying is a bad thing as you can lose EXP. Avoid dying but try to understand how monsters interact with you and so on. Some can aggro (term used for when they attack you without provacation), some can link (term used when a monster assists a monster of the same type) and some won't do anything until you attack them.

5. Avoid partying at this point as it can make the process take longer.

Well, lets get into the job specifics:

Taking WAR from 1 to 10 can be a very easy experience. Stick to the beginner areas (Saruta/Ronfaure/Gusta) and just kill things relative to your level. You won't learn anything interesting from 1 to 10. At level 5 you will get an ability called "Provoke" and you can start weapon skilling around level 4-6 depending on your skill development. "Provoke" helps you get the attention of the monster you use it on. There's more to "Provoke" but that is for party situations (which will be explained in a later post). If you can, get the Bronze Gear set from the NPC Armor shop in your nation or Auction House. It may be look disturbing to wear but it will help you take hits better. Also, use either a one handed axe or a two handed great axe and try not to use your sword as soon as you can. While WAR can use swords rather well, axes and great axes just dominate the sword in the long run. Get the leather equipment at level 7.

WAR's 2-Hour Ability (called that since you can only use it once every two real earth hours) is "Mighty Strikes." This makes all of your attacks a critical hit for a duration of time. If you use this to try to save yourself, use it early. If you can't really hit the mob before using this, it isn't going to save you for the most part.

MNK is really no different from WAR at 1-10. You learn the ability "Boost" at level 5. What "Boost" will do is increase the attack damage on your next attack, which then it will wear off. "Boost" can stack on itself, which means if you keep doing Boost again and again and not attack, you will gradually increase that damage. This is very nice to squeeze in some extra damage on your weapon skills.

MNK's 2-Hour Ability is "Hundred Fists." This ability will grant you a large level of attack speed and lets you attack at a much rapid pace. This ability can get you out of a tight spot when you need to unleash a lot of damage at one time.

THF will probably have a little bit of a rough time getting from 1 to 10, especially with a dagger. If you can, switch up with a sword for the mean time and use that for awhile. Don't forget to switch in your dagger at some point as you will want to have some skill for later monsters. You will get the ability "Steal" at level 5. It is pretty self explanitory as to what it does, just make sure you have inventory space for it.

THF's 2-Hour Ability is "Perfect Dodge." You will dodge every single physical attack done to you. However, you're still vunerable to ranged attacks (arrows, gunshots) and magic damage (elemental, enfeeble). This is great for getting away when you need to run from a losing fight.

WHM will probably have the hardest time of the six jobs. However, you are able to keep yourself alive and you have some tools to help you survive a bit. Here are the spells you'll learn as WHM:

Level - Spell

1 - Cure
3 - Dia
4 - Paralyze
5 - Banish
5 - Barstonra
6 - Poisona
7 - Barsleepra
7 - Protect (and Protectra)
9 - Barwatera
9 - Paralyna
10 - Aquaviel
10 - Barpoisonra

Cure will heal you for around 20-30HP intially. Dia an enfeebling spell that will deal some damage itself, damage over time and weakens the monster's defense. This is a great spell to cast as a WHM to the monster as it will make your life a lot easier, solo or party. Paralyze also helps as it can randomly cause the monster to skip their next attack. Banish deals direct damage but honestly, its not worth using in most situations.

I want to take this time to discuss spell terminology, mainly the prefixes and suffixes.

Bar- = Gives resistance to the element or ailment
-ra = The enhancement will target nearby party members
-na = The spell will heal the ailment
-ga = The spell will target multiple nearby enemies

The rest of the spells are self explainitory and the game will tell you what they will do. Note that if you're really strapped for gil, at least get Cure, Dia and Paralyze.

WHM's 2hr ability is "Benediction." This will restore everyone's HP to max and cure any status ailments on them. However, this will give that WHM a lot of hate from the monster and it can lead to the death of that WHM. Use with caution.

BLM has it pretty decent here. This is also a good time to practice timing your spells. In Final Fantasy XI, if you get hit hard enough, you can be interupted in your spell casting. You also must be standing still as well. Try to time your spells between the monster's attacks and you should be fine.

Black Mage gets the following spells from 1-10:

1 - Stone
3 - Poison
4 - Blind
5 - Water
7 - Bind
9 - Aero
10 - Bio
10 - Blaze Spikes

Bind is your friend. Bind will hold the monster in place while you can do whatever you want to them. However, if you hit them hard enough, they may break out of bind. Bio is like Dia but instead of lowered defense on the monster, it's lowered attack. Blaze Spikes is a spell that is cool on paper but ultimately is one of the least important spells you'll cast in a party environment.

BLM's 2hr ability is "Manafont." You will have unlimited MP and you cannot be interupted by physical hits. Use this when you run out of MP or if you need to land that one final nuke to survive.

