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PlayOnline Development News: June-July 2006
Posted by: Cuer - Thu Jun 01st, 2006 12:04 pm EDT

From the Official FFXI Site (July 22):
Merit Point Additions
With the upcoming merit point additions, you will be able to improve your character even further with all-new abilities and spells in the existing 15 job categories. Merit point job categories will also become available for blue mages, corsairs, and puppetmasters.


Merit Point Categories
New Merit Point Abilities
The existing 15 job categories will be improved to allow players the opportunity to further customize their level 75 characters with unique abilities.
These improved categories will include 4 to 8 abilities for each job. Depending on the distribution of merit points, it will be possible for players to access multiple new abilities.
Check out the upcoming version update news for what's in store.

- Subcategories
The 15 existing job categories will be divided into subcategories. Group 1 will include conventional abilities, while Group 2 will include the new job abilities, job traits, and spells.

- Accessing New Abilities
You can access Group 2 abilities by spending 1 point on the ability you wish to learn. Additional points spent on the same ability will shorten the recast time or enhance the effect (refer to the help text for each ability to learn the specific bonus).
Lowering the number of merit points in an ability to zero will cause it to disappear from your ability list.

- Ability Point Maximums
The Group 1 and Group 2 subcategories have separate totals for the maximum number of possible ability increases. Spending merit points to improve conventional abilities will not affect the acquisition of the new abilities.

Merit Points for Blue Mages, Corsairs, and Puppetmasters

In the upcoming version update, merit point job categories will be added for the three new jobs introduced in the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion disc.
These categories will initially contain only the Group 1 subcategory, allowing players to improve the basic abilities for these jobs.

Official PlayOnline Announcement



From the Official FFXI Site (July 19):

Notorious Monsters

In the upcoming version update, new notorious monsters and battlefields will be introduced into the Treasures of Aht Urhgan areas. Also, certain monsters will soon possess an accumulative resistance to magic.

New Notorious Monsters

Now that everyone seems to be used to the new areas and enemies of the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion disc, a number of notorious monsters will be introduced in the next version update.

In addition, a new type of high notorious monster (HNM) will be added to the beastman strongholds.

Victory will not come easy when facing these new challenges!

New Notorious Monsters

New Battlefields

A number of new battlefields are scheduled for the Treasures of Aht Urhgan areas. You can attempt these battlefields by using Imperial Standing credits.

We have adjusted the system so that most players should be able to make an attempt once or twice a week with the Imperial Standing they earn, but players can enter the battlefield every day if they have enough credits. This should make the new battlefields more accessible than orb battles.

Accumulative Magic Resistance

Currently, a large number of players can team up to overpower the enemy in certain battles by hitting the enemy repeatedly with only elemental magic. This tactic has had an unbalancing effect on the game, and we decided a change was needed.

However, altering the effects of powerful magic spells would have a negative effect on black mages and other magic users. Rather than altering magic effects or strengthening monsters, we determined that the adjustment to solve this issue should be as small as possible in scope and affect other gameplay mechanics as little as possible.

Therefore, for the next update we have decided to implement an accumulative magic resistance effect for all monsters whose strength reads "impossible to gauge."

We have also made several other adjustments to minimize the effect of this change on black mages and other magic users. For example, a party fighting a notorious monster with one to two black mages will probably not notice the difference.

However, we have decided to give Bahamut in the quest "The Wyrmking Descends" and Diabolos in the quest "Waking Dreams" a stronger accumulative magic resistance than other notorious monsters.

-Types of Affected Magic Damage
When a notorious monster is repeatedly hit by the following types of magic, it will accumulatively build magic resistance:

Black magic (elemental), white magic (divine), ninjutsu, magical blood pact abilities, magical blue magic, magical weapon skills (e.g., Spirits Within and Red Lotus Blade), and certain job abilities (e.g., Chi Blast and Mijin Gakure)

-Resistance Fluctuation
When a monster with accumulative magic resistance is hit by a magic attack, the amount of damage it receives will decrease in accordance with that monster's resistance. At the same time, its resistance will increase.

