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The History of Final Fantasy XI

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HistoryHeader.png
Welcome to BGWiki's comprehensive Final Fantasy XI History resource!

We hope that you enjoy reading through our little slice of history. If you have pictures or other information you think should be on this page, please feel free to contribute.

If you are newly returning to the game and looking for a current resource, refer to the Returning to Vana'diel guide instead.

v.1: 2000-2003 originally created by by Elmer the Pointy on JPButton.com

v.2: 2000-2017 Further information & images gathered, researched, compiled and re-released by Funkworkz in August & September of 2017

Header Key
    Historynews.gif News Entry
    Historyversionup.png Version Update
    Historybeta.png Beta Information
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png FFXI In-Game Event
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Merchandise Released
Contents
1. 2000 & 2001 - Pre-Release & Beta
     1.1 The World of the FFXI Beta Test
2. 2002 - FFXI Release & The First Year
3. 2003 - Rise of the Zilart Era
4. 2004 & onward coming soon
4. 2005 & onward coming soon
4. 2006 & onward coming soon

2000 - 2001 Pre-Release

This section includes information on the development of Final Fantasy XI, beginning two years and four months before the first adventurer set foot into Vana’diel. Beta testing began in the winter of 2001.

Jan. 29th, 2000
    Historynews.gif PlayOnline Design Presentation
Square displayed the plan for PlayOnline for the first time at a private event called, “Square Millennium” in Yokohama. Showing off FFIX, FFX and FFXI together, they revealed that FFXI would be the series’ first ever online experience. The next day, Square stock shot up in value. PlayOnline was originally developed to interact with Final Fantasy X, but when those plans fell through it became a strategy site for Final Fantasy IX. The site was designed to complement BradyGames' and Piggyback Interactive's official strategy guides for the game, where players who bought the print guide had access to "keywords" that could be searched for on PlayOnline's site for extra tips and information. This caused fury among buyers of the guide, as they felt cheated for the expensive print guide. The blunder made GameSpy's "Top 5 Dumbest Moments in Gaming" list, and Square dropped the idea for Final Fantasy X, which was under development at the time.
Jul. 19th, 2001
    Historynews.gif Final Fantasy X released in Japan, FFXI movie included
Final Fantasy X went on sale. Included with the game was a bonus disc that gave a look into the progress made on FFXI, which was still in mid-development. “OTHER SIDE OF THE FINAL FANTASY.” The graphics at this time were relatively primitive. The video has since been added to Youtube, and is embedded in this page on the right.

Here are notes of interest.

  • A dragon (Fafnir/Nidhogg) was shown landing from flight.
  • A town which does not appear in the final version of the game is in the video.
  • Mithra and TaruTaru did not appear.
  • A scene was shown involving a Goobbue scooping up and devouring a Mandragora.
Sep. 17th, 2001
    Historybeta.png PlayOnline Beta Testing Begins
General public beta testing begins for PlayOnline with ads displayed in magazines and other media. An ISDN adapter for the Playstation 2 was sold for those participating in the beta.

Pol beta 1.jpg

Pol beta 5.jpg

Pol beta 6.jpg

Pol beta 2.jpg

Pol beta 4.jpg

Pol beta 3.jpg

The rather thick manual was in a binder with an aluminum cover, and weighed about two kilograms. It came with warnings not to drop it, or to accidentally cut yourself on its sharp edges.

Nov. 20th, 2001
    Historybeta.png FFXI Playstation 2 Version Beta Signups Open
Recruitment for the FFXI beta began appearing in magazines and other media. At the time, the PS2 Broadband Unit, (HDD) was not being sold in stores, and could only be acquired by signing up with an ISP. Despite this, there was an absolute deluge of participants. When FFXI was finished, sales of the BB Unit opened up to accomodate new players, but it was still out of stock almost everywhere. The biggest hurdle for a new user to overcome was simply finding a BB Unit to purchase. See this page explaining the difficulties at the time. PSBB.jpg

BB Unit

Dec. 17th, 2001
    Historybeta.png FFXI PS2 Beta Test Begins
The Final Fantasy XI beta test began with lucky players selected by lottery receiving the “PlayOnline Beta 2 Edition,” which included a beta PlayOnline Viewer, Final Fantasy XI beta, Tetra Master beta and a Service Manual binder. This kit is pictured on the bottom to the right.

Four world were made: Chaos, Zande, Golbez and Xdeath. Later, Xdeath and Golbez were combined into Zande. Worlds could not be chosen, and players were divided based on when they signed up. New players continued to be selected as the beta went on, adding new adventurers to Vana’diel from Decemeber up until March of the following year.

POL FFXI BETA.jpg

Ffxi beta 4.jpg

Ffxi beta 3.jpg

Ffxi beta 2.jpg

Dec. 22nd, 2001
    Historynews.gif Online Party 2002
A private Square event, the “Online Party 2002″ was held at the Tokyo International Forum. It was an invitation-only event meant to formally introduce the public to Final Fantasy XI for the first time. Only stakeholders in the industry and a select few users drawn by lottery were invited to attend. 100 machines were setup to allow attendees to play for 15 minute sessions at a time. On stage, Morida Masakazu and Aoki Mayuko performed a mini-concert as Tidus and Yuna, respectively. All attendees received special FFXI neck straps.  
The World of the FFXI Beta Test
The beta version of Final Fantasy XI was practically the same as the initial retail version, but there were still many things missing. Below are the important differences.

Character Selection & Jobs

Characters could choose from every race, but the selection of faces was much fewer than the final product. The six basic jobs were available: Warrior, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage, Red Mage and Thief. Players could obtain sub-jobs, but the quest was different than now. Players had to obtain an "Old Prophecy" from monsters around Jeuno, and hand it to the master.

BetaJobMaster.jpg

Provoke used to say "Hey, how long are you gonna hide under your mama's skirt?" in say automatically.


Level Cap

The level cap was initially set at 30, but they eventually raised it to 35 after player demand. Monster levels were not adjusted to compensate, so players leveled on Easy Prey and Decent Challenge up to 35.


No Undergarments

In the Beta version, there were not undergarments (the clothes you see when you have nothing equipped), and Leather Armor graphics were used for when a player had nothing on.


Entrance to Jeuno Closed

There was an entrance to Jeuno in each of the three surrounding areas, but it was blocked from entry by a metal gate.


Small Home Nations

San d'Oria only consisted of the port, Bastok was only the Mines and Port districts, and Windurst had but the Walls area. Besides Bastok, there was little place to roam in one’s home nation. Home Points were found in each nation, with an additional Home Point placed at each Crag.


Notorious Monsters & Birth of Competition

In Pashhow and Meripthaud, there were Giant Ram NMs, Batallia had a Morbol NM, and Skewer Sam was in Sauromugue Champaign. Since they were only there for the duration of the beta, Linkshells would discuss and plan days for each group to take on the monsters. The birth of the Linkshell was the same time as these Notorious Monsters, and rivalries were formed. These monsters were on a 24 hour spawn timer. Linkshells would scramble to be the first to claim it.

MalboroNMBeta.jpg CockNMBeta.jpg


Beastmen

There was only the Orc beastmen model. Yagudo and Quadav only differed in name, but all used the Orc model.


Slightly Different Maps

Maps existed for the areas around the three nations, but they lacked coordinates, and were difficult to understand. Also, there were no maps for areas outside of Jeuno. Areas like Valkurm Dunes didn’t even exist yet.


Good Manners in Ranguemont Pass

Ranguemont Pass contained NMs that dropped rare items, like Hermes’ Shoes and Prism Capes, and many people hunted them. However, if an error was made during the pull, there would be a disastrous train, so players would shout to warn each other before pulling.

The 3 Ahrimans from nation mission 2-3(dragon BC) used to be at the gate room in Ranguemont, and they were considered as the hardest obstacle for players.


Magic and Ability Names

Redark → Blindna

Vocal → Silena

G-Cure → Curaga

神の祝福 → 女神の祝福

Both are “Benediction,” but the latter specifies Goddess.

These are many other differences were changed before the final version. Area of Effect Cures also affected the entire alliance.


Official Events

During the beta test, there were two official events held. The game staff would interact with players in realtime, role-playing and giving hints for players to complete certain actions.

GMBeta.jpg

2002 - Release & First Updates

With the Playstation 2 beta test completed, Final Fantasy XI was finally given a public release. The Windows beta test ran through the Summer, and the final version was released in the Fall. Final Fantasy XI was ready to set sail.

Feb. 7th, 2002
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Final Fantasy XI Credit Cards
Square, DigiCube, and UC Card announced details concerning special Final Fantasy XI/PlayOnline Visa and Mastercard credit cards, which were available in Japan starting February 2002. These cards were one of the various marketing schemes designed to promote Square's online community.

The cards offered various benefits to PlayOnline users and Final Fantasy XI subscribers:

  • Cardholders had their annual fees waived as long as they were a Final Fantasy XI Subscriber.
  • Gift rebates were earned based on card usage, up to a maximum of 6,000 yen in gift certificates
  • FFXI themed T-Shirt for spending 100,000 yen on the card.

Polcard 1.gif

Card 1.jpg

Card 2.jpg

Apr. 26th, 2002
    Historybeta.png FFXI Playstation 2 Beta Test Ends
The final version of Final Fantasy XI was put together, and the beta test ended. Testers were allowed to have their chosen names transferred over to the full game. The game began with 20 worlds, and it was announced that the last two digits of your total gil would determine where you were placed. This way, players were able to transfer along with their friends to the same server. This system led to servers initially being referred to by number, such as “World 0,” or “Server #5.”
May 16th, 2002
    Historynews.gif FFXI PS2 goes on sale in Japan, Service begins!
The names for the twenty worlds were revealed: Bahamut, Shiva, Titan, Ramuh, Phoenix, Carbuncle, Fenrir, Sylph, Valefor, Alexander, Leviathan, Odin, Ifrit, Diabolos, Caitsith, Quetzalcoatl, Siren, Unicorn, Gilgamesh and Ragnarok.

The PS2 version cost 7800 yen. It contained Final Fantasy XI, PlayOnline Viewer, Tetra Master and JongHoLo (a Mahjong game). It also came with a pretty thick playing manual, weighing in at 288 pages.

Square said they prepared 20 servers worldwide capable of withstanding 5,000 simultaneous connections towards the official version, and that they can handle 100,000 players at any time. FFXI was well organized in its launch, but suddenly big issues occurred immediately after the service started.

FFXI's first week of sales amounted to 63,958 units (Famitsu survey). Dispite being below the 100,000 limit that Square announced, the "Authentication Servers" accessed when logging into the game couldn't withstand the enormous amount of traffic. On top of this, the official FFXI site and their support center were having technical difficulties so Square was unable to communicate with their customers via their official site.

Not only could people not play the game, some were even being charged duplicate amounts when registering their WebMoney code. A majority of BB units were also not delivered on launch day as promised.

All connectivity issues were completely fixed by May 19. Due to the loss of service, free play was extended past the end of May until the end of June.

Ffxi first official site.jpg

Early FFXI Official Website

May 18th, 2002
    Historynews.gif Newspaper Article
On the morning of the 18th, the article to the right was printed in the national newspaper in Japan in the advertisement column. It is an apology advertisement written by the president of Square. They apologize for the difficult launch of FFXI and about duplicate charges. The term "Nightmare" was used. Webmoney Newspaper.jpg
May 23rd, 2002
    Historyversionup.png The First Version Update
  • Treasure adjustments (e.g. Pugils in East Ronfaure would no longer drop Shall Shells.)
  • NPC buying prices adjusted (Crab Shells, Land Crab Meat, Shall Shells, etc).
 
Jun. 5th, 2002
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png FFXI Original Soundtrack Released
A Regular Edition (2,854 Yen, pictured on right top) and Limited Edition (3,150 Yen, pictured on the right middle and bottom) of the soundtrack were both sold.

The Limited Edition was contained in a special package featuring artwork from Mr. Yoshitaka Amano. A picture booklet and DVD containing the opening movie were also included with the limited edition. The soundtrack itself contained all the same songs on either version.

FFXI JP OST ORIG.jpg

FFXI JP OST LE.JPG FFXI JP OST LE 2.jpg

Jun. 11th, 2002
    Historyversionup.png The First Big Version Update
  • Auction House opened.
  • Screenshot function added.
  • Notorious Monsters implemented.
  • The duration of Bind was shortened.
  • The guard stationed in North Gustaberg was moved to its current location.
  • HQ results for crafting made their appearance, but only went up to HQ1 results.
  • The minimum level required to obtain a sub job quest was set to 18.
  • DEX bonus added to Sneak Attack.
  • Thief was given Hand-to-Hand skill.
  • Effect of Treasure Hunter strengthened.
  • Gilfinder used to totally remove the ability to receive gil drops from monsters, and was finally fixed in this update nearly a month after implementation.
Mining Fad

The “Mythril Marathon” was a mining fad that began around June of 2002. Players would bring Pickaxes to Palborough Mines, mine up some Mine Gravel, convert it into Mythril Sand using a machine found in the dungeon, and sell it to an NPC. Adventurers would go naked (maximizing inventory space) and head to Palborough over and over, raising Chocobo prices in Bastok over 1000 gil a ride. After July 9th, Pickaxe prices rose, while Mythril Sand prices fell, making this method of earning money less lucrative.