RDM is generally like how THF would work out at 1-10 except they have a bit of WHM and a bit of BLM tossed in. Here are their spells:

1 - Dia
3 - Cure
4 - Stone
5 - Barstone
5 - Poison
6 - Paralyze
7 - Barsleep
7 - Protect
8 - Blind
9 - Barwater
9 - Water
10 - Barpoison
10 - Bio

RDM's 2hr ability is "Chainspell." This will remove the casting time and recast time of your spells for the duration of this ability, allowing you to rapidly cast spells. Very handy when you want to overwhelm the monster or need to be fast on the curing. Note that you do use up MP so make sure you have some MP on you before using this.

And that pretty much covers leveling from 1-10. This all just beginner newbie stuff but I want to get this foundation off the ground first. Feel free to spread this post around to newbies to the game. I'll cover some gil making ideas at lower levels and maybe even the older players might find something of value there. Eventually I'll start covering some more advanced things and that should be a good read for players that have been playing for more than 3 years.

Anyways, I hope you learned a few things from this post. Again, feel free to post this around and also leave any comments you might have for any new players. It would help them start in this game and would hopefully lead to more players running around longer.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A few things to note about this blog

On the right side of this blog, you'll see that there's a search function (which I hope works) that will search this blog for any keywords. There's also a blog RSS feed from my own personal Final Fantasy XI Blog in case you are interested in knowing a little bit more about the person who is writing all of this. There's also the Pet Food Alpha news feed, which is a podcast that I listen to every so often and they're pretty up to date with the Final Fantasy XI and PlayOnline news, especially since they also do interviews with the Square Enix staff from time to time.

If you want a direct link to my blog, it's @
If you want to check out Pet Food Alpha, they're @

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Deciding Your Job and Race in Final Fantasy XI

When you first start off Final Fantasy XI, you can choose from five different races and six basic jobs. While you have to select from one of the six basic jobs to start off with, you can change at any time without worry of losing your current job level and you can also unlock 14 other "extra" jobs in Final Fantasy XI. For now, we're going to concentrate on what you will be starting with: The Basic Six.

First off, deciding what race you want to be will determine how your stats will roll out for your jobs. Again, there are five classes with no difference between male and female characters stat-wise.

A human-like race who have average stats. This race is perfect for those who want to be the "Jack of All Trades" as this race is not the worst nor are they the best in any job or situation.
Meant for players who: Wants to experience all jobs on a balanced ground.

A race that resembles elves from other fantasy lore. They lack Mana Points (or MP) but they make up for it with brute strength boosts. While not the most preferred class for mage jobs, they excel in damage dealing jobs.
Meant for players who: Wants to play melee jobs and hit hard while doing so.

A race that resembles little children. While they may be small, they pack a huge amount of Mana Points and intelligence for nuking. However, they lack the stats to do well on a melee job... but that doesn't mean they can't play them well either.
Meant for players who: Wants to play mage jobs and have a large MP pool to support it.

Mithra (Female Only)
A cat-like race that can only be played as a female. Their main focus are the supportive melee classes that specialize in dexterity and agility. They lack a bit of charisma (for whatever reason) and vitality but can handle melee and mages job just as well as hume. Note that if you pick this race, you will be hit on by every male that plays this game... you have been warned.
Meant for players who: Want to play specialized jobs and want to have something decent to look at on screen for the long periods of time they will be playing this game.

Galka (Male Only)
A large and brute race that can probably punch a train off the tracks if they wanted to. However, don't be confused by their large size: they actually have the second highest strength in the game compared to elvaan. They have a huge lack of MP but they can take hits like a champion with their increased vitality and health points (or HP).
Meant for players who: Wants to be able to take a few more hits and be large and in charge.

While there are some huge racial differences (almost 10 STR difference between Tarutaru and Elvaan for example), for the most part, it will be your play style that will change based on race. So, if you want to play a Tarutaru Samurai (like myself), you'll keep up with an Elvaan Samurai based on your gear and aggressive play style compared to the Elvaan. With that in mind, there are ways to adjust your stats outside of gear such as food items and the merit system. To put it simply, pick whatever suits your play style.

With races out of the way, lets get into the basic six jobs. In Final Fantasy XI, there are six jobs that are initially unlocked for you to pick from. These jobs are the bare basics and while they might not appeal to you, some of these jobs you might want to consider leveling to use them as a support job (or subjob). Also note that you will need to level at least one of these jobs to level 30 to unlock the extra jobs.

Warrior (WAR)
Warrior can use almost any weapon-type in the game and has decent stats for a damage dealing job and even a tank job in certain situations. However, what sets WAR up is that they have some nice abilities that makes it excellent for a subjob and have a lot of options for equipment as a main job. While WAR can equip dual axes with Ninja subjob (Ninja has a Dual Wield trait), with an update to two-handed weapons, Great Axe has been a great option for WAR. Note though: people will expect you to tank at times. Concentrate on being more of a tank being able to take hits rather than a tank that can do a large amount of damage and you should be fine.

Monk (MNK)
Why get an axe or a sword when you can just use your own fists? Monk is the perfect example of a high DPS (damage per second) job where their multiple hit rounds make up the majority of their damage. They have access to some great gear as well if you were to pursue an end game career. Otherwise, the job is mainly focused on dealing damage and sometimes tanking in some situations.

