The History of Final Fantasy XI/2012

From FFXI Wiki
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


The Seekers of Adoulin Release

Work is in progress!

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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


In 2012, Final Fantasy XI celebrated its 10th anniversary. A major Vana Fest was held in Japan to commemorate this special occasion.

Synthesis Skills saw their first level cap increase in 8 years. The coveted spell Meteor was given to players to use, along with the incredible new Raise spell Arise. New events included Nyzul Isle Uncharted, the difficult Legion content, Voidwatch’s conclusion with Provenance, and Salvage II.

Jan. 1st, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Happy New Year 2012
From the 1st to the 16th Wyrms and Wyverns appeared in Vana’diel. The names were Dragatama Wyrm of Light (Same model as a Memory Recepticle in Promyvion), Wassailer Whitby, Lucky Ladon, Delightful Drake, and Auspicious Ajattara

Trading items to Dragatama and Ambitious Arnold may have granted players the new Snowman Cap, which grants a Snoll Costume effect.


In Grauberg (S), Ambitious Arnold a giant worm appeared with smaller worms around it. This NPC was unique, as past New Years events monsters always roamed around in a line, but Arnold did not move. There was no notification to players that Arnold was in Grauberg. It is likely that since it was the “Year of the Wyrm”, it was a play on words and the joke was that Arnold was an “Earthworm”.

Jan. 26th, 2012
    Historynews.gif Square Enix Accounts began accepting Credit/Debit Cards
At last, the Square-Enix Account system could accept Credit Cards and Debit Cards instead of just Crysta (If your bank didn’t reject it as fraud) or Paypal (if you can get through UltimatePay first). Click and Buy also had a premium upcharge of $.30 per month to process your payment. Direct payments should have been the case from the very start of the Square-Enix Account system, as outside of Japan there were never any in-store prepay card options like other MMOs.

This new direct payment method was simply disguised as being processed by Square-Enix, but it was processed by a company called Global Collect. Some said that this is what Square Enix wanted the whole time, to point fingers at other companies rather accepting the responsibility of fixing payment problems. As long as it isn't on their end (the website having a glitch problem) then there is nothing they can do to help you, and instead refer to you these other payment processor companies. Many players still had issues with this new system at first, whether it was their cards being rejected or website errors.

For some bizarre reason, Security Tokens and additional game content could still only be purchased through Crysta or Click and Buy for a while after this change.

Image Square-Enix Account.jpg
Feb. 1st, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Valentione’s Day 2012
Valentione’s Day ran from February 1st thru February 15th. The event did not change from the previous year, except that every player received items delivered to them from NPCs.

Rengedama fireworks as well as six total chocolates were received, of which depended on your nation of allegiance:

San d’Oria:




The Delivery Box and Sent Box slots were frequently used for extra inventory spaces by some players, leaving only one receive box open for Gil from the Auction House for sold items.

Getting these deliveries from NPCs was rather annoying until it was found that they gave short Movement Speed effects. While they were rather weak and only lasted a few minutes, it was neat to have such an effect from food. They also stacked with other forms of movement speed to get a rather fast effect.

Feb. 14th, 2012
    Historynews.gif Valentiones Day 2012 Screenshot Contest
A Screenshot Contest was held for North American players via the official forum. The theme was Valentione’s Day. Ten winners were chosen, and the winning entries can be found here on the official forum.

The prize was a Love Chocolate in-game item with the signature of any community team member the player chose.

Love Chocolate description.png
Feb. 14th, 2012
    Historyversionup.png Nyzul Isle Uncharted Investigation introduced
New Features & Content

Job Adjustments
  • Warrior
    • Blood Rage no longer grants a bonus to critical hit damage.
  • Paladin
    • Shield Bash recast time has been reduced from five minutes to three, and the Recast merit point enhancement has been adjusted to reduce recast time by six seconds per level, instead of the previous ten.
    • Holy Circle recast time reduced from ten minutes to five, the duration increased from one minute to three, and the merit point enhancement category for the job ability was adjusted from twenty seconds per merit level to ten.
    • Sepulcher recast time reduced from ten minutes to five.
  • Dark Knight
    • Weapon Bash recast time has been reduced from five minutes to three, and the merit point enhancement category for the job ability was adjusted to reduce the recast time by six seconds per merit level instead of ten.
    • Arcane Circle recast time reduced from ten minutes to five, the duration increased from one minute to three, and the merit point enhancement category for the job ability was adjusted from twenty seconds per merit level to ten.
    • Arcane Crest recast time reduced from ten minutes to five.
  • Samurai
    • Warding Circle recast time reduced from ten minutes to five, the duration increased from one minute to three, and the merit point enhancement category for the job ability was adjusted from twenty seconds per merit level to ten.
    • Hamanoha recast time reduced from ten minutes to five.
  • Dragoon
    • New wyvern breath abilities added:
      • Healing Breath IV
      • Remove Breath will now cure additional status ailments at the following levels:
        • Curse and Doom at level 60
        • Disease and Plague at level 80
    • Spirit Surge’s Haste effect now stacks with similar effects granted by spells and equipment.
    • Jump recast time shortened from 90 seconds to 60, and the recast merit point enhancement has been changed to two seconds per merit level instead of three.
    • High Jump recast time shortened from 180 seconds to 120 second, the range was expanded, and the recast merit point enhancement has been changed to four seconds per merit level instead of six.
    • Super Jump’s range was expanded.
    • Spirit Jump recast time shortened from 90 seconds to 60.
    • Spirit Link recast time shortened from 180 seconds to 90, the recast merit point enhancement has been changed to three seconds per merit level instead of six, and the HP granted to the wyvern was about doubled.
    • Ancient Circle recast time reduced from ten minutes to five, the duration increased from one minute to three, and the merit point enhancement category for the job ability was adjusted from twenty seconds per merit level to ten.
    • Dragon Breaker recast time reduced from ten minutes to five.
    • HP was raised from C to C+
    • Evasion was raised from C- to B.
    • Parry was raised from C to B-.
  • Summoner
    • The elemental MP cost merit point enhancement now reduced MP cost by three points per level instead of one.
  • Corsair
  • Scholar
  • Voidwatch Adjustments:
    • Beaucedine Glacier was added as an area to fight Kalasutrax, as there were PS2 client issues for players fighting him in Fort Karugo-Narugo (S). Due to high area load with Campaign, there was a high probability for the system to shut down during the fight.
      • Although this was supposed to be a temporary measure, Beaucedine Glacier as a Voidwatch zone remains in the game in 2021.
    • AoE damage dealt by the high tier Voidwatch monsters were reduced.
  • Walk of Echoes Adjustments:
    • Walks 8-11 had increased Devious Die drop rates by around +50%.
    • Walks 12-15 now drop level 96 magic scrolls.
  • The amount of Zeni obtained from turning in Soul Plates to Sanraku was increased.
  • Ultimate Weapons were now able to be increased to level 99.
  • Bastion Magic NPCs no longer cast AoE elemental magic spells.
  • The following healing bonus calculations were adjusted:
    • "Cure" potency + / Potency of "Cure" effect received + / "Waltz" potency + / Potency of "Waltz" effect received +
    • (1) The new calculation had “Cure” potency and “Waltz” potency stack to 50% max.
    • (2) Additionally, "Potency of Cure effect received +" and "Potency of Waltz effect received +" will stack for a maximum bonus of 30%.
    • Finally, both combined effects above now stack to 95% max.
      • The final value will be calculated in two stages, with (2) applied to the enhanced value of (1), allowing for a total bonus greater than the sum of the two percentages.
  • Casting time for the following spells were reduced:
  • The TP critical hit rate adjustment for the great axe weapon skill Ukko's Fury has been decreased as follows:
    • Old Values: TP100: 30%, TP200: 50%, TP300:80%
    • New Values: TP100: 20%, TP200: 35%, TP300:55%
  • The TP critical hit rate adjustment for the hand-to-hand weapon skill Victory Smite has been decreased as follows:
    • Old Values: TP100: 15%, TP200: 30%, TP300:60%
    • New Values: TP100: 10%, TP200: 25%, TP300:45%
  • Respawn times have been shortened for certain enemies in the following areas:
  • The following options were added to the Config menu under Misc. 2:
    • Macro Palette Size: Full / Compact
    • Macro Pallet Position: Dynamic / Static
Nyzul Isle Uncharted

Nyzul Isle Uncharted was the center stage of this version update, but the rollout failed miserably for multiple reasons.

Any of the lower tier pieces were worthless compared to Empyrean equipment from Abyssea, especially because they were not used to upgrade them to the higher strength pieces. Because of this, there was no reason to fight any of the lower tier bosses. Practicality was seen on the +3 pieces from Floor 80, but it was exceedingly difficult to make it there due to the random warps. Equipment other than the Nares/Phorcys/Thaumas sets could also not be kept in storage, adding more of a burden if they are kept and not thrown away.

Japanese and English players both said that they could reach floor 80 with accumulated knowledge and experience, but they were lucky if they got to 60. Certain setups were required for every run to efficiently make progress in the time limit. Skilled Dark Knights and Scholars with 500+ Enhancing Magic skill were preferred. Powder Boots were also popular to use. In the end, luck played more of a factor than skill to reach Floor 100. Remember, back then all types of lamp floors were exceedingly difficult compared to what we are used to today.

Upon first release, there was no mechanism to choose your target floor. Because of this, if you warped to a random floor when you were in the 90s, you could completely miss Floor 100 and end up back at Floor 1! The width of the random floor warps was also narrower upon release and was only 2 to 9 floors instead of 2 to 11. Due to the difficulty, it was also required to buy temporary items to stand a chance. This left a huge token deficiency for players who could not afford temporary items.

As a measure against what Japanese players referred to as “Shush Online” due to the congestion immediately after the event’s introduction, a 30-minute reentry limit was imposed after leaving the Assault. However, this restriction was lifted on February 16th after the influx of players abandoned the content due to difficulty.

The term “Shush Online” refers to the process of rushing repeatedly to enter an instanced area before other players who are trying to do the same. The word “Shush” refers to the sound effects the game menus make when quickly trying to trigger entry into an instanced zone. The player base is excited to try new content, so everyone rushes to participate. Due to congestion, the message that entry failed is often displayed during the “Shush Online” periods. These often occur immediately after a version update where new battle content is implemented.

Voidwatch Countermeasure

The change to Beaucedine Glacier was a welcome countermeasure for console players. They could finally have a chance at get the equipment they wanted from Kalasutrax. Freezing issues remained for console players even after the update, but the chances of it happening did decrease.

For unknown reasons, the “temporary” change of having Beaucedine as a Voidwatch area stayed even after PS2 service was discontinued.

Job Adjustments

A quote from an English player stuck close for this update – “Instead of giving us stronger stuff as we level up, they’re nerfing things to make new stuff look decent”. While this proves true to some changes, the Victory Smite and Ukko's Fury changes were long overdue. Some said it was left unchanged for too long, and it should have been done back at the level 85 cap (a year ago) before players got so invested into Warrior. Because of the strength of Ukko, many players already took their Ukonvasara to 95 with Heavy Metal. Seeing this weapon skill changed after dropping 150 million gil was quite disheartening. The 50% decrease across the board to Crits was significant. Monk had a little wiggle room as Smite’s decrease was not nearly as bad.


The change to cure and waltz spells basically made them the way they should have been to begin with. Suddenly, the Oneiros Earring saw much more value. At this time there was no way to hit the new Waltz cap anyway.

Shortening of ability timers and the changing of merits was the next step in quickening the pace of the game. This allowed the abilities to be used multiple times per fight, essentially, as many fights didn’t last long enough.

Ultimate Weapons

Following the Dev Post announcement about Level 99 Ultimate Weapons, players now knew there would be two versions of Level 99 weapons. Statistics were released for the “Level 99 I” version, but only the Afterglow was announced for the “Level 99 II” versions. After further clarification from the developers that “Level 99 II” versions were only for “Completionists”, It was soon found that the Afterglow stat was rather worthless. There were no other stat boosts like base damage for the weapons compared to their Level 99 counterparts.