To commemorate this event, a weekly Records of Eminence objective was added for the Vana'diel 15th Vana'versary in 2017. To complete it, you had to perform 10 conversions of Mine Gravel to Mythril Sand. MythrilMarathon1.jpg

MythrilMarathon2.jpg

MythrilMarathon3.jpg

Boytz became quite popular, and handed out around 10,000 Gil/hour to each player.

Jun. 17th, 2002
    Historybeta.png Recruitment for Windows Beta Testers
Ads were circulated through magazines and the Internet to recruit for a public beta test. At the time, the computer specs required were fairly high and not many people's computers met them. The beta participation was done via public offering to ensure the highest participation possible.
Jun. 17th, 2002
    Historybeta.png FFXI Windows Beta Test Begins
The world Glasyalabolas was formed for Windows beta testers. Beta testing for Tetra Master in Windows took place at the same time. FFXI WINDOWS BETA.jpg
Jun. 24th, 2002
    Historyversionup.png Monsters made unable to attack players on Chocobo
Before teleports were added, chocobos were necessary to go anywhere. Especially now that players cannot be attacked while on a chocobo.
PreTeleport.jpg
Jun. 25th, 2002
    Historynews.gif The Level 50 Cap - First Players Reach Level 50
From the start, the level cap was set to 50 but this was not disclosed to players. Square announced in June of 2002 that the first players who reached level 50 would have their names published on the official site. They also announced during the month that the game was prepared for players to go up to level 100 for a maximum.

On this day, the first players across all worlds attained level 50.

As players were all rushing to level to 50, other casual players didn't enjoy that. Square announced that this game has more than plain leveling.

With that announcement, it caused a big uproar that became a continuous joke in Japan:

[SE] Do this.

[Players] Ok.

[SE] Don't do it.

Players questioned SE "what else there is to do other than leveling?", which SE did not respond to (probably because it was a fact). Later on, during an interview, the dev team claimed that players were leveling too fast, and they never expected everyone to be only leveling everyday.

Though, at that time, the game really only have leveling to do.

Jul. 2nd, 2002
    Historyversionup.png The patch from hell
  • With the introduction of the level difference adjustment from the last patch, monsters checked as above Even Match were impossible to kill. This created the situation where soloing was far more effective than partying.
  • The effects of level difference were defined, but monsters became almost impossible to hit or damage with magic.
    • Elemental magic resistance stayed the same crappy hell at this time.
  • The amounts of MP for Paladin and Dark Knight were adjusted to be lower than Red Mage.
  • Paladin used to also have very high HP values. This update lowered their HP to below that of Warrior.
  • Adjustments made to enmity for abilities like Provoke and Invincible. They were greatly nerfed.
    • They mass nerfed Sentinel and Last Resort to the point that these job abilities were regarded as useless.
  • Parameters like Accuracy, Evasion and Magic Defense were removed from the Status screen with the reason: "We would not like to ruin the fun of players discovering that themselves."; though the real reason seemed to be that the numbers displayed were apparently greatly inaccurate, so they decided to hide that altogether.
  • Hundred Fists at this point used to reduce any weapon's delay to 0, which caused a major bug to weapon's delay display.
The sense of danger was present after this update, as it was easier for mages and melee with little defense to pull hate.
Jul. 9th, 2002
    Historyversionup.png The Introduction of “Incredibly Tough,” & A Wide Array of Job Adjustments
  • Here, the formulas for how damage and accuracy change with level difference were reworked. (It is assumed at this time plans for level 70-80 monsters were being made.)
  • WarriorHand-to-Hand skill lowered one grade.
  • MonkAccuracy for left-handed punches changed. Effects of Hundred Fists and Chakra changed. New punch motions added for the job's left handed swings.
  • White MageEnmity generated from Benediction lowered.
  • Red MageDagger, Sword and Club skill levels, as well as max MP, raised.
  • ThiefHand-to-Hand and Sword skills raised. Enmity generated from Steal lowered.
  • Dark Knight – Given the ability to use Great Sword Weapon Skills.
    • From early .DAT mining, it was discovered that Ragnarok was listed as Paladin only. DRKs were initially not intended to have Great Sword skill.
  • Bard – Duration of Song effects shortened. Received Dagger, Sword and Club skill. NPC prices for songs lowered.
  • Ranger – Rangers now able to use guns. Prices on arrows and bullets lowered and made able to stack to 99, rather than the original limit of 12. Received Dagger and Sword skill.
  • Beastmaster – Duration of Charm on pets fixed to 5 minutes, and 30 minutes under the influence of Familiar. (However, depending on a pet’s remaining HP, Charm could be broken instantly if they receive a critical hit).
  • EX Dagger Weapon Skills made only usable by Red Mage, Ranger, Thief and Bard.
  • “Incredibly Tough” added to /check. (Previously only went up to “Very Tough”).
  • Overhaul of experience point bonuses received for being in a party.
  • Certain monsters (such as Ghouls) had their drop rates increased.
  • Arrangement of monsters, as well as their treasure pools, changed across all dungeon areas.
  • Gil dropped by Gigas-type monsters reduced from 900 to 200.
  • Eight different Window patterns made selectable in the Config menu.
  • Moving during /heal now automatically canceled healing.
  • Target name and icon now displayed in the target window.
  • Current position now displayed on the map screen.
  • Goods one may sell at the Auction House reduced from 8 at a time to 7.
  • The Delivery Box now displayed the corresponding sale for gil delivered.
  • Players could now see the stats for Conquest Items before purchase.
  • Massive Elemental Magic resistance was added into the game, and as such Black Mage was known as "The gimp White Mage" due to the major change.
  • Water Magic cast on Fish was fixed to only inflict 50% of the intended damage.
  • Magic added: Gravity, Horde Lullaby
  • Text Commands added: /attack, /equip, /names, /kneel, /sigh, /comfort, /huh, /blush, /angry, /disgusted, /upset, /panic, /fume, /doubt, /sulk and /shocked.
Mob Placement Changes
  • At this time, the popular leveling camp was the Crawler's Nest entrance. The change to mob placement in this update added Crawlers and Bees, which aggrod, to the entrance of the zone. This camp's popularity dropped drastically. With the unavoidable 1800 damage Final Sting from bees, and the fact that even at lv50, it's close to impossible to not aggro, many people avoided the zone.

Bone Hunting Boom

With the rise of demands for new camps, players started moving to Eldieme, Garlaige, Behemoth Dominion and places. As a result, lv32 - lv47 leveling camps were mainly skeletons hunting. Japanese players called it “骨骨ファンタージ,” or “Bone-Bone Fantasy,” and it was an era when Warriors and Black Mages would team up to produce Fusion skillchains with repeated Earth Crushers. After adjustments to monsters, this technique became less effective against Skeletons, and it fell out of favor.

Players were unaware that skeletons didn't link, so the rumor spread to "Not link bones when pulling with Cure"

  • Backline job beastmen had a glitch in their levels, in which their /check level does not give EXP equivillent to the /check, for example, IT beastmen mage would give EM exp. This continued into the Rise of the Zilart implementation of several beastmen mages, and was not fixed for a while.
  • The dev team then announce that "We have increased the droprate of armors from dungeon beastmen.", while the truth is that they only remove the armor drop from all field beastmen.
Jul. 17th, 2002
    Historynews.gif Altana Encylopedia
Equipment, spells and other information were displayed within the PlayOnline Viewer.
  • The /salute emote was being adjusted for TaruTaru females affiliated with San d’Oria, and became temporarily unusable.
Information like items, magic and abilities were available for the public to view in order to aid adventurers. However, since you had to logout to PlayOnline to actually view this content, not many people utilized the feature. Fan sites took over from there and the usefulness of the database faded and was ultimately closed on December 27, 2005.
Jul. 19th, 2002
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png First Public Event: Moogles Take a Trip
For five hours, between 8pm July 19th and 1am July 20th, players could search for 21 moogles that were lost across every region. Talking to a lost moogle would net you a point. Depending on the points you accumulate, you could receive a Bronze Moogle Belt. Storing up enough points could even get you a Silver Moogle Belt or Gold Moogle Belt. Being the first public event, there was a large influx of participants, causing many areas to become unstable. Compared to today, this first event was very short. System messages advanced the event in real time, and everyone was very nervous as to whether things would run smoothly. Adventurers heavily congregated in areas designated for the event, causing clients to have display problems or become unstable. Due to the limited time of the event, many people were also unable to participate altogether. As time went on, FFXI events grew longer and longer because of the concerns voiced in this first trial run.

MoogleTripEvent.jpg

Jul. 29th, 2002
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png User Event: Bon-Odori
This was an event users planned through bulletin boards across the Internet. It was the first user event to take place across all worlds. There were no fireworks available yet, so players enjoyed dancing using the /panic emote, and used flashy spells and abilities to their advantage. Later on, the Vana'diel Tribune did a story on the event, and the following year an official Bon-Odori was held. This is how the official Sunbreeze Festival came to be. Bon-odori.jpg

Bon-odori2.jpg

Jul. 30th, 2002
    Historynews.gif The First Vana’diel Census
The distribution of main jobs was displayed. The average level was 10, and the majority of players were under level 20. At the time, only 0.4% of players had reached the cap of level 50. However, these statistics included secondary characters, which skewed the results (59% of players at level 1), and the average level among active players was most likely higher.
Jul. 30th, 2002
    Historyversionup.png Teleports and Warp II Added
The Rank 5 Missions (including the Shadow Lord fight) were implemented, but with the level cap at 50, no adventurers had beaten it.The experience point bonus for larger parties was increased.
  • Experience points increased for defeating high level enemies. 200 EXP per kill was now the norm.
  • Resist rates reduced when attacking enemies with magic containing elemental properties they are weak to.
  • Current day and weather now displayed along with the compass.
  • High level monsters’ resist rate against Enfeebling Magic reduced.
  • Warrior – Duration of Mighty Strikes increased from 30 seconds to 45.
  • Increase to Skeleton's Black Cloud's damage.
  • Enmity generated by Healing magic increased.
  • The △ button now allowed one to select the chat log or status icons even during battle.
  • Depending on your Window settings, the X button could now shorten the chat window even during battle.
  • Chat filtering added through use of the △ button.
  • Monsters with Call For Help status that are close by would now appear on the compass.
  • The △ button would now allow one to select regions when using the Search function.
  • The names of players in one’s party now displayed in blue in the Search function.
  • Mining was introduced.
    • Pickaxes and the Mythril Seams still existed before this update in order to proceed with Rank Missions.
  • Treasure Chests added to various dungeons, which included amazing rewards.
  • NPC dispatched to each city that would change the titles of adventurers.
  • NPC to tell players their Fame level also added to each city.
  • When using more than one of the same item to craft, players could now put them into the same slot. (Previously, each item needed its own slot).
  • A player’s rank in each craft was now displayed along with their skill level. When using a crystal, only skill points would be displayed.
  • Players were now able to craft inside their Mog House.
  • The additional Job Change screen was removed to facilitate speedy job switching.
  • Players would receive a discount when renting a Chocobo based on their level.
  • New items available for purchase with Conquest points.
  • The /salute motion for TaruTaru females in San d’Oria was re-implemented.
  • White Mages used to use /anon to avoid tell spams, but a bug caused it to be removed after joining an alliance.
  • Magic added: Teleport-Holla, Teleport-Dem, Teleport-Mea, Shellra, Protectra II, Warp II, Fire Threnody, Wind Threnody, Earth Threnody, Lightning Threnody, Water Threnody, Light Threnody, Dark Threnody and Magic Finale.
    • Threnody had 100% accuracy.
    • Casting a teleport took almost 1 minute. This was later reduced.
  • <pos> added to chat.
  • The Job Change Screen was removed from the game and was replaced with what we have now (Moogle spinning in a circle with the animation around a player). It used to be similar to the player creation screen.
    • The picture to the right is what we used to have.
Warp II

The quest to obtain Warp II, brought adventurers to the basement of Fei'Yin, where the dangerously high-level ghost Utukku dwells. The level cap was 50 at the time, but there were very few people who had attained it. Adventurers around level 40 would band together into alliances and still be defeated. Not to mention, Sneak and Invisible were not yet in the game, causing this to be an incredibly difficult quest to complete.

Brave players would have to act as decoys, striking the enemy and leading it away from the party in order for people to finally clear this ordeal.

Black Cloud The increase to skeleton's Black Cloud attack started the neverending JP joke of:

[SE] Discover your own camps.

