The History of Final Fantasy XI/2004

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Pre-Release & Beta

2000 - 2001

Release & The First Year


The Rise of the Zilart Era


The Chains of Promathia Era


Conclusion of Chains of Promathia


The Treasures of Aht Urhgan Era


Conclusion of Treasures of Aht Urhgan


The Age of Mythical Weapons


The Add-on Scenarios


The End of the Level 75 Cap


The Beginning of Post-Abyssea


The Level 99 Era

Coming Soon!

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
    JPFlag.png Real Life Event in Japan
    USFlag.png Real Life Event in North America
    EUFlag.png Real Life Event in Europe

2004 – Chains of Promathia

The final two worlds open up in 2004, with the final count being 32. This would last until 2010. Later in the year, Chains of Promathia is released.

Jan. 1st, 2004
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png New Year’s Lucky Monkey Family
A monkey family appeared in Vana’diel to celebrate the new year. Papa Monkey, Mama Monkey, See-No-Evil, Hear-No-Evil, and Speak-No-Evil appeared in every outdoor area in Vana’diel.

Trading items to Papa Monkey resulted in temporary buffs such as Protect, Shell, Blaze Spikes, Enfire, etc being received. These buffs only lasted 30 seconds to 1 minute. Occasionally, players would receive the New Year's Gift item.

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Jan. 8th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Playonline member accounts exceed 500,000!
Jan. 12th, 2004
    Historynews.gif 2003 RPG Vault Awards Prize Winner
Final Fantasy XI receives the “Online World of the Year” and “Outstanding Achievement in Technology” awards
Jan. 19th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Gamespy’s 2003 Game of the Year Awards in North America
Final Fantasy XI receives the “PC MMORPG of the Year”
Jan. 12th, 2004
    JPFlag.png Announcement made regarding Dynamis Public Testers
It was announced that developers were looking for beta testers to participate in testing the upcoming Dynamis content. The beta would take place at “REAL VANA’DIEL”. Participants were recruited, and the beta test was broadcast on the official Final Fantasy XI website via their live feed “Vana’diel Wind”. On the day of the event, the developer who was the guide played the character “Destiny” who wore the Opaline Dress. This was the first time players saw the dress, and it became a popular topic of discussion after that.

Players doubted the legitimacy of this beta test, and figured it was more of a bandwidth test and publicity awareness event than actual content testing.

Jan. 28th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Player Character Recall Service Started
A service started to recall players accounts or characters who had their information deleted. One restoral was available per Playonline Account. This service was offered free of charge. Although greatly appreciated by the community, it was rumored that the service was implemented due to one user incident that happened beforehand.
Jan. 29th, 2004
    Historybeta.png Friends List Plus Beta Test Invitation
Friends List Plus was a service that allowed you to check the online status of your friends list and send/receive messages free of charge. The service was accessed on the Internet through the official Playonline website, and a connection to the Playonline client wasn’t necessary.
Jan. 29th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Total Characters in Final Fantasy XI tops 1,000,000!
Jan. 30th, 2004
    Historynews.gif First Screenshot Contest Winner Announcement
The first screenshot contest winner was announced on the official Final Fantasy XI website. Winners of the contests had their images added to Playonline’s Extras section under “Greeting Card Downloads”

Theme: My Favorite Place

First Place Winner:

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Nickname : Sanzoku-O (Japan)

World : Diabolos

Place : The Sanctuary of Zi'Tah

Player's comment: The forest softly embraces a battle-weary heart.

Reviewer's comment: Featuring bold composition and beautiful sunlight cascading down on the trees, this entry wins the first prize by unanimous decision. Many players consider the Sanctuary of Zi'Tah their favorite place, but this picture best captures its grandeur and ethereal atmosphere.

These “Greeting Cards” could be downloaded onto your Playonline Viewer, and then emailed to anybody in the world or sent to people on your friends list.

Typical themes were scenery, birthdays, congratulations, and the like. This was the era when E-Cards were very popular on the internet, so many people took advantage of them. Winning the contest and having your image added to the gallery was a great honor. Below are the runner-ups.

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Feb. 3rd, 2004
    Historynews.gif Final Fantasy XI wins awards at RPGamer Awards 2003 in North America
Final Fantasy XI receives the "PC RPG of the Year", "MMORPG of the Year", "Staff's Choice MMORPG of the Year" and "Best Music of the Year".
Feb. 23rd, 2004
    Historybeta.png Friends List Plus Beta Test Concludes
Feb. 26th, 2004
    Historyversionup.png Dynamis Released
New Features & Content
  • Fenrir Avatar Quest was added.
  • Reward items have been added to other avatar quests.
  • The ability to reset your memory pertaining to Artifact Quests (Memory reset) was added, allowing players to re-quest their armor in case it was discarded.
  • Repeated use of Gravity on NMs will now result in the monster slowly building up resistance towards the effect of Gravity. The resistance wears off over time.
  • Monsters with full resistance to Bind could be bound by certain abilities and additional effects of equipment. This was fixed in this update.
  • Limit placed on armor redemption to take over regional outposts.
  • Notorious Monsters added in many outdoor areas.
  • Shattering Stars (Maat quest) eased for Red Mage.
    • He no longer used Fire III, or attacked as fast.
  • TP Bonus of True Strike changed to Accuracy Bonus.
  • Respawn time of certain NMs in Sea Serpent Grotto and Bostaunieux Oubliette was changed.
  • Monsters fished up gradually increase in strength the longer they are left alive.
  • The spell Reraise, item Reraiser and Instant Reraise scroll now differ in strength than the song Goddess' Hymnus.
  • The status icons for Foe Lullaby and Horde Lullaby received unique graphics compared to the black magic spell Sleep.
  • The amount of gil offered for "Rusty" items has been reduced.
  • The coveted Opaline Dress set was added along with synthesis recipes.
  • Mithra's /sit pose was changed to what it is today.
  • Noble's Tunic and Aristocrat's Coat used to say "Enhances "Cure" potency", and in the update they made them specifically say their potency percentage. "Cure" potency+10% and +12% respectfully.
  • Item categories on the Auction House were now able to be sorted alphabetically. (Excluded Armor and Weapons)
  • Item sorting on the Auction House will also now be memorized for future use. (Excluded sorting by Job or Race)
  • The lotting system priority was changed:
    • If a player who wins a lot has no room in their inventory or cannot hold two of the item in question, the treasure will no longer be lost; the item will now be given to the player with the next highest lot.
    • When an item cannot be obtained for the reasons listed above, a message informing the player of the lost treasure will only appear in his or her log window.
  • Chat filter added to filter "Lot Results" from the log.
  • When equipping items with the /equip command, items that are already equipped were no longer removed by typing in the currently equipped armor in the command.

Dynamis already nicknamed "Die-in-a-mess"?

