FFXI: There and back again

ffxi [Final Fantasy XI] Well, I fired up my old FFXI account around Christmas. My old character was still saved because Playonline now saves characters for up to a year. I decided I’d probably never play that character again and I’d use it as a mule and sell all its stuff. The first thing I noticed in FFXI when I went to sell my stuff is the current economy “problem.” While some would argue that it’s not a problem, there is a large inflation going on. No one really knows the cause but some attribute it to mostly the holiday season and idiots. Regardless, a lot of items have increased in price, mainly the more rare items. While some say this is bad, others would say it’s not that big of a deal because a lot of other money making items have also gone up in price; however, some haven’t. Either way, inflation in FFXI never increases your current gil supply. Someone who could buy several rare items now can only buy a couple. You either had to realize an inflation was coming on and buy items before they got too pricey and then resell or your gil is now not worth as much as it used to be.

The inflation doesn’t affect me much yet because I’m starting fresh with a new character. Mary’s Horn, an instrument for my Bard that I bought back in the day for 90k, resold for 600k on my server. My Hume RSE (race specific equipment) pants (or was it gloves?), which I got for free, sold for 300k. Needless to say, I had more gil starting fresh than I ever had when I used to play. I now had over one million gil, my old gil record being only 230k. But enough about the economy. I gave 100k to my little brother and life was good as we started our Tarutaru characters.

I started as a BLM (Black Mage) and he started as a WHM (White Mage) and we eventually made our way through the extremely boring level 1-10 phase of FFXI. This is the phase where you solo because grouping is useless, and soloing is not FFXI’s strong point. It went by painless on my end but a WHM soloing 1-10, especially with no subjob, is extremely painful, but my brother made it. We finally arrived at Valkurm Dunes, the first grouping area. Our first day, unfortunately, reminded us of the pains FFXI can cause. It took us literally all day to find a good group. Party after party we could not find a good tank. It was either a tank that didn’t want to Provoke because he was scared of dying to a tank that didn’t even look like he knew how to control the character. To top it off, I got chewed out by a couple of power-levelers that were in one of my groups for being a crappy BLM. I might admit that I wasn’t casting and managing hate efficiently, after all, it’s hard to come from playing WoW’s mage, which casts constantly, to playing BLM in FFXI, which only casts a handful of spells a battle, but when your BLM can’t even cast one spell without pulling hate, there’s something wrong other than just the BLM. We finally found a good group with a PLD (Paladin) tank and took our jobs to level 13.

The rest is mostly boring. We got our jobs to 18 and did the subjob quest and now we’re stuck trying to swell up enough will to stop playing WoW and grind levels 1-10 out again for our subjobs and then go through Valkurm Dunes.

In other news, I got my new computer and I’m happy. Peace.


10 thoughts on “FFXI: There and back again”

  1. That does not sound positive. Was there any aspect you enjoyed? Something you are looking forward to?

  2. My experiece with FFXI is that when you hit upon a really good group, there is nothing better out there playwise. Hitting multiple combos with magic busts is a thing of beauty…the problem is the rest of the game. There was a pretty clear distinction between using your time to get money and using you time to get exp, for example. Plus, as lufia22 said, soloing is more painful in FFXI than just about any other game I’ve tried.

    You really need a mythical group that does nothing but play together to get the most out of the game.

  3. I’m not going to say my overall coming back experience to FFXI was horrible, I just highlighted the bad parts. It’s pretty much what I expected. The most fun that comes out of FFXI, at least for me, is hanging out with people and doing missions. My old LS took a vacation to Carpenter’s Landing. We didn’t really do anything or gain anything, but it was still fun. Another time we spent all day getting several members, including me, through the rank 5 mission. That stuff is fun. Grinding is alright. I don’t love it, even in a good group, but it can be relaxing when compared to other battle systems.

    I’m mostly just looking forwards to getting back to level 50 because that’s where I stopped on my BRD. Once I get past that it’ll feel like I’m doing something new and not something I’ve already done.

    Besides, no matter who you are, you’re probably never going to give a positive story about the level 1-20 grind. The level 1-10 grind and Valkurm Dunes are probably the worst parts of the game.

  4. I have to echo Silvanis on this one… getting a solid group is hard, but when you find one that just clicks… those are the times you call in sick to work b/c you can not stand the thought of quitting. Linkshells were supposed to help you form a group easier (get all the people to join so you can level together) but once subjobs happen, people tend to go in all directions. Plus the guy that was shit hot as a tank 2 nights ago, may not be able to heal their way out of a wet paper sack if they attempt to level a WHM.

    I think it’s that absolute need to pull a solid group that makes the game so slow for most.

  5. But…. I have to say it was a nice change having a game I could use a gamepad on, as opposed to the ole mouse-n-keyboard combo. I wish more MMOs would do that. It really helped to increase my relaxation factor.

  6. Agree on that gamepad. When I started FFXI I thought I’d hate it, but being able to kick back, relax and play was fantastic.

  7. Back when I was playing FFXI the best advice I got interface-wise was “Forget about your mouse.” Never used it when I played, and it seemed to play okay from the keyboard only.

    For me, it was too darn hard to maintain the proper equipment for level. I woudn’t go level unless I had decent equipment for my job (WAR/MNK), so it was ‘farm a week or two, level on a weekend, rinse, repeat’.

  8. Ahh, the Rank 5 missions. The missions themselves were fun, but if you didn’t have a good batch of friends to do it with things could get ugly.

    I enjoyed FFXI most when exploring areas that I had no business being in at my level. Transporting a team member through a dangerous area with Sneak and Invisible was always fun.

    The upcoming expansion is making me excited too (blue mage!!)

  9. I totally enjoy FFXI. I think sometimes it can be a bit tedious and time consuming with the fact that alot of groups suck. But I’ve met alot of good people in the past month of playing and it seems their IMHO social aspects are better.

    I wish more MMO’s would make things like the missions in FFXI. That’s really what makes this game shine.

  10. I agree that levels 1-20 are tediously boring and on the most part difficult. There was one time in the dunes where I found a fantastic japanese party in the and raced through a couple of levels which was great fun, however most memories are not so great.

    When I got beyond 20 it was a different story. I found a Linkshell, started using real tactics in battles and generally started having a lot more fun.

    Only problem now is one with connection problems. Ever since I re-installed the game just after Christmas, I’ve been getting lag and DCing during battles. I’m hoping I can sort this out as it is making the game incredibly difficult to play and it never happened before.

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