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Final Fantasy XI Burning Circle Notorious Monster (BCNM) Guide

What It Is - BCNM stands for Burning Circle Notorious Monster. A BCNM is a special type of arena battle in Final Fantasy XI where adventurers fight a specific mob or group of mobs. Unlike most areas of the game, BCNMs are instanced, meaning that the area is only available to you and your party or alliance; no one else will be able to see or assist you in the fight.

Accessing a BCNM - A standard BCNM is accessed by trading a special type of orb item to one of the Burning Circles placed within dungeons throughout Vana'diel. These orbs are available from the NPC Shami in Jeuno Port, in exchange for a number of Beastmen's Seals or Kindred's Seals. When you trade the appropriate number of seals to Shami, as listed in the chart below, he will give you an orb in return. Trading that orb to the Burning Circle provides access to a BCNM.

Seals & Orbs - The Beastmen's and Kindred's Seals are both Exclusive, and can stack up to 99; you can have multiple stacks of both kinds, as many as you obtain. The Beastmen's Seals can drop from any mob in the game, although they primarily drop from mobs that provide experience. Kindred's Seals are similar, but only drop from mobs which are level 50 or above. The only way to get these seals is by killing mobs for them; they cannot be traded between players in any way. To get an orb requires turning in between 20-60 seals, depending on the type of orb it is. The amount of seals required is based on the level cap of the BCNM; a level 20 BCNM takes 20 Beastmen's Seals, a level 50 BCNM takes 50, etc. The orbs are Rare and Exclusive, and are usually obtained from Shami right before a party goes out to the BCNM. Typically once a group has decided to go to a specific BCNM, every person in the party obtains an orb, so that the BCNM can be fought many times in a row.

Getting into the BCNM - All Burning Circles are found within dungeon zones across Vana'diel. These Burning Circle areas are usually very small zones themselves, that are just big enough to walk in and move to the BCNM. Once at the glowing Burning Circle, a player trades the orb to the circle and selects the BCNM he wishes to enter. At that point, everyone in the player's group (or for a few BCNM, an entire alliance) can go into that BCNM by selecting the Burning Circle and choosing the BCNM as well.

Limits & Restrictions - When entering a BCNM, all spell and ability buffs are automatically stripped. Food effects remain, but all other buffs are removed upon entering the Burning Circle. All BCNMs have a character limit: some allow only 3 characters to go in, most are set up for a full party of 6, and a handful allow a full alliance. Almost all BCNMs are also level limited. This means that when you enter a BCNM at a higher level than the limit, you will have your level temporarily reduced while you are in the BCNM. For example, if your party goes into the level 40 capped Steamed Sprouts BCNM, everyone who is higher level than 40 will have their level temporarily set down to 40, with only the spells, abilities, HP and MP that any other level 40 character of their job would have. Once you leave the BCNM, through defeat or victory, the level limit is removed. It is important to make sure you bring the proper equipment for the level limit of the BCNM; any equipment that requires a higher level will automatically be removed and unable to be worn inside the BCNM. You can go into a BCNM at a lower level than the limit, although it is rarely wise to do so. Most BCNM are designed to be beat with the maximum number of characters allowed, who are all at the level limit. The hardest BCNMs in the game do not have any level limits; characters all the way up to level 75 can go into them without any reduction. Of course, the monsters in these BCNMs are appropriately high level as well! There is one other possible limitation when going into a BCNM. Sometimes if another party has gone into a BCNM at the Burning Circle where you are, you may have to wait 10 minutes before you can go in to your own fight.

The Fight - BCNMs are usually simple designs: you have to defeat the mobs in the time limit given in order to win. The type and amount of opponents vary greatly, depending on which BCNM you choose to do. Note that attempting the same BCNM multiple times can produce slight variations in the level of some of the mobs; many of them have level ranges just like regular mobs elsewhere in the game.

Winning & Loot - If you defeat the opponents in the BCNM, an Armory Crate will appear. When selected, it opens and puts a pile of rewards in the treasure pool. Most rewards are provided randomly from a large list of possible items that can load in that particular BCNM, although in some BCNMs certain items load all the time. As with other mobs drops, the best items that can load in any BCNM are the rarest. In most pickup groups who do BCNMs, the standard procedure is for all the loot to go to whoever used their orb for that specific BCNM. In a Linkshell group or other party of players who work together regularly, the proceeds are often made by selling all the item from all the BCNMs, and then the final gil profit is split up among the members of the BCNM group.

Losing & Death - Death often happens when learning how to win a BCNM. When a character dies in a BCNM they lose experience for the level they're at, which is usually the level cap of the BCNM. So a level 70 character who dies inside a level capped 40 BCNM, will only lose experience as a level 40 character. It is possible to run away from a BCNM by selecting the Burning Circle at the start of the fight arena, assuming that a mob isn't currently fighting your character. This is often done by the remaining characters if the fight goes poorly and many other characters have died. If everyone dies inside the BCNM, it will move everyone out after 3 minutes and end the encounter. Alternately, if Reraise is up, either from casting the spell or via an item, that can be used inside the BCNM after dying if there is still time left. The time limit is a constant enemy in BCNMs; if you take too long in the fight and the time runs out, you will be kicked out of the BCNM and lose.

Wrapping Up - Once an orb is used, whether you win or lose, it is changed into a cracked version in your inventory. This can be disposed of by trading it back to Shami, or by discarding it. You can repeat the BCNM as many times as you have orbs; once the party runs out of orbs, if you wish to continue you must return to Shami to obtain more by trading him more seals. Note that if you lose the BCNM or exit it from inside, you are put back into the starting section of the BCNM zone. When you win, however, you are placed on the opposite side and must walk back through the dungeon zone before getting to the BCNM entrance again.