The monster's resistance will increase in accordance with the amount of damage incurred, but each monster has a maximum resistance level.

In addition, the monster's resistance will decrease with time if it is not hit by any repeated magic attacks.

Official PlayOnline Announcement



From the Official FFXI Site (July 14):

Empire's Most Wanted

The Empire has released a list of some of the more prominent villains among the beastmen. Click here to see Aht Urhgan's most wanted!



From the Official FFXI Site (July 10):

Besieged

Besieged – Additions and Adjustments

In the upcoming version update, we will increase the importance of strategy during Besieged by introducing new Notorious Monsters as well as various system additions and adjustments.

Since its introduction in the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion disc, Besieged has become far more popular than the development team ever anticipated.

This popularity leads to certain victory with little need for strategy on almost every World, as hundreds of players unite to repel the beastman hordes. With the gradual adjustments that have been implemented, it is now possible to witness the furious battle unfolding within Al Zahbi. However, many players have voiced their desire to participate in a more strategy-based Besieged. With this aim in mind, the following adjustments are planned for the upcoming version update.

New Notorious Monsters

With the addition of Notorious Monsters that require more than just numbers to defeat, Al Zahbi will find itself under attack from even more powerful beastman armies.

Invading the Beastman Bases

The composition of the armies advancing on Al Zahbi will be greatly affected by attacks on the beastman bases.
Invading the home ground of the savage beastmen and weakening their forces will become an essential step in the defense of Aht Urhgan's capital.

We are aware that the crowding that accompanies the Besieged event overwhelms the processing power of many clients, and prevents a smooth gaming experience.
The standard solution to this issue would be to restrict the number of players in the area; however, we feel that hundreds of characters of all levels participating in the same battle is what makes Besieged so popular in the first place.

We have no plans to restrict or remove this new feature based on hardware issues. While there is no simple solution, we intend to continue making adjustments that will improve players' enjoyment of Besieged.
We are also planning on implementing measures in the next version update that will address issues associated with insufficient memory for certain types of hardware.

Official PlayOnline Announcement



An interview with the FFXI developers is available at 1up.com, with further info on changes in the next game update; topics include the new zones, chocobo raising, HNM spawns, and more.



From the Official FFXI Site (July 6):

Artifact Quests for New Jobs

Quests for Blue Mages, Corsairs, and Puppetmasters!

The artifact and limit break quests for the blue mage, corsair, and puppetmaster jobs will be added in the next version update! More details below.

The version update was scheduled to take place in mid-July, but has been postponed until late July.

The artifact and limit break quests for the blue mage, corsair, and puppetmaster jobs will be added in the next version update. You must have attained a certain level with each job to access its new quests.

New Artifacts

The artifact quests are continuations of the previously available "An Empty Vessel," "Luck of the Draw," and "No Strings Attached" quests. Like the artifact quests for other jobs, there will be three quests for each new job that the player must complete in order to attain the artifact weapon and two pieces of armor.

The other three pieces of artifact armor will not be available in coffers, but instead can be obtained by a new method. The Aht Urhgan areas are for high-level players, and placing coffers in these areas would make the artifact quests significantly more difficult than those for the other jobs.

Limit Break Quests

The NPC Maat, famous or even infamous for his part in previous limit break quests, will not be appearing in the new quests due to his lack of expertise in the jobs of the Near East. Instead, the player will have to battle against important figures for each job in order to breach their innate limits.

You must complete the three artifact quests for each job before attempting its limit break quest.

Official PlayOnline Announcement



From the Official FFXI Site (July 3):

Chocobo Digging and Gardening

Chocobo Digging and Gardening

Click here to read another "Life in Vana'diel" article about chocobo raising. New information on changes and additions to chocobo digging and gardening can also be found below.

There will be a number of changes and additions to chocobo digging and gardening in accordance with the introduction of the chocobo raising feature in the next version update.