[Players] Wow, this place is nice for EXP.

[SE] Ok, removing that camp.

Lock Picking Woes

Because thieves were able to pick locks so easily on treasure chests, they went for the coveted Astral Ring in Castle Oztroja. Some players did not leave the zone for hours since multiple rings could be held, and sold for a premium price.

Purple Belt

At this time, the rams in La Theine Plateau and Konschtat Highlands had an abnormally high drop rate of Ram Skins and Ram Horns. This caused a monopoly, and players who want the Purple Belt horns and lanolin all cried collectively due to rivalry.

Silver Hairpins At this time, selling the Silver Hairpin could infinitely increase your gil, which created the age where Goldsmithers would fly back and forth on Airships to multiply their gil. This was of course, removed.

Old Job Change Screen

JobChangeScreen.jpg

Aug. 24th, 2002
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Exterminate the Beastmen
The second officially sanctioned event. In order for the nations of Altana to combat the ever-growing threat of the Beastmen, nationality would no longer play a part in receiving Signet. At the same time, the collection of weapons and armor for the advancement of Conquest began. During the time of this event, the vast majority of adventurers had low Missions ranks, and with Valkurm Dunes being a virtual Mecca for parties leveling jobs, many players would lose their Signet while in the dunes. San d'Oria had a strong advantage with their relatively close proximity to the area, and on many worlds they were able to continuously control Valkurm and refresh their Signets at the Outpost. However, Bastok was ahead of San d'Oria in sheer number of adventurers, so this event brought about the end of San d'Orias little scheme. Soon after, the Kingdom's influence fell, and across many worlds they were consistently ranked last in Conquest. Eventually, adventurers took the pleas of Prince Trion from the Vana'diel Tribune to heart, and established the 赤獅子騎士団 (Red Lion Knights) Linkshell in support of San d'Oria, and the shell quickly spread across multiple servers.
Sep. 6th, 2002
    Historynews.gif The Second Vana’diel Census
Statistics on job levels, job choices, and national affiliation were presented. This time, level 1 characters were excluded from the percentages. The amount of level 50 players increased to 0.8%. Advanced Jobs (Paladin, Dark Knight, Beastmaster, Bard and Ranger) comprised 6.65% of the player base, showing there were still very few people who had acquired these jobs. Now, the census was presented by Sage Sundi, the Online Service Manager.
Sep. 12th, 2002
    Historyversionup.png The First Limit Break Quest
  • The Level Cap is raised to 55. To continue to level 51, players must complete “In Defiant Challenge
  • Experience Point Chains were implemented, but were not displayed in the chat log.
  • Valkurm Dunes is added to the title screen.
  • High Level Notorious Monsters, such as Behemoth, are added to their respective areas. Also, over 20 types of “Leader Class” Notorious Monsters are added to each Beastman stronghold. With them, a multitude of new drops. (These NMs would re-pop in just 16 minutes). Players who joined the fight halfway through were unable to lot drops.
  • Chain Bonuses were added.
  • Thief – An error in which Sneak Attack would not work if facing Northwest was corrected. Treasure Hunter II was also added. (Previously planned abilities Gilfinder II and Blast Attack, which would later be Trick Attack, were postponed). Items used to open chests, namely Thief Tools and Living Key, were added. The DEX bonus for Sneak Attack was removed when subbing THF, protecting its integrity.
  • Bard – Bards could now have two songs active at once when using instruments. Elemental effects of Minne and Minuet songs weakened.
  • BeastmasterCharm time changed to reflect level difference and CHR score. Pets would no longer become un-Charmed by receiving critical hits. Heel ability added. Leave lowered to level 35. Tame would no longer have an effect on monsters that are unable to be Charmed. Large-sized monsters (such as NMs and giant sheep) that could previously be Charmed were now unable to be Charmed.
  • Ranger – Rangers were now able to use Archery and Marksmanship Weapon Skills. Accuracy for Ranged attacks raised across the board. Rangers were now able to accumulate TP with Ranged Attacks.
  • The skill levels required to learn Viper Bite and Gust Slash were switched.
  • Skillchain elements added to Axe Weapon Skills Raging Axe, Smash Axe, Avalanche Axe and Spinning Axe.
  • Offensive Magic could now be half resisted.
  • Duration of Sleep fixed to a single value.
  • The ability to Magic Burst off a Skillchain was added. However, the results did not display in the log. Also, the existence of Level 3 Skillchains were hinted at, but not implemented yet.
  • Confirmation dialogue added when setting Home Point.
  • The amount of experience lost when K.O.’d was reduced for players level 25 and up.
  • Other players could now see the graphic effect when leveling up or down.
  • Race Specific Equipment added.
  • Harvesting, Logging and Gardening added.
    • Gardening was mentioned in the game manual from the start.
  • Macro function expanded to 8 sets.
  • Fishing ranks now tested at each level up.
  • The caps for each Craft were raised to 60.
  • HQ2-3 were added in this update, and the result tier used to be determined by the amount of "!" in the chat log. For some reason, they removed this later.
  • Food effects were altered and Meat Mithkabobs became very popular.
  • Font colors added for the various items one places on the Auction House.
  • Conquest was adjusted to increase the effect battles have on the weekly tally.
  • Signet duration adjusted to correspond with Rank.
  • Merchants at Outposts would now accept equipment trades to boost a country’s control of the region.
  • The fee to change national allegiance now changed according to Conquest.
  • Magic added: Curaga III, Invisible, Sneak, Deodorize and Reraise.
Mad Dash for Monsters

The first Limit Break Quest, “In Defiant Challenge,” had players seeking items that dropped from three different monsters. With few monsters and low drop rates, players went to great pains to obtain these items. A later Version Update repositioned some of the monsters and increased their numbers. Experience Points to progress to level 51 was astronomically high compared to what everyone was used to. (7600 > 7700 > 7800 > 10000 > 11000 > 13000 > 16000 > 20000). Also with the increasing need to maintain the level range to maximize EXP gain, players became more weary of the level difference in parties.

Northwest Nerfs Sneak Attack?

Ever since service began, there had been a glitch where Sneak Attack would not work if one was facing Northwest. It came to be considered an unlucky direction and parties would often request the tank stand South of the enemy to avoid the issue.

The Debut of Invisible, Sneak and Deodorize

Invisible, Sneak and Deodorize were added, but they only dropped off of Notorious Monsters, and were hard to get. After the October 2nd Version Update, these scrolls were dropped off of regular monsters and people were able to acquire them with relative ease. This whole issue could have been the birthplace of the "direction to face when crafting" myth.

Players & Patches

Sometime in August of 2002, the Dev team blamed the lackluster and anti-player patches on "Players are not used to our new patches, that's all.".

Sep. 21st, 2002
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Chase the Dancing White Shadow
This was an event that ran from 5pm September 21st to 1am September 22nd. White rabbits that ran at great speed appeared in every region. Players had to catch one and trade it a Moon Carrot, which was received from Moogles. This could net you a Moon Ball.

Depending on the Moon Phase, you might also receive one of the following five wands:

Here is the event in progress in Batallia Downs

RabbitChasing.jpg

Sep. 26th, 2002
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png FFXI 2002 SPECIAL ART BOX
A limited edition package, the box contained original illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano and a DVD-ROM with his artwork on its label. A wristband with one of the four national flags (Bastok, San d'Oria, Windurst or Jeuno) depicted was also included. The cost of this special edition was 8,000 Yen not including Tax.

An unboxing video is to the right.

Armband Windurst.JPG

Sep. 28th, 2002
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png User Event:Castle Zvahl Charge
Back in 2002, when there was a low level cap and before Sneak and Invisible, nobody knew what lied in Castle Zvahl Baileys. Players created the event "Castle Zvahl Charge". On all 20 severs players gathered in Xarcabard. Some players were destroyed before even making it to the castle, but some players made it to Castle Zvahl Keep. Zvahlcharge.jpg

Zvahlcharge2.jpg

Oct. 2nd, 2002
    Historyversionup.png Teleport Vahzl, Escape Added
  • Damage calculations between higher level players and lower level monsters was adjusted. This means the damage a low level monster can do to a high level player has been increased. This was to counter higher level players hunting in lower level grounds for easy EXP This is how Easy Prey monsters can now easily kill high level players.
    • Although not mentioned by Square, this also made it easier for lower level players to hit higher level monsters. The Shadow Lord was defeated for the first time the day after this update.
  • Beastmaster – The recast delay for Charm was reduced from 5 minutes to 15 seconds.
  • Elementals would now drop clusters according to their element.
  • The method for distributing experience when a party or alliance contained players level 51 and above was improved.
  • A glitch that caused a player to take damage when they used Flaming Arrow or Hot Shot was corrected.
  • A message was added to the chat log to alert users of a successful Magic Burst.
  • Players under the effect of Invisible, Hide or Camouflage would now become translucent.
  • Logging was now available in East Ronfaure and Buburimu Peninsula. Hatchets were available for purchase in Mhaura.
  • Treasure chest could now contain Gil.
  • The chance of a trap springing when a Thief failed to open a chest was slightly increased.
  • The quest to expand one’s Mog House was made easier to trigger.
  • New Conquest rewards were added.
  • San d'Orian Ring, Bastokan Ring and Windurstian Ring were made available for purchase with Conquest Points.
  • Players could now Search Behemoth's Dominion, Qu'lun Dome, Monastic Cavern and the Altar Room. However, one could not simply type the command, but had to manually select them within the Search function.
  • Players could now cycle through sub-targets while using /check, just like when targeting with magic.
  • Elemental Weapon Skills used to inflict high damage now could be resisted like Elemental Magic.
    • Physical Weapon Skills were almost impossible to land on a monster without Sneak Attack.
  • Elemental Magic now displayed when it was resisted in the chat log, but was removed the next day.
    • This brought about the "Resist!" glitch when it displayed in the log that Cures and Blood Pacts were resisted.
  • Magic added: Teleport-Vahzl, Escape
  • Invisible, Deodorize and Sneak were added to common monster drop pools, therefore more accessible to everyone.
  • <tp> added to chat.
Since there was no chat entry for displaying one’s TP up until now, people would simply say “TPOK” when they had stored enough points up for a Skillchain. However, many adventurers found it annoying to have to switch typesets all the time, and would just write “tぽk.”

Shadow Lord Subdued

Finally after the level cap was raised to 55 and the change in damage calculations, the Shadow Lord was able to be beaten with more ease. The Vana'diel Tribune published an article talking about the first defeat coming from the Shiva world. After the cap was raised to 60, it eased the difficulty of the fight even further. The path to reach the Throne Room was still difficult and confusing for most, so the majority of players were not able to win the fight until 2003.

Metal Gear Solid With the addition of teleport and MGS magic, players begun their search of new camps in the Northlands. This led players to Fei'Yin which was the most popular.

ShadowLordTribune.jpg

Oct. 10th, 2002
    Historynews.gif The Third Vana’diel Census
Adventurers level 50 and above (excluding level 1s) comprised 3.64% of the population.
Nov. 1st, 2002
    Historynews.gif Official Benchmark Software
In order to test out the specs on a Windows machine, the Official Benchmark Software was created. It was dubbed “FF Bench,” or “Taru Bench” (due to the large number of Tarus in the demo). It wasn’t just for those curious about getting into the game, but also useful for people wanting to graphically tweak their PC for other games. Future versions would be included on expansion discs.
Nov. 1st, 2002
    Historybeta.png Windows Beta Test Ends
When moving over to the final version of the game, players could only take PlayOnline IDs, handles, Friend Lists, mail addresses, but not their characters.
Nov. 6th, 2002
    Historynews.gif Pandemonium and Garuda Open
These worlds were opened along with the sale of the Windows version. Players could not transfer from already existing worlds.
Nov. 7th, 2002
    Historynews.gif FFXI Windows Released in Japan
The Windows version contained 4 discs rather than a DVD, and the packaging was very simple with the logo from the PS2 version displayed prominently. PlayOnline Viewer and Tetra Master were included, but the Mahjong game from the PS2 version was absent. The instruction manual was 248 pages long. The price point for the Windows version was 8,000 ~ 10,000 Yen.

The blue box on the PC version says "For Online Only"

FFXI PC JP.jpg
Nov. 7th, 2002
    Historynews.gif Cerberus Opens
A new world was constructed to accommodate an increasing population. Transfers were unavailable.
Nov. 10th, 2002
    Historynews.gif Final Fantasy XI Wins Award for Network Media at 7th Annual Animation Kobe
 
Nov. 22nd, 2002
    Historynews.gif Rise of the Zilart Announced
Ads for the first expansion pack, “Rise of Zilart” appeared in gaming magazines. Pictures were shown of of Kazham, Yuhtunga Jungle and “Riqua Desert” (later changed to Altepa).