Thief (THF)
Thief is one of the specialized melee classes in the game. While its own melee hits are fairly weak, they can attack really fast. What makes them shine is the ridiculous amounts of damage they can do with Sneak Attack. Stack up Sneak Attack on top of a weapon skill and you got yourself pure damage. However, what really makes THF a great party member is that they can "plant" the hate gained from the damage dealt to a monster onto another party member using Trick Attack, making them great when paired up with a tank. They are highly evasive and can solo rather well at the later levels. Not to mention that they have passive abilities to make item drops more frequently.

White Mage (WHM)
White Mage is your basic healer job. Fairly straight forward and simple yet hard to master as mana point conservation is key to playing the job well. Don't even think about pulling out a club and whacking monsters over the head, they are quite too weak to do so for the most part in any experience point party (XP Party) and you would be quite pressed to do so with all the responsibilities you have in front of you. Thankfully, there are quite a few things you get as a white mage to make your job easier in Final Fantasy XI but remember that a white mage's job first and foremost is to heal and support the party.

Black Mage (BLM)
White Mage is for healing as Black Mage is for causing damage by using elemental magic (or nukes). Nuking in Final Fantasy XI can deal a lot of damage and can be very lethal... to both the monster and the black mage themselves. Because black mages can deal so much damage, it can cause the monster to turn their attention to the black mage and when a black mage gets hit, it gets hit HARD as it lacks a lot of equipment and stats that would allow it to survive a lot of damage to themselves. We will be covering the concept of enmity and hate in Final Fantasy XI in a later article but take note from Stan Lee: "With great power there must also come great responsibility."

Red Mage (RDM)
This is one of my favorite jobs to talk about, mainly because it is a job that is extremely powerful but is also the object of many misconceptions. First of all, the original concept of Red Mage was that it is a job that can do a bit of everything from meleeing to nuking to healing to support. For the most part, yes red mage can do all of those things in Final Fantasy XI. As time went on, red mage has been focused more towards a support and healer job, along with the excellent ability of being able to enfeeble (or debuff) the monster with variable ailments. There are many things a red mage can do and to call it the "jack of trades" jobs right now would be far from the truth as it would imply that it is not a master of any concept, which surely red mage has mastery in a few areas. Note one thing though: meleeing isn't one thing they're great.

Once you decide both your race and your job, you will also need to select a nation of allegiance. This is all purely for starting position and storyline purposes and can be changed under certain conditions if you prefer to move to another nation. There is one advantage you can get though depending on your race and what nation you pick. If you pick the following combinations, you will get the following items.

Hume or Galka in Bastok = Bastokan Ring
Tarutaru or Mithra in Windurst = Windurstian Ring
Elvaan in San d'Oria = San d'Orian Ring

While the stats of these rings are nice for when you start off, these rings will soon be replaced at around level 14. You can also obtain these rings after increasing your nation rank to 3 and purchasing it with conquest points.

But what in the world of Vana'diel are conquest points, nation rank, and so on? They aren't anything you should be worrying about at this very moment if you start the game but in the next post, I'll be covering your leveling journey from 1 to 30. Along with this, I'll be tossing out some shortcuts that will help you along your way, especially with making gil in Final Fantasy XI and some resources to look up for when you need some help.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Welcome to FFXI for the Casual Folk!

Ahh yes.... "Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs)" and "Casual Players." This is often something that doesn't go well together due to the fact that MMORPGs in general just take so much time and effort out of a person's everyday life that to have real fun would require them to sit on their desk for hours on end. Final Fantasy XI is no exception to that rule, to be able to build such a great character in the game with all the best equipment, it will require a time sink.

But lets think about that for a second. Does that mean you can't have fun with the game? I, myself, am a college student and I have quite a bit of free time on my hands to play this game on a more "hardcore" level. However, there will be a time where I won't have that free time and there are people out there who already don't have the free time to play this game. The game can be slow at times and it can be rather disheartening to know that what you're working up to won't be worth it to you in the end.

However, I feel that Final Fantasy XI can be enjoyed greatly by players who don't have a lot of time to spend on the game. While you may not be able to some of the equipment in the game, there are a lot of better alternatives that exist out there and not just equipment but just things that you can do to enjoy the game.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mogknight and I play on the Carbuncle server. I have Warrior, Bard, Samurai, and Paladin leveled to 75 with my Black Mage making progress to 75. I have been playing Final Fantasy XI for roughly four years now and I feel that I have experience in a lot of what this game has to offer. So, I made this blog with the intention of letting the masses know that there are a lot of things in Final Fantasy XI that Square Enix has introduced which gives players more options to enjoy the game. I find it kind of surprising that not many players really look around for these things and it ends up being ignored most of the time. I also hope to open the views and perceptions of the players of Final Fantasy XI to many new things that they have missed while trying to pursue an endgame career.

Now, the topics I will cover in this blog will mainly focus on Final Fantasy XI but some of these ideas may apply in other MMORPGs or life in general. We all are from different walks of life and some of these things might not apply to you. I hope you readers will take this with an open mind and perhaps there would be a purpose for you walking around in Vana'diel as a Elvaan, Tarutaru, Hume, Galka, or Mithra.