The Japanese test server had the following requirements to upgrade from 95 to 99: 20 Marrows for Relics, 10 Scorcia for Mythics, and 60 Riftdross/cinder for Empyreans. The developers admitted these numbers were only temporary, without a doubt to obtain feedback on what they should be in the end. The developers admitted they should have used a number like 1 or 9999 to make it abundantly clear that they were placeholders. Admittedly, they also said the order of difficulty to obtain the weapons will be “Mythic > Relic > Empyrean”. This is the reason the Zeni per soul plate was increased to around 10x the old amount of zeni per plate than before.

The question also came up on why players cannot simply accrue kills on ADL/PW/Voidwatch NMs rather than the item requirement. The response was simply “for a number of reasons” including that they did not want an entire alliance of 18 people to get credit at the same time. At the time of release it still took a group of players time and effort to obtain these kills and it could not be done solo.

When the requirements for Afterglow were finally seen, many players scratched the idea of ever getting one. Instead, it was realized that it is more beneficial to build a new weapon with one’s time and effort instead of grind for Afterglow.

Feb. 16th, 2012
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png FFXI part of Theatrythm Final Fantasy
Theatrythm Final Fantasy was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on February 16th, and in North America on July 3rd later that year. Shantotto and Prishe were main characters in the game, and music arrangements such as “Vana’diel March”, “Vana’diel March #2” “Awakening”, “Ronfaure” and “FFXI Opening Theme” were in the game.

Some music such as “Fighters of the Crystal” were available at a premium price as DLC.

Feb. 17th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png The Doll Festival 2012
The Doll Festival ran from February 17th thru March 3rd. There were no changes to the event since the previous year.
Feb. 22nd, 2012
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Vana ♪ Con Anniversary 11/11/11 DVD Released
A DVD containing the complete recording of the orchestra concert that took place on 11/11/11 was released.

Audio commentary by composers Naoshi Mizuta, Kumi Tanioka and others were recorded as an option to listen to as sub-audio on the DVD. A bonus track was included containing behind the scenes footage of the main production. As a first production limited run, a Campaign Code for the in-game item Maestro's Baton was included.

The price for the DVD was 4500 Yen.

Maestro's Baton description.png

Vanacon DVD.jpg
Mar. 22nd, 2012
    Historynews.gif Most Interesting Moogle in Vana’diel Contest
Unlike the previous Screenshot Campaigns, this was a much simpler campaign. All one had to do was post on the official forum in the entry thread about the various moogles in Vana’diel, and what made them the most interesting. Five winners were chosen, which can be found in the official thread. They each received a Nomad Moogle Rod.

Here are some examples provided:

  • When he fights an NM, he gets every drop it has, and even some that it doesn't... he is the most interesting Moogle in Vana'diel.
  • The color of his pom pom never changes, but is always in style... he is the most interesting Moogle in Vana'diel.
  • He can win any argument with the simple utterance of the word "Kupo"... he is the most interesting Moogle in Vana'diel.
FFXI Mostinterestingmoogle banner.jpg
Mar. 27th, 2012
    Historyversionup.png Legion Introduced & Voidwatch Expanded
New Features & Content
  • Legion content was implemented.
  • Tavnazia and Aht Urhgan branches of Voidwatch were added.

Job Adjustments
  • Warrior
    • Warrior's Charge recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment will now increase the chance of a threefold attack by 5% per level.
  • White Mage
    • Martyr recast time reduced from 20 minutes to 10, and merit point investment will now increase HP granted by 5% per level.
    • Devotion recast time reduced from 10 minutes to 10, and merit point investment will now increase MP granted by 5% per level.
  • Thief
    • Assassin's Charge recast time recuded from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment will now increase the chance of a fourfold attack by 5% per merit level.
    • Feint recast time reduced from 10 minutes to 2, and merit point investment will now raise the chance of Treasure Hunter to proc by 25% per level.
  • Paladin
    • Fealty recast time reduced from 20 minutes to 10, and merit point investment now extends the duration by 5 seconds per level.
    • Chivalry recast time reduced from 20 minutes to 10, and merit point investment increases MP recovery by 5% per level.
  • Dark Knight
    • Dark Seal recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment reduced the casting time for Dark Magic spells by 10% per level.
    • Diabolic Eye recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment increases accuracy by 5 per level.
  • Beastmaster
    • Feral Howl recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment increases accuracy by 5 per level.
    • Killer Instinct recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, duration was extended from 1 minute to 3, and merit point investment extends the ability’s duration by 10 seconds per level.
    • Certain Jug Pets abilities were adjusted as follows:
    • Faithful Falcorr: Maximum Treasure Hunter increased by one level, call duration extended to 120 minutes from 90, and attack strength increased.
  • Bard
    • Nightingale recast time reduced from 20 minutes to 10, and merit point investment now adds 25% chance of Quick Magic per level.
    • Troubadour recast time reduced from 20 minutes to 10, and merit point investment now increases song accuracy by 25% per level.
  • Ranger
    • Flashy Shot recast time reduced from 20 minutes to 10, and merit point investment increases ranged attack by 5% per level.
  • Samurai
    • Hagakure’s amount of TP returned increased from 20 to 40.
  • Dragoon
    • Spirit Surge’s Super Jump enmity reduction granted to the closest party member behind the dragoon was increased.
    • Spirit Link also grants Regen to the wyvern.
  • Summoner
    • Heavenward Howl’s HP/MP absorption additional effect now applies to attack with secondary as well as main weapons.
    • Elemental Spirits perpetuation cost were lowered.
    • The “Elemental MP Cost” merit point enhancement has been replaced by “Summoning Magic Casting Time”, and each merit point investment reduced the casting time by an additional 5% per level.
  • Puppetmaster
    • Analyzer maximum damage reduction for enemy special attacks increased from 10% to 40%, and additional earth maneuvers n ow increase the number of special attacks mitigated rather than the percentage of damage reduction.
  • Magic Added: Arise and Meteor
  • Voidwatch Adjustments:
    • New Atmacite, Abyssite, and periapts added as rewards from the new Voidwatch paths.
    • Pils ability “Bishop’s Gambit” changed to “Tabbiyaa Gambit”.
    • The order of menu options when claiming battle spoils from the “Riftworn Pyxis” was adjusted.
  • Nyzul Isle Uncharted Area Survey Adjustments:
    • The option to pick a floor destination was added, making targeting certain floors (especially 100) easier and unmissable.
    • The Astratium Key Item system was added to help players obtain armor from the event.
    • Temporary item token cost was cut in half.
  • Walk of Echoes Adjustments:
    • Players need no longer wait to receive the Kupofried's medallion Key Item.
    • Temporary items are now given to players upon entering a Walk.
      • Players received a random assortment of 5 items.
    • Area attacks from bosses now deal less damage.
    • Combat and Magic Skills will now increase within the area.
  • Besieged Adjustments:
    • Post-KO weakness duration was reduced from five minutes to one.
  • Dynamis Adjustments:
  • Red Axe no longer disappears during Campaign battles.
  • Limit Break Quest Adjustments:
    • Beyond Infinity's Olde Rarab Tail effects were altered:
      • Effect duration extended.
      • Opponent will now have a Terror effect.
      • Opponent will not unleash weapon skills immediately after the effect wears off.
    • Atop the Highest Mountains:
      • The ??? targets are now always visible.
      • The quest NMs near the locations will no longer be stationary.
      • Methods of detection were adjusted.
      • NMs will no longer Doom players.
    • Job Testimonies can now be used a total of three times before disappearing, allowing players to attempt the fight three times per testimony.
  • The Port Jeuno NPC Shami now explains the orb exchange process only the first time players talk to him.
  • The ??? targets in Caedarva Mire from which Lamian Fang Keys may be obtained now reset every Vana'diel day instead of every Conquest tally.
  • Cure spell adjustments:
    • At high skill levels, Cure spells now heal more HP than before, while low skill levels see minimal benefit. The degree to which Healing Magic Skill affects HP healed varies by spell, with Cure I-IV seeing the most significant adjustments.
      • Cure I-IV: Amount of HP recovered may increase by as much as 1.4 times.
      • Cure V-VI: Minimal adjustments.
      • Curaga I-V and Cura I-III will remain unchanged.
  • Save TP Adjustment:
    • Save TP is now treated as a minimum guaranteed TP value that will always be obtained from a weapon skill.
      • Examples, assuming a Save TP value of 20:
      • 25 TP weapon skill: 25 TP obtained.
      • 15 TP weapon skill: 20 TP obtained.
      • Missed (0 TP) weapon skill: 20 TP obtained.
  • Synthesis Adjustments:
    • One main craft can now reach level 110, while subcrafts are limited to 70. Fishing is still unaffected.
    • Guild Points will no longer be lost when revoking your contract with a particular guild.
    • For Guildworkers' Union quests, guild representatives will no longer accept items beyond the maximum guild point cap.
    • The recipe for Tonosama Rice Balls will now yield four rice balls instead of two.
    • Lucky Broth recipe was adjusted.
  • Synergy Adjustments:
  • Scrolls for Invisible, Sneak, and Deodorize were added to the following NPCs:
  • Wormy Broth now available from Macchi Gazlitah in Ru'Lude Gardens at (H-9).
  • Equipment Menu Adjustment: the equipment menu now displays four-digit attack and defense values.
  • Various measures taken to help prevent the Xbox 360 version from freezing.
  • New keyboard control scheme “Compact 2” added, designed for notebook PCs and compact keyboards lacking a numeric keypad.
Voidwatch, now with more Logs!

Provenance was supposed to be implemented in this update, but it was delayed for further adjustments.

The hardest part of the new Voidwatch branches were the large number of adds each NM could spawn. For the extra difficulty, a lot of the gear was underwhelming for the effort. This update added the Petrifact Key Items for Provenance as well as the Crystal Petrifact drop from Voidwatch battles. Players speculated right that these were for the delayed Provenance content. Additionally, new Abjurations and hexed armor was introduced. By this point players were getting sick of endless Voidwatch battles, so it was disappointing to learn that these items were indeed from Voidwatch. The NQ gear was pretty much worthless compared to the HQ, but at the same time the synthesis materials were very rare.


Before the content was implemented, there were live hands-on test events held on the Test Server. Community representative Camate joined the English event as Paladin. Players randomly grouped up and tried tackling Legion. The events were broadcast on Live Vana’diel on the official website. Based on the feedback from players who attended, a safe zone was added and a BGM selection tool was implemented for the event.

Firsthand reports from players who attended the event said it was a death/zombie fest. This was expected due to disorganization from playing with random people. While the event was fun, the group that got the furthest ended up timing out. Initial reactions were that the focus was more on having a zergfest than difficult fights requiring strategy and teamwork.

A lot of players enjoyed the difficulty of the new content. Some were reminiscing and comparing Legion to their first steps into Dynamis or into Einherjar 1.0 before their difficulty was eased. It was quite ironic though that Square Enix massacred end game linkshells with Abyssea then turns around and makes an exceedingly difficult event like Legion. An event without Atma effects or Temporary items finally returned. Besides the difficulty, the real challenge was finding a group of 18, yet alone 36 people to participate.

In a nutshell: the difficulty vs rewards vs drop rate in Legion made the event unenjoyable.

Job Adjustments

Like the month prior, the shortening of ability timers and the changing of merits was the next step in quickening the pace of the game. This allowed the abilities to be used multiple times per fight, essentially, as many fights did not last long enough.

Many changes that were made did not see their true usefulness until a couple years later. For instance, the change to Nightingale & Troubadour gave birth to the term “NiTro” we use today. With the 10-minute timers, this made it possible to full time the abilities. Maxing out both abilities was now normal for Bards, giving all of them instant cast paired with a multi-song Elemental Seal effects.

Meteor & Arise

Initially, rumors were spread from player to player that Meteor and Arise came from Zilart T3/Jeuno T6 Voidwatch NM fights, which of course was false. The only way of obtaining them the week before Provenance was released was from the Legion bosses. The initial Auction House price of these scrolls topped 40 million Gil. As with any expensive drop, it was hard to justify splitting 1-2 million gil per alliance member by selling a scroll vs giving it to a linkshell member.