ZilartAnnouncement.jpg

ZilartMag1.jpg

(Center) In the Final Fantasy series, summoned beasts were very familiar and Ifrit was shown. (Upper Left) Kam'lanaut is shown (nobody knew his name at that point obviously) The dialogue "finally we could wake up thanks to him" is meaningful. (Bottom Left) Samurai Artifact Armor is shown for the first time. (Right 3) Carbuncle along with two Zilart themed dungeons are shown.

ZilartMag2.jpg

(Top 3) Ifrit blood pacts are shown. Party members do not move besides the summoner, so everyone theorized that time stopped during blood pacts. (Lower 3) New Zilart monsters and areas are shown.

ZilartMag3.jpg

Kazham

A mithran village is showcased. The caption roughly reads: Kazham is a fishing village at the northern tip of Elshimo Island. The residents live in hunting and fishing as living as the majority of Mithra's tribe. Buildings of atmosphere close to Mithra residential district of Windurst are lining up.

ZilartMag4.jpg

Riqua Desert

A desert is showcased. The name is later changed to Altepa. The caption roughly reads: The Riqua Desert is a place where the capital of Galka was long ago, now there are scattered ruins that unleash the past reflections, and there are stateless villages where adventurers can rest.

ZilartMag5.jpg

Yuhtunga and Yhoator Jungle

The Yutunga Jungle is a forested area covering the whole of Elshimo Island, with a forested area blocking sunlight, a large group of large trees with age-old age, a volcanic zone that exudes smoke without interruption, a waterfall reminiscent of ancient times s left as it is. There are ruins in the outback of the jungle that tell a story that someone built civilization.

Nov. 26th, 2002
    Historyversionup.png Level Cap Raised to 60
  • The level cap was raised to 60. The second Limit Break quest, “Atop the Highest Mountains” was added.
    • This quest was regarded to be the pinnacle of challenges at the time, even harder than Shadow Lord.
  • Several spells had their level requirements altered for various magic using jobs. Red Mage became able to use Invisible, Sneak and Deodorize.
  • MP consumed by Holy increased from 75 to 100, while casting range was changed considerably, from 25m to 15m. Furthermore, MND now factored into the spell's accuracy, and the cast time was slightly increased.
  • Ancient Magic now factored in INT when determining accuracy.
  • The potency of Cure spells would now reflect the user's MND trait much more than the target's VIT trait.
  • The MP consumed by tier-II Elemental spells was corrected.
  • Artifact Armor added for the six basic jobs, as well as the only advanced job Bard
    • It is unknown why only Bard was given their Artifact and not the other advanced jobs.
  • The arrangement of monsters in Eldieme Necropolis, Crawler's Nest, Garlaige Citadel, and Castle Zvahl Baileys was changed dramatically. This made it much easier to clear Limit Break quests.
  • Distribution of monsters across Fei'Yin, Xarcabard and Castle Zvahl Baileys was adjusted.
  • The duration of the effect of Curse from the machines in Beadeaux was reduced.
  • The "Portal charm" item for opening the gate to Toraimarai Canal was added.
  • The quest for attaining the Crawler's Nest map was made easier and no longer required the monuments in Batallia Downs or Sauromugue Champaign.
  • Treasure Coffers were added to dungeons.
  • Monster targeting logic was altered, making it difficult to keep hate by simply spamming Provoke. Players now had to consider Enmity levels more seriously, including deal dealt/taken and usage of healing magic.
  • A number of Too Weak enemies were made Easy Prey, allowing players more opportunities to earn experience off of weaker monsters.
  • Chain bonuses were now displayed in the chat log.
  • Skillchain damage could now be resisted. This was when players stopped relying almost exclusively on Fusion, and made the switch over to Distortion.
  • TP accumulation now depended upon the delay of your weapon. Using a two-handed weapon provided an additional boost. It used to be a fixed 5-hits to have 100 (now 1000) TP.
  • TP Gain from getting hit was lowered from 10 (now 100) to 2 (now 20, what it is now). This promoted the use of a tank, causing Paladin to no longer be a "Hero" and more of a defensive tank.
  • Monster TP Gain was creatly increased, and the system of monsters spamming TP moves when they can under 25% health was introduced.
  • Monsters that aggro to magic would previously attack players that had MP, even if they used an item. This was fixed so that would only aggro to the usage of magic spells.
  • Recast timers of Focus and Dodge shortened from 15 minutes to 5 minutes. The duration of their effects was also shortened from 5 minutes to 2 minutes.
  • The attack delay for players with no hand-to-hand skill, or equipped with a shield, was adjusted.
  • White MageDivine Seal added.
  • Black MageElemental Seal added.
  • ThiefTrick Attack added. The previously announced Gilfinder II was scrapped. Sneak Attack was altered so that when used in conjunction with a Weapon Skill, only the initial hit would be guaranteed. Introducing Trick Attack helped thieves be known as hate controllers.
  • Dark KnightWeapon Bash added. Souleater was strengthened, when used with Dark Knight as your main job, to produce more damage.
  • Beastmaster – When using Charm on monsters that could not be Charmed, it would generate a Bind effect. Reward added.
  • Chocobo rentals now available at Tele-points. Chocobo prices would decrease quickly.
  • Expeditionary Force was introduced.
  • Players in higher ranked nations could now purchase the rewards of lower ranked nations at prices one level above the item's usual price. Rank 6 Conquest rewards added.
  • Supply quests now rewarded more Conquest Points, but could only be undertaken once every Vana'diel day.
  • Values for Beastmen were now displayed in region info for the region you are currently in.
  • Visual effect added when receiving Signet.
    • Previously, it was the same animation as Cure.
  • The cap for craft skills was raised to 70. Players could only devote themselves to improving a single craft beyond 60.
  • Equipment could now be de-synthed using Lightning Crystals. The success rate was extremely high.
  • Players could now use typed commands to search Behemoth's Dominion, Monastic Cavern, Qulun Dome and the Altar Room.
  • Through quests, a player could expand their Gobbiebag four times.
  • Quest added to select an area when exiting your Mog House.
  • Cut & Paste functionality added to the Macro palette.
  • The compass was altered to differentiate the colors of party members and pets.
  • Magic Added: Shell III, Protectra III, Shellra II, Shellra III, Raise II, Reraise II, Barvirus, Barvira, Barpetrify, Barpetra, Sleep II, Tractor, Aero III, Stone III, Water III, Firaga II, Blizzaga II, Aeroga II, Stonega II, Waterga II, Flare, Freeze, Tornado, Quake, Burst, Flood, Ice Spikes, Blade Madrigal, Dragonfoe Mambo, Gold Capriccio, Mage's Ballad II, Shining Fantasia, Foe Requiem V, Carnage Elegy, Victory March, Foe Lullaby.
    • Raise II was only obtained from the high level Yagudo NM in Castle Oztroja, so it was very expensive and most players did not have it. At the same time, a bug existed that allowed Reraise II to be cast on other players.
  • <call0> through <call3> added to chat.
Artifact Armor Added

Artifact Armor proved much more useful at the time then crafted equipment, which became extremely hard to sell. Skill-up parties proved very successful at procuring Coffer keys for players.

Sucks to Have MP

Up until now, monsters that sensed magic to attack players would assault anyone with MP even if they simply used an ability or item. Paladins and Dark Knights had it tough, and Warriors needed to be extra careful when pulling with Provoke if they subbed White Mage.

High Enmity Charm

At the time, Charm generated an extreme amount of enmity, so Paladins would often sub Beastmaster to hold hate against monsters immune to the ability. Since Charm had a recast timer of 15 seconds, it proved more effective than Provoke. Using things like Protectra and Army's Paeon were also popular ways of holding hate around this time.

The De-Synth Boom

When de-sythning was first introduced, the success rate was absurdly high, and results often generated 2-4 items. Adventurers could make plenty of gil by purchasing cheap equipment from NPCs, de-synthing them, and selling the results. Lightning crystals shot up in value, and Thunder Elementals were hunted into virtual extinction. Several days later, this was adjusted in a maintenance, and the system was balanced to its current state.

Nov. 26th, 2002
    Historynews.gif Wedding Support Opens
Service begins for official in-game weddings. The Wedding Dress was not yet available at the time. The Wedding Ring was introduced, but players names could not yet be added to the rings. This service is not like it is today. It used to involve an application process through Playonline, and a GM (Attendant) would approve and setup your marriage date and location. The whole process used to be first come-first served, but the burden on the one Wedding Attendant GM was too large. On June 2, 2004 the system was changed to a lottery. On November 18 2009, the system was changed so that players did the whole event without help from GMs but rather NPCs.

Wedding1.jpg

Above is an image of an actual in-game wedding in 2003.

Wedding2.jpg

This is a picture of the application process from 2005.

Due to the incompetence of GMs, most weddings were cancelled and never followed up on.

Dec. 17th, 2002
    Historynews.gif Developers’ Blog Beta Test
A Developers’ Blog, to be displayed on the public site, was put into beta testing. Its purpose was to facilitate discussion between the development team and the players.
Dec. 19th, 2002
    Historyversionup.png Taxes for Jeuno Bazaars
  • Auto-Party function added. Because it never worked, it was deemed useless since implementation.
  • Artifact Armor added for Paladin, Dark Knight, Beastmaster, and Ranger.
    • Paladin's quest was bugged and caused the game to freeze.
  • The opening scenes for North and South San d'Oria were altered. San d’Oria Missions “Smash the Orcish Scouts” “Bat Hunt” “Save the Children” “The Davoi Report” “Infiltrate Davoi” and “The Crystal Spring” were made repeatable. A new cut scene was also added.
  • Cure spells saw their enmity reduced for low level players.
  • Paladin – Enmity generated from Sentinel increased. Cover added.
  • Elemental Magic received accuracy bonuses so that tier-II was harder to resist than tier-I, and tier-III harder to resist than tier-II.
  • An issue where Reraise II could be cast on other players was corrected.
  • The effect of Mage's Ballad now increased with skill. With two Ballads stacked on a player, they could now refresh 6 MP a tic. It was a golden age for Bards everywhere.
  • The effect of Victory March was reduced.
  • Beastmaster – The recast timer for Reward was shortened from 5 minutes to 3 minutes. Pet Food Beta became available for purchase. In addition, the amount healed with Reward was now based on MND.
  • The list of jobs able to equip Life Belt was changed.
  • The Thief item Skeleton Key was added.
  • The shop near the Airship dock in Bastok stopped selling ore, which was now made available at the Goldsmithing guild.
  • A number of crafting recipes were changed, and guild ranks were introduced.
  • The confirm button was changed to cancel one's cast when fishing.
  • Jeuno bazaar began to be charged tax. In Lower Jeuno and Ru'Lude Gardens, the tax was 10%, while in Upper Jeuno and Port Jeuno it was 5%.
    • This is how those places became the popular bazaar locations, as Lower and Ru'lude congregated more people.
  • In order to resolve bandwidth issues, functions such as checking one's items on the Auction House, the Mog House Delivery Box, and the delivery system were each disabled temporarily at different times. This delay is still in the game today.
  • Kuzotz and Elshimo regions were added to the Conquest menu.
  • Serket was added to the game.
Rochefogne, the Popular NPC

San d'Oria Missions were given somewhat of an overhaul. A new NPC, Rochefogne, appeared.

Dec. 19th, 2002
    Historynews.gif Kujata, Bismarck, Ixion, Typhon and Kirin Open
The amount of people on the original worlds had grown, so these new ones were established. Transfers from existing worlds to these new ones was unavailable. A Stream of New HNMs

Around this time, a number of so-called HNMs, or stronger than average Notorious Monsters, began appearing across Vana'diel. A lot of new equipment could be made using the materials they dropped.

Dec. 22nd, 2002
    Historynews.gif Developers’ Blog Beta Test Closure
The reason that it was closed, was that a certain spammer named Azagba caused too much trouble, Square decided to close the board altogether.

JP rumored that Azagba is actually Tanaka from the SE team. Afterward, it did reopen, but no one bothered to post anymore. It officially closed in mid-2003.

Dec. 25th, 2002
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png First Vana'diel Christmas
No official christmas event was held until 2003, but treants with lights in their branches were placed in certain areas. This treant will return in 2003! TwinklingTreant.jpg

2003 - Rise of the Zilart Era

From April of 2003, the first expansion disc, “Rise of the Zilart” widened the scope of adventurer activity farther than ever before. In October, service began in North America. December 2003 saw the introduction of the level 75 cap. It was a very busy and event-filled year for Vana’diel.

Jan. 1st, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Lucky Sheep Roam Vana’diel
To celebrate the New Year, there were sheep named Fortune Ram, Bless Ewe, Merry Mary, Happy Baabaa and Lucky Lamb. In addition, two Mandragora named “Ake” and “Ome” appeared in each nation, including Jeuno.

FirstNewYears.jpg

Ake ome.jpg

Ake and Ome were two Mandragora NPCs with little oranges on their heads. They didn’t do anything special besides stand around in town, but adventurers just couldn’t get enough screenshots of the adorable pair.