Even though adventurers understood the concepts of Dynamis from the test beta, the massive lag that was in the zone, the horrible Relic Armor drop rate, boring repetitive encounters, and the difficulties set way too high for the time, players were very disappointed in the over hyped event. Of course, there were some people who did enjoy it. As a result, dynamis was a weekly event in most Sky linkshells. The same problems persisted for years, and players went with the mindset of "there was nothing better to do".

Cactrot Rapido!

In this update, Cactrot Rapido was added.

Undead will live again

Blood Saber now absorbed ridiculous amounts of HP (150 each instead of the 90-100 it used to be). Skeletons were now avoided like the plague. At the same time, Silence became easier to land on ghosts but undead parties were no more (at least until King Ranperre's Tomb Monk burns).

Dragoon Balance Demanded!

Seeing as job balance was not taken into consideration very much at this point, Dragoon and other job balance became hot topics on discussion boards and community forums.

Feb. 26th, 2004
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Playonline Plus official service launched!
Playonline Plus services officially launched. The Friend's List Plus features were free. The fee was 300 Yen/mo ($3/mo) for a character name email address [email protected] (Here, "xxx" represented the name of your character and "yyy" represented the name of your World.) Email forwarding from your primary email to a personal email elsewere for 100 Yen/mo ($1/mo). Email filtering was free of charge. This service ended on December 31st, 2010, and now the service only offers the free Friend's List Plus feature. Although compared to today's standards, email in 2004 was a big deal. There were not many email providers that were any good, imposing very low storage space allocations. Because of that, many people paid for these email services. Playonline Plus Beta participants were able to keep their emails or forwarders they reigstered during the beta.
Feb. 27th, 2004
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png "Hina-Matsuri" - The Doll Festival
Held from February 27th to March 4th, Cherry Blossoms reappeared as well as Tarutaru Folding Screens setup to create a "stage" in the main three countries. Many adventurers used this opportunity for screenshots. Doll Festival Deco.jpg
Mar. 12th, 2004
    JPFlag.png Final Fantasy Concert "Tour de Japon" opening
The concert tour "TOUR de Japon - Music from Final Fantasy opened on March 12th, 2004 and played in cities throughout Japan through April 16th, 2004.

Seven performances took place starting on this day, including two in Tokyo, and one in Yokohama, Sapporo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Osaka.

The concert was in Orchestra format, and the song "Ronfaure" from Final Fantasy XI was performed. Other songs composed by Nobuo Uematsu were featured and arranged by Shiro Hamaguchi. The orchestras were conducted by Taizo Takemoto.

Remember that cell phone pictures were primitive back in 2004, but here are three images from the events. An interesting tidbit: In the first picture the music note icon is the same as the Bard song icon in-game.




Images from

Mar. 16th, 2004
    Historynews.gif "Additional Dictonary" released for PS2 version
Japan's Playstation 2 version of Final Fantasy XI received an "Additional Dictonary" download on this day. This "Additional Dictonary" contained words for text conversion specialized for Final Fantasy XI.

This addon could be downloaded via Playonline. It then became easier for Japanese players to write game terms in chat and other communication.

Mar. 20th, 2004
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png "Something to tell the Spring"
Another Spring event occured in March. Moogles distributed the fireworks Papillions and Ouka Ranmans.
Mar. 23rd, 2004
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png PS2 version of Final Fantasy XI Released in North America
The Playstation 2 version of Final Fantasy XI was released in North America. The price was $99.99 for the "All-in-One" pack which included the game with the Rise of the Zilart expansion as well as a 40GB hard drive to install the game. The required Network Adaptor was not included, and was a seperate required purchase for $39.99.

The Playstation 2 version of Final Fantasy XI was very popular with not only Japan's youth but also North American's youth. After the release of the PS2 version in North America, the game was flooded with adolescents. Veteran Japanese players had a nickname for these wannabe kids, "Gaijin" (with a different word, meaning Plague people).

FFXI PS2.jpg


Two Network Adaptors were released, with one supporting only Broadband and the other supporting Broadband as well as Dial-up.

Mar. 25th, 2004
    JPFlag.png Ballista Public Test Participant Recruitment
At the time of the announcement, it was revealed that the public test of the battle between adventurers (PvP or Ballista) was to take place at REAL VANA'DIEL and participants were recruited. PvP was an event that many players looked forward to.
Apr. 6th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Winner of Stratics 2003 Golden Cog Awards in North America
Final Fantasy XI won in the "Best Gameplay", "Best Graphics", and "MMORPG Game of the Year" categories.
Apr. 9th, 2004
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png First ever Egg Hunt!
The first ever Egg Hunt event named after Easter was held from April 9th to 13th. It became an annual event after the debut.

Adventurers had to collect "Initial Eggs". Based on their collections, notable items such as the Happy Egg, the Fortune Egg, and the Chocobo Ticket were awarded.

Apr. 16th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Final Fantasy XI member accounts exceed 500,000!
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Apr. 22nd, 2004
    Historyversionup.png Ballista & Relic Weapons Introduced
New Features & Content
  • Ballista was introduced.
    • Initially, Ballista was run via events similar to seasonal events. The dates were announced on the official website, and was held irregularly.
  • Dynamis was expanded, and Dynamis - Beaucedine and Dynamis - Xarcabard were implemented.
    • With this, the level 74 and 75 Relic Armor were unlocked.
  • Eco-Warrior quests were added in this update. Their difficulty was extremely high, and designed for an alliance.
  • The Guild Point system was introduced.
    • Along with this system, craftsman gear was added. This included the original 150,000 GP furnishing and moghancement, the 100,000 GP Aprons, and the 70,000 GP accessories.
  • The Garrison battle system was added.
  • Strange Apparatuses were now functional.
  • The Mentor system was added, along with the "New Adventurer" status automatically given to characters below level 5 and with less than 5 hours of play time.
  • The following emotes were added:
    • /hurray, /toss
  • The following command was added:
    • /recast

Job Adjustments
  • Dragoon
    • Spirit Link was implemented. Wyverns were able to be resummoned immediately with Call Wyvern (which was then Dragoon's 2-hour ability) if they were dismissed at full HP.
  • Additional monsters and NMs were added to the original city areas.
  • HQ Crystals were introduced, allowing players to inscribe their names onto equipment.
  • The low level Summoner quests were added (The Trial Size Quests).
  • Cloudy Orb (20 Beastmen's Seal) and Sky Orb (30 Beastmen's Seal) BCNM orbs were added. 3 players maximum were allowed to enter these fights.
  • The Moon Orb level 60 orb could now be used in Qu'Bia Arena for a new battlefield.
  • An adjustment to TP accumulation with weapon skills that contained multiple strikes (Combo, Penta Thrust, etc) was corrected.
  • Subtle Blow job trait was added and given to Monks and Ninjas.
  • The Arcane Flowerpot was added.
  • When affected by the magic Sneak, sound effects for players footprints now were not heard.
  • When targeting a pet, the master's name was now displayed. Bugs still existed with this.
  • The command /wait now supported up to 60 seconds from the previous 20.
  • Battle effects could now be toggled on or off in the configuration.
  • The Storage could now be sorted.
  • It was made possible to place a single item on auction from an incomplete stack of items.
  • An issue where attempts to synthesize Cursed Breeches resulted in an incorrect high-quality item has been addressed.
Dynamis Expanded

The northland Dynamis areas were added to the game, which solved the mystery of the existance of the base stage Relic Weapons. The unique Weapon Skills attached to the weapons were extremley hyped, even more than the stats of the weapons themselves. However, due to the rarity of the ancient currency, the vast amount of Gil needed and the time sink made many players simply give up.