Non-Standard BCNMs - BCNMs have been added that don't use the standard orbs or Battle Circles; otherwise, they function like a regular BCNM. So far, the only non-standard BCNM in the game is Ouryu Cometh, a BCNM that is on an island in Riverne - Site #A01.


BCNM Orb Chart
Orb Seals Required BCNM Level Limit
Cloudy Orb 20 Beastmen's Seal Level 20
Sky Orb 30 Beastmen's Seal Level 30
Star Orb 40 Beastmen's Seal Level 40
Comet Orb 50 Beastmen's Seal Level 50
Moon Orb 60 Beastmen's Seal Level 60
Atropos Orb 30 Kindred's Seal No Level Restriction
Clotho Orb 30 Kindred's Seal No Level Restriction
Lachesis Orb 30 Kindred's Seal No Level Restriction
Themis Orb 99 Kindred's Seal No Level Restriction


BCNM List
NameZoneRequired ItemRestriction
Charming Trio Balga's Dais Level 20, 15 minutes, 3 members
Creeping Doom Balga's Dais Level 30, 15 minutes, 3 members
Harem Scarem Balga's Dais Level 30, 30 minutes, 6 members
Royal Succession Balga's Dais Level 40, 15 minutes, 3 members
Steamed Sprouts Balga's Dais Level 40, 30 minutes, 6 members
Rapid Raptors Balga's Dais Level 50, 15 minutes, 3 members
Treasure and Tribulations Balga's Dais Level 50, 30 minutes, 6 members
Wild Wild Whiskers Balga's Dais Level 60, 15 minutes, 3 members
Divine Punishers Balga's Dais Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Early Bird Catches the Wyrm Balga's Dais No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 18 members
Moa Constrictors Balga's Dais No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Royale Ramble Balga's Dais No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Seasons Greetings Balga's Dais No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Legion XI Comitatensis Chamber of Oracles Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Cactor Sauve Chamber of Oracles No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Eye of the Storm Chamber of Oracles No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
The Scarlet King Chamber of Oracles No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Wings of Fury Ghelsba Outpost Level 20, 15 minutes, 3 members
Petrifying Pair Ghelsba Outpost Level 30, 15 minutes, 3 members
Toadal Recall Ghelsba Outpost Level 30, 30 minutes, 6 members
Shooting Fish Horlais Peak Level 20, 15 minutes, 3 members
Carapace Combatants Horlais Peak Level 30, 15 minutes, 3 members
Dropping Like Flies Horlais Peak Level 30, 30 minutes, 6 members
Under Observation Horlais Peak Level 40, 15 minutes, 3 members
Tails of Woe Horlais Peak Level 40, 30 minutes, 6 members
Eye of the Tiger Horlais Peak Level 50, 15 minutes, 3 members
Hostile Herbivores Horlais Peak Level 50, 30 minutes, 6 members
Shots in the Dark Horlais Peak Level 60, 15 minutes, 3 members
Dismemberment Brigade Horlais Peak Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Horns of War Horlais Peak No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 18 members
Contaminated Colosseum Horlais Peak No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Double Dragonian Horlais Peak No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Today's Horoscope Horlais Peak No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Making a Mockery Jade Sepulcher Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Shadows of the Mind Jade Sepulcher No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Tough Nut to Crack Navukgo Execution Chamber Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Happy Caster Navukgo Execution Chamber No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Die by the Sword Qu'Bia Arena Level 30, 15 minutes, 3 members
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Qu'Bia Arena Level 30, 30 minutes, 6 members
Undying Promise Qu'Bia Arena Level 40, 15 minutes, 3 members
Factory Rejects Qu'Bia Arena Level 40, 30 minutes, 6 members
An Awful Autopsy Qu'Bia Arena Level 50, 15 minutes, 3 members
Idol Thoughts Qu'Bia Arena Level 50, 30 minutes, 6 members
Celery Qu'Bia Arena Level 60, 15 minutes, 3 members
Brothers D'Aurphe Qu'Bia Arena Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Demolition Squad Qu'Bia Arena Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Come Into My Parlor Qu'Bia Arena No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
E-vase-ive Action Qu'Bia Arena No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Infernal Swarm Qu'Bia Arena No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Ouryu Cometh Riverne - Site #A01 No Level Restriction, 60 minutes, 18 members
The Wyrmking Descends Riverne - Site #B01 No Level Restriction, 60 minutes, 18 members
Amphibian Assault Sacrificial Chamber Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Jungle Boogymen Sacrificial Chamber Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Call to Arms Talacca Cove Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Compliments to the Chef Talacca Cove No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Kindred Spirits Throne Room Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
Crustacean Conundrum Waughroon Shrine Level 20, 15 minutes, 3 members
Birds of a Feather Waughroon Shrine Level 30, 15 minutes, 3 members
Grove Guardians Waughroon Shrine Level 30, 30 minutes, 6 members
Royal Jelly Waughroon Shrine Level 40, 15 minutes, 3 members
The Worm's Turn Waughroon Shrine Level 40, 30 minutes, 6 members
The Final Bout Waughroon Shrine Level 50, 3 minutes, 3 members
3, 2, 1... Waughroon Shrine Level 50, 30 minutes, 6 members
Up in Arms Waughroon Shrine Level 60, 15 minutes, 3 members
Grimshell Shocktroopers Waughroon Shrine Level 60, 30 minutes, 6 members
The Hills Are Alive Waughroon Shrine No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 18 members
Copycat Waughroon Shrine No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Operation Desert Swarm Waughroon Shrine No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
Prehistoric Pigeons Waughroon Shrine No Level Restriction, 30 minutes, 6 members
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