Ake and Ome get their names from the phrase “Akemashite omedetou,” which is said to wish a Happy New Year.

The Monstrosity item Ake-Ome Spirit was derived from this event.

Jan. 14th, 2003
    Historynews.gif Worlds Consolidate Into Kujata, Bismarck
Ixion, Typhon and Kirin were shut down and the population added to Kujata and Bismarck.
Jan. 15th, 2003
    Historynews.gif FFXI-TV Begins Broadcasting
On “Channel BB” (channel 755) of Sky Perfect TV!, a program titled FFXI-TV begins broadcast. This program was aired 13 times in 30 minute segments. Square Enix sponsored this program. Vana'diel Wind (known today as Live Vana'diel) occasionally aired the program. The Japanese actress Yuko Mizuno stared in the program. This program aired until August 31st, 2004. No subtitles were added to the show. Each time, the player was given a task via a Moogle "Directive". Below is a list of the episodes.
Episode Directive Area Focus
1 FFXIをインストールせよ!!

(Install FFXI!!)

Chateau d'Oraguille, Northern San d'Oria Cathedral
2 初級クエストを攻略せよ!!

(Capture the beginner quest!!)

Windurst
3 パーティープレイを会得せよ!!

(Acquire Party Play!!)

Metalworks
4 パーティープレイ応用編!!

(Party Play applied version!!)

West Ronfaure, La Theine Plateau
5 サポートジョブをゲットせよ!!

(Get support jobs!!)

La Theine Plateau, Mhaura, Selbina
6 チョコボ! そして新たなる大地!!

(Chocobo ! And a new world!)

Jeuno
7 ジラートの幻影!!召喚魔法!

(Rise of the Zilart! Summoning magic!!)

Kazham, Yuhtunga Jungle
8 ジラートの幻影マル秘開発話!!

(Rise of the Zilart development story!!)

The Sanctuary of Zi'Tah, The Boyahda Tree
9 ジラートの幻影マル秘開発話パート2 & 新エリア探訪!

(Rise of the Zilart development story 2 & New Area Exploration!)

Cape Teriggan, Quicksand Caves
10 ドラゴン退治!!ミッション「他国を回れ」

(Dragon ridicule!! Mission "Journey Abroad")

Norg
11 Notorious Monsterを撃破せよ!!

(Defeat Notorious Monster!!)

Ifrit's Cauldron
12 闇の王を討て!召喚士になれ!!

(Deceive the King of Darkness! Be a summoner!!)

Western Altepa Desert, Rabao
13 召喚士になれ!!

(Be a summoner ! !)

To Catch a Falling Star
January 2003
    Historynews.gif The Counter of the Crafting Bug
As we knew it, there was a crafting bug in which a player could force an interruption on their craft. The result of this was that the crystal broke, did not generate any material losses, and the player still had a chance of skilling up. This was discovered and fixed in a few days. Those who exploited this bug either had their skill rolled back or were perm banned. This caused the uproar from players, complaining that they run this game like an offline game. This news was also reported on TV in Japan.
January 2003
    Historynews.gif Announcement of Rise of the Zilart Release Date
The release date for Rise of the Zilart was announced in January of 2003. Along with that, the announcement also included a temporary change to the update schedules: in which, updates would be every few months instead of monthly. This was obviously well received by many players even after the official expansion launch. SE's reply to this for the next couple of years was that "We did not plan this kind of workload." and the like. Although it was planned as a temporary change, by the end of 2004 they decided to just make it their normal update speed for many years to come.
Feb. 5th, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Search Comments Implemented
  • Red Mage– Enfeebling magic skill raised.
  • BeastmasterAxe skill raised.
  • PaladinAxe and Great Axe skills removed (they never had Axes they could equip anyway).
  • BCNM battlefields added. At the time of implementation, Star Orbs cost 50 seals, and Moon Orbs cost 99 seals.
  • The Rank 3 Dragon fight received a level cap of 25, while the Rank 5 Fei'Yin battlefield received a level cap of 50.
  • Expeditionary Force altered.
  • Certain Notorious Monsters that pop after specified intervals of time were changed so as to not immediately appear after a world maintenance.
  • Careful consideration had to be given to terrain in dungeons allowing players to avoid being attacked.
  • Area of effect magic spells were given a vertical range limit of 4m in either direction. This was done to prevent the trick wherein adventurers could damage Serket in the basement of Garlaige Citadel from the upper floor.
  • Serkets Earth Pounder also no longer hit innocent low level players on the top floor of Garlaige Citadel.
  • Sneak now wore off when opening a Treasure Chest or Treasure Coffer.
  • Mimics added as a new trap for Thieves trying to open treasure boxes.
  • Search comments implemented.
  • Party leaders now had their name displayed in yellow in search results.
  • Players could now form an alliance by selected a party leader from the search list (when in the same area).
  • Auto-Party limited to finding players one level either above or below the user.
  • Players could now cycle through macro pages with R2 and L2.
  • Players could now change the names of their Friends when adding them to the Friend List.
  • Using the /attack command now put the player into cycle target mode.
  • The ability to cycle through a history of chat targets using CTRL(Alt)+R was added.
  • When entering chat text, players could now utilize the shortcut keys CTRL(Alt)+S, R, T, L or P.
  • A Compact Keyboard mode was added.
  • When fishing, the O button would now cancel your cast.
  • Events added to the Bastok Missions “Fetichism” and “To the Forsaken Mines”.
  • The level requirement for “Atop the Highest Mountains” lowered from level 55 to level 51.
  • A dialog box was added to warp points inside Delkfutt Tower.
  • Conquest rewards were altered so that Rank 1 nations received more benefits, and differences between Rank 2 and Rank 3 nations were added.
  • Consumable items, such as Instant Reraise scrolls, made available for purchase with Conquest Points.
  • Magic Added: Regen, Refresh
  • Text Commands Added: /echo
  • Added to Chat: <st>, <lastst>, <stpc>, <stnpc>, <hp>, <mp>, <job>, <hpp>, <mpp>, <bt>, <scan>, <mjob>, <sjob>, <pet>
Level Cap?!

Because there were a lot of high levels at this time already, this was done to stop players from soloing the mission BCs.

NM Spawn Time The NM Spawn time change was made due to uproar that it was unfair that only "Haijins" (in english, it would mean "No Life People") could log in immediately after a server maintenance. This was the only answer that SE had to "solve" the problem for more casual players.

The First BCNMs Six BCNMs were initially added: “Tails of Woe” “The Worm's Turn” “Steamed Sprouts” “Dismemberment Brigade” “Grimshell Shocktroopers” and “Divine Punishers”, although they were yet to be given these names. Also, the battlefields were not yet called “BF” and were referred to as BC戦, an acronym of Burning Circle.

Enter Mimics Up until now, the only trap awaiting Thieves who failed to pick a chest was a severe Weakness effect. Now, treasure boxes could turn into Mimic-type monsters. If one managed to defeat the Mimic, they would always receive a key. Sneak and Invisible wearing off also was to stop thieves from picking all day. With the latter two changes, the thief lock picking craze gradually went down.

Red Mages Head to Ranguemont Pass Although the high-end spell Refresh was added to the game, how to obtain the scroll was still shrouded in mystery. A rumor originating on an Internet message board soon spread, which claimed that a Hecteyes-type monster in Ranguemont Pass, namely Taisai, dropped the scroll.

The truth, however, was that the scroll was a reward from a BCNM. The drop rate was approximately 1 in 8 runs, and the Auction House price of the spell was 1 million gil. This was unheard of back then.

Many Red Mages believed the rumor and hunting of the NM was widespread. As a reference to this incident, the NM Taisaijin was given Refresh in its Treasure Pool when it was added later on.

Fish Botting To counter fish botting, the system was changed so that when pressing the O button, the fishing would be cancelled. However, they forgot to implement this on the ENTER button or the right mouse click.

Combat and Magic Skillup Parties After this update, the rate of which combat and magic skillups were gained was dramatically reduced. This caused jobs that have multiple 2 handed weapons to find it extra hard to keep everything capped. This change gave birth to "Skill up Parties" that were popular for quite awhile.

The combat and magic skill tweak was "Ninja'd" into the update and players who called GMs to report bugs had only received typical responses that "it wasn't changed".

Feb. 8th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Tenshodo's Envoy
On February 8th until February 14th, new NPCs appeared in the three nations selling Kukuru Beans and Selbina Milk. At the same time, a recipe for Bubble Chocolate (HQ Heart Chocolate) was added. There was no official event for Valentine's day yet.
February 2003
    Historynews.gif Lag!
Enormous lag problems happened in the month of February 2003, and it seemed that Playonline and something else clashed making servers unstable. People experienced serious glitches during their gameplay.
Mar. 13th, 2003
    Historynews.gif Seraph and Lakshmi Open
Two new worlds were establish to alleviate the rising population. Players could transfer to the new worlds only from select existing worlds.
Mar. 21st, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Cherry Blossoms Appear
Cherry blossom trees in full bloom appeared in Ru'Lude Gardens, Port San d'Oria, Metalworks and Windurst Waters.
Apr. 1st, 2003
    Historynews.gif The Two Companies Combine
Formerly called Square and Enix respectively, Japan's two massive RPG makers combined and Square Enix was born. From here on, the change was reflected in Final Fantasy XI’s credits and the screenshot function.
Apr. 15th, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Search Comments Implemented
  • The level cap now became 65. The third Limit Break quest, “Whence Blows the Wind” was added.
    • Causing amazement among players, the EXP table for lv61+ was changed to a much harsher climb compared with pre-60.
  • Samurai, Ninja, Dragoon and Summoner were added as Advanced Jobs. Only Summoner could be attained without installing the expansion, but players without Rise of Zilart would be limited to Carbuncle.
  • Caps on crafting skills raised to 80.
  • WarriorAggressor no longer boosted the accuracy of Ranged Attacks. The recast timer was also changed. Before the patch, it gave a 25% boost to accuracy (and -15% evasion). After, it was a solid 25.
    • Defenders duration was set to 5 minutes, although it wasn't announced.
  • MonkChi Blast added. Kick Attacks job trait added. Martial Arts was also tweaked so that it would improve further beyond level 15. Guard skill and Staff skill were also raised.
  • White MageEnfeebling Magic skill raised.
  • Black Mage– All Ancient magic spells received the additional effect of lowering resistance to the element they oppose. Staff skill raised.
  • Red MageConvert added (this was a surprise and wasn't announced). Fast Cast was altered to always reduce spell cast time (prior to this, it would only kick in randomly). Marksmanship skill removed. Sword skill raised.
    • Also, Phalanx and Dispel were added. This greatly improved the job's usefulness.
  • ThiefAGI bonus cut from Trick Attack when used with Thief as a sub job. This was to protect the integrity of Thief as a main job.
  • PaladinRampart added. Throwing skill removed.
  • BeastmasterCall Beast added (along with jug pets). Charm success rate lowered when subbing Beastmaster. Scythe skill added. <pettp> was added.
  • BardBallad no longer improved in accordance with a Bard's skill. Tier-I gave 1 MP a tic, and Tier-II gave 2 MP a tic. March songs were weakened. The duration of Soul Voice was shortened from 5 minutes to 3 minutes. Although not mentioned, Madrigal was changed from a percentage increase to a solid value.
  • RangerUnlimited Shot added.
    • Along with this, powerful new Conquest Points ammo were introduced. At this time, changing your ammo would reset your TP. This caused the whole ability to be worthless.
  • Enemies had their magic and ranged attack skill levels increased.
  • GA-type spells received an increase in power. Damage now decreased depending on the number of enemies with the area of effect. Also, the MP they consumed was reduced.
  • The effect of Heavy now lowered Evasion by 5%.
  • Invisible, Sneak and Deodorize could no longer be recast on top of themselves.
  • Enhancing Magic effects now wore off when switching jobs.
  • The timer for a 2-hour ability would no longer reset upon changing jobs.
  • Items would no longer be consumed if a player moved during activation.
  • A bug was fixed where Regen would automatically cure Sleep status. Normally, Poison Potions are needed to avoid Sleep, but until now Auto-Regen made White Mages invaluable allies against monsters with Sleep attacks.
  • BCNM monsters and boss-level Beastmen could now see through Invisible, Sneak and Deodorize magics. People could no longer leisurely take snapshots of rare, high-level Beastmen leaders.
    • SE forgot to notify players of "True Sight/True Sound" mobs. This made LB3 very difficult, and panic arose among the player base thinking that Sneak and Invisible were broken.
  • The window of time within which players could create a Skillchain was changed. It was announced that Weapon Skills would no longer chain after a level 3 Skillchain was made.
  • Certain skillchain elements were changed. FreezebiteSunburst and FreezebiteStarburst, which used to make Gravitation, now made Compression.
  • Rampage and Penta Thrust had their skillchain elements changed. RampageRampage and Penta ThrustPenta Thrust no longer made Skillchains.
  • Switching out certain ranged weapons, or anything in the ammo slot, now reset TP.
  • New sections were opened in Toraimarai Canal, Delkfutt Tower, King Ranperre's Tomb and Bostaunieux Oubliette.
  • The monsters that would drop Chest and Coffer keys were changed in every dungeon. Beforehand, all monsters of a certain level range had the chance to randomly drop a key. Here, it was set to drop only from specific monsters.
  • Orcs level 30 and up received an HP max boost. Davoi transformed from leveling heaven into a ghost town overnight.
  • An airship route between Jeuno and Kazham was opened.
  • Missions Rank 6 and above were implemented for each nation.
  • Nomad Moogles were placed in foreign areas (you had to move your Mog House to utilize them).
  • The service charge for listed goods on the Auction House was standardized.
  • Players could only invite one person per single World Pass.
  • Players who set a Search Comment would now have a green mark next to their name in the search results.
  • The amount of time a disconnected character would remain in the game was extended from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Sets 9 and 10 added to the Macro function.
  • A pet’s HP bar would now be displayed when choosing a Pet Command.
  • Regional Vendors disappeared from Jeuno.
  • The title screen was removed, and players could immediately select from a menu when logging in.
  • “DATA FILE” was removed from the menu and replaced with “View Safe.” DATA FILE would allow one to browse the aforementioned Altana Encyclopedia. The text command /datafile was also removed.
  • Duration of Food effects was changed. Stackable food now lasted 30 minutes, and non-stackable food lasted 1 hour.
  • Clicking the left mouse button while fishing would now cancel your cast.
  • Players could now register others to their blacklist even if they were not in the same area.
  • EX and RARE items now had an extra confirmation box when players tried to discard them.
  • All Dagger weapons were changed to inflict Piercing damage. Before, only some were piercing.
  • Magic Added: Erase, Phalanx, Dispel, Absorb-STR, Absorb-DEX, Absorb-VIT, Absorb-AGI, Absorb-INT, Absorb-MND, Absorb-CHR, Cure V, Protect IV, Protectra IV, Teleport-Yhoat, Teleport-Altep, Fire III, Blizzard III, Thundaga II, Stonega III, Waterga III.
  • Bugs Introduced:
    • Serious problems arose with inputting Japanese characters.
    • Players could buy an infinite number of new area maps from vendors.
Game changers
  • Along with the promised lv60 cap increase, various elements were added that will change the game completely. This started the trend of "If it's a buff, we announce it; if it's a nerf, we ninja it." as we know of right now.
  • Food duration was changed from everything lasting one hour to "Stackable items last 30 minutes".
  • Latent and Hidden Effect items were introduced at this time. Many players had no idea how to trigger them, and they were regarded as useless.
  • Sneak was set to not be able to be overwritten, causing it to have to be dropped before recasting. This caused a higher sense of danger in dungeons.
  • Several HNMs were added to the game, but rewards and titles were not properly implemented. This was not intentional, rather it was due to poor programming.
  • Pre skill level 200, the equation was 1 skill = 1 accuracy. Post-200, this was suddenly changed to 1 skill = 0.2 accuracy. They did not take this into account with monster's evasion, so it was very hard to hit new high level monsters.
  • Incredibly Tough monsters started at 12 levels above you. Monsters 18 levels above players needed to be killed to gain the maximum 200 experience points per kill. The developers did not think this through and were referred to as complete morons because "IT = Death". Fighting them became pointless unless a supreme party configuration was created. Many players started to chain Tough to Very Tough mobs dispite the amount of experience per kill being lowered. Tactics shifted from skillchain spamming to multi-hit weapon skill spamming.
  • Not many people used level 3 skillchains, as level 65 was needed to use necessary weapon skills and Dancing Edge was incredibly strong.

