Final Fantasy XI: Version Update Tour
By Mary Garcia (Vil), OnRPG Journalist
The April 8, 2009 Final Fantasy XI version update brought a plethora of changes to the world of Vana’diel, with both brand new content and much anticipated adjustments. Below are some of the highlight’s from this latest version update.
The April version update introduces the augment system, where items will receive additional attributes to already existing attributes. This system opens up seemingly endless possibilities for a character to choose from. There are several new quests that reward adventurers with these augmented items. To balance things out, once items receive augmentation, they may not be sold or traded to other players. It is a fair trade off, since some items will end up with rather nice attributes.
A Crystalline Prophecy
First announced at Final Fantasy XI Fan Festival 2008, A Crystalline Prophecy is the first of three add-on scenarios to be released. Players get to revisit some old favorites as well as meet new characters in this brand new adventure. There are no new areas to explore, and no new jobs either; the majority of this scenario is based on the original Final Fantasy XI and Rise of the Zilart content. While the adventure may seem short and lacking to some, this add-on scenario definitely has its strengths. Taking advantage of the new augmenting system, defeating missions allows players the opportunity to choose two augments from a set list to enhance one of three new unique body pieces. Other rewards include randomly augmented equipment and items. Adventurers may repeat these fights once a day for a chance at making these augments just right.
Fields of Valor
Due to its popularity immediately after release, Fields of Valor has been expanded into several new areas. Adventurers may now partake in exciting new training regimes, or try their hand at the new “elite training” regimes added in the latest version update. Elite training regimes allow adventurers to try their luck at fighting Notorious Monsters for a chance at augmenting items. Training regimes can be accessed via the Field Manuals in the same way as before.
New Job Abilities and Magic: White Mage & Red Mage
White Mages and Red Mages will rejoice alike at the latest adjustments to their specific jobs. Afflatus Solace and Afflatus Misery have been added to the list of White Mage specific abilities, with each of them enhancing current and new white magic spells. Afflatus Solace enhances magic based on the amount of hit points restored by cure spells, while Afflatus Misery enhances magic based on the amount of damage taken by the White Mage. New magic to accompany these abilities is Esuna, Cura, Sacrifice, and Auspice. A very welcome job adjustment that will keep many White Mages entertained.
Red Mages also receive a new job ability this version update, called Composure. With Composure active, all magic spills will receive an accuracy bonus with lengthened recast timers. Any spells cast on self will have a longer duration as well. In addition to this, new white magic spells have been added for Red Mages; Enfire II, Enblizzard II, Enaero II, Enstone II, Enthunder II, and Enwater II. These new spells add elemental damage to a character’s first hit, as well as reducing the targeted enemy’s resistance to the opposite element. A monster which has been attacked with Enthunder II, for example, will receive a thunder elemental blow and will have its resistance to earth reduced. Solo Red Mages will find these spells handy.
New Wings of the Goddess Quests
New quests also accompany the April version update, and they are not disappointing. As the nations prepare for the final battle, adventurers will be at the front of major key turning points that will leave them anticipating for what comes next. For storyline lovers, keep that hanky handy. The cut-scenes make for very engaging screenplay, with most of the action taking place in Windurst’s quests.
The White Mage adjustment is definitely the highlight of this update. Many new strategies and game play styles will be used here, keeping it fresh for white mages everywhere. The new quests are also very interesting. The rewards for completing them may not seem worth it for some, but the real purpose of these is to advance the storylines.
– New augment system makes for interesting new way to customize a character’s equipment.
– New spells and abilities for White Mages and Red Mages make for exciting new gameplay.
– New Fields of Valor areas and elite training make for even more ways to gain experience and treasures.
– Add-on scenario content may seem too short for some.
– Trying for augmented items only once per day may lead to frustration.