My love for Final Fantasy began back with single player console games, specifically on the Playstation 2. I was intrigued by the cut scenes and how real the characters looked. I enjoyed the battles with monsters and matching my characters with their skills to unleash chaos on the enemies.
I also dabbled with Final Fantasy Tactics on the Gameboy Advance for a while, though this was nothing in comparison to the graphics on the PS2. It was a drummed down version of a strategy game that still had some of the same class options that were unique to Final Fantasy.
It wasn’t, however, until FFXI came out for the Xbox 360 that I became a Final Fantasy addict. I remember playing the demo that came with my Xbox 360 before the server actually went live for Xbox and how I had to start all over again once it was up and running.The most amazing thing about this game is that you never run out of things to do in the game, ever. Some of my favorite memories starting out were fishing for rusty buckets and trading it in for money just to buy upgraded armor at early levels.
The game is focused on teamwork, and networking. You pick a class and work together as a team. Each class has its own advantages when in a party. Each class falls into a category as a damage dealer, tank, healer, or puller. Damage dealers dish out large amounts of damages. Tanks are tough and absorb massive hits from the enemy while keeping the enemy away from the mages. The healers heal the team members, usually through magic spells. And pullers are the team members that have ranged weapons and bring the monsters to the party to engage in battle.
There are tons of different classes to choose from and you even get a subclass. My favorite class was always the Samurai because it was a damage dealer that could start and finish skill chains. Skill chains allow you to deal massive damage on enemies that are way beyond your level. With a proper skill chain, followed by a Black Mage’s magic burst, you can take out a hefty enemy in a short amount of time, thus leveling up a lot faster.
Besides all the fighting there are also many secrets and quests to figure out. Crafting is also possible in this game through crystals that can be collected from enemies. Most people learn a trade and then sell their items on the auction house.
Another unique feature about the Final Fantasy game is that each world has its own auction house where you can buy and sell things from other players. Sometimes you can find a good deal on armor or whatever you need just by bidding on it at the auction house. Some things are worth a lot of money depending on the server you are on. Some people like to hunt expensive artifacts by killing beasts and then sell them at the AH for tons of gil. Others just spend their time crafting food, armor, and other things with crystals and materials that they farmed off of enemies.
Money isn’t hard to come by. You can always farm lower level mobs (or enemies) for junk that they drop and then sell it or hold on to it and craft something out of it before selling it at the auction house. Almost anything dropped by an enemy during battle is worth something at the auction house because it can be sold in bulk for crafting.
Another feature that I enjoyed was raising Chocobos. Instead of having to rent a Chocobo from a main city, you could raise your own and call it with a whistle. Home grown Chocobos are faster and can be different colors. They come in handy when you are in a pinch and need to cross badlands without getting attacked by aggressive monsters. People trade Chocobo eggs with friends and try to come up with the cream of the crop.
This is definitely not a game that you can be a loner in and succeed. Most of the time you will need to find the help of a higher level friend to help you get things you need for quests and such. It always helps to have a high level group of friends that are willing to take you to different places and assist you in getting what you need from high level mobs. Without high ranking friends, you can attempt to go with a party the same level as yourself but it will be much harder to succeed and sometimes the entire party will die several times. This game is about getting in good with higher level veterans.
One way to build up your friends is by joining a linkshell that has high level members that spend time helping out newer players. A linkshell is a chat channel that only people wearing a specific linkshell can see. Sometimes linkshells have hundreds of members listening in quietly, and other times the chat lines are full of activity. Sometimes linkshell members will set up a time to help newbies get quest items, or even power level them. Linkshell members are also valuable in helping lower leveled players do their class quests in order to gain new classes.
The fighting in Fanal Fantasy XI is amazing. You really feel like you are contributing to the fight no matter what your role is. Each attack made on the enemy is colorful and gives a feeling of really doing damage to the mob. You are able to solo up to about level 12 and then it is wise to start putting together a party with the right combinations of classes to do the most damage. This is because you will be fighting enemies that are 10x stronger than you in order to gain massive experience points. Once you reach level 10 or 12 you wont be getting 100 points per kill by yourself anymore so its imperative to join a party and earn 300 points per kill instead.
Final Fantasy will always be my favorite MMORPG because of the graphics, the story lines, the classes and the game play. No other MMORPG brings all the different aspects together in harmony like the Final Fantasy series. It has a little bit of everything that works well together.