Long Lines A certain monster in Konschtat Highlands caused a huge influx of adventurers looking to acquire new jobs. There were so many challengers, that adventurers formed a long line and waited their turn.

At the same time, a battlefield required for the completion of the Dragoon acquisition quest had an Orcish hut looking like a popular ramen shop.

Competition for the Carbuncle's Ruby for the Summoner job quest also was severe, not to mention Kazham key mobs.

2-Hours On Demand Before now, the timers for 2-hour abilities would be reset upon changing jobs. When doing multiple BCNMs, it was customary to repeatedly reset your 2-hours between BCNM attempts.

Be Careful With Those Items Up till now, moving while activating an item would cause it to be consumed without effect. This caused particular concern with rare, difficult to acquire items like Warp and Teleport scrolls.

While this was fixed, for much longer players affected by Paralyze could lose their items without receiving their effects.

Also with this change they added a "delay" when using items. This caused many mecidines to become useless unlike other Final Fantasy games of the past.

New Sections in Dungeons The newly opened areas inside these dungeons had previously been shut off. Bostaunieux Oubliette in particular never had monsters before, but now received several NMs for adventurers to hunt.

Jeuno's Regional Vendors In various places around Jeuno, there were vendors for each region. These NPCs were invaluable for crafters, until they were removed. Afterwards, Conquest determined where things could or could not be purchased. This gave birth to Regional Vendors.

The new event The Green Festival reintroduced these vendors for a short period.

Apr. 17th, 2003
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png FFXI: Rise of the Zilart Goes on Sale
The PS2 version and Windows version of the expansion were shipped to stores simultaneously. The price for the expansion only was 3,980 Yen (tax not included). The "FFXI Rise of Zilart All-in-One Pack 2003″ was also released at the price of 7,800 Yen (tax not included) either the PS2 version or the Windows version.

Overall, the expansion was well received. A few complaints included same model mobs in most areas, and lack of progression and improvement were part of the dislikes in the community. What was worse was the countless nerfs that were added in the patch post launch. The economies began to inflate with limited stocked items. Many players quit after discovering the large experience progression requirements post level 60 along with accuracy problems.

FFXI Japan Collection1.JPG

Two packages, the expansion-only version with a red colored left label (PS2 version pictured below) and All-In-One version (Windows version pictured above) were both available for PS2 and Windows PCs. An official Square Enix logo had yet to be designed, so SQUARESOFT still appeared on the cover. This was Square and Enix’s first collaborative title.

FFXI ROTZ PS2.jpg

May 16th, 2003
    Historynews.gif Final Fantasy XI Completes 1 Year of Service
 
May 23rd, 2003
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png FFXI: Rise of Zilart OST Released
The price for the soundtrack was 2,100 Yen (tax included) ROTZ OST.jpg
May 27th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Adventurer Appreciation Campaign
For a limited time, special moogles appeared in every region. Upon talking to them, one could learn their personal statistics, such as:

Chat Lines, NPC Chat times, Parties Joined, Alliances Joined, Battles Fought, Times K.O.d, Enemies Defeated and GM Calls made. Highly ranked people on each world would be rewarded with a Chocobo Wand. Also, once an Earth day, adventurers could receive various presents (Little Comets, Twinkle Showers, Crackers, etc).

The Chocobo Wand was awarded to highly-ranked people, and since no Chocobo Jack Coat existed, it was the only item to increase riding time. The wand was also coveted for having its own distinct graphic.
May 27th, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Expansion Areas Get Cheaper - Version Update
  • Different fees and taxes were lowered in many cases for expansion areas.
  • The Airship abroad now cost 300 gil; Mog House transfer to Kazham cost 700 gil; transferring to Rabao cost 200 gil; Kazham bazaar tax was lowered from 15% to 10%; Rabao bazaar tax was lowered from 10% to 5%.
  • The duration of Signet was changed to allow more time to players whose nation is ranked low in Conquest.
  • Equipping fishing poles or bait now reduced your TP to 0. Throwing weapons, like Boomerang, also reduced TP to 0.
  • Black Pepper was now sold at the Tenshodo.
  • Mid-level Great Katana were now sold at the Tenshodo.
  • Smoked Salmon was now sold at the Cooking Guild.
  • The spell recast timer now read “Next” instead of “Last.”
  • Three high priests of San d'Oria had their display names changed: Croisque→Chasalvige, Vicasque→Halaviabeau, Evesque→Olbergieut.
  • Dangruf Sulfur changed to Sulfur.
  • Ancient Goobbue, Voluptuous Vivian, Cemetery Cherry and Adamantoise now dropped gil.
  • Summoner-type monsters could now summon Avatars other than Carbuncle.
  • Golem Shards, which dropped from Doll-type monsters were renamed Doll Shards. Golem-type monsters now dropped Golem shards (they were called Crystal Giants at the time).
  • A pet’s name and HP bar would now be displayed above the chat log.
  • Players could now /check a charmed pet.
  • The shortcut key CTRL(Alt)+B now opened the Pet Command menu.
  • Guild shop and Auction House menus would now display equipment/magic names in different colors depending on if they were owned/equipped/learned. Also stackables were changed from yellow to pink.
  • Linkshell lists now displayed colors and search comment marks like in search results.
  • An NPC was added to Norg that would change your Wyvern name.
  • Merchant NPCs added to Norg.
  • The Wyvern attack “Plasma Breath” was renamed “Radiant Breath
  • <pethpp> added to chat.

Bugs Introduced

  • Sneak was once again able to be cast on top of the old effect, but a couple days later removed.
Back then, you had to transfer your Mog House to use the Nomad Moogle, and thus, pay a fee. Add in bazaar taxes and Auction House fees, and expansion areas started feeling like high-class resorts.

After July 17th, the Mog House transfer fee and bazaar taxes were done away with, and the Auction House listing costs were lowered as well. After these changes, Kazham became a much more popular place in which to level.

Walking Worms After the patch landed, a glitch occured where worms began to move around like other monsters instead of burrowing under the ground.

May 2003
    Historynews.gif Suggestion Forum Drama
Latent MP

At this time because of Zilart's horrible launch patch, the healer shortage became more apparent. SE suggested that in order to fix this problem, they would have it so when melee jobs sub a mage, they would get more MP. Because this is obviously ignoring the core of why there is a healer shortage, players responded with dismay, at the end, this idea was scratched.