After the final boss was defeated in Dynamis city areas, a massive amount of monsters now spawned in various areas. This made Dynamis - Jeuno totally unstable and unbalanced in difficulty due to the extremely small area.

Unannounced, Relic Armor had an increase in drop rates. This started the trend of the Ridill (Meme) drop rate increasing after every update.

Early Dynamis Lord strategies involved everybody sleeping to 300% TP and to all use Spirits Within. Samurais would also Meikyo Shisui right after to dish out a little more damage. Of course this wasn't enough to kill it, but if you weren't a Ranger your damage was pretty sub-par and the feeling was that you needed to take out a chunk of its health if you were to have a chance at winning.

Ballista Woes

Ballista went live. Many people were looking forward to the event, but due to unbalancing, difficulties of participating, and lack of prizes only a fraction of players participated.

Dragoons received love

Dragoons were finally given Spirit Link, but at this stage Dragoon had already become nothing but an entertainment job.

Summoner Quests

Summoners were now able to acquire avatars at level 20 with the new quests, however, it became difficult to level without having Fenrir at your disposal.

Additionally, the Evoker's Ring quest was implemented in this update. Everyone thought an Abjuration was the reward.

999 Delay Exploit - Infinite Asuran Fists

Using a weapon with 999 delay with a multi hit weapon skill, players would receive 100+ TP (at the time, this was equivellant to the 1000 TP we have today) instantly. To address this, they nerfed the TP system completely.

The formula before this update:

"TP = ( TP amount by attack interval ) × (number of hits ) × (1 + store TP / 100)"

The formula after the update was now:

"TP = { TP amount by attack interval ) × (number of hits in the first stage) + (number of hits after the second row)} × (1 + store TP / 100)"

  • Dual wield and H2H weapons included the left hand in the first mathematical stage.

This change however never affected Barrage. As a result of this, some jobs token multi-hit Weapon Skills (Penta Thrust, Guillotine, etc) became pretty gimp. EXP parties begun to avoid these jobs.

Apr. 16th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Wedding Rings with Engraving added
The Marriage Ring's name was changed to the Wedding Ring. From this day until the wedding system was redone in 2009, the items were placed directly into a player's inventory during the ceremony by the "Wedding Master" GMs. These items were engraved by the Wedding Masters with the spouse's name. Wedding Masters had the "Official Staff" OfficialStaff.jpg logo next to their characters names.
Apr. 28th, 2004
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Chains of Promathia Expansion Announced!
The expansion Chains of Promathia was officially announced on April 28th, 2004. Magazines and official websites showcased pictures of the Tavnazian Archipelago and Movalpolos regions.

Unlike Rise of the Zilart, this expansion was not in the development plan and was made seperately from Final Fantasy XI. It was announced before this that the next expansion would not include any new Jobs. A mission based expansion was not something that Japanese players wanted.

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April 2004
    Historynews.gif The Rise of the Chinese RMT
Beginning in the Spring of 2004, Chinese gilsellers started to appear throughout the original Final Fantasy XI areas. Their names were always similar with each other (Pokotana, Pokotanb, Pokotanc... etc), and multiple accounts were always controlled by a few people. These people would take shifts and the characters were always online playing 24/7. Teams of RMT were hired workers who played together in a network enviroment in the same office or home. Their goals were "Real Money Trade" or RMT. They would earn gil and then sell it either directly to players or to third party companies.

It was true, however, that the problem came from the game mechanics above all else. Soon after their appearance though, RMT websites began appearing in search engines and ads on popular community websites. Japanese player morale then started to decrease dramatically during those days. Square Enix began taking more action by banning many RMT accounts, but RMT still remained in high numbers. Inflation began taking place, and Gil prices slowly decreased. This helped more players have access to RMT activities.

Soon after they started being spotted, the RMT became a major problem. Square Enix knew of their existance, but they were a difficult problem to deal with. Not enough measures, or no measures, were being taken to counter the situation. Vana'diel's famous farming spots were soon flowing with RMT on all worlds. Monsters like the Stroper Chyme who dropped the Archer's Ring were monopolized. It was impossible for actual players of the game to claim and receive drops from some NMs.

The RMT stayed out of Sky for a few years, but around 2006-2007 they began appearing there. MPKing them was a popular hobby of all players alike. The RMTs always threatened to call GMs on players, but very rarely did due to thieir language barrier and not wanting to risk drawing attention to themselves for their RMT actions.

May 9th, 2004
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Second Adventurer's Appreciation Campaign
The Second Adventurer's Appreciation Campaign was held from May 9th thru May 16th in commemoration of two years of Final Fantasy XI's start of service. Speaking to Moogles, adventurers were given their communication, death, GM call, etc stats like last year. Players were also given items such as random fireworks like Cracklers, Chocobo Tickets, Chocobo Wands, Bronze Mog. Belts, Silver Mog. Belts, and Adventuring Certificates

Mog Belt Rumor

It was rumored that the coveted Mog Belts were given out with a higher probability based on the number of GM calls made. It was said that players intentionally were calling GMs just to get their call count higher in order to receive a belt.

May 11th, 2004
    USFlag.png First overseas Final Fantasy Concert
A concert entitled "Dear Friends - Music from Final Fantasy" was held in Los Angeles at the newly opened Walt Disney Concert Hall. The two-hour sold out concert featured music composed and produced by Nobuo Uematsu, performed by the Los Angeles Philarmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale. The concert was conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Similar to Tour de Japon, Ronfaure was featured from Final Fantasy XI.

Dear Friends.jpg
May 13th, 2004
    USFlag.png FFXI showcased at E3 2004
Final Fantasy XI was showcased at E3 2004, highlighting the Chains of Promathia expansion pack that would be released later in the year. Only the images previously released were displayed, visitors could not run freely through the upcoming areas.

A Ballista event taking place, where visitors to the Square Enix booth could take control of a character and participate in a Ballista match. Participants walked away with a prize for playing. This prize was not an in-game item, it was most likely a tshirt or other Square Enix souvenir.

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May 14th, 2004
    Historynews.gif 4th Vana'diel Census
In addition to the traditional main job level distribution, the differences in login patterns between Japan and North America was shown based on the fact that overseas service has started since the last Census. Login Distribution

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Character Count Distribution

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Jun. 7th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Wedding Acceptance change
The method of acceptance for new Wedding applicants changed from a Lottery method to a First come-First serve method. Wedding2.jpg

This is a picture of the application process from 2005.