Meteor itself was neat, but only practical in certain situations. The need for Elemental Seal as well as multiple Black Mages to make it deal effective damage was just too much to be worthwhile. It was more iconic than practical, as it was shown being cast in the opening cinematics by a group of black mages. Having it implemented in the game in pretty much the same manner was neat.

Quality of Life Changes

The limit break updates to testimonies and the Olde Rarab Tail were welcomed, but for the most part unnecessary. Some players felt that this was taking away from the challenge of the game and satisfaction of accomplishing a goal, while others thought that anything done to help newer and casual players enjoy the game further was a positive change.

Adding the scrolls to NPCs was really needed for new players too, as Invisible was topping 70k-100k on the Auction House. Regardless of adding these scrolls, however, laziness usually prevailed. Players would rather just buy the scroll on the Auction House rather than looking up the scroll on a wiki and walking to the NPC.

All the changes to Nyzul Isle Uncharted were very helpful, in particular the floor limit feature in order to easily target bosses. The question is - Which closet did they lock Tanaka inside in order to push through these changes?

Synthesis and Synergy Updates

The increase in skill caps to 110 coincided with the new Abjuration hexed gear recipes. Unfortunately, recipes were few and far between for a few updates. This often left crafters with only one recipe to skill up on, resulting in major market fluctuations with demand increase for ingredients.

Unlike leveling in the days of yesteryear, crafters now had access to +12 total in skill increase methods. Because of tier 1 synthesis being +11 over the cap, this allowed crafters to now have a legitimate chance of HQing during skillup. If you were synthesizing a hexed piece that caps at 105 and you are 104 skill, you would hit the Tier 1 threshold of 116. Instead of constantly losing money while skilling up like veteran crafters were used to, millions of Gil could be made if you hit a -1 Hexed item. This also effectively made the -1 pieces somewhat less rare than everyone expected them to be, as everyone would skill up on them due to lack of options.

Mar. 27th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png The Egg Hunt 2012
The Egg Hunt ran from March 27th thru April 10th. There were no changes to the event since the previous year, except one furnishing was added: the Prinseggstarta.
Mar. 30th, 2012
    Historynews.gif Vana TV hosts the The Ultimate Damage Contest
Vana TV hosted an event called The Ultimate Damage Contest. The announcement was made on March 19th, and the entry deadline was March 25th. This was pushed back to March 28th, however, because they received 0 applications.

Otsumaru, one of the main protagonists of the show, was targeted by five applicants in a Brenner type match. The area was unique and resembled Fort Karugo-Narugo (S). In the end, a Ranger took first place with Barrage followed by Coronach. The first-place prize was to have voice actress Maaya Uchida say any line they wished.

The contest was broadcast on Vana’diel Live on the official website. The video of the event is embedded to the right if you wish to watch.


The winner’s line is said by Maaya Uchida at the 38:40 timestamp in the video:

Otsumaru-san, thank you for always supporting me behind the scenes ♪
Did you think that?
It was refreshing to see Mr. V hit me

(Mr V is short for the character’s name of the winner “Vanilra”)

Mar. 30th, 2012
    Historynews.gif FFXI reappears in FFTCG Chapter V
Again, Final Fantasy XI was represented in the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game (FFTCG) Chapter V.

In total, 23 characters were added to Chapter V of the game. All the card art is very unique and fun to look at. The FFXI cards can be found on the official FF TCG website here.

Later on, even more Final Fantasy XI characters were added to Chapter VI of the TCG. Because the entire FFXI roster can be seen at the link above, I will not be mentioning anymore about the FFTCG after this entry.

More information on the game itself can be found on Wikipedia.

Final Fantasy TCG.jpg
Apr. 1st, 2012
    Historynews.gif “Gymnast” Job Announcement
On the Japanese Playonline Site, the new job “Gymnast” was announced as an April Fool’s Day joke.

Although the post was only online for one day, there was a video posted using motion capture of the SP ability “Natural Gymnastics”. This video seems to have been lost to time, and the original was made private on the Final Fantasy XI Youtube channel.

Gymnast Job.jpg
These other Job Abilities were released below:
  • Natural Gymnastics
    • Level 1 – Sweat slowly within the effective time.
  • Stretching
    • Level 5 – Raise both hands from the front to the top and perform a back stretching exercise
  • Increased Heterosexual Popularity Job Trait
    • Level 5 – It becomes easier to be popular with the opposite sex
  • Take a deep breath
    • Inhale and Exhale
  • Hungry
    • Get hungry
  • Training
    • Make it easier to train your muscles
  • Shoulder Tap
    • Loosen the stiffness of the target’s shoulder
  • Set Gymnastics
    • Complete various techniques in cooperation with party members. Collapses at the end
  • Tumbling - Backflip, Roundoff, Moonsalt
    • Perform gymnastic moves such as turning, jumping, and somersaults
  • Appeal
    • You will be able to be judged by the party members
  • Acrobat
    • It can be activated by combining any movements
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics - Balls, Ropes, Hoops, Ribbons
    • Perform gymnastics with tools
  • Gold Medal Bite
    • You can check by chewing on the award medal
  • Fight
    • You can fight with a weapon
Apr. 3rd, 2012
    Historyversionup.png Provenance Released
New Features & Content

This content was originally planned to be released in the March 2012 Version Update, but it was delayed a week for testing and balance reasons.

The area itself is incredibly unique and quite beautiful. It is unlike any other area in Final Fantasy XI. Unique BGM was added to the zone and final boss fight. In the lore of the game, its described as the place of creation and destruction where Vana'diel was born and will end. The crystal off in the distance in Provenance is indeed the Seed Crystal and the stone/crystal referenced in the game's opening cutscene. In fact, the Caits specifically reference the line "it all began with a stone" in their dialogue. Provenance Watcher is made from crystal, so it wouldn't be much of a stretch to assume that it is just an extension of the Mother Crystal manifest as a dragon to protect itself from destruction. The names of some of its TP moves also reference creation and destruction explicitly. The word “Provenance” means the place of origin or earliest known history of all things.

Provenance & Voidwatch Conclusion

As with the previous Voidwatch storyline quests, confusion ensued on exactly what the requirements are to access Provenance. It took a while to understand the spaghetti of a mess of steps and game day waits to progress the quests. Additionally, many players did not bother getting this far yet and stopped at Tier 3 Jeuno to fight only Pil/Kaggen/Akvan.

The content was not released on the Test Server prior to the update, leaving players completely surprised. Equipment was added to the DAT files the week prior, so stats were already known. Many players called Provenance Watcher quite the beautiful monster design, especially how its wings appear in the stance below 50%. Even the weapons and armor that dropped from Provenance Watcher had incredible models, unlike anything else in the game.

Provenance Watcher is the first fight that Fetters were actually called “Fetters”. Because of the constant runs that players did for Provenance Watcher, “Fetter” was the nickname that stuck with us forever for any type of “Gyve” enemy added to the game afterwards.

The fight itself was not too difficult, especially if the group went full zerg before fetters spawned. Pairing this with the vast amount of Temporary Temporary items available to players as well as Atmacite, wins were not hard to achieve. Drops other than the sword and staff were rare, though.

Apr. 4th, 2012
    Historynews.gif Treasure Hunt – White Eggs
The community team held the first event on the official forum for Japanese players.

An egg hunt held each day across April 4th, 5th, and 6th. Players had to search in-game for a white egg, interact with it, and take a screenshot with instructions on the egg. The eggs instructed players to use different emotes and take a screenshot with their characters and names being shown. Three areas per day were featured, with one egg per area. Hints were posted on the forum when the event started, but after seeing other players entries it was easy to tell where the eggs were at.

The first person per world to correctly post a screenshot was the winner. With 16 worlds and one event per day across 3 days, this meant there were 48 total winners.

Winners on the first day were awarded a stack of 12 Pickled Rarab Tails.

Pickled R. Tail description.png

Winners on the second and third day were awarded with the Chocobo Beret.

Chocobo Beret description.png
Even if this event was just for a cometic item and only for fun, English players were salty that Japanese players got an actual in-game event which obviously needed developer support to implement.

It could have been a very real possibility that English players were totally ignored, but community team members did their best to equally support them within their means.


Apr. 4th, 2012
    Historynews.gif Creative Egg Contest
A second event for Japanese players was held starting on April 4th. Players had until April 16th to decorate an egg shell in real life and submit it to the official forum.

Instructions were posted on how to empty a non-hard boiled egg on the forum. Players did not like the idea of submitting images on the forum because they thought others may get better ideas based on the entries for their own work.

Three winners shown here were awarded with the Chocobo Beret.

Chocobo Beret description.png
2012eggdecorationcontest1.jpg 2012eggdecorationcontest2.jpg 2012eggdecorationcontest3.jpg

All entries can be found on the official forum thread here.

Apr. 26th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Feast of Swords 2012
The Feast of Swords returned from April 26th until May 10th.

There were no changes to the event from the previous year.

May 9th, 2012
    Historynews.gif 10th Anniversary Fan Art & Fan Video Contest
Again this year an Art contest was held, but this time Fan videos were also accepted. Entries were accepted from May 9th until June 5th. Staff members picked finalists, and those finalist entries were displayed at Vana Fest 2012 for attendees to pick the winners.

Winning entries can be seen here.

Prizes included:

All other submissions for this contest can be viewed here.

Be sure to click the “Next” button on the bottom of the page to see the other pages of entries.

May 16th, 2012
    Historyversionup.png Legion & Voidwatch Adjustments
Job Adjustments
  • Ranger
    • Eagle Eye Shot’s enmity incurred was lowered to the minimal possible value.
  • Samurai
    • Shikikoyo recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment now grant a 12% bonus to the amount of TP shared per level.
    • Blade Bash recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 3, Plague effect duration increased, and merit point investment now increases Plague duration by 15 seconds per level.
  • Ninja
    • Sange recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment reduces the likelihood of shadow images being consumed by 25% per level.
  • Dragoon
    • Deep Breathing recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment further enhances wyvern breath effects by 10% per level.
    • Empathy now also gives the wyvern a chance at having its level increased, and merit point investment grants the wyvern 200 additional experience points per merit level. The effect still increases the number of beneficial status effects granted to the wyvern from Spirit Link.
    • Restoring Breath priority to status ailment cures was adjusted from: #1: Disease/Plague => #2: Curse/Bane/Doom => #3: Paralysis => #4: Blindness => #5: Poison to #1: Paralysis => #2: Curse/Bane/Doom => #3: Disease/Plague => 4: Blindness => #5: Poison
  • Blue Mage
    • Diffusion recast time reduced from 20 minutes to 10, and merit point investment lengthen the effect duration by 5% per level.
  • Corsair
    • Snake Eye recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment increases the likelihood of 5% per level that the next roll will result in a sum of XI when a 5 or higher is showing.
    • Fold recast time reduced from 15 minutes to 5, and merit point investment now increases the likelihood of resetting Phantom Roll’s recast timer by 10% per level.
  • Puppetmaster
    • Role Reversal recast time reduced from 4 minutes to 2, and merit point investment increases the amount of HP granter by 5% per level.
    • Ventriloquy recast time reduced from 2 minutes to 1, and merit point investment now decrease by the lesser of the two enmity amounts switched while increasing the higher one by 5% each level.
  • Dancer
    • Saber Dance recast time reduced from 5 minutes to 3, and merit point investment increase the effect duration of sambas by 5% per level.
    • Fan Dance recast time reduced from 5 minutes to 3, and merit point investment reduces Waltz recast times by 5% per level.
  • Scholar
    • Enlightenment recast time reduced from 10 minutes to 5, and merit point investment grants a +5 bonus to INT and MND per level.
Job Adjustments

Again, more job adjustments to Merit Point abilities were implemented. These adjustments were assumed, as other jobs already had this done. It was simply the developer’s way of “speeding up the game”. Corsair’s adjustments were by far the best of the bunch for the lowered timers alone. This allowed them to get two rolls up more easily without as much downtime.