Later during an interview, the dev team stated that "users have misunderstood their words", that their plan was to increase the number of backline jobs instead. After that, they buffed WHM up, gave them Hexa Strike, Divine Breastplate and various buffs, obviously in an attempt to draw people to WHM. This shifted the problem of shortage of WHM to the shortage of RDM and BRD.
Jun. 10th, 2003
    Historynews.gif Midgardsormr Opens
Players could transfer from any of the 20 initial worlds.
Jun. 12th, 2003
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png FFXI Entry Disc for PS2 and Windows
Accompanying the release of Rise of Zilart, the basic game was now sold as an "Entry Disc" and the price lowered to 4,800 Yen (tax not included). FFXI PS2 JP ENTRY.jpg
Jun. 12th, 2003
    Historybeta.png North American Beta Test Opens
The world was named Cactuar.
Jul. 17th, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Level 70 Unleashed
  • The level cap became 70. The fourth Limit Break quest, “Riding on the Clouds” was added.
    • This surprised players with how easy it was compared to leveling and previous Genkai quests.
  • A new region, Tu'Lia, was unlocked.
  • Artifact Armor for Samurai, Ninja, Dragoon and Summoner added.
  • Chocobo rentals established in Kazham, Norg and Rabao. Rabao and Kazham also received Chocobo shops. Players could now ride Chocobos through The Sanctuary of Zi'Tah, Yuhtunga Jungle, Yhoator Jungle and Eastern Altepa Desert.
  • Goblin Diggers began appearing in expansion areas.
  • The airship for Kazham was lowered from 300 gil to 200 gil. Nomad Moogle transfer fees were eliminated, as well as bazaar taxes. Auction House charges were now calculated in the same way as the three nations.
  • Tonberry, Sahagin and Antica now dropped gil and Beastman Coins.
  • The prices for Protect IV and Protectra IV in Rabao were lowered.
  • Norg Shells were no longer EX.
  • Multiple people could now enter the gate in Sea Serpent Grotto that required a Sahagin Key. Initially, only the keyholder could enter after using it.
  • Crafting skills raised to a maximum of 90.
  • Cure spells adjusted so that MP cost and cast time changed according to the user’s Healing Magic skill. The enmity generated by Cure V was made a set value.
    • The much demanded "make healing magic have more relation to our curing power" was still not properly addressed.
    • Healing Magic skill no longer needed to be used on Undead to get a skillup.
  • Recast time for Erase shortened.
  • Stoneskin now absorbed more damage based on the user’s MND and Enhancing Magic skill.
  • Cast time for Bar-spells shortened and MP cost lowered. Their effects now improved along with Enhancing Skill.
  • The price of Regen sold in Mhaura was lowered, and Regen II was put up for sale. Regen II was now a White Mage exclusive spell.
  • MP costs for tier-III and tier-IV Elemental Magic reduced.
  • Dark-based enemies could now resist Dispel easier.
  • The effect of Gravity could now last between 30~120 seconds.
  • The duration of Poison spells, as well as the damage caused by Poison II and Poisonga II, were now based on Enfeebling Magic skill.
  • Bard– Light-based enemies could now resist Magic Finale. Prelude became single target.
  • Summoner – Healing Blood Pacts had their MP costs reduced and their effectiveness greatly increased. MP required to summon Avatars was also reduced. The effect of Astral Flow was boosted and the cast time of Elemental Spirits was shortened.
  • Ninja – Ni-level Ninjutsu cast time was shortened dramatically from 8 seconds to 1.5 seconds.
  • Monk – The recast time for Chakra was shortened from 15 minutes to 5 minutes.
  • Experience Points would now carry over into the next level upon a Level Up.
  • A cap was set on the amount of Experience Points lost when K.O.d.
  • Kindred's Seals added.
  • The maximum occupancy of each level of Jeuno was raised.
  • New guards, Auction House and Delivery NPCs were added to each level of Jeuno. Bazaar tax was changed to 10%.
  • A Mithra child’s shop was added to Ru'Lude Gardens.
  • The time it takes for Chocobo rental prices to decrease was shortened by 25% (this made it tougher for prices to get too high).
  • Players were no longer disbanded from a party after entering their Mog House.
  • Messages now appeared in the chat log when using the Delivery System for sending/receiving items.
  • Door names now appeared green in the target box.
  • Players could now be added to one’s party across a Region.
  • Search results for an Area or Region were now limited to 100 results. World-wide results were expanded to 40 results.
  • Players could now set a Linkshell welcome message.
  • The color of messages produced with /echo was changed.
  • In crafting guilds, basic image support was made free, while advanced support was extended to last 4 times as long.
  • Players could no longer repeatedly purchase items from a guild.
  • Expeditionary Force was altered.
  • Conquest points were no longer lost when switching national allegiance.
  • Elemental spirits would now cast magic even outside of battle.
  • Beastmaster-type Goblins occupying Batallia Downs, Eastern Altepa Desert and Labyrinth of Onzozo were repositioned. They now re-summoned pets after 60 seconds instead of 30 seconds.
  • New HNMs were added (such as King Behemoth).
  • Beastman Seal Orbs had their prices changed. Moon Orb 99→60, Star Orb 50→40. New Orbs were also added: Comet Orb for 50 seals, Lachesis Orb and Atropos Orbs for 30 seals.
  • Defeated monsters were now displayed as grey on the compass.
  • Cut scenes could now be replayed at certain NPCs.
  • Players could now buy level 1 RSE clothing from vendors.
  • Macros and Map Markers were now saved as files in PlayOnline.
  • Magic Added: Shell IV, Shellra IV, Regen II, Regen III, Raise III, Thunder III, Stone IV, Water IV, Aeroga III, Firaga III, Knight's Minne IV, Bewitching Etude, Valor Minuet IV, Logical Etude, Sage Etude, Foe Requiem VI, Swift Etude, Puppet's Operetta, Vital Etude.

Commands Added: <lsmes>

Chat Added: <ncall>, <scall>

The Ninja Tank is Born

With Ni-level Ninjutsu shortened to a 1.5 second recast timer, Ninja could now use both tiers of Utsusemi to tank effectively. Prior to this, both tiers had the same casting times, if not Ni being slower. The supply of Ninja tools wasn't yet large enough to make this technique especially common, but it gradually became the norm. Before this, Ninja was looked at the same as Summoner: "a job with no purpose at all".

Experience Point Changes Although publicly saying they had no plans to bring an ease to the level 61+ leveling, they ninja fixed the issue with a few little changes:

  • In order to counter the high demand of experience per level at 61+, players were forced to target harder monsters which increased the demand for RDM/BRD.
  • Players learned that [[Great Axe]s weapon skill Shield Break reduced ice-weak enemies evasion tremendously. This caused Warrior to be the most demanded melee at the time.
  • Level capped zones became popular leveling spots due to the 2400 EXP loss per death. This penalty was based on the level you were capped at, saving a lot of experience loss.
  • Changes to monster placement as well as level range in The Boyahda Tree, Cape Teriggan, and Laybrinth of Onzozo decreased camp choices and in turn made leveling harder.
  • With the addition to Escort quests, this is the first time players were able to earn experience points instead of level grinding. Before the discovery of the once-per-week limitation, some had hopes of possibly skipping exp parties all together just by completing the quest.

Mog House Disband? Up until now, players were automatically disbanded from their party upon entering their Mog House. Even just going to change your sub job meant you had to re-join the party afterwards. This was corrected to match Nomad Moogles, which were preferred for not causing this issue.

Pet Hunting Beastmaster pets were popular prey due to the high experience they gave relative to their strength. These Beastmaster were often placed near zone lines, which made them all the more popular for parties to hunt.

However, once their spawn locations were changed, and pet recast was lengthened to 60 seconds, it became too difficult to keep up experience chains, and parties found other prey to hunt.

New BCNMs This update saw the addition of five new battlefields:

Hostile Herbivores” “3, 2, 1...” “Treasure and Tribulations” “Infernal Swarm” and “E-vase-ive Action” However, the battlefields had yet to have these names attached.

Come Into My Parlor” was set to be added this day, but was delayed until the 22nd.

  • Crafting Mats: Some crafting materials were regarded as beyond reach to casual players (such as Damascene Cloth). Items such as these were added to these BCNMs.

Weapon Skills Where?! New weapon skills were not immediately available. The developers stated that they used all of their resources on existing weapon skill graphic effects. Mages were complaining how melee get new weapon skills for free while mages had to work for them every time. This was the birth of WSNMs

Rare HNMs Rare HNMs (like Nidhogg) were implemented. The spawn time was 60~72 hours. Before this, players occasionally took breaks from camping them. Due to the rarity and desirability of the gear that drops from them, players now continuously camped.

Jul. 18th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Fireworks Available for a Limited Time
From July 18th until July 27th, fireworks could be purchased in Port San d'Oria, Port Bastok, Windurst Waters and Rabao. Four types of fireworks were available so users could celebrate summer festivals. The three nations and Rabao sold Airborne, Konron Hassen, Kongou Inaho and Meifu Goma. The Airborne and Konron Hassen were especially popular as they shot up into the sky. There were still no crafting recipes for these fireworks, and they could only be acquired through purchase.
Jul. 22nd, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Clotho Orb Added
Jul. 26th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Bon-Odori II
Users again held a Bon-Odori event, but this time there was an official moogle to announce the event, as well as the old Yughott Grotto BGM from the beta test as music.
Aug. 15th, 2003
    Historynews.gif PlayOnline Terms of Service Change
Players were now forbidden to use any outside programs or tools while playing. Around this time rumors surfaced of GMs unjustly banning players; although officially they announced them as rule breaking. As the GM's reputation was bad to begin with, this event further dented their player's trust.

Before this announcement, there was no action taken against the cheaters. Although, after this change of rules they tried several ways to stop fishbotting. The damage of untrustworthy GMs was already too deep to be undone.

Despite this announcement, the rate of fish bot bans were very minimal and were still found everywhere. Turbo controllers proved difficult to determine by SE if they were bots.

Aug. 16th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png A Mysterious Creature Emerges!
This was an event where a giant creature appeared in the areas surrounded each of the three nations. Even without Calling for Help, multiple parties and alliances could take part. If a player was defeated by the monster, they would not lose any experience.

Due to an glitch, the event was temporarily canceled.

The event consisted of fighting Doomed-type monsters that roamed the areas outside of home nations. A large amount of adventurers took part in massive battles. This event was made very unpopular as too many people rushed in, and the atmosphere feelt like Lower Jeuno AH at the time. Later, players rumored that this was just in preparation for the Treant + OP warp event, an experimental event.
Aug. 16th, 2003
    Historynews.gif Developer’s Blog Service Begins
The beta test now finished, Final Fantasy XI players could begin using this service. This service lasted until December 27th, 2005.
Aug. 30th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png A Mysterious Creature Emerges! Redux
The event that had been canceled back on the 16th was now reborn as a 2-day event, spanning August 30th and 31st.

Touching the Beastman Banner in East Ronfaure, North Gustaberg or West Sarutabaruta would cap you at level 30 and allow you to fight the Gigantoad. Defeating the three monsters would display a congratulatory System Message.

The reward was temporary Outpost Teleportation service (08/31 through 09/14) in San d'Oria, Bastok and Windurst.

Sep. 12th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Vana’diel’s White Shadow Returns
This event was held for 7 hours, from 10pm September 12th to 5am September 13th. Players could receive a Moon Carrot from a Moogle, and trade said carrots to speedy little rabbits in various areas.

The rabbits were even faster than last year, but the prize was upgraded as well to Thoth's Wand.

This event was only held in 2002 and 2003, and did not return after that. All of the glitches from the previous event remained, and it all did not go over well with players.
Sep. 26th, 2003
    Historynews.gif Official Benchmark 2 Released
The setting for this version was the Yuhtunga Jungle / Yhoator Jungle.
Sep. 26th, 2003
    Historynews.gif Announcement of Future Plans
SE announced their upcoming plans for the game; from Ballista, Dynamis, further level cap increase, and the release of NA version. At this time, they announced that the NA version would share server with the Japanese, which lead to many players worrying, but SE only replied with "We are treating this as an experiment.".

The Development team announced "From now on, the version update will come every few months."(Remember that they said they would update every 1 month, and then changed to 3 months, and now "few months".). They seemed to be using localization for the NA version as an excuse for further slowing down their updates. This did not help the animosity view of Japanese players towards English players.

Oct. 7th, 2003
    Historynews.gif Fairy World Opens
A new world was established for the increasing population. Transfer was available from all worlds.
Oct. 14th, 2003
    Historybeta.png North American Beta Test Ends
There was a special event on the final day, where Moogles were placed at Home Points. Upon speaking with them, you could be teleported to NMs like Serket or King Behemoth and fight with them. GMs also joined the fray.
Oct 21st, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Nation Rank Missions and Zilart Completed
  • Rank 9 and 10 missions were added to the three nations, completing their story lines. The conclusion to Rise of Zilart was also added.
    • The Zilart last boss could be unintentionally silenced, which was fixed in an emergency maintenance a couple days later.
  • Players could now enter the The Shrine of Ru'Avitau and The Celestial Nexus.
  • Avatar quests were now limited to once a day.
  • The third Mog House expansion quest was added, with the final available space being 80.
  • Lucky Roll games implemented in Norg and Rabao.
  • Fortune-tellers that predict adventurer affinity were added to the three nations.
  • A shortcut to the 10th floor was added to the West side of Lower Delkfutt's Tower that could be opened with a Delkfutt Key.
  • BCNMs added to Sacrificial Chamber, Cloister of Tides and Chamber of Oracles using the Moon Orb.
  • BCNM clear times were now displayed.
  • Magic Burst bonuses were increased.
  • The effect of Clear Mind was strengthened.
  • Summoner – Received Clear Mind trait.
  • MP cost and strength of Banish adjusted. In addition, Banish now weakened the special defenses of Undead monsters.
  • Stoneskin could no longer overwrite itself.
  • Drain and Aspir were adjusted to absorb more based on Magic Bursts, day and weather.
  • TP was no longer reset when changed one's ammo slot. Ranger became popular with Unlimited Shot and their special ammo.
  • A number of monsters were rearranged in The Boyahda Tree, Ifrit's Cauldron, Cape Teriggan and Valley of Sorrows.
  • New Notorious Monsters were added to dungeons in Zilart areas.
  • A number of repop timers for existing NMs was changed greatly (Monsters that popped every 60-72 Earth hours now popped every 24 hours).
    • This included Fafnir, Behemoth, Adamantoise and the like. Their rare versions remained a lottery spawn every of 3~7 days, and stayed that way for years.
  • King Behemoths area of effect attacks could now strike any player within range.
  • The items available in the Mithra child's shop in Ru'Lude Gardens would now change, and increases or decreases according to sales.
  • The items obtainable through Chocobo Digging now varied based on weather, moon phase, day and time. Elemental ore was now obtainable, although extremely rare.
    • This is when Digging became very popular as a gil earning method. Chocobo skill was initially viewable in the skill window.
  • New items could now be grown through gardening.
  • The prices of the shop on the ferry were stabilized.
  • A sound now played when receiving a message or mail.
  • Motions now accompanied HELM activities.
  • More items were available from HELM.
  • Search comments were now divided into 4 different categories.
  • When locked on a target, players could no longer switch targets with cursor keys, the mouse or function keys.
  • The TAB key or START button would now activate the Auto-Translator, causing the word to appear blue in your input box.
  • System message would now announce whether or not players could apply to transfer servers.
  • A single World Pass could now be used to invite up to 5 people.
  • A bug occurred wherein Bards using March songs with Royal Spearmen's Horn +1 or Royal Spearmen's Horn +2 equipped would receive a massive boost in effectiveness. This was corrected in the October 28th emergency maintenance. These horns have since been removed.
  • Magic Added: Sleepga, Sleepga II
  • Chat Added: <call4> – <call21>
  • Synthesis Results were now displayed to others, and a chat filter was added.
  • Text Commands Added: /sit
    • This patch is when the Mithra's "inviting" sit pose (pictured below) was added. This pose had a lot of controversy, so it was changed later to be more feminine and conservative.