Jun. 24th, 2004
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Vana'diel Clock Released
The company Hori released an alarm clock in Japan on June 24th, 2004 and in North American in March of 2005. The product was officially licensed by Square Enix, and promoted on the official Playonline website.

The clock is about 8 inches tall, and displays Earth time as well as the current Vana'diel time/day/moon phase. There are four alarms that can be set for either Vana'diel time or Earth time, with tunes of either San d'Oria, Bastok, Windurst, or Jeuno. Although the clock is an item designed for super nerds, it could still be used as a daily alarm clock.

One of the drawbacks is poor visibility. Transparent liquid crystal is very hard to see on the clock. Although there is also a light button, it is still hard to see. This makes it difficult to recognize the small day of the week. Some also complain the time is inaccurate.

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The video below are of the tunes that you can choose from. They are quite pleasant.

Jun. 29th, 2004
    Historyversionup.png Merit Point Introduction & BCNM Expansion
New Features & Content
  • The Merit Points system was introduced. This early system was done totally through the Nomad Moogle in Ru'Lude Gardens. There was no way of telling how close you were to your next merit. Only 9 items were initially available:
    • HP
    • MP
      • HP and MP could only be raised a total of 5 times. Example: 5 HP / 0 MP, or 3 HP / 2 MP.
    • STR
    • DEX
    • VIT
    • AGI
    • INT
    • MND
    • CHR
      • Attributes could only be raised a total of 3 times. Example: 3 STR / 0 everything else.
  • Mannequins were added to the game, along with the quest It's Raining Mannequins.
  • The official Ballista schedule was implemented, and begun its rotation. It was now automatically occuring without staff intervening, so a more regular schedule could be followed. Many adjustments were also implemented.
    • Participation fees were lowered, and transportation to the venues was added.
  • The number of Beastmen's Seal BCNM battlefields were almost doubled.
    • Alliance size BCNMs were supposed to be added (KS99), but got delayed for a month.
  • Buffs now always wear off when entering level capped battlefields.
    • This also included battlefields that have the level cap status, but are not actually level restricted.
  • A cutscene was added to Dynamis - Xarcabard that played after defeat of Dynamis Lord.
  • HQ versions of requested items could now be turned in for Guild Points.
  • The number of regions that Garrison can take place has been increased.
  • Monster placement was changed in King Ranperre's Tomb and The Shrine of Ru'Avitau.
  • All Fireworks could now stack to 99 instead of 12.
  • Thief can now equip some crossbows and bolts. Sneak Attack can now be used in any direction when combined with Hide.
  • Dark Stalker monsters (Shadows) now were main job Black Mage, and now used -ga magic.
  • The amount of time required to pass before a monster became unclaimed was increased. Before it was immediate. This did not solve monster stealing, but it slightly helped.
  • The term ballista could be used in search
    • Example: /sea all ballista
  • Interesting Fixed Issues:
    • An issue where magic being cast by worm type monsters was not being displayed in the chat log.
    • An issue where TP accumulation would not properly calculate after a player reached 0 ammo.

Ballista's entry fee was now free. Along with many other adjustments, the hype of PvP was almost completely gone for the Japanese community.

Merit Point System

The amount of experience points required for the very minimal increase with spent points caused some people to complain. Regardless, everybody still kept gaining Experience to increase their MP! Players could not even tell if they were earning Limit Points in the chat log until the following month.

Monster Placement Changes

With the changes to monster placement in King Ranperre's Tomb and The Shrine of Ru'Avitau, these areas became popular camps. There was only a handful of appropriate locations added due to magic aggro and blood aggro potential.


The new items added to Garrison were much to many player's surprise and the event became popular for a short time.


Mannequins were immediately looked upon as simple armor storage that occupied valuable inventory space. Inventory space was very low at this stage in the game, and it was very hard to have any kind of efficient macro swaps due to space.

The Unsho & Unji Combo

These katanas were added in this update. At this time, TP obtained by players was guaranteed to be at least +5 per hit (today, this amount would have equaled 50) if delay was 180 or less. For that reason, it was recommended for Merit Parties to "increase total damage by raising the speed at which you weapon skill. Lower your weapon swing delay for faster TP." In addition, Ninja's flagship weapon skills had STR and DEX modifiers. This was the perfect storm for Unsho and Unji to be raved as the supreme combination.

Due to the Apr. 2006 version update, the situation surrounding these katanas changed drastically. The change to TP accumulation when attacking a monster was implemented, so it took much longer to store TP to 100. The Unsho & Unji combo became a hobby set to quickly swing instead of actual main weapons. The Senjuinrikio and Fudo had much higher base damage for weapon skills, so they became a popular choice for main hand weapons. The Unsho and Unji remained in demand for their excellent low delay and base stats, which made as an excellend offhand weapon choice.

In the January 2007 update, the Perdu Blade was released. The value of either the Unsho or Unji as a sub weapon was starting to lower. The Karasuageha became a popular alternative offhand weapon.

Finally, in 2010, the fate of the Unsho & Unji were sealed with the new Trial of the Magians katana choices.

Jul. 20th, 2004
    Historyversionup.png KS99 Update
New Features & Content
  • Earned Limit Points were now displayed in the chat log after each battle.
Kindred's Seal 99 Battles

At long last, alliance battles were available via KS99 Themis Orb! Players were very excited for the content. Unfortunately due to the demand for specific jobs in order to win, the amount of people needed and the poor quality of drops compared to effort needed, it never became popular for years to come.

Jul. 24th, 2004
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Summerfest Official Event
The summer festival Bon-Odori that was held as a user event for the last two years was held as an official event between July 24th and August 9th. The event took place between the three major countries and outlying areas, as well as Rabao. Between 19:00 and 6:00 game time, fireworks could be seen in the sky as well as special music played. Moogles sold all types of fireworks.

For the first part of the celebration (The days in July) a Test your Courage challenge was available to players. Speaking to a moogle in a party of two, players were level capped at level 1 and transported to high level areas. The event was popular because players could have fun exploring dungeons they haven't been to. The objective was to find the "Goal Point" somewhere in the dungeon.

After finding the goal, players were given reward items to turn into moogles for "Points". These items were based on the player's partner race and gender. A similar Key Item was given along with each inventory item. Players also received a random Gate Glyph item to warp back to town.

The Onoko Yukata and Omina Yukata were rewarded for successfully clearing the event for the first time, and turning in one inventory reward item to the event Moogle. Upgraded versions of the Yukatas, the Lord's Yukata and Lady's Yukata. These could be won if a player completed the event with five different race and gender players. The goal was to collect five different "Drawing" key items, and then speaking to the event Moogle.

For the second part of the event (The days in August), adventurers were able to play the Goldfish Scooping game.This event took place in West Ronfaure, South Gustaberg, East Sarutabaruta, and Rabao. Players had to equip the Goldfish Basket into their ammo slot, and a Super Scoop into their ranged slot. The HQ Yakatas helped with the scooping results. Scooping points were exchanged for various fireworks, as well as Summer Fans and Spirit Masques.