Legion Adjustment

With the HP adjustment to Legion, some players did not even know an 18-man version existed. Even with this enlightenment and the adjustment, there just was not any kind of a reward worth the effort that it took to do Legion. Pick up groups were almost guaranteed to be a disaster. It took very precise coordination to stand a chance at succeeding. If they did not spend the last two years destroying large scale organized linkshells, Legion might have been a different story...

Provenance Watcher

The increased drop rate was significant – an additional drop slot was added so two items could drop directly from Provenance Watcher rather than one. Even though Staff and Sword were still the most common drops, the other items were now seen more frequently.

Guild Point NPCs

Before the change, there was about a 5 second wait between making a purchase of items. It is unclear when this change was added in the first place. This could have been snuck in during the RMT heydays where bots would constantly empty NPC inventory. This limitation was probably added to give multiple players a chance at purchasing the limited-stock items. Stacks of ingots, cloth, and other supplies on the Auction House have always been more expensive than the guilds.

Chigoe Nerf

The Chigoe change was in direct response to Summoners leaving their pet out while AFK. This would allow Chigoes that aggroed being attacked by Summoner pets automatically. Players did not think this was that big of a deal. The act was quickly compared to AFK bazaaring or summoner burn parties. Nevertheless, developers considered this an exploit, so it was fixed.

Fast Macros!

The change in displaying the macro bars was always the way it worked while using a controller. It really is a mystery why they never had it the same for keyboard users.

Map Viewing Adjustments

Discussion began on the official forum about changing the interface of maps by allowing players to view maps of zones other than the current one you are in. This was Square-Enix’s solution to new players not knowing how to access certain areas, such as Valkurm Dunes, without wandering the world or looking up maps online.

While the feature was pushed back but implemented later on, it did help new players navigate better – as long as they could navigate the clunky interface menus and region names properly. Veteran players found this a waste of time of development resources and questioned why they would not also make certain maps such as Yhoator Jungle easier to navigate while they are at it.

Finally, developers also replied saying they have been looking into map markers for quests for quite some time. This never came to fruition, and instead we later on received Home Point and Survival Guide markers instead.

A new bug was introduced with the maps, though. When trying to view a map while on the airship, the game client would crash. AirshipMapCrash.jpg

May 16th, 2012'
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png 10th Adventurer Appreciation Campaign
Final Fantasy XI celebrated its 10th anniversary since service began in Japan on May 16th, 2002.

This year, the Decennial Ring was given to players who spoke to the stat moogle. Additionally, the Decennial outfits were added this year. Males and Females both had different versions, as well as +1 versions of each.

For the event this year, players participated in collecting “Stamps”. To do this, you had to perform tasks that were asked of you by NPC called Aspiring Adventurers. Some had questions about FFXI, such as where to buy certain scrolls or details about quests. On the other hand, some NPCs had to fetch “Vana’diel Tribune” temporary key items from ??? locations.

There were 30 total “stamps” to collect. Once you obtained all 30, you would have all Decennial NQ and HQ pieces, as well as the new Memorial Cake, materials to make the Banquet Table, and finally the Mogratuity.

Mogratuity description.png

Male Decennial Outfit Female Decennial Outfit

Memorial Cake description.png

May 18th, 2012
    Historynews.gif Where in Vana'diel is the Community Team?
Another English community event that ran in 2012 was the “Where in Vana'diel is the Community Team?”. The event was held on May 18th as well as May 25th. The name of the event was a play on the name of the early 1990s game show ‘Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego?’.

To participate, players had to log into the Test Server and look for community team members. Hints of their whereabouts were given out on the official forum as well as a linkshell handed to players in-game. A couple of examples of hints were:

  • LOL you got some scary teeth man!, they were next to Cid.
  • It’s scary being up this high. I feel like I’m going to fall down. The fact that it’s cold sure doesn’t help either. Help!, they were on top of Bearclaw Pinnacle

The prize distributed was the Chocobo Beret. Five rounds per day with three caps per location were awarded, resulting in a total of 30 Berets. The community team members were GMs, so they could not be found in search results. This made the event much more fun having to hunt them out.

Chocobo Beret description.png
Like other Square-Enix decisions, this event had some controversy surrounding it. The biggest complaint Playstation 2 players were unable to participate as the Test Server was only available on PC. Not having a PC in 2012 was rare, however, PS2 players suddenly learning how to play on PC was a much bigger hurdle.

Additionally, the test server was not quite the same as the live servers in terms of the version. If a player had the new Memorial Cake or other new items in their Mog House from the recent update, they would crash on the Test Server upon attempting to zone in because they were not implemented there. This prevented those players from getting super buffs from their Moogles on the Test Server to help find Community Team members.

June 16th, 2012
    Historynews.gif The Mystery of ROM9
Spira, a popular FFXI DAT miner at this time, posted a blog post on the BG Forums on this day titled “The Mystery of ROM9”. I have outlined his entire post and thoughts here.

For those familiar with data mining FFXI, the existence of the folder "ROM9" has sparked speculation as to what its contents mean.

The reason for this is because ROM folders are usually used to house files from different expansions separately. Chain of Promathia occupies ROM3, Treasure of Aht Urhgan in ROM4, and so on. The previous folder ROM8, was used for the add-on A Shantotto's Ascension. (all Abyssea data is stored in the main ROM folder).

ROM9 remained largely unnoticed when it was created, and a single file added to it in Feb this year. In March, another test server update added several files to ROM9 and this caught my attention, but we didn't really find anything about it. Fast forward to late May, even more files were added to ROM9 but this slipped right under our noses.

They were actually zone files.

After Septimus pointed this out, Kaisha did some quick sleuthing, finding them to be newly designed areas, even though the texture effects are mostly re-used, likely because new ones have not been applied yet.

I could not resist but investigate further into this matter to find out more about these zones in ROM9, and so here I present to you... the ROM9 zones.

See the pictures on Spira’s blog.

Looking at this really builds a strong case for a new expansion being announced next weekend at Vanafest.. I mean, its 9 entirely new zones, which to me is huge. In terms of zone design I think there's actually more original thought put into this here than the whole of Wings of the Goddess.

My next question really would be.. where?

Based on the zones shown above, I think I'd put a strong vote in favor of Olzhirya, the Mithran continent to the south. I somewhat envision it to be a tropical paradise - lush and green, and the presence of beaches seems to support the idea that its the southern islands. The towns being as majestic as it is seems like it'll be Yhoh, the capital of the Gha Naboh Matriarchate. I'd bet the stairs town is where their seat of power lies. That said, the design and architectural style of the towns are not what I'd expect from Mithran civilization, but maybe I'm biased because of evidence from Kazham and Windurst Woods.

edit: just to add 2 other popular opinions on where this might be.. - some say it could be Tavnazia, based on the geography.. the terrain and the slope of the town seem to line up with the image from the opening FMV. - others think it’s a foray into the far west, to either Ulbuka or Adoulin Isle, where the exorcists of the Dark Lilies and Achtelle hail from.

What do you think? Does Final Fantasy XI look set to have a new expansion, or at least new areas to explore to you? Where do you suppose it’s going to be? And do you think this will breathe much-needed life into the 10-year-old MMORPG?

The answers to some of these could come in less than 7 days. The week to Vanafest is going to be a long one.

Jun. 14th, 2012
    Historyversionup.png Limbus Level 99 & Einherjar Level 99 Released
New Features & Content

Job Adjustments
  • Summoner
    • Tier V nuke spells were unlocked for Spirits, while at the same time Protect V and Shell V were added to the Light Spirit.
  • Ranger
    • Decoy Shot 's method of determining which character will accrue enmity was refined.

Interesting problems fixed

  • The issue wherein the visual effects for certain songs would appear in improper locations.
    • Specifically, Elegy was fixed so that the effect no longer appeared in the ground underneath a monster, typically at their feet. Now, the effect is on top of a monster as it should properly be. This was an issue since implementation.
  • The issue wherein the ranger ability Decoy Shot could transfer enmity to KO'd PCs.
Limbus II & Einherjar II

The content itself for these events was very recycled from the Level 75 versions, and not much changed. Only one new floor per area was added. Players did wonder why Odin Lv.99 dropped old abjurations and not the new abjurations for Hexed gear, or even Arise or Meteor. They all remained exclusive to Voidwatch and Legion for the time being.

The equipment from these revamped events was underwhelming, and mostly considered side-grades and not upgrades. Even then, a few pieces stuck out, and are still useful years later. Notably the Shedir Seraweels became the best Stoneskin macro piece even at the Item Level 119 cap.

Players were more excited for the Ark Scythe to help with Abyssea procs...

Legion Alteration

Before the change, there was only one key item that was needed to enter regardless the number of people entering. The cost ended up being the same regardless of the amount of participants entering. Now, there were two different key items, thus allowing the price to be adjusted for different size groups. Nobody cared about the BGM in the zone. It was yet another way developer’s time was seen to be wasted.

Phase Displacers & Pulse Cells

To help with the main Voidwatch drop complaint about not being able to give party members rare armor you do not want or need, Pulse Cells were introduced in this update. Speculation when the “ticket” (cell) system was announced included that you might need to already own the piece of armor or weapon before getting a ticket. Luckily, this was not the case. Some players thought 5 cells was too many, though.

Phase Displacers were incredible. Regardless of the steep initial cost, they proved incredibly useful for those troublesome monsters as well as the ones who you wanted to spam for more chances of drops. Additionally, this allowed for smaller groups to tackle monsters rather than need multiple parties.

Shortly after this update went live, the /fume trick to reset Proc alignment was widely discovered. It is unclear when this was added to Voidwatch, but during the discussion on the bg forums a screenshot was linked showing the alignment message appear in the chat log. From the post date of that screenshot, the feature was in the game as early as February 8th, 2012. Rumor had it, some linkshells knew about the trick for quite a while. To keep it a secret, they used the command “/fume motion” to prevent an emote from appearing in the log. Additionally, because they were engaged, no animation happened either. This would simply cause the alignment message to appear out of nowhere to the unknowing player. In addition to this rumor, another one spread alleging that Tanaka was disclosing this information to players at VanaFest 2012. Camate made this post on the official forum saying that during the on-stage quiz portion of the live event the /fume feature was announced while he was out of earshot. He also disclosed two more details that were said including Murasamemaru’s hidden effect with weapon skills turning into non-elemental damage as well as using Camouflage after Decoy Shot will remove the enmity cap on Decoy Shot.

New Synthesis Sets

New armor sets were added in this update, thus giving Bonecrafters and Clothcrafters more options to level. They also had new unique models.

The sets were Chelona Blazer Set/+1 and Dux Scale Mail Set/+1. The stats on a lot of the armor pieces were good, so they were used for quite a awhile and sold well. The Dux recipes used the Dragon Scales as a synthesis material. The only other use for this item was the laughable Dragon Mail. The item went from worthless to highly desired instantly. Some players had stacks upon stacks sitting on mules from the Fafnir camping days in hopes that “one day they would be useful”. Today was that day!

Ease of Access

Rather than time gated content, Final Fantasy XI featured HARD STOP content. The Banishing Gates in Garlaige Citadel were a notorious way to halt Artifact-seeking adventurers in their tracks. These gates created impossible odds to overcome in order to pass them. If you were lucky, there was sometimes an EXP party at Gate #1, but Banishing Gate #3 was almost an impossible task. You would probably be in an alliance, at least two or three people would die (most likely the ones who had to go to the far switches). Someone would definitely aggro the slimes in front of the door and pull them through the gate, then die on the other side. Banishing Gates, ye olde bat trains before the monster disappearing change, as well as the run down state of the zone had adventurers nicknaming the area the Garbage Shitadel.

After the Key Item Pouch of weighted stones was added, it felt incredibly strange to walk into the zone without sneak and open the door yourself. Square Enix tried addressing this gate issue with Wings of the Goddess Maw combined with the Sparkling Light / Lycopodium (NPC) system, but unless adventurers had specific instructions it was difficult for them to understand how to bypass the gates.