Mithra Old Sit.jpg

The Titan Marathon Ends

Around this time, players were repeatedly undertake the Titan acquisition quest in order to earn gil. Now, they were unable to do so until midnight Earth time. With Teleport-Altep and Escape for Korroloka Tunnel, players used to easily complete 4 runs in an hour.

Cloister of Tides BCNM

At this time three BCs were added to the game. Although they had yet to receive their official names, the battlefields were:

Jungle Boogeymen” “Amphibian Assault” and “Legion XI Comitatensis

Out of these, “Amphibian Assault” was added to the Cloister of Tides. Ultimately, it was decided that the special Avatar battle arena should be unique to the Summoner quests, and the four Sahagin were moved to the Sacrificial Chamber on June 29th, 2004.

Othinus' Bow Popular Among Marksmen

New Ex/Rare drops were added to NMs around this time, and they proved to be an immediate hit. One especially, the Othinus' Bow, was so coveted it practically made Archery obsolete. Acid Bolts and Sleep Bolts were also added in this update, further improving Marksmanship.

According the Japanese sites, the March glitch was said to have given players an unimaginable speed boost. Two-handed weapon users could swing like one-handers, dagger users were as fast as Hundred Fists, and Monk could hold hate comfortably without Provoke.

-Ga spells Ga spells were already unpopular due to their MP demand, but now they scaled in accordance to the number of targets hit by the spell. With the improvement of Magic Burst bonuses, despite the high cost, -ga spells became popular as a single target nuke. However, monster -ga spells were not affected by the number of players hit.

EX tag items This update implemented a large number of EX items. The dev team reasoning was that "People won't have to camp it again if they already have it", as well as preventing a monopoly situation to sell items. In reality, players found the actual effect is "Even if you don't want to, you have to camp it". In many cases these EX items did not do what the dev team expected it to. On top of this, high priced items still dropped from NMs such as Shining Cloth from King Behemoth and Damascene Cloth from Aquarius. Players still camped these NMs for profitable gil drops even though they already had the equipment.

As part of the EX craze, the dev team was sure to announce that many NMs could be killed by leveling parties who happen to be killing placeholders. Knowing that Ninja was an unexpected tank, the dev team's idea of balance was very questionable.

Development Team running out of ideas?! With the Lucky Roll and fortune teller features added, this was SE's answer to player's demand for "New Entertainment". The community's view that the development team was simply running out of ideas was largely increased after these were implemented. The question "What the f*** were the developers thinking?" remained a popular meme for years to come.

Oct. 28th, 2003
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png North American Windows Version Released
When service in North America began for Final Fantasy XI, a large amount of foreign players immediately flooded the game. English chat flowed through towns, and Conquest results were upset by low level activity (there were dead people everywhere). Japanese players avoided home nations due to /shout spam.

Although before the release, some supported the idea of cross server in the name of international gaming. After the release, with the "PL plaz" "Gil plez" "Item pelaz" begging, sexual harassment comments, and the random party replacement(People leaving after 1 kill, leader leaving party after level, tossing leader to a random member without asking, etc, the negative complaints begun.

At the same time, the auto translator feature was added. With the tell spam of "Help Me out!" "cap" "coffer" "thank you", many Japanese players put up the "JP Only" comment. On a side note, "cap" in translator translates to the cap as in baseball cap to the Japanese, just like how "Break" is translated to relaxing to the Japanese.

These all lead to the increasing demand(still active now) of separating servers, mostly from the Japanese players. However, the CEO announced that "Cross nation and Translator are very well done, and we received a lot of praises", even though no one understand where they get those idea from.

FFXI Windows NA.jpg
Oct. 30th, 2003
    Historynews.gif 7th CESA GAME AWARDS Winner
Final Fantasy XI took the award for being the first PS2 MMORPG, connecting PS2 and Windows on the same servers, and for user satisfaction with Rise of the Zilart updates.
Oct. 31st, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Trick or Treat!
From October 31st to November 3rd, players could transform in monsters by trading fruits and sweets to certain NPCs. Prizes included Jack-o'-Lantern, Trick Staff, Treat Staff, Pumpkin Head and Horror Head. Goblin Chocolate was also available for purchase. The equipment available during this event was cute and very different, so it immediately became quite popular. Towns were filled with adventurers in puffy hats with bat staves on their back. You could also see people everywhere bopping monsters on the head, testing out the Treat Staff latent effect of Warp.
Nov. 4th, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Treat Staff Effect Changed

Originally, the Treat Staff would have a much higher rate of activating Warp during the Halloween event. This was changed so that it would not activate at all outside the time of the event.

This change caused many players to complain, and was very unpopular.

Nov. 11th, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Conquest Adjustments

Players under level 5 no longer had an effect on Campaign results when K.O.d.

Many people would group suicide to force regions to become beastmen controlled (Kolshushu was beastmen controlled for almost a year before this change). Even with this change, many regions continued to be beastmen controlled (Qufim, Elshimo, Aragoneu, etc)

Regional merchants became very rare, affecting prices of items such as Yagudo Drink.

Nov. 16th, 2003
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Concept Art
The official site was massively updated with Concept Art (for a set fee) and a Creator’s Voice blog. The Concept Art was found inside the Developer’s Room.
Nov. 18th, 2003
    Historybeta.png PlayOnline Plus Beta Testing Begins
Beta testing began for services that included a special e-mail address ([email protected]), mail forwarding and other features.
POL Plus.gif
Dec. 4th, 2003
    Historynews.gif First Annual Spike TV Video Game Awards “Best Online Game” winner
 
Dec. 9th, 2003
    Historynews.gif Asura Opens
This world was established due to the rising population. Transfer was available from all worlds.
Dec. 12th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png "REAL VANA’DIEL" Net Cafe Opens in Akihabara
Melco Online Entertainment opened a net cafe for the enjoyment of FFXI in Akihabara. There was a Mog House resting area (smoking allowed), and staff members dressed up as FFXI characters. Satire jokes arose, such as "I am a Dark Knight. Should I AFK IRL too?"

All computers at the time gauged “Incredibly Tough” against the game’s requirements. See the pictures to the right for a glimpse inside this store and the layout.

See This Link for an article regarding the store.

Realv03.gif

Realv01.gif Realv02.gif

Dec. 16, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Level Cap 75
  • Dynamis was originally planned to be released in this update, but it was delayed.
  • The level cap became 75. The final Limit Break quest, “Shattering Stars” was added.
  • New Weapon Skills attainable through quests were implemented.
  • Expeditionary Force was altered, and new elements were added.
  • The ??? marks involved in Limit Break quest 3, “Whence Blows the Wind” were repositioned, making it easier to complete the quest.
  • The Moongate pass was added. Ro'Maeve became a popular leveling spot.
  • The Great Axe WS “Shield Break” no longer depended on the enemy’s strength, but now lowered Evasion by a set value.
  • High-level physical accuracy was raised (post skill level 200). This allowed players to hit mobs without Madrigal.
  • A number of high-level monsters had their experience point bonus for parties increased.
  • Changing jobs now cleared Song effects.
  • Black MageBlack Mages could no longer be interrupted by receiving damage while under the effect of Manafont. Club and Staff skills raised.
  • Samurai – Using Meikyo Shisui now gave a player 300 TP.
  • Summoner – The effect of Astral Flow was extended to 3 minutes. In addition, Avatar Perpetuation was reduced to 0 while under its effect.
  • Dark KnightAxe and Great Axe skills raised.
  • BeastmasterScythe skill raised.
  • SummonerClub and Staff skills raised.
  • BardStaff skill added.
  • RangerAxe skill added.
  • The execution of Sneak Attack was changed so that players must stand directly behind the monster. ”Yokodama” could no longer be performed.
  • Resist traits, Bar-spells and songs now provided much more defense against strong enemies. In addition, a message now displayed in the chat log when resisting an effect.
    • These effects were still not very useful against Incredibly Tough monsters.
  • The effects of Killer traits and Circle effects were changed from a Slow effect to an Intimidate effect. In addition, Circle abilities now lasted 1 minute and had a recast time of 10 minutes.
  • High level Weapon Skills (such as Dragon Kick and Shark Bite) were strengthened.
  • The skillchain properties of Tachi: Koki were changed.
  • New NMs were added (4 gods in Tu'Lia, Nidhogg, and more). Abjurations and Cursed Items were introduced.
  • Level 50-70 monsters in various areas were rearranged.
  • Orcs’ HP was once again adjusted.
  • The movement speed of Behemoth and King Behemoth was raised.
  • Knockback was added to a number of monsters’ special abilities.
  • When entering a BCNM, the time limit, fastest record, and record holder’s name were now displayed.
  • Crafting skills were raised to level 100.
  • Rank 9 Conquest items were introduced. The cost of Warp and Reraise scroll was cut in half.
  • The repop time of treasure boxes was changed. They would also pop much faster if disappearing after a Thief failed to pick them.
  • The Mithra who could bundle arrows now joined the traveling performers.
  • Tree Cuttings could now be grown into Tree Saplings, which subsequently could be used to produce Elemental Ores and ultimately Staves.
  • The Storage system was implemented.
    • This answered demands to make furnishings useful, but then started the demand to make storage accessible without making the extremely long trip back to a player's home nation.
  • New Auction House categories were created for Ammo, Others, Materials and Misc.
  • Elemental Staves were given unique models.
  • Players Level 15-19 could now ride Chocobo from the starting three nations. However, their riding time was limited to 15 minutes.
  • Magic Added: Flash, Curaga IV, Reraise III, Stun, Blizzaga III, Aero IV, Fire IV, Thundaga III, Blizzard IV, Thunder IV, Archer's Prelude, Goddess' Hymnus, Uncanny Etude, Warding Round, Chocobo Mazurka, Herculean Etude, Maiden's Virelai, Earth Spirit.
No One Can Help You Now

The final Limit Break quest had players squaring off against Maat alone. Until now, quests could easily be completed with parties, but this time people had to face the challenge alone, leaving many unable to overcome it. Red Mages especially had a rough time, eventually leading to some adjustments to the difficulty. This quest was very unpopular, and some jobs had it much harder than others.

No More Yokodama

Yokodama was the practice of Sneak and Trick Attacking from the side of a monster.

(“Yoko” means side, and “dama” is the first two syllables of Damashiuchi, or Trick Attack).

On this day, it was decided that Trick Attack would only function properly if one stood directly behind the enemy. The Yokodama was no more.

Square said in an interview the month prior that "Yokodama wasn't planned, and it was making the game too easy. We may consider fixing it." Many players supported this and found it to be making fighting too easy. For some mysterious reason, players then started then complaining about the lack of Yokodama after the patch. The spells Flash and Stun were born to alleviate hate control issues.

Tu'Lia Notorious Monsters

New NMs were added to sky, namely Kirin, Byakko, Suzaku, Seiryu and Genbu. At the time, they looked just like any other monsters; even though Byakko means “white tiger,” the model was black. Eventually, these enemies were altered to look unique.

With the sky NM system now implemented, Sky Linkshells were born.

WSNMs The majority of the WSNMs had bad performance, so the effort needed to obtain them was not well received.

Dec. 16th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Holy Night in Vana’diel
Christmas decorations were put up in all three nations. Players could talk to Moogles once a Vana’diel day to receive Popstar, Brilliant Snow, Sparkling Hand or Air Rider. This was the start of the yearly Christmas Starlight Celebration in Vana’diel.
Dec. 26th, 2003
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Rampaging Presents
In various areas, a monsters called Twinkling Treant (a tree decorated on December 16th) appeared. Talking to nearby Moogles would impose a level cap and allow one to fight the monster.

It was announced that defeating the trees would grant the world Outpost Teleportation service. All servers succeeded in attaining this prize.

Destroy the Christmas Tree?! At first, no matter how much you hit the tree, the HP wouldn't decrease. This was a prime weapon/magic skill up opportunity. To prevent this, SE lowered the HP in the middle of the event. This also caused SE to issue a server message saying that if the NM was not killed, that world would not receive OP Warps. Some worlds were able to dispose of the tree quickly, while others just couldn’t manage to take it down. A System Message announced that the event would not end until all servers had one. The ordeal was finally over after Midgardsormr was the last to claim victory.

Twinkling Treant 2003.jpg
Dec. 29th, 2003
    Historyversionup.png Outpost Teleport Service Begins
As a reward for success in the Christmas event, all worlds were bestowed with Outpost Teleportation Service following a maintenance.

2004

  • 2004 and onward coming soon!

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