Chocobo Digging

The following changes and additions will be made to chocobo digging to complement the chocobo raising feature. These changes will not affect players' digging skill. The player's chocobo digging skill will apply to any chocobo they ride or raise.

[Chocobo Abilities]
Raising a chocobo in a certain way may result in the acquisition of various abilities. Some of these abilities will enhance the profitability of chocobo digging, such as by increasing the variety of items obtainable via the digging command.

[Buried Items]
Up until now, buried items were available in such a limited amount that if several players dug in an area for long enough, they could gather all the items in the area. In the next version update, the following adjustments will be made in order to allow a greater number of players to enjoy chocobo digging:
-The number of buried items in each area will increase.
-Depending on the chocobo, "fatigue" similar to that incurred during fishing will be imposed upon the player after digging for a certain period of time.

Gardening

New seeds will be added in the next version update to allow players to grow their own chocobo feed. Players will be able to grow feed in the same manner as other plants, and will not need to learn any special techniques or purchase any specific tools.

Official PlayOnline Announcement



From the Official FFXI Site (June 28):

Adjustments to Assault

Adjustments to Assault

In the next version update, we will be adding all new Assault missions that continue in the spirit of providing casual gameplay for busy players. We also plan to adjust the number of Assault Points received for existing missions.

New Assault Missions

In conjunction with the release of the two new mercenary ranks, we will be introducing additional Assault missions. Five new missions will be available at the rank of Lance Corporal, and another five missions at the rank of Corporal. A wider range of options and the necessity for unique strategies will accompany these new missions, so don't let your mercenary skills grow rusty!

Adjustments to Existing Missions

The development team designed the Assault missions to provide a large number of options for parties of various sizes and job compositions. However, with the difference in the number of Assault Points earned depending on party size, players began leaning towards attempting certain missions with very specific jobs. With the aim of creating an even more flexible and enjoyable system, the following adjustments will be made in the upcoming version update:

- Assault Point Adjustment 1
When participating in an Assault mission with 4 or more people, the penalty on the number of Assault Points earned per person will be decreased.

- Assault Point Adjustment 2
The number of Assault Points earned for each Assault mission will be adjusted to better reflect the level of difficulty.

Official PlayOnline Announcement



From the Official FFXI Site (June 26):

New Aht Urhgan Missions

New Aht Urhgan Missions!

The next version update will bring the release of a new region, new mercenary ranks, and the long-awaited continuation of the Treasures of Aht Urhgan storyline in the form of new missions.

New Missions

The FINAL FANTASY XI Development Team left difficult battles out of the early Treasures of Aht Urhgan missions in order to allow as many players as possible to enjoy the new content. However, the new missions will be aimed for higher level players, reinforcing the words of Naja Salaheem: "Salaheem's Sentinels only takes the best of the best, the crrream of the crop!"

Fierce adversaries and the mysteries of the Aht Urhgan Empire await you!


New Mercenary Ranks

The next version update will introduce two new mercenary ranks and their corresponding rank evaluations.

One of the new rank evaluations will be themed after helping out the less experienced.

A New Region

The new region "Ruins of Alzadaal" will be added to the Aradjiah continent.

At first, only a part of the area "Alzadaal Undersea Ruins" will be accessible, but other areas will gradually be made available by subsequent version updates.

Official PlayOnline Announcement



From the Official FFXI Site (June 21):

Aht Urhgan Features

New Features in Aht Urhgan

The FINAL FANTASY XI Development Team has put several measures into effect since the release of the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion disc to lessen the congestion in Al Zahbi, including adjustments to Besieged and the introduction of auction house fees and bazaar taxes. The upcoming Mog Locker expansion and the introduction of new features in Aht Urhgan are designed to create a more convenient atmosphere for players. While the effects of these changes may not be immediately visible, we believe that these measures will eventually result in less overcrowding of the new towns.