/displayhead command

It was unclear where the request for the /displayhead command came from. Some say it came the developers copying FFXIV’s lead, since it was recently implemented there. Others think that the whole idea was hilarious, thinking that the developers hated their own armor designs so much that they wanted to allow players to hide them. Players would have rather had hooded cloaks have the option to have their hoods up or down, rather than this silly new command. Keep in mind that this was before lockstyle was a thing.

Jun. 24th, 2012
    JPFlag.png VANA ★ FEST 2012
This was the largest Final Fantasy XI festival since service began, and it would keep that title forever. The event was hosted at the Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall B, allowing for the most attendees ever in an event venue for FFXI. Events up to this date had between 1,000 and 2,000 attendees, so it is assumed this event surpassed 2,000.

Tickets were 1500 Yen per day, roughly 20 USD at the time, for advance purchase. At the door admission was 2000 Yen per ticket. If you wanted to attend both days, you needed two tickets.

Giveaways at the event included 10th Anniversary ballpoint pens, 10th Anniversary neck strap with admission pass, an Event Venue pamphlet with a Stamp Rally Sheet for the stamp collection event discussed below, and a Campaign Code for the Athena Orb allowing players to enter the new Heroines' Holdfast Battlefield. Below is a picture of these freebies.

Vanafest 2012 3.jpg

If attendees collected enough stamps in their booklet from around the event, they got a Campaign Code for the Moogle Suit and Moogle Masque. This real-life event was a spoof of the in-game quest Stamp Hunt.

The current President of Square Enix at this time Yoichi Wada held opening remarks for the event. This is where he announced that Final Fantasy XI was, at that time, the most profitable Final Fantasy game for Square Enix. See this article for a write up from Famitsu and more event photos.


Event Attractions

  • Live Stage performances on both the 23rd and 24th.
  • Vana'diel Café, A food court that reproduces in-game meals.
  • Vana'diel Fortune, a booth like the fortune teller quest in Lower Jeuno.
  • Heroines' Holdfast in-game play area.
  • Merchandise Booth
  • Art contest judgement
  • Nomad Mog Bonanza II drawing
    • The “Nomad” version of the Bonanza event returned from the 2010 festival. All Japanese account holders could register via the Vanafest website. One number was chosen per account.
  • 10th Anniversary Random Deal - Gashapon game.
    • One play was 500 yen. The game was like the 1990s vending machines where you put your money in the coin slot, turned the crank, and received a prize inside of a plastic capsule. "Gashapon" is onomatopoeic from the two sounds "gasha" (or "gacha") for the hand-cranking action of a toy-vending machine, and "pon" for the toy capsule landing in the collection tray. A picture depicting the random deal is below.
      • There were no limit to the number of purchases, but you could not make consecutive purchases. The winning probability of each item was not announced.
      • Possible prizes included real life metal keychains, one of six (pictured below). Also included were Campaign Codes for the following in-game items: Nomad Moogle Rod, Chocobo Beret, Black Belt items, one random Pulse Panoplia weapon or armor (all of them were available to win), Kupon A-E +2, and Kupon I-Seal.
        • At first, it was planned to also include Relic/Mythic/Empyrean weapons in this game, but they were removed last minute due to strong opposition from the playerbase.
Vanafest 2012 gatcha.png
Vanafest2012 keychains.png

Costume Contest

A costume contest roll call was announced months before the event on the official website. With this much time to prepare, many good costumes turned out. See below for a video of the Costume Contest.

Tanaka Retirement Announcement

In a complete surprise to the crowd, Hiromichi Tanaka announced at the end of day two that he would be retiring from Square-Enix at the end of July 2012. When he made this announcement, the crowd all gasped. Up to this point, nobody knew Final Fantasy XI without Tanaka at the helm.

Tanaka then announced that Akihiko Matsui would take over as Producer, which was met with cheers from the audience. Matsui would remain as Producer for years to come.

Tanaka Retire.jpg Matsui Producer 2012.jpg

Exhibition Hall Pacifico Yokohama JPN 001.jpg Vanafest 2012 2.jpg

The venue and a picture of the crowd at the entrance are above.

Vanafest 2012 Merch Booth.jpg Vanafest 2012 Merch Booth 2.jpg

No Square-Enix event is complete without a merchandise booth. Also at the booth was a mockup image of an auction house bid being mistakenly entered.

Vanafest 2012 Nebimonite Bake Seafood Paella.jpg Vanafest 2012 mithra.jpg

Food served at the event all resembled in-game food, and the café was called The Rarab Tail Hostely, which is a copycat of the café in Windurst Waters. Above on the left represents the Nebimonite Bake on top of a bed of Seafood Paella. A Goblin Chocolate is in the glass. Of course we need our dose of Mithra cosplay. Above on the right they are holding the “Vana’diel Lunchbox” that could be purchased at the event with edible food and Rice Balls inside. For those interested, pictures of more menu items and information from the developers can be found in this thread on the official forums.

Pictured below are four unique prizes for the Mog-Bonanza event:

2012amano.jpg 2012naora.jpg

Shikishi Board drawing autographed by Yoshitaka Amano, Top-Right: Shikishi Board drawing autographed by Yusuke Naora,


Shikishi Board drawing autographed by Tetsuya Nomura,


Shikishi Board drawing autographed by Kazushi Hagiwara

Major Announcements

The next expansion, Seekers of Adoulin was announced at the event and that it was currently under development. It was announced that the area would be to the Far West. This was done to start a completely fresh story rather than visit the expected Far East or South. There were too many strings attached to these locations so it would have limited creative freedom. The inspiration for Adoulin’s architecture was said to derive from areas of Europe, particularly Spain, to give a sense of a land with a rich culture and deep history that spans the ages.

Below is the announcement trailer. Interestingly, the Japanese version’s voiceover for the video was also in English, but the subtitles and text were Japanese.

The Colonization system and Coalitions were hinted at during interviews at Vanafest. Geomancer was announced on day one, and Rune Fencer was announced on day two. Both jobs Artifact armor was revealed. Many new monsters and concept art were shown after the announcement. Skirmish was discussed as a “customizable dungeon based on your party”. Mog Gardens were discussed as well as Monstrosity. The new SP abilities were also talked about here.


SOA Announce 1.jpg SOA Announce 2.jpg

An announcement that never came to fruition was a new Monk belt that required Black Belt to obtain. The new graphical UI revamp was talked about again, but it was previously announced for the 2012 roadmap earlier in the year. Rumors around a PS Vita version of the game were debunked during an interview.

Jun. 26th, 2012
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Final Fantasy XI 10th Anniversary Official Memorial Book – A Decade in Vana'diel Released!
Square-Enix published this official book for the cost of 3,000 Yen. It is a hardcover book with the cover featuring the same artwork as the first OST special edition CD case back in 2002. It was able to be preordered during VANA★FEST 2012.

It is not a strategy guide, rather, it is a 10-year preservation of the history of the game up to the 10th anniversary. This documented history inspired me to write these very pages you are reading. The book is written entirely in Japanese, despite the cover and sleeve being in English. It was never released outside of Japan. Inside is various artwork that any fan can appreciate. Additionally, an expanded version of the 11th Vana'diel Census is recorded within the book.

A Campaign Code for the Mandraguard can be obtained from the book, which works in all regions. This is one of the only Campaign Codes that has not expired shortly after release and they worked as of early 2021. The book can be purchased on Amazon, but most likely needs to be imported. If you are after the code, be sure to purchase it in new condition!

Mandraguard description.png

VanaDecadeBook1.jpg VanaDecadeBook2.jpg

Below is a video of a book owner flipping through every page.

Jun. 26th, 2012
    Historynews.gif PS2 version of Seekers of Adoulin
When players watched the Seekers of Adoulin debut trailers during VanaFest 2012, it was noticed that the Japanese version of the trailer had a PS2 logo at the end. The North American version had only a Windows and Xbox 360 logo. Remember, Europe never had a PS2 version of the game at all.

A developer post was created on June 26th which clarified what players assumed – Seekers of Adoulin was only going to be released in Japan on Playstation 2.

While many players rejoiced saying that it was “About Damn Time”, there were still many North American PS2 players who would be forced to adapt to Xbox 360 or PC.

Were they dropping support due to the “PS2 limitations” excuse? The actual reason for this decision was it was due to manufacturing/logistics/marketing. At this point in time, major retailers stopped carrying new PS2 games in their stores. They were not going to use retail space to carry one PS2 game that might not even sell. PS2 also had no Playstation Store like the PS3, so there was no way to digitally (and efficiently) sell the expansion to the dwindling PS2 owners still out there.

Jun. 27th, 2012
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Many pieces of Merchandise posted for Pre-Order
Various goods that were available for Pre-Order were offered to the remaining playerbase via pre-order links posted on the official website. These items were all available at VanaFest 2012 to patrons of the event. All the items that had in-game item Campaign Codes at VanaFest also had the same codes distributed with these orders.

The only downside is that some of these items were region-specific. North America had less items available than Japan, and European regions had even less than North America.


Writing Pen Set. A goblin was mounted on the brown pen, and a crab was on top of the blue pen. The in-game bonus was the Gobbie Gavel and the Shell Scepter. Both clubs resembled their real-life pen counterpart. When swung, the Gobbie Gavel displays a gil effect, and the Shell Scepter displays a bubble effect. See their pages for a picture of the effect. Price: ¥1800/$22.99/€19.49. Note that a minimum order of $23 was required, so one could not just buy the pen set due to the one penny requirement.


The three nations keychains from 2007 were re-printed for a limited run. Like in 2007, these keychains came with the Moogle Cap code. Price: ¥1500/$14.99/€12.49

GoblinPillow.jpg MandyPillow.jpg

Pillows. Price: ¥3500/$39.99/Not Offered in EU.
No in-game item code came with these pillows.

Japan-Exclusive Items


Hanging Wall Scroll. Price: ¥2300


10th Anniversary Shirt. Price: ¥3500


10th Anniversary Clear File. Price: ¥400


“Sword Songs” OST. Price: ¥2100
The CD came with a code for the Melomane Mallet in-game item.

Jun. 29th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Celestial Nights 2012
The event was the same as the previous year.
Jul. 4th, 2012
    Historynews.gif 11th Vana'diel Census
The results of the 11th Vana’diel Census were released on July 4th. A more expanded version of the census was printed in the 10th Anniversary memorial book mentioned before. Data for the census was taken on May 16th, 2012.

The number of rare items such as Defending Ring, Ridill, etc were listed, but they were not broken down by world. The book had a breakdown per world listed, and below I have transcribed the tables.

The entire Census can be found here.
Item Total Bahamut Shiva Phoenix Carbuncle Fenrir Sylph Valefor Leviathan Odin Quetzacoatl Siren Ragnarok Cerberus Bismarck Lakshmi Asura
Maat's Cap 7804 574 493 548 518 513 393 459 421 602 426 502 579 414 496 462 404
Ebisu Fishing Rod 2548 149 127 165 146 134 118 166 135 239 192 158 149 154 130 143 243
Kraken Club 3252 219 222 218 236 204 169 200 160 259 177 212 251 193 175 193 164
Ridill 3714 257 258 221 298 284 194 212 190 303 210 253 258 189 176 212 199
Defending Ring 705 57 59 34 41 38 38 36 34 57 54 52 55 34 31 38 47
Jul. 6th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png VanaFest Golden Gobbiebag Giveaway
VanaFest Golden Gobbiebag Giveaway.jpg

Because the Nomad Mog Bonanza II was restricted to Japanese players only, a new event called the VanaFest Golden Gobbiebag Giveaway was prepared for North American and European players. The Participation Period was Friday, July 6, 2012 to Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 11:59pm (PDT).

Like the Nomad Mog Bonanzas in 2010 and 2012, this competition had players login the official Playonline website to enter. Unlike that version, however, numbers were not selected. Instead, players had to answer a simple survey in order to enter the Giveaway. Winners were drawn at random.

In early 2012 the Japanese government was discussing the need to soon regulate social games that make use of a popular mechanic known as "compugacha" (short for "complete gacha"). Under this system, players pay a small fee to purchase a random, mystery in-game item (similar to real-world gashapon machines), in an effort to collect complete sets of similar items that unlock a rare "grand prize" item. This system was essentially the “Loot Box” of the time. Because Square-Enix did not want to risk any type of eyes from Big Brother, the decision was made have the Mog Bonanza at the VanaFest to be the final Bonanza ever.