Summerfest 2004.jpg
Aug. 9th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Second Screenshot Contest Winner Announcement
The second screenshot contest winner was announced again on the official Final Fantasy XI website. Winners of the contests had their images added to Playonline’s Extras section under “Greeting Card Downloads”

Theme: Things I Fear

First Place Winner:

ScreenshotContest2 1.jpg

Nickname : Seighart (North America)

World : Phoenix

Place : Western Altepa Desert

Player's comment: Adventurers of Vana'diel underestimate the fury that nature can unleash upon those who forget what real power is.

Reviewer's comment: The approaching tornado...the desolate atmosphere of Altepa Desert...the sunlight through the breaks in the clouds...all these elements combine to arouse players'dread. This entry wins first prize for its exceptional ability to instill fear.

Below are the runner-ups.

ScreenshotContest2 2.jpgScreenshotContest2 3.jpg

ScreenshotContest2 4.jpgScreenshotContest2 5.jpg

ScreenshotContest2 6.jpgScreenshotContest2 7.jpg

August 2004
    Historynews.gif Fish Botting
At this point, the already infested Fish Bots have now spread the world and was the easy way of making money. Rusty Caps could sell to NPCs for 2,500 gil. This rumor was spread more and more, and fish botters gathered in Rabao. Sadly, Rusty Caps themselves were implemented to counter fish botting. Light Crystals became more and more expensive and it reached the point where one cluster was 10k. This was unheard of back then. This caused many people to go to sky in search of Light Elementals.

During this time, inflation has started to appear. More details on Rusty Caps are outlined in the September 14th, 2004 Version Update entry below.

Sep. 1st, 2004
    JPFlag.png "Hara Fumina no FFXI tv" broadcasting on Sky Perfect TV!
The TV program from before was remade. It aired three episodes of 15 minutes each on channel 755 "Channel BB" and on Vana'diel Wind. Ms. Fumina Hara served as host.

This program was not a reboot of the one that aired the year before. This one introduces people to the game for beginners and those who have never played before. The show also featured interviews with the development team staff who were normally never seen. Given that interviews were included, the content could be enjoyed by veteran players alike.

In addition, the show also served as a Chains of Promathia promotion.

The show can be watched on Youtube in a collection of 6 videos on FFXITV's channel.
Sep. 11th, 2004
    JPFlag.png Chains of Promathia Release Event in Intercity Hall
Enterbrain Company held an event "Special Night to commemorate the release of Chains of Promathia. The contents included a talk session by the development team, a live performance by The Star Onions, a fight against Fenrir with four Famitsu editors, and a quiz game about Vana'diel. Special Taru Cards were distributed to visitors


Image from

The Star Onions is a band centered on Mr. Naotoshi Mizuta, the main composter of Final Fantasy XI songs. They have multiple albums available for purchase.

The band members for the event were:

  • Mr. Naoshi Mizuta (Base)
  • Mr. Tsuyoshi Sekito (Guitar)
  • Ms. Kumi Tanioka (Piano & Synthesizer)
  • Mr. Hidenori Iwasaki (Synthesizer)

The songs they performed:

  • Prelude
  • Gustaberg
  • Ronfaure
  • The Federation of Windurst
  • The Sanctuary of Zi'Tah
  • Ru'Lude Gardens
Sep. 14th, 2004
    Historyversionup.png Preliminary Chains of Promathia Update
New Features & Content
  • Chains of Promathia menu was added under Missions
    • Upon release of the expansion, all missions up through More Questions than Answers (6-3) was implemented. Players were theoretically able to progress this far upon the release of the expansion pack in the next two days.
  • The Tavnazian Archipelago region was added, along with Movalpolos.
  • New Escort quests were added, and could now be cancelled after accepting them.
  • This update introduced the first "Enchantment" and "Dispense" armor and weapons.
  • The /shutdown command was added, and with the Promathia expansion installed, PS2 users were able to skip the POL windows.
  • The <pettp> command was added.
  • Clamming was introduced.

Job Adjustments
  • Black Mage
    • Some Scythes were now able to be equipped, and the job was given Scythe skill.
  • Thief
    • The Evisceration weapon skill skillchain element was changed.
  • Paladin
    • Recast time of Cover reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.
    • The level requirement for Paladin to use Raise was lowered from 75 to 50.
  • Bard
    • Etude spells were changed to single target only, and their casting time was reduced.
    • Goddess's Hymnus cast time was shortened.
  • Summoner
    • Avatars could now participate in Skillchains and Magic Bursts by using Blood Pacts. Avatar TP now affected the damage of Magical Blood Pacts, but Physical, Enhancing or Enfeebling Blood Pacts were not affected. TP was still lost after using any Blood Pact
  • Dragoon
  • Ninja
    • The effectiveness of Utsusemi now relied on the type of attack being used on the caster. The system is the same as it is today. Single Target attacks eat one shadow, AoE -ga spells wipe all shadows and the caster takes damage, or multiple shadows are taken by some attacks.
  • The quest The Gobbiebag Part V was added, and the maximum inventory space on characters was now 55.
  • Key Items were available for Guild Points. This includes items involving Anima recipes (Cloth Purification, Anima Synthesis, Gold Ensorcellment, etc).
  • Many Ballista adjustments were done, including an increase in items by using /quarry.
  • Unique BGM songs were added for Ballista matches if a player had Chains of Promathia installed.
  • Nomad Moogles were placed in new areas.
  • Fishable monsters were added to more areas.
  • Many new monster families added to Chains of Promathia areas.
  • Ranged Attack abilities altered.
  • Elementals could now use Enhancing Magic.
  • The maximum amount of experience points earned from level 51-60 was raised to 250, and from level 61-75 was raised to 300. Chain bonus maximums were also increased.
  • Crafting Skills were now able to be capped back to level 60 in order to raise a different one.
  • Merit Points system expanded.
    • HP/MP and Attributes categories were expanded, while Combat Skills, Magic Skills, and Other were added.
  • Rank 10 items available from home nations guards.
  • NPC Buy price for Padded Caps was lowered, and the chance to obtain a Rusty Cap was lowered. New Bait/Poles were also added.
  • Dia II MP cost reduced from 59 to 30.
  • Bio MP cost recuded from 22 to 15, while Bio II was recuded to from 66 to 36. Dark Magic also now affects the spells. This change also affected Bio III which was only available to monsters at the time.
  • The effects of Blink and Aerial Armor can now be cancelled manually. They were also now wiped from AoE and were useless in that regard.
  • Interesting Fixed Bugs:
    • An issue where "Cursed Armor" was equipped, players were able to intimidate themselves.
Pre-Promathia Patch

Players expected a lot of major changes just like the Pre-Zilart patch. The experience points earned in level cap areas was able to be used for Limit Point progression, but at first did not add to your main level progression. The enchantment and dispense effects on items was announced in the past, but was not expected in this update.

The /shutdown and shortcut to FFXI in the PS2 version (skipping POL) were said by players to be the best features added in the Promathia expansion.