Mog Locker Expansion

The Mog Locker was introduced for the convenience of players exploring the new areas of Aht Urhgan. In order to preserve in-game balance, the Mog Locker was given an initial capacity of 50 items and limited to use in Al Zahbi. Even more players than expected have begun to use this service, so we decided to eliminate some of the restrictions on the Mog Locker during the next version update.

1. Maximum capacity increased to 60 items
Following the next version update, trading Aht Urhgan currency to Fubruhn in Aht Urhgan Whitegate will allow you to increase your Mog Locker capacity to hold 60 items.

2. Access expanded to areas outside Al Zahbi
You will soon be able to use your Mog Locker in your Mog House from anywhere in Vana'diel after the completion of certain free procedures. However, these procedures will slightly shorten the length of a Mog Locker lease, which costs one Imperial bronze piece to renew. In addition, the remaining time on the current lease will be proportionately reduced. Of course, you can always choose to make your Mog Locker usable only in Al Zahbi once again.

3. Mog Locker lease renewable from any area
In accordance with the Mog Locker access expansion, players will also be able to renew their lease for one Imperial bronze piece from a Mog House at any location.

New Features in Aht Urhgan

After careful consideration of the effects on game balance, the FINAL FANTASY XI Development Team has deemed the following features ready for addition to the towns of the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion disc:

1. Chocobo Stables Grand Opening
The chocobo stables in Al Zahbi will finally open for use in the next version update. Players will be able to rent a chocobo in Al Zahbi and ride out into the Wajaom Woodlands. Please note, however that the NPCs at the chocobo stables may be captured during Besieged, disabling chocobo use until their rescue.

2. New NPCs
The following NPCs will be added to the towns of Al Zahbi and Aht Urhgan Whitegate:

-An equipment storage NPC
-A special event item storage NPC
-A weather forecast NPC
-A Pursuivant NPC to transport players to Brenner and Ballista matches

Furthermore, additions will be made to the number of special event items that can be stored.

Official PlayOnline Announcement



From the Official FFXI Site (June 19):

Chocobo Info

More Chocobo Raising!

In this next installment, we bring you more in-depth information from the world of chocobos! See here for the full details.



From the Official FFXI Site (June 16):

July Version Update

Version Update Scheduled For July!

The first version update after the release of the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion disc is scheduled to take place in mid-July. As announced at the FINAL FANTASY XI Fan Festival 2006, players will finally be able to raise their own chocobos! Adjustments to Besieged, new missions and quests, and a variety of other additions and changes are also on the way! More information will be posted on this site as soon as it is made available, so keep checking back for the latest updates!



From the Official FFXI Site (June 1):

Raising Chocobos
Chocobo Raising

The FINAL FANTASY XI development team has finally addressed everyone’s cries for a system to raise their own personal chocobos. As announced at the FINAL FANTASY XI Fan Festival 2006 in Santa Monica, this new feature will be introduced in the next version update!

Raising Your Chocobo
[Basic Concept]
Think of chocobo raising as an upgraded version of gardening. You can raise a chocobo by taking care of it for a minimal amount of time each day over a span of roughly 1-3 months, so even players with little time can enjoy this feature. Your chocobo may come in handy when it is fully grown!

[Chocobo Eggs]
Your first step is to get hold of a chocobo egg. Each egg is encoded with its own specific genetic information, and some players may come across an extremely rare variety…

[Caring For Your Chocobo]
You must work together with the chocobo stable employees in order to properly care for your chocobo. Feeding your chocobo and spending a bit of time with it each day will gradually build trust. You will be amazed at how your chocobo grows!

Chocobo Variety
Chocobos differ based on their color and type…and possibly more. Naming will be handled in the same way that dragoons and puppetmasters select their wyvern or automaton’s name, but there will be more options than ever before!

Matchmaking
Match up your chocobo with your friend’s chocobo and see what happens. If the match is right, you could end up with a new baby chocobo!

Scores of other exciting features are scheduled to be added in the next version update, so keep checking the main site for more information in the next few days!

Official PlayOnline Announcement


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