The VanaFest Golden Gobbiebag Giveaway was Square-Enix’s response. Rank prizes were very similar to the Japanese version of the event, but for some reason this event was only distributing “Level 90” variants of the REMA weapons while the Japanese version distributed the coveted “Level 99 II” Afterglow versions. Every prize came with the new Moogle Suit Set (head and body) given away to Vanafest attendees, an Athena Orb, and choice of either a Ark Saber or Ark Scythe. Rank 1 and 2 prizes also came with a Nomad Moogle Rod.

Rank 1 winner

The winner of the Rank 1 prize for this event posted on a screenshot on the now-debunked showing they won with a Yoichinoyumi sitting in their delivery box. Players quickly found this picture due to the social aspect of the website. The winner quickly got mocked and made fun of for picking that choice. This was not only due to it being a Relic which was far easier to make than a Mythic, but it was also one of the worse performing weapons that could have been chosen.

Jul. 24th, 2012
    Historyversionup.png Enfeebling Magic Overhaul
Job Adjustments
  • The BCNM event Heroines' Holdfast was added to the live worlds.
    • This is the same BCNM that was at VanaFest 2012.
  • Voidwatch Adjustments included:
    • The possibility was added to skip the cutscene when entering Provenance from Walk of Echoes.
    • The Acquisition of other rewards will no longer be interrupted when a rare item already in one’s possession is among the spoils obtained from a Riftworn Pyxis after selecting “Obtain All”.
    • Enemies' Resistance to enfeebling magic was adjusted.
  • Legion adjustments:
    • It was now possible to reenter a battlefield after being ejected due to all participants being KO’d.
    • The distance that enemies roam was adjusted.
    • Enemies resistance to enfeebling magic was adjusted.
  • Fields of Valor and Grounds of Valor adjustments:
    • Objectives for Ifrit's Cauldron: Page 5 were revised.
    • Potency of the field support effect White Magic: Protect was increased.
  • When changing floors in Assault Nyzul Isle Uncharted Area Survey, party members are now spaced apart when appearing on the next floor instead of stacked on each other.
  • All rewards procured from Kilusha with Einherjar ichor were now listed on a single menu page.
  • New fish were added to the Inside the Belly quest.
  • The Merit Point category for Attributes was raised from a maximum of 12 upgrades to a maximum of 24.
  • Enfeebling Magic resistance of monsters adjusted the following ways:
    • A log message now appears when a monster resists an enfeebling spell which enables the player to determine whether a monster possesses complete resistance to a particular type of enfeebling magic.
    • As long as the monster does not completely resist the effect, it is possible to inflict enfeebling magic upon them. The number of affectable monsters has drastically increased.
    • A new system has been added in which using enfeebling magic multiple times will lower the target enemy's resistance. This system is known as "Immunobreak."
      • When an Immunobreak occurs after the enemy has resisted a particular enfeebling magic, the resistance of the enemy to that effect will decrease by a certain amount.
      • Immunobreaks can stack and continually lower an enemy's resistance.
      • The more times the enfeebling magic is resisted, the greater the likelihood that an Immunobreak will occur.
      • When the enfeebling effect is successfully applied, the resistance will reset.
      • If the effect is continuously applied, the enemy will slowly gain more resistance, and eventually Immunobreaks will no longer occur.
      • Note that some monsters have complete resistance to enfeebling effects.
      • (Immunobreaks will not occur on enemies which have complete resistance.)
      • Immunobreaks only apply to enfeebling effects (magic abilities based on Enfeebling Magic skill level).
  • The strength of all tiers of Protect spell effects as well as all tiers of Minne song effects were increased significantly.
  • The resistances of monsters to all Requiem song effects were changed.
  • The interval between the conclusion of battle and the next possible time an attack command can be carried out has been adjusted.
  • The interval between the time a ranged attack finishes and the next possible time a new command can be carried out has been reduced.
  • The guard and parry skills have been adjusted so that they may level up even if the skills do not activate when players are attacked.
  • Items dropped by Yagudo Pipers in Giddeus and Meriphataud Mountains have been modified.
    • Specifically, Mage's Ballad was added to the drop pool. This caused a mass flood of availability, as before it was an NM-only drop.
  • The following items are no longer classified as “Rare”:
  • Cleric's Duckbills +2's “Enhances Protectra V effect” was increased.
  • The Protect Ring and Protect Earring effects were increased.
  • An upper limit on the frame rate for fishing animations was implemented to decrease the gap experienced between different platforms.
  • Spell icons within the menus were modified in preparation of the UI overhaul.

Interesting fixed issues

  • The issue with Einherjar wherein players could access Odin's Chamber and Odin's Chamber II without either the title Elite Einherjar or the requisite amount of valkyrie feathers.
    • Since the Einherjar overhaul, a glitch existed that allowed all players to enter Odin’s chambers if the party leader met the entry conditions. Post-update, it was properly fixed to what it is today.
  • The issue wherein engaging in battle while under the Allied Tags effect kept Guard from activating for both players and enemies.
Introduction of the Iridal/Chatoyant Staff

Inventory +7. The downside is that effects such as the Physical Damage Taken -20% from Earth Staff was not on these staffs. Magian Trial staves were still better for raw damage, but these staves were a wonderful side grade. Not to mention the time saved from doing trials to make the Magian options.

Naturally, prices of all NQ/HQ staves spiked after this update due to the demand of these new staves. Accordingly, beads also spiked, and Chocobo Diggers had a great month or two. Synergy also quickly became a major interest to players who wanted nothing to do with it before.

Surprisingly, the HQ variant did not require an HQ Synergy result as players expected. It simply needed one of each HQ staff.

Guard/Parry Skillups

These skills were altered so instead of having a chance to gain skill only when the abilities proc, now players could gain skill when getting hit. This made the skills identical to how Evasion skilled up. The change was long overdue. It used to be exceedingly rare to find a player who was not a career Monk or Paladin who had capped Guard or Parry.

Requiem Adjustment

Pre-update, it seems that the developers essentially forgot about Requiem. The spell would NEVER land on monsters, NMs or a normal monster alike. Post-adjustment, it would land on practically everything. The strength of the spell was still negligible, but at least we could now land it.

Because the developers must have examined all offensive enfeebling magic to perform the changes in this update, one cannot help but wonder if Requiem did not work on monsters due to it being overlooked for years. If the enfeebling changes were not done, would Requiem still not land on anything today?

Shaper's Shawl

This item was the first ever way to increase the rate of Synthesis skill ups. It was a mystery why they tie obtaining it to chance from Inside the Belly AND have it be from Matsya. At the time it was the hardest fish to catch in the game.

Heroines Holdfast

Before implementation, the community team members held a Heroines' Holdfast play event on the Test Server. This gave NA and EU players the opportunity to play the event without having the required entry item the Athena Orb. Players could login on July 20th or July 27th at 6PM Pacific time to obtain an entry item from a Community Team member.

The only rewards from this event were two titles, so not many players cared about it at all.

Jul. 31st, 2012
    Historynews.gif Hiromichi Tanaka Retires
As previously announced at Vana Fest the month before, Tanaka’s last day at Square-Enix was July 31st, 2012. Akihiko Matsui took over as Producer.

Tanaka announced that he was retiring due to health concerns, but one cannot help but ponder if it was more of a “forced retirement” with a severance package due to the horrible launch of Final Fantasy XIV. FFXIV 1.0 was still in service at this time, and the “final battle” didn’t take place until November 11th, 2012.

This theory was further backed up due to the fact that Tanaka moved on as an advisor to the company GungHo Entertainment as early as September 2012. He did not join the company at this point, but as of December 2013 he was confirmed to be involved in the company’s game development at their headquarters as a general manager.

Even after his retirement, the Tanaka meme continued to this day. The meme is always referenced during job or content balance changes. It is also referred to when speaking of content or items drops in FFXI that were incredibly difficult or time consuming to obtain.

Regardless of his eternal meme, Tanaka had an incredible vision for Final Fantasy XI when development first began years ago. That vision is what caused us old school players to fall in love with the game. That vision is also “Classic FFXI” that so many players want to see return, and the itch they are trying to scratch on todays “Private Servers”.

Thank You Package

Starting the first week of July 2012, Japanese fans arranged to send Tanaka a farewell package to the Square-Enix headquarters. Coordination was done via Twitter. The organizer received 38 inquiries the first day alone. In the end, the package contained at least 100 handwritten notes to Tanaka thanking him for his hard work on Final Fantasy XI, how much the game meant to them this last 10 years, and notes of encouragement and luck for his future.

More details on the process of putting together this fan package can be found at Below is a picture he posted on the official forum the day he received the package.

Jul. 31st, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Fantastic Fraulein Mumor – Songstress Supreme
Mumor returns for the 2012 version of the Sunbreeze Festival. For the most part, the Mumor NPC minigame was the same with a few minor changes. Mumor shows up this time as a npc to cheer on alongside Uka, and she had an HP bar.

A brown iteration of the popular swimsuit outfit (and their HQ counterparts) were introduced for each race and gender: Creek Maillot/Dune Gilet/Marine Gilet/River Top/Woodsy Gilet

Image07-25-2012 2.jpg

Sep. 1st, 2012
    Historynews.gif Final Fantasy Franchise 25th Anniversary
To commemorate Final Fantasy’s 25th Anniversary, Square Enix held an exhibition at the Hikarie Convention Center in Shibuya, Japan on September 1st and 2nd. This convention celebrated the past 25 years of Final Fantasy and had many different lifelike props and even a vast array of fan art provided by exhibition guests.

The event itself was free, but you had to buy an exhibition “pamphlet” for 2,000 yen to gain entry. The pamphlet itself was a 49-page full color bound book full of mini art versions of sketches and concept art from the games. Representing Final Fantasy XI, Altana is portrayed on the cover on the top center of the book.


Kumi Tanioka and “Nanaa Mihgo's Live Stage” performed Final Fantasy XI songs on a live stage at this event. The concert was similar to Vana Fest’s performance. It was broadcast on NicoNico live. Due to the nature of the hall equalizing sound, some songs were extremely hard to hear. This was especially true for Nanaa Mihgos portion. Mizuta remastered the source and a recorded version was played again on September 26th on Niconico.

At around this time, Square Enix announced the preorder of the “Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Box”. This box set included a version of every major Final Fantasy game ever released. More on that is discussed in a later entry on this page.

25thAnni1.jpg 25thAnni2.jpg

Fans could hang up fan art in a section of the hall where attendees exited the event. The pieces on display here that were professionally created were displayed at the Square-Enix booth at Tokyo Game Show 2012 later in the month. The works below were two of the professional pieces shown at the exhibition hall. Click the link above to see more professional works.



Sep. 10th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png The First Mog House Decorating Contest
Held consecutively across all regions was the first Mog House Decorating Contest. Each region (JP/NA/EU) had their own separate contest with identical prizes. The overall premise and rules were the same. This event was very well received. Many players enjoyed decorating their Mog House and did not have anyone to show it off to. This event was a way to do that!

Users had to decorate their mog house with the theme of “Staying cool in the summer heat”, and the rules said that one of the following furnishings needed to be seen in the submitted entry: Goldfish Bowl/Fighting Fish Tank/Butterfly Cage/Cricket Cage/Glowfly Cage/Freshwater Aquarium/Saltwater Aquarium/River Aquarium/Reef Aquarium/Bay Aquarium/Carillon Vermeil/Aeolsglocke/Leafbell/R. Bamboo Grass/B. Bamboo Grass/G. Bamboo Grass.

This event was the first “modern” screenshot campaign, not counting the weird caption contests they ran in 2011 or the ones from 2004. These types of screenshot campaigns would continue to return due to their popularity, and players liked the concept of them offering unique RareExclusive furnishings.


Rarest item in the game?