Utsusemi Nerf

Even though Utsusemi was nerfed, ninja was still able to tank. This was mainly done due to the popularity of /nin for Chains of Promathia missions.


Evisceration's element was changed to allow Thief to work with Darkness skillchains better, but the popularity never came with the skillchain even after CoP's release. Light reigned supreme.

Gil earning nerfs

Many items that made profit primarily by NPCing them were nerfed. Beforehand, you could steal Mythril Beastcoins, but they were swapped to Silver Beastcoins. Along with the nerfs to Rusty Caps detailed below, this made expansion areas even further unpopular. Besides mission reasons, they were all ghost towns.

The Rusty Cap synthesis into a Padded Cap, and then NPCing it was one of the primary ways that Gil was introduced into the economy in the early life of the game. Fish Botting (also known as Sleep Fishing by the JP community) in Rabao was incredibly popular. 50+ players at any time could be seen fishing around the pond, all pulling in Rusty Caps. Rabao was popular due to no threat of monsters attacking players. The synthesis required Light Clusters, so the price of these clusters skyrocketed in the middle of 2004 due to the demand.

During this Version Update, the probability of catching Rusty Caps decreased and at the same time the NPC sale price was reduced. The HQ synthesis Strong Cap remained the same, however. Padded Caps remained, albeit less popular, a source of Gil even after the nerf. Not until the March 2007 version update were Rusty Caps finally worthless. This update changed the recipe ingredient, and NPCing the Rusty Cap itself was a whopping 1 Gil. The significance of restoring Rusty items was completely lost.

There were stories of players who made enough Gil to fund their Smithing and Goldsmithing to max levels, and even capping their character's Gil with Rusty Cap fishing alone.

Sep. 16th, 2004
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Chains of Promathia Expansion Released in Japan!
Japanese view on the Expansion

As previously announced, Chains of Promathia had a lot of effort put into Missions and Quests. However, it became apparent that there were ONLY Missions and Quests, but added nothing else. The missions as well, like previous mistakes they made, were tailored to specific jobs. Due to horrible balancing at first release, many jobs could not complete the content. Furthermore, the difficulty with the long trek through Promyvion made the expansion even more unpopular.

SE announced that because of the low level cap of 30, new players would be able to participate in the content. This of course was false. The demand for specific party setups with ninja subjob and utsusemi, the difficult BCNM at the end, as well as expensive equipment that even veteran players might not have left many unable to proceed with the content. The difficulty level put in place was far beyond what new players who just reached level 20 could handle. It was not possible to lift the level cap to make things easier.

At first, the curiosity with new areas and exploration were popular. Unfortunately, only two or three of the new areas were used for experience points. The other areas were not populated. The areas added and amount of new mobs were a lot more than Zilart introduced, so more camps should have been available. New monster familys attacked fast, while old monster families had new dangerous abilities. Lastly, under the level cap status, you could not earn full experience. Because most new areas were level capped, they made for poor camps.

With no new jobs, spells, weapon skills, modification to the battle system, high difficulty of the missions, and level cap areas, the expansion as a whole was unattractive to veteran players of two+ years. Just by experiencing the difficulty of Promyvions, players had already judged that it would be a "Failed Product". CoP was the last expansion to be designed along with RoTZ and the base game, so that's why the story integrates very well with the rest of the missions.

New Director

On the same day, Mr. Nobuaki Komoto took office as Final Fantasy XI Director.

Two versions were released in Japan, an Expansion Disk only version (Below on the left) and an All-in-One version (Below to the right) for both platforms.

FFXI JP PS2 COP.jpgFFXI JP PS2 All-In-One.jpg


Sep. 21st, 2004
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png CoP Released in North America, and FFXI Windows version released in Europe/Australia!
North American view on the Expansion

The Negative

Back in 2004, the main negative points in Final Fantasy XI were the need for people and the game itself was a large timesink. Not only did they not fix these issues with the expansion, they made them worse. The awaited "Outfits" were not that good stat wise, and considering how hard to obtain they were it was not worthwile. Many North American players did not mind the difficulty challenge, but found it hard to overcome inventory problems with new gearsets required. Already a lot of North American players reached 75, and they didn't see the necessity of such wide scale level restricted areas.

The major problems were the lack of things that players were able to do once reaching 75. New content tailored to endgame was not implemented until the end of Chains of Promathia.

There was a very critical minority who disliked that the expansion itself was so different than the interviews pre-launch. As a result, not adding any progress towards the endgame content and not fulfilling enough to low level content by placing severe restrictions, this minority believed Final Fantasy XI was reaching its end.

The Positive

A lot of North American players accepted the expansion for what it was. They enjoyed the new challenging aspects of the missions, and went on a very interesting community-driven effort to establish strategies, what to do, etc. (this was before the wiki was actually used/existed). There was a big thread on the Allakazam forums discussing the strategies (the real ones, not the "rangers and summoners" myth). Said myth was also generated because at launch most people chose to do Promyvion-Holla (I remember the threads on various forums), which was at the time the hardest one (due to the boss Shadow Spread attack). -[email protected]


In Japanese player's eyes, the EU players not having their own servers was again "Pointless, Stupid and Illogical" just like the NA release. SE's reasoning for not creating more worlds was again "Peak Times". Post-CoP, the population on all Worlds was absurd. There could be 10,000 players online at any time on every world.

In North America, the expansion was at first only available as a standalone release on both PS2 and Windows. A "Collection" was released later.


An All-in-One version was released for PC in Europe/Australia/PAL format, but only in English. Europe never received the PS2 HDD, so the PS2 version of the game remained only available in Japan and North America.


Sep. 22nd, 2004
    Historynews.gif Chains of Promathia Expansion Service went Live
Service began for Chains of Promathia across all regions.

The registration server died (again...) because SE made the same mistake as when the game was first launched. This made them a laughing stock.

Yet again, new area maps could be endlessly purchased just like in the Zilart release.

On top of the above, there was a serious issue with the PS2 versions of the expansion disc. If you were to stop the progress of the version update download, all game data was corrupted. Users were prompted to reinstall the whole game using the original game discs. With all of these **** ups, a lot of users became angry. Not only did they have bugs, but server maintenance was even screwed up?

Controversy also followed this release. Players in Japan had almost a week to find the game, prepare their systems for the release and install the update. Many North American and European players did not yet have the expansion fully shipped to them or could not find it in stores. Unlike future expansions, all it took for access to the new content was to register your code and install the data disc. To solve this in the future, expansion access went live worldwide at the same time a couple days after expansion packs were released in stores.

Movalpolos Water Festival

A few days after the expansion went live, it was discovered that Movalpolos Water was sold from an NPC for less than it was sold to a shop for. Players flocked and generated massive amounts of Gil on all worlds by simple clicks.

On the developer side at Square Enix, there were repeated forced system messages that said "unauthorized use of bugs may be subject to punishment". Emergency server maintenance on Sept. 27th, 2004 fixed the issue with price corrections.

