FFXI or Final Fantasy XI has been online for 7 years. This multi player online game offers 4 expansions and now 3 mini expansion, each with new story lines and new items. FFXI is one of the first online game to be multi-platformed. Disks are offered for computers, PS2, PS3, X-box, ect. I can also tell you this game works nice on a dial up connection, just downloading updates takes awhile. I have been playing FFXI for almost 6 years now. Yes I have tried other MMORPGs to include WoW, Linage II, Everquest II and a list of free to play MMORPGs, I continue to return to FFXI.
To begin with you pick a race.
- Hume- male or female
- Tarutaru- male or female
- Elvaan- male or female
- Galka- male
- Mithra- female
Your allowed to pick a hair style which also has a set face and a choice between two different hair colors. The game does not offer to much customization to your avatar such as games like Everquet II do. After picking what your avatar will look like your now able to pick a beginning job.
These are the starting jobs even though you can unlock a variety of different jobs thru quests after you reach the level of 30. Now your asked to pick your home nation and what server you would like to play on.
- San d'oria
These are the starting or newbie areas. Each nation is the home to different races, but you can pick what nations you want. Depending on the race you picked, starting at the original home nation will grant you a ring to use at level 1. This ring is nice depending on what job you deside to play.
Let me give you a little look into each nations.
The Federation of Windhurst- Being the home of the Tarutaru, this nation excels in magic. Kept in order by the five ministries of magic whom base decisions made on the prophecies of the Star Sybil. The Mithra's live in harmony with the Tarutarus, living as mercenaries without official ties to the nations. Starting in this nations as a Tarutaru or Mithra grants you a level one ring with +3 magic points, +1 agility and +1 intellect. This ring is good for blackmage's and redmage's due to the 3 extra MP and the +1 int, you don't really get anything better until level 10. The +1 agi is decent for thief's.
- The Repuplic of Bastok- Being the main home for the hume's, this nation was build upon technology. Ruled over by a President, this nation consist of humes and the Galka. The Galka are not originally from this nation, which if you start in Bastok and follow the missions you can find out exactly where they originated from. Starting as a Hume or Galka in Bastok your granted a level one ring with +3 hit points, +1 dexterity and +1 vitality. This ring is good for warrior and monks as you don't get to many choices until level 14.
- The Kingdom of San d'oria- This is the home of the proud Elvaan race and is ruled over by a king. This nation consists mostly knights and revolves around the use of iron. Starting in this nation as an Elvaan grants you a level one ring with +1 strength and +1 mind. This ring is good for whitemages due to the +1 mind and for warriors for the +1 str. As a whitemage you don't get anything better until level 10 and for warrior nothing really until level 14.
(In all honesty the rings are not that great, but hey its a free ring, and free stuff is nice to have especially when starting out)
Pick a nation that you would like to reveal a story line, all nations follow the same story until rank 5. After rank 5 they branch off to tell different stories. You can change nations at anytime so long as your not on a mission and you have the gil to pay a transfer fee, just be forewarned you will have to start over at rank 1. You won't lose any quests completed or levels but anything pertaining to the nation you started on will be lost and has to be redone. There are certain "key items" that won't be lost as well when changing nations.
Leveling and transportation
Once you get the feel for the controls and learn how to talk to other players and NPC's, its time to start leveling your job and I would recommend starting the quests you can do. The best way to figure out what to do is search online. Their are several websites that offer advice.
Your first equipment is a rare/ex outfit specific to your race and depending on what job you have picked, a weapon. Mages get one free spell scroll, use it. Now your ready to start gaining some levels. The first 10 levels are pretty easy to gain, you run outside of your town and start killing monsters. Just be sure to check what they read before you start whacking away with your weapon. Usually the monsters to a level one player read decent, even matches and tough. The further you run away from towns the higher the mobs are.
The monsters you fight will sometimes give you gil. Gil is the currency that FFXI uses to purchase items. You will need gil to purchase armor upgrades, weapons and spells. FFXI offers an auction house systems, this is where you can buy almost all your armor if the shops do not sell them.
At higher levels gear becomes important and cost more gil, almost all the gear you will need past level 20 is bought in the auction houses, usually by this time your in one of the bigger cities, Jueno. This is one of the main places to be past level 20, you will be joining party's that will camp outside of Jueno. Also at level 20 your able to activate a quest that will grant you the use of renting a chocobo. The chocobo is the mount used to travel in FFXI, even though your also able to get what is called teleport's and outpost warps. The teleports are gained thru running to what is called a crag and touching a glowing crystal on the platform, this allows a whitemage that possesses the teleport spells to send you to that crag. Outpost warps are the main use in getting to certain areas, these are obtained by talking to your home nation gate guard and accepting a mission to carry supplies to the designated outpost. Once you deliver the supplies you are allowed to outpost warp to that area for a fee.
This is just a basic introduction to the game. If you know a friend who plays they can give you a 30 day trial code (if they still have one that came with the game). You can download the original version of FFXI for free and set up an account using the code. But if you want to continue to play you will have to buy the expansions and pay the monthly fees. I would recommend buying one of the collection games, they offer all the main expansions (FFXI, Rise of the Zilarts, Chains of Promathia, Treasures of Aht Urhgan and Wing of the Goddess) and a one time code to use for all expansions.