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PlayOnline: A New World on the Horizon: Aht Urhgan!
Posted by: Cuer - Fri Sep 16th, 2005 01:47 am EDT
FFXI Blue Mage New Pictures of Treasures of Aht Urhgan Released! (September 30)

A few tidbits of new information were released regarding the upcoming expansion, Treasures of Aht Urhgan. An article on IGN has the basic overview of the small information made available. The Blue Mage job has been officially announced as being added in the expansion pack, and is officially described: "Employing the legendary arts of Aht Urhgan, these formidable fighter-mages employ elegantly curved blades for close combat, while decimating their enemies from afar with fell magic mastered from their opponents."

Nine new pictures from the expansion were also released, and are shown in the IGN article linked above. Very high-quality versions of the pictures, without watermarks, are available at 4gamer.net (auto-translated Japanese), for a clearer view of the pictures provided from Square-Enix; they are quite large, and will be slow to load on dial-up connections.

From the Official FFXI Site (September 19):

Treasures of Aht Urhgan: A Wealth of New Content!

Starting today, visitors to this site will be able to see a preview of new content from the new FINAL FANTASY XI expansion that was unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show (September 16-18)!

Click here for a glimpse of new areas and a whole new style of adventuring!

The link above goes to the FFXI multimedia page, which has Live Vana'diel and the new official video. It is a streaming download, so using a utility such as SDP will allow you to download it as a file to save to your own hard drive, for easier viewing. The video is the same teaser preview shown at the Tokyo Game Show, with the heading translated into English.

Treasures of Aht Urhgan
From the Official FFXI Site (September 16):

A New World on the Horizon: Aht Urhgan!

Images from the new FINAL FANTASY XI expansion, "Treasures of Aht Urhgan," have finally been released to the public at the Tokyo Game Show (September 16-18)! And soon, players will be able to view a sneak peek of the new content from this site!

This page will continuously be updated with the most up-to-date information on exciting new content from "Treasures of Aht Urhgan," so keep your eyes peeled for more!

The announcement above reflects the information coming out from the Tokyo Game Show, which runs through Sunday. So far, the only solid information is the teaser trailer taken from the show: it can be downloaded directly here, or a zipped version here. It shows a bit of scenery from the new areas, along with the screenshots of what appears to be a Blue Mage using monster's abilities. The main screenshots of the Blue Mage in action, taken from the video, can be seen here or here.

Very little is being officially confirmed by Square-Enix at this time; they have put out the teaser trailer to let it get some attention, and aren't giving out much information beyond that. There are some bits of info on a handful of Japanese sites from small interviews done with the PR team that Square-Enix has available at the show:
  • As expected, the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion pack will feature at least one new job, new zones, and new storylines.
  • When asked about whether there will be multiple new jobs, the answer was that "there probably will be, but they could be combined", lending weight to the speculation that the new job shown may have Geomancer/Elementalist features as well.
  • The use of level-capped areas is being looked at but isn't decided yet, based on looking at how they worked in the Chains of Promathia expansion.
  • A new director has been put in place for this expansion; map designer Kouichi Ogawa will be heading up Treasures of Aht Urhgan.
  • The beta test of the Xbox 360 version of FFXI will include up to Chains of Promathia but not Treasures of Aht Urhgan; presumably, the new expansion will be coming out sometime next year, after the X360 FFXI is already up and running.
  • On the same vein, the North American beta for X360 FFXI is being scheduled with Microsoft, based around the release of the Xbox 360. It is undecided whether the Japanese beta for the game will happen at the same time or not, since the X360 is being released a few weeks later there.

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