Although the exploit was discovered by a simple mistake, players criticized Square Enix saying it was their own fault. Poor debugging, responsiveness developer side, and delay in solving the problem were all valid player arguments.

Sep. 24th, 2004
    JPFlag.png Chains of Promathia exhibited at Tokyo Game Show 2004
Tokyo Game Show 2004 was held at Makuhari Messe from the 24th to the 26th. A special image promotinal card was released and given to guests who stopped at the booth. (pictured below)

TGS 2004 2.jpg

TGS 2004 1.jpg
Sep. 28th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Vana'diel population surpasses 1,500,000 characters!
This number was based on currently active, registered users.

550,000 active players logged on during the same day, and a record 170,000 players logged on simultaneously on September 18th.

Oct. 7th, 2004
    Historyversionup.png First Promathia Update
New Features & Content
  • Memory Streams in Promyvion zones now remained active for longer.
  • Draw In when used by monsters now includes pets, avatars and wyverns.
  • Players could now properly gain experience points in level capped areas instead of only limit points.
  • Additionally, experience points earned in level capped areas now properly calculate regardless of circumstances (Being KO'd, etc).
  • Monster and NM respawn timers in some areas were changed.
  • The location where players ended up after using Escape from Promyvion - Vahzl/Spire of Vahzl was changed.
  • Monster placement was changed in Uleguerand Range, Attohwa Chasm and King Ranperre's Tomb.
  • The rank 10 Aketons could no longer grant players crystals after killing a monster when experience points were not earned.
  • Fomor monster's names in Lufaise Meadows have been fixed. Before this update, they were named "Formor".
  • Guild Member NPCs now gave random recipes when talking to them.
  • Antacid was now stackable to 12. The synthesis recipe yield was also adjusted.
  • It was now impossible to unequip enchanting or dispensing items during use.
This update was unexpected, but consisted of mostly bug fixes. Not many people were at the point where they could continue the mission progression, but new ones were implemented anyway. The difficulty remained very high for new missions and old missions.

Debut of the Wyrms The three wyrms Jormungand, Tiamat and Vrtra were added in this update (hence the repositioning of monsters blip). The fact that these fights were designed for 30-50 people with the alliance limit remaining at 18 was outrageous. The new equipment added (Sha'ir set, Herald's gaiters and Barone) were not seen for months due to the difficulty of killing these wyrms.

Oct. 7th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Remora and Hades created
Two new worlds were created to releive the growing population. Server transfers were open to everybody.
Oct. 23rd, 2004
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Trick or Treat!!
Following the previous year, the Halloween event was held again. When you traded snacks to NPCs, you were turned into a random monster costume.

In addition to the same items from the previous year, players could obtain the Trick Staff II, Treat Staff II, Pumpkin Head II, and Horror Head II.

Oct. 30th, 2004
    USFlag.png FFXI Anniversary Masquerade
On October 30, nearly four hundred fans gathered at the San Francisco Metreon to celebrate FFXIs first year in North America. All enjoyed a magical evening of music, food, and dancing.

Everyone who brought a mobile phone with wallpaper from the Square Enix Gallery received a free copy of the Chains of Promathia expansion pack.

As the night went on, ten costume contest winners, forty Ballista participants, and many more raffle and giveaway winners received some fantastic prizes, including a custom-designed Chains of Promathia PC. Everyone had the chance to catch an exclusive sneak peek at upcoming Square Enix titles, including Dragon Quest VIII and FINAL FANTASY VII: Advent Children.

At the end of the night, each attendee took home a FFXI Bradygames Guide, a "Dear Friends: Music from FINAL FANTASY" concert program, a 13-month Final Fantasy art calendar, and a free copy of FFXI.

Nov. 17th, 2004
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Chains of Promathia OST Released
Consisting of 24 songs, the price was 2,100 yen (tax included). COP OST.jpg
Nov. 24th, 2004
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Final Fantasy XI World Concept Art Book Released
Published by Shueisha, the concept art book details many aspects of the game through the Chains of Promathia release. Player character models, popular NPCs, main city nations, beastmen that came to be, and even many scrapped ideas are detailed in this book.

ConceptArtBook2004 1.JPG

ConceptArtBook2004 2.JPGConceptArtBook2004 3.JPG

ConceptArtBook2004 4.JPGConceptArtBook2004 5.JPG

Nov. 30th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Vana'diel Tribune II
The Vana'diel Tribune II was comprised of 16 articles, and was released from November 30th, 2004 until February 27th, 2006.

This time, the articles were all released in Japanese as well as English. See the Vana'diel Tribune II page for a link to every article.