The prizes for this campaign are considered as rare as the Judgment Day Mog Bonanza furnishing. For this campaign and the follow-up campaign in 2013, only a handful of players won. In today’s version of the Screenshot Campaign a set number of items are given away, and usually everyone wins because there are not enough entries to hit the limit.

For this event, each region (JP/NA/EU) had one grand prize winner who received the Opus Shelf as well as one “Case” item. Three runner-up entries per nation received one Case. This distribution resulted in only 3 Opus Shelfs existing, and 27~30 of each “Case” type across the entire player base (depending on which nation the grand prize winner received).

The following Screenshot Campaign in February 2013 doubled that. As of the writing of this article in mid-2021, only 6 Opus Shelves have ever exist in the game. This is followed closely by 57~63 total of the three possible “Cases”. Hopefully Square Enix brings these back!

The “Honorable Mentions” received the pitiful Banquet Set. This item could be easily synthesized and was not special at all.

Sep. 20th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Blazing Buffalos 2012
The Blazing Buffaloes event ran from September 20th until October 4th.

The event remained unchanged, except that the level limit was raised from 75 cap to 99.

Sep. 20th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png チゴーでGO!
Japanese players had an event on Twitter, but rules were posted on the Official Forum. The event was called “チゴーでGO!” or “Go in Chigoe!”

Coinciding with the Blazing Buffalo 2012 event, players were instructed to transform into a Chigoe costume and post a screenshot on Twitter and tag the @FFXI_JP account with the hastags #FF11 #Chigoe. They had to and include their world name and character name.

It is noteworthy to mention that a specific prize was not disclosed in the event post. They simply said a “small gift” would be sent to a random 10 players per day for 10 days.

There are reports that the gift was Lesser Chigoe x10.

Lesser Chigoe description.png
Privacy Concerns

Japanese players did not like exposing their character name and world name in such a public manner, especially since it would then be connected to their real-life Twitter accounts exposing their pictures and other real-life aspects.

Many would create dummy accounts that would only be used to enter these contests, because they became quite consistent. Japanese players wondered why North American players could simply post on the Official Forum, but they needed to use Twitter. This was especially true when the Mog House Decorating Contest that was just run took place on the Official Forums for all regions.

Sep. 22nd, 2012
    USFlag.png Final Fantasy XI 10th Anniversary Concert
Originally announced on June 1st, a Final Fantasy XI live concert was held on this day to commemorate Final Fantasy XI’s 10th Anniversary. This concert was for North American fans, and the venue was the Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, California.

1,865 seats were available at the venue. Ticket prices varied from $50-$85 each depending on the location of the seat. VIP tickets were also available for $150 each, which included a Meet & Greet opportunity with the event’s special guests.

Performers included Arnie Roth as Conductor and Producer along with Kumi Tanioka & Naoshi Mizuta as Composers/Special Guests.

As with the 11/11/11 concert held in Japan, event-goers received the Maestro's Baton Campaign Code.

The video below is the Distant Worlds performance at this concert.


Surprisingly, the set list was released a month prior to the concert on the official website:

  • Procession of Heroes - Vana'diel March Medley
    • Vana'diel March
    • Unity
    • Vana'diel March #4
    • Wings of the Goddess
  • Ronfaure
  • Griffons Never Die
  • Fighters of the Crystal
  • Ragnarok
  • Distant Worlds
  • Awakening
  • The Sanctuary of Zi'Tah
  • Mog House
  • Gustaberg
  • Four Nations, One Sky - A Tribute to the Cities
    • The Kingdom of San d'Oria
    • The Republic of Bastok
    • The Federation of Windurst
    • The Grand Duchy of Jeuno
  • A New Horizon – Tavnazian Archipelago
  • Sword Songs - Battle Medley
    • Mercenaries' Delight
    • Clash of Standards
  • Melodies Errant
  • The finale was the main “Final Fantasy” theme.
Sep. 25th, 2012
    Historyversionup.png Meeble Burrows Released
New Features & Content

Job Adjustments
  • Grounds of Valor objectives were changed for Toraimarai Canal Page 4.
  • Some Super Kupowers were replaced with more relevant powers to the then-current state of the game.
    • The Treasure Casket power used to be divided into four separate powers, one for each of the nations and one for the “frontier”. These were combined into one called “Myriad Mystery Boxes”.
    • Digestion Digestion was added, which gave double food duration.
    • Boundary Buster was added, which granted double Conquest Points.
    • Bountiful Bazaar was added, which causes the regional merchants in all three nations to be open consecutively.
  • Actions that strengthened bonds between the player and their Adventuring Fellow now does so at a higher rate.
  • Enfeebling Magic resistance for the following monsters was adjusted:
    • Nergal / Bata / Aeshma / Thalesek / Pyrrha / Arch-Omega / Arch-Ultima / Odin (Odin's Chamber II)
  • Icons for the following Dynamis currencies were adjusted. White boxes and blue boxes were added to more clearly distinguish all dynamis currency in bazaars. Players would make the mistake of buying single pieces at the 100-piece price.
  • The brown swimsuits and their HQ counterparts introduced during the Sunbreeze Festival could now be stored with Storage Slip 11.
  • Player Character collisions were adjusted
    • Characters who have not moved, have been healing, or have been using the /sit emote for 30 seconds or more would no longer cause another player to stop running when they tried to run through them.
  • Seekers of Adoulin's expansion logo was added to the start screen,

Interesting fixed issues

  • An issue wherein the Paladin ability Fealty and the Blood Pact Perfect Defense would not block status ailments if the player's elemental resistance value dropped below zero.
  • An issue in Promyvion wherein the memories dropped by ice and water Empty-type monsters were reversed.
Meeble Burrows

Upon the content announcement, players were calling the event “MMM 2.0” due to the similarities. After more specifics were announced in early August, the biggest concern became the 20-hour cooldown for a 15-minute event. With such a low time allotment, players assumed it would be zerg content.

Thanks to the test server, 90% of the content and gear was already figured out before the update. The system turned out to be more Assault-esque content with more practical advancement. Due to all the useful gear and the minor time requirement per day, many players would create static groups for the content.

Dynamis Currency Icons

The developers had the best intentions in mind when this icon change was implemented. The idea was to at least prevent SOME mistakes from happening, but they knew it would not prevent all mistakes. Byne Bills were to blame more than the other pieces. The colors of each of the byne denominations are remarkably similar. To make matters worse the numbering in the item names was also easily mixed up when in a rush or not paying attention.

Some players said that it was that it was the purchasers idiotic mistake for not paying attention in the first place, and it was not the bazaaring mule’s fault. On the other hand, other players said if people did not fall for it, there would not be any intentionally overpriced currency in the first place. Changing the icons did not stop the scam bazaars from continuing to sell singles for 700k and hundred pieces for 7 million, but if it at least saved one player from making a mistake then it served its purpose.

Player Collision Change

Initially, this change was supposed to be in the July version update. It was pushed back for further player feedback and consideration. The developers thought that this change might “ruin the atmosphere” of the game. They said that it was implemented in the first place to amplify the existence of other players, instead of players simply melding into the background.

It was a very overdue change. As an example, players constantly idled at Mog House entrances and Home Points. This caused a huge burden to bypass the “mob”, sometimes causing players to stop running many times on their way through. Not to mention the Galka seemed to have a naturally larger “hitbox” than Tarutaru. Tarutaru players claimed to have a… “larger”… issue to deal with than other races.

Sep. 29th, 2012
    Historynews.gif Termination of FFXI/FFXIV Simultaneous Subscription Bonuses
With the transition from the original version of Final Fantasy XIV to A Realm Reborn, the simultaneous subscription bonuses were terminated effective this day.

The bonuses included the in-game FFXIV item Hermes’ Sandals, as well as character name transfers. As a reminder, joint subscribers received a billing discount for Final Fantasy XI from $12.95 down to $7/mo from September 2010 (it’s initial release) thru March 2012.

Oct. 12th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png North American Twitter Contest
The community team held the first Twitter contest for North American players on this day. For some reason, this contest was not announced on the official forum like every other contest. It was only announced on the official website. The contest ran from October 15th thru October 19th. It was only advertised on the North American official website, not the European site.

Like the other Twitter contests, players had to follow @FFXI_EN but no hashtags were needed. To enter, players needed to tweet a screenshot while equipped with Anniversary attire from any year and send an anniversary related message while tagging the account in the tweet.

Two players won on each day the contest was run, each receiving a Nomad Moogle Rod.
Nmd. Moogle Rod description.png
Oct. 18th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png The Harvest Festival 2012
The Harvest Festival ran from October 18th thru November 1st.

New this year were the Ahriman Cap and Pyracmon Cap. These were added to the bat portion of the event where players needed to level sync. 25+ bats were required to obtain the NQ cap. Obtaining the HQ required players to have the NQ version as well as defeat 30 bats.

Pyracmon Cap description.png
Oct. 18th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Trick or Tweet!
Like the previous Japanese player Twitter event, another was run for Halloween called “Trick or Tweet”. Entry conditions were similar but with a different theme.

Players were instructed to wear the newly implemented Ahriman Cap and post a screenshot on Twitter. They needed to follow and tag the @FFXI_JP account and to use the hastags #FF11 & #Trick_or_Tweet while posting their screenshot. They also needed to include their world name and character name in the tweet.

The event ran from October 18th until October 25th. 10 random participants per day were given a Nomad Moogle Rod, while another 10 were given “Something related to Halloween and Ahriman”. It is unknown what the item was. Based on the previous event it was probably an Ahriman Wing or something similar.
Ahriman Wing description.png
Oct. 18th, 2012
    Historynews.gif 0.5th Halloween Sweets Contest
Due to the popularity of the Easter Egg Decorating Contest, another real-life cooking contest was held for Japanese players. It is unknown why it was not called “1st”, and instead it was named “0.5th”. This might have been done so there was no pressure to have it an annual event, so the name was mocked.

Entries were accepted on the official forum from October 18th until November 1st.

Players who posted in the “Voting Thread” with their vote for the winner received an Athena Orb, and 20 random voters received a Cushaw Lantern.

Unfortunately, many of the entries to this contest were lost as the links are now broken or the images were taken down. If you wish to peruse the entrants still visible, view the applicant thread on the official forum here.

Rol. Delightaru description.png
Oct. 22nd, 2012
    Historynews.gif Infamous Emergency Maintenance
Emergency Maintenance was conducted to fix several issued pertaining to Meeble Burrows, but with it they included alterations to many items that could be purchased with Cruor. Some item NPC sale values were drastically lowered, while others no longer we able to be sold to NPCs. This is when the Aurore/Teal/Perle armor pieces were changed to no longer be sellable to NPCs.

This maintenance was infamous for killing the Chocobo Blinkers Gil creation machine. The item used to sell to the NPC at the Tenshodo for 531 Gil each, but the maintenance reduced the price down to 68 Gil each. Each blinker cost only 200 Cruor. Before the update, 1 million Cruor converted into 2.655 million Gil. This maintenance caused the same amount of Cruor to only be worth 340k.

Chocobo Blnk. description.png
This nerf was a long time coming, and players knew it was inevitable. Everyone kept a “We don’t talk about Fight Club” poker face when discussion about NPCing Blinkers was discussed on any social message board. This was reminiscent of “We don’t talk about Alexandrite” before the great Salvage bans.

Players mostly blamed RMT for causing this nerf. They were not the entire problem, however. Many actual players and linkshells used Blinkers as their sole income source. Since there was not much else that required Cruor anymore, selling items was the only use for it.

One would think that this Cruor farming was only done on trash mobs during RMT EXP shout parties. Empyrean weapons were also greatly affected. As an example, players would farm Heavy Metal from Morta while earning 22.5k Cruor each kill per character. They could kill around 12 Mortas per hour at that time. With players moving back to Dynamis this change caused Heavy Metal/Riftdross/Riftcinder to become rarer, thus driving up the price.

Nov. 11th, 2012
    JPFlag.png Voyager 2012.11.11
To celebrate “11/11”, a concert cruise was held called “Voyager”. This is a direct reference to the Selbina/Mhaura ferry, as that OST is also called Voyager. As with the other concerts recently, the performers were Kumi Tanikoa and Naoshi Mizuta/Nanaa Mihgo’s band. Two cruises were held on the same day, and they both departed from Yokohama at the Osanbashi Pier. Both cruises were two hours long.