Vanadiel tribune ii.png
Dec. 2nd, 2004
    Historynews.gif Vana'diel Bench III Released
The official FFXI Benchmark software version 3 was released. The Tavnazian Archipelago was the setting, and Chains of Promathia cutscenes were included. Since this release, no new benchmark software was released to the public. By the time the next expansion rolled around, system PC requirements did not change. Hardware was surpassing the game's technology, so there was no need for new benchmark software.
Dec. 9th, 2004
    Historyversionup.png 6th Gobbiebag Expansion
Job Adjustments
  • Thief
  • Bard
    • High level Etudes now increased attributes further than before, but now gradually wear over time.
  • Dragoon
    • Spirit Link now removes detrimental effects such as Poison.
    • Wyvern's magic breath can now Magic Burst, but only an Accuracy Bonus is received if successful.
  • Summoner
    • When Blood Pacts Magic Burst, an Accuracy Bonus is received.
    • Physical Blood Pacts now did not increase as much as before when attacking weaker enemies. Stronger enemies were unchanged.
  • Chains of Promathia missions had difficulty eased in the following ways:
    • All Promyvion zones had their monsters adjusted in the following ways:
      • Monster placement changes
      • Monster movement pattern changes
      • Monster level adjustments
      • Monster item drop changes
      • Memory stream appearance rates
    • CoP Mission item changes: Hippogryph Tailfeathers could now be traded, more than one Mistmelt could be held, Yellow liquid lasted longer, and Mistmelts and Shu'Meyo Salt were easier to obtain.
  • Auction House taxes were altered (This was before auction houses were combined. There were instead four different Auction Houses that could be used. Rabao was connected to San d'Oria, Kazham was connected to Windurst, and Norg was connected to Bastok. Jeuno was seperate and the most popular, hence the higher tax.)
    • Jeuno:
      • Single item fee = 2% of the seller's asking price +100 gil.
      • Stacked item fee = 1% of the seller's asking price +400 gil.
    • All Others:
      • Single item fee = 1% of the seller's asking price +1 gil.
      • Stacked item fee = 0.5% of the seller's asking price +4 gil.
  • The NPC to erase Meal Effects (Parike-Poranke) was now in Lower Jeuno.
  • New Notorious Monsters were added in Chains of Promathia areas.
  • The Gobbiebag Part VI was added. Players inventory can now reach 60 slots.
  • Supply Quests and regional teleportation to Tavnazian Archipelago has been unlocked.
  • A shortcut into Promyvion - Vahzl was added for those who have partially or fully completed the mission.
  • The longer a player remains in the same area, the more difficult it will be to obtain items through mining or logging.
    • This was to prevent RMT from camping mining spots.
  • The quest All by Myself can be played regardless if Chains of Promathia is installed or not.
  • The quest The Big One's level cap was raised from 40 to 45.
  • The Old Sabertooth involved in the Ranger Job Quest will no longer drop items, and will only appear after examining a set of bones in the area.
  • Only players who have the quest Hook, Line, and Sinker active will be able to fish up the monster that drops the Egret Fishing Rod.
  • A new reward for completing the quest Tuning Out was added.
  • Astral Rings were removed from the coffers in Castle Oztroja, and were instead placed in a BCNM.
  • Weather Reporters now forcast Chains of Promathia areas.
  • The additional effect of Stun on weapons now cannot repeatedly "stun lock" an enemy. This has no effect on Magic spells and Weapon Skills.
  • Ballista now has area specific match types, as well as the following adjustments:
    • A new temporary item was added.
    • /quarry items now stayed in a players inventory through a whole set of matches.
    • Only one of each type of temporary item is able to be held.
    • The Ballista Points system became available.
    • Players now gained a resistance to repeated use of the spell Lullaby, similar to how Sleep was changed.
  • 17 new BCNMs were added.
  • This update added the "Kicked out of the Battlefield after 3 minutes of all participants being KO'd" rule.
  • This update also came with major changes to almost all food types. Many effects were changed as below:
    • Meat Dishes: Mainly improve attributes such as STR, Attack, and Ranged Attack.
    • Sushi: Mainly improve attributes such as DEX, Accuracy, and Ranged Accuracy.
    • Fish Dishes: Mainly improve DEX, and some improve Accuracy and Ranged Accuracy.
    • Seafood Dishes (other than fish): Mainly improves Defense and VIT.
    • Grains & Rice: Mainly increase Max HP.
    • Vegetable Dishes: Mainly raise AGI and Ranged Accuracy.
    • Mushroom Dishes: Mainly raise MND, Max MP, and lowers enmity.
    • Pies: Mainly raise INT and Max MP.
    • Snack Foods: Mainly raise HP and MP while healing.
    • Sweets (Other than Pies and Snacks): Mainly raise Max MP.
    • Drinks: Mainly Refresh MP.
    • Others: Some unique foods existed that don't fit in the above categories, and have special effects.
  • In addition to the effects of food, many durations were altered and standardized:
    • 3 Minutes: Snack foods (Crackers, etc)
    • 5 Minutes: HQ Snack Foods, raw meat, fish, fruit and vegetables
    • 30 Minutes: Stackable to 12 dishes
    • 1 Hour: Stackable to 12 HQ Dishes
    • 3 Hours: Unstackable dishes (except drinks)
    • 4 Hours: Unstackable HQ dishes
  • Some Cookies and Sweets stack size were changed from 12 to 99.
  • Some Pie stack sizes were changed from 1 to 12
  • The "Enhances the effect of Rice Balls" found on some Samurai equipment has been enhanced.
  • Chat Filters were expanded a little, with seperate categories for NPCs and Pets.
  • Auction House history could now be clicked on, causing a line with details to appear in the chat log.
  • Kirin, Genbu, Seiryu, Suzaku and Byakko received their unique appearances.
  • Fixed Bugs:
    • Issue where Holy Water could remove "Max HP Down" and "Max MP Down".
  • Apple Pie, Pamamas and Wild Pamamas were unintentionally changed to a duration of 3 minutes. It was properly changed to 30 minutes a week later.
Food Changes

Players were at first excited that food became stackable to 99, but then realized it was a slap in the face because the same foods were now only 3 minute durations.

The changes to Sushi made it much easier for players to hit Incredibly Tough monsters.

Double Attack and Triple Attack

Without warning, now Double Attack and Triple Attack no longer activated during Weapon Skills.


It was overall welcome to have Ballista Points accumulate, but they could only be used for items related to Ballista or only usable in Ballista.

The resistance to Lullaby was lost if you died. If you were lucky enough to not die for a long time, you were practically immune to lullaby after repeated use. -[email protected]

Auction House Fees

The fees implemented for taxes made the Auction House even more expensive than it was before. This change was not taken well by the community.

RIP Easy Money

Until this update, Black Sole/Silver Shark/Bastore Bream were all easy to fish from places such as Sea Serpent Grotto. With the lowered NPC purchase rate, many fishermen had to find a new target.

Dec. 9th, 2004
    Historynews.gif Warning to Community regarding RMT Activity
Square-Enix issued a warning on their official site warning players about participating in RMT activities. They sternly stated that RMT activities are a violation of the Playonline Agreement, and that you could be banned for participating. The adjustments in the version update caused RMT players to worry a bit, but it was not strict enough to stop the activity. Many valuable NM drops that were monopolized by RMT were moved to BCNMs, and Rare/Ex versions were added to the NMs.

There was discussion by the developers to change the fishing system to leave fish bots ineffective. Players asked "... after all this time you haven't done anything. Why do it now?"

Dec. 10th, 2004
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Starlight Celebration 2004
As with the year before, all three cities again had Christmas Decorations. This tradition would continue every year. New this year in Jeuno, players could listen to the popular Starlight Celebration Theme. Only players with the Chains of Promathia expansion could hear it though, because it was shipped and installed with the expansion disk. When players talked to Moogles in one of the three cities, a mini game could be played that involved searching for children. Letters were received from them, and had to be turned in to Smile Bringers. The Dream Hat was new this year, along with nation themed Christmas Tree furnishings San d'Orian Tree, Bastokan Tree, and Windurstian Tree. By placing these trees in your Mog House and then speaking with your Moogle, you were rewarded with the Dream Hat +1.
Dec. 27th, 2004
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png New Year's Showdown: Moogles vs. Goblins!
An event took place from December 27th, 2004 until January 10th, 2005. When you examined a target point called Overturned Soil that appeared in various locations, you could obtain a tally associated with the Seven Lucky Gods. These items were:

By turning in the cards in specific combinations to certain countries, the following rewards were available:

Fablinix or "Fab" is a Goblin whose diaries are chronicled in A Little Goblin's Adventure in 2003 and 2004. This diary was similar to Vana'diel Chronicles.
Back to the Main Page

Pre-Release & Beta

2000 - 2001

Release & The First Year


The Rise of the Zilart Era


The Chains of Promathia Era


Conclusion of Chains of Promathia


The Treasures of Aht Urhgan Era


Conclusion of Treasures of Aht Urhgan


The Age of Mythical Weapons


The Add-on Scenarios


The End of the Level 75 Cap


The Beginning of Post-Abyssea


The Level 99 Era

Coming Soon!

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
    JPFlag.png Real Life Event in Japan
    USFlag.png Real Life Event in North America
    EUFlag.png Real Life Event in Europe