The first trip was an afternoon cruise that had 110 tickets available. The tickets were 7,000 yen each, and the cruise was a live style event. The second trip was a premium night cruise with only 55 tickets. This one was a dinner cruise and tickets sold for a premium of 11,000 yen each. Passengers were required to purchase at least one drink upon boarding.

Voyager2012 4.jpg Voyager2012 3.jpg


As with other limited seating events, a lottery was held to determine who would be able to purchase tickets. Lottery entry ran from October 15th until October 28th, and winners were notified on October 30th. Voyager2012 2.jpg Voyager2012 1.jpg

Nov. 12th, 2012
    Historynews.gif “Vana’diel Senryu” Contest
Another event for Japanese players was held. This time, players needed to simply reply to a contest entry thread posting a senryu about Vana’diel and Final Fantasy XI.

A Senryu is a simple a 3-lined unrhymed poem. It is structured similarly to a haiku, but the contents are generally more ironic or satiric.

The development team selected five winners who received a Nomad Cap.

Here are the winning entries, translated from Japanese:
  • In Selbina, Bogey leaving, Wait overnight
  • Last 10 years, Diary already, Strategy guide
  • Tsuji Raise (Raise from a passer-by, essentially), Longing for you, WHM got it
  • I’m home, the house you can go home to, another (Referring to Mog House)
  • Vana friends, what time do you do, to my bride
Nov. 21st, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png A Beast for the Feast
The community team held another contest on the Official Forums that was limited to North American players. This was kind of a screenshot contest, but they allowed five entries per post.

Players needed to screenshot and caption a picture of a monster in game they would slay and serve for Thanksgiving dinner.

Three winners received a Rolanberry Delightaru, which was a follow up to offering it to Japanese players the month before.

This prize was not available for European players to win until the Mog House Decorating Contest in February 2013.

Dec. 13th, 2012
    Historyversionup.png Salvage II Released!
New Features & Content
  • All four areas of Salvage II were implemented.
    • Embrava was nerfed in this content in the following ways:
      • The duration was 5 minutes, but it was shortened to 90 seconds.
      • Haste potency increased by 1% for every 20 points of Enhancing Magic rather than 15 points.
      • Embrava grants Refresh instead of Regain.

Job Adjustments
  • Bard
    • Pianissimo’s level it is learned was decreased from 45 to 20.
    • An additional effect was added to Pianissimo that halves the casting time of the next song after the ability is used.
    • All Etude, Prelude, Sirvente, and Dirge songs were turned into AoE songs.
      • Accordingly, casting time for these songs was increased to 8 seconds from 4 in order to match other Bard songs.
  • Meeble Burrows adjustments:
    • Players now received Wizened Worms upon completion of expedition goals.
    • Palimpsests were introduced.
    • Trading a grimoire to the Burrow Investigator in Upper Jeuno allows players to view the status of the expeditions recorded onto it.
    • Players may now speak to the Burrow Researcher NPC to record previously accomplished feats onto blank Grimoires. Any boons recorded will be level one.
    • The number of Moblin pheromone sacks storable was increased from 5 to 10.
    • The item Pherobarrier Box was introduced, allowing a player to increase their pheromone stock.
    • The amount of research marks obtained will now increase depending upon the number of players in one’s party, with parties of three receiving the same amount as before.
      • The number of marks players may receive from boss battles was decreased.
  • Nyzul Isle Uncharted adjustments:
    • The largest number of floors one may randomly teleport has been increased from 9 to 11.
    • For the objective “Activate all Lamps”, the wait perior between when simultaneously activated lamps deactivate and can be reactivated was reduced from 30 seconds to 15 seconds.
    • For the objective “Activate all Lamps”, the amount of time players must wait before learning if they correctly activated lamps in the required order was reduced from 12 seconds to 7.
    • The number of times players must defeat bosses to earn an astrarium key item was reduced from 25 to 5.
      • Accordingly, the astraria currently in players possessions were reduced to match this new requirement. Example: If a player had 19-24 astraria, they now have 4.
  • Enemy HP in Legion areas was reduced to ease difficulty.
  • Einherjar adjustments:
    • Odin that appears in Odin's Chamber II had its HP reduced.
    • The waiting period to reenter was reduced from 24 hours to 20 hours.
  • The waiting period for repurchasing the Cosmo-Cleanse was reduced from 24 hours to 20 hours.
  • The recast time for all special job abilities (SPs/2HRs) were reduced from 2 hours to 1.
  • Status effect duration timers will now continue to progress even during cutscenes or menus.
  • The issue wherein pet movement speed was unintentionally fast was resolved. The maximum movement speed of pets was increased to +25%.
  • Paralysis and killer effects are now effective against more NM attacks.
  • Conditions of Quetzalli's spawn in Abyssea - Tahrongi was alleviated.
  • The Orchestrion was added.
    • This item is unique as it had a Synthesis recipe added with Rare/Exclusive ingredients from festival events, as well as a conventional Synergy recipe with normal synthesis materials as an alternate way to create it.
    • It came equipped with Mog House and Vana’diel March themes.
  • Dweomer Bullets synthesis recipe cap was decreased.
  • Burdock/Walnut/Butterpear had their NPC purchase prices reduced when they are sold to NPCs.
  • Olde Rarab Tail/Fossilized Fang/Fossilized Bone are no longer Rare.
    • Accordingly, stack size for these items as well as the Seasoning Stone was increased from 1 to 12.
  • More items were made available via Gardening:
  • Adjustments were made to the RGB bars in the Config menu with which players can change font colors.
  • Windows/Xbox 360: An option to change the menu icons for Magic Spells, Job Abilities, and Weapon Skills added.
    • This is “1” and “2” like we have today.
  • Graphic Stabilization option was added to the FFXI config program.
Nerf to Superimposed Buffs

Before this update a player that had any buff active could speak to an NPC or interactive point to stop their buff timers. This tactic was known as “Time Stop” or “Superimposed Buffs”. This was noteworthy for keeping shorter buffs active while allowing other players in the party to continue to buff if theirs took longer to perform.

The buff stop exploit spans back to the Chi Blast + Boost days of Monk in 2004. Some players recognized that it was a violation to extend the effect time of abilities because it was a gap in the system. Cheaters were sometimes punished for using this tactic at the time. To prevent players being KO’d during cutscenes, the timer count stops were left as an exploit in the system.

Until the days of Abyssea and Primeval Brew, there were no fights that could really take advantage of the time stop exploit. In Abyssea there were many easy ways to use the time stop exploit such as Martello and Sturdy Pyxis. It was easy to slaughter multiple HNMs solo and collect Magian materials under the effect of a single Primeval Brew. Some players would contact GMs, but there was no punishment or announcement from Square-Enix. The behavior was virtually tolerated.

After the Abyssea era, battles with the strongest bosses in the game such as Arch Dynamis Lord and Provenance Watcher were popular events. With strong buffs such as Embrava, Soul Voice and Perfect Defense being popular strategies, it was important to keep time loss to a minimum until all buffs were applied. In response to the situation, it was announced that this system behavior would be abolished as “it was being used differently than its original purpose”.

With this modification not only do buff timers continue to tick... but Refresh, Regain, Regen, and DoT damage now continue in cutscenes.

Meeble Burrows Adjustments

New expeditions were scheduled to be released, but they were delayed for further testing. The rewards were still added in this update, and the very unusual statistics for the weapons took players aback. Specifically, the “Occasionally prevents Weakened status” on the Himthige was a wut? moment.

A great decision was made to grant more points for groups larger than three players. This was a minor change, but it promoted teaming up for a common goal. As players knew it at the time, it was generally a stark trend to low man content so that the rewards were more profitable for the party members. It was a nice change to see a positive incentive for going through the trouble of inviting more people – regardless of how generally unsubstantial the boost was. Allowing for more sacks to be stored at once also let players make more progress in one sitting instead of spanning the event across every day.

Salvage II

Unlike other events, Salvage II was not added to the Test Server and players needed to wait for the version update to see how the event worked and armor rewards. For unknown reasons, Dancer was added to the +1 version of Skadi and Scholar was added to the +1 version of Morrigan, but not to the NQs.

Previously it was announced that there would be “Upgrade Paths” to pick what type of armor you wanted. This turned out to be either the +1 armor variant or the new Level 99 sets with altered stats. Because these stats were so different, some pieces appealed to players situationally while other pieces were complete junk. Some of the new +1 pieces became best in slot. They were not as bad as Limbus II, but overall, not as good as Nyzul Uncharted. The Morrigan's set stood out above the rest.

From implementation of Salvage II, Embrava was nerfed in the zones. Matsui discussed changing Perfect Defense and Embrava since September. Most players knew that these abilities and their effectiveness needed to be decreased. It was a “necessary evil” because they were overpowered. Matsui acknowledged the need to gradually reduce these abilities, and players should not have to rely on them to win content. The first step was only Embrava, and only in Salvage II. The NMs in the content were created without Embrava in mind. With this change in place combined with superimposed buffs being removed, the offramp of Embrava and Perfect Defense was in place.


This update introduced the Proto-Waypoint transportation system to the pre-Adoulin areas. This was the first transportation addition after Voidwatch warps. The locations of the waypoints did not overlap the Voidwatch zones, so all of them had unique uses.

After unlocking access to Outposts, Abyssea, Voidwatch teleport methods followed by these waypoints... there were now a lot of options for getting around Vana'diel. [http:// A lore post was made] later in December that discussed the upcoming Ulbuka continent and highly implied that Waypoints will be a staple part of the transportation system in the upcoming Seekers of Adoulin expansion.

Bard Adjustments

Etudes used to be AoE songs when they were first implemented. Shortly after they were changed to single target. As of this update they were switched back to being AoE. Understandably, they did not increase the potency. Potency would not even be increased after Item Level implementation. Post update etudes were still not used much at this time. In the rare instance Etudes were used it was usually for one party member. Making them AoE was more work to cast due to the need to pop Pianissimo first.

2HR abilities are now 1HR abilities!

Earlier in 2012 along with the discussion of the Embrava and Perfect Defense nerfs, there was talk about the new SP abilities. At first, the abilities would have a shared timer with the old SPs. This was scratched, but before implementation of the new abilities they lowered the timer to existing abilities from 2 hours to 1. Moving forward, many old school players still referred to their SP abilities as “2HRs” since it was so engraved in their minds.

Dec. 18th, 2012
    Excalibur (Level 75) icon.png Starlight Celebration 2012
The Starlight Celebration ran from December 18th thru December 31st.

The final piece of the Dream set, the Dream Mittens/+1, was added to the event. Additionally, the Orchestrion was implemented, which was featured on the art of the event announcement. Only three sheet tunes were initially implemented, which were the three main nation’s themes.

The mittens and orchestrion synthesis materials were added to the new mini games portion of the event.

Dream Mittens +1 description.png
Image12-12-2012 0.jpg

The Orchestrion was Square-Enix’s solution to the “Jukebox” feature that they tried implementing for Legion that was horribly received. This time they got it right, even though players were annoyed of the placement of the dial to change their Mog House music, as it was right next to the door. Pushing the Tab key now targets the Symphonic Curator. This caused annoyances when exiting Mog Houses.

Orchestrion description.png
Dec. 18th, 2012
    Counterfeit Gil icon.png Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box
This ultimate box cost 35,000 Yen, and it was released through Square-Enix’s e-store. For Final Fantasy XI, this edition came with the Vana’diel Collection 2 version of the game for the PS2.
Dec. 26th, 2012
    Historynews.gif Seekers of Adoulin Trailer & Release Date Announcement
The official Seekers of Adoulin website was updated. This update added lore details, a new trailer, as well as announced the release date of the expansion to be March 26th, 2013. Content would not be playable until March 27th.

Players were impressed with the environments that were shown off as well as the new monsters. Particularly, the Heartwing was discussed in regards to how cute it was.

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


The Seekers of Adoulin Release

Work is in progress!

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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