Final Fantasy XI/Printable version
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This is a guide for Final Fantasy XI, also known as FFXI, an MMORPG for the PC, Sony PlayStation 2, and Xbox 360.
Currently, there are 2 expansion packs available for Final Fantasy XI. "Rise of the Zilart" adds many new areas and job classes to the original game, as well as 17 new story-based missions. Zilart was sold as an expansion in Japan, but was released with the game in the United States. The second expansion is "Chains of Promathia," which did not add any new jobs, but included a large new storyline and new areas. A third expansion pack has been announced, "Treasures of Aht Urhgan." This expansion will add a few new areas for exploration, a few new monster types, and three new character jobs (Blue Mage, Corsair and Puppetmaster).
In Final Fantasy XI there are 5 different races to choose from, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. All of them (except for Mithra and Galka) can be played as a male or female character and can, to an extent, be customized in appearance. However, the selection for these customizations is much smaller than it is in other MMORPGs, and therefore you are bound to run into several characters who look exactly like yours.
The Hume tends to be the most popular choice, as they are the only human-looking race. They are also a completely balanced character, having no particular strengths or weaknesses. Some argue that the Hume is the best race for playing multi-purpose jobs such as Red Mage.
The Galka, technically not having a gender, are huge and generally thought of to all be male. Their high vitality and HP make them perfect for tank jobs such as Warrior or Paladin, and their above average dexterity and strength make them good melee damage dealers. Having the lowest MP pool out of all of the races, Galkans tend to stay away from the mage jobs. The Galka have a unique ability similar to the Mithra's; they can enjoy the boosts of any raw meat.
The Elvaan are a tall race (It's argued whether the average Elvaan or Galka height is taller) that have high vitality and strength, but in exchange have poor dexterity and agility. Elvaan are well-suited to playing Paladin, Warrior and Ranger, although they can hold their own with other melee jobs.
Final Fantasy XI has an unique job system (or class system) with two distinguishing features. First, after completing a certain quest each character can have both a main job and a support job. The support job grants the character all its abilities and stat bonuses, but its level is capped at half the main job level. Second, all characters can change main and support jobs at any time in certain locations in the game. A character can only gain experience points for their current main job, and must level support jobs separately. A character's stats will only be affected by its current main and support jobs, with the exception of merit points that can be gained after the maximum level of 75 is attained.
There are 6 basic jobs in Final Fantasy XI: Black Mage, Monk, Red Mage, Thief, Warrior and White Mage. There are also 9 advanced jobs which can be individually quested at level 30 in any job. Three of the advanced jobs require the Rise of the Zilart expansion pack, and there are rumors of new jobs to be coming with the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion.
As in all Final Fantasy games, Black Mage's main focus is magical attack. The main attributes affecting this job are intelligence and MP. Equipment can also be used to boost magic attack bonus and the amount of mp gained while resting. Spells are not learned at certain levels. You have to buy them at a magic shop, clearly. Same applies for any other jobs that use spells.
The monk is a melee damage dealer proficient in the use of hand-to-hand weapons such as katars and patas. Aside from weapon proficiency, Monks are unique in that they are the only job that can guard (halving physical damage from an attack) or counter (nullify an attack and deal damage).
Red Mage is usually the best solo job, with a combination of healing and attack magic, a proficiency with swords as well as the refresh spell to restore magic points over time. Red Mages specialize in enfeebling magic, drawing on both intelligence and mind to slow, blind, paralyze, etc. their foes.
The thief is the master of backstabbing, and use their sneak attack ability to deal large amounts of damage if positioned correctly. Thieves also get an ability called trick attack which tricks the enemy into thinking another character dealt the following attack. The combination of these two abilities can make for excellent hate management, but only if used carefully. Thief has proficiency with daggers, although they can make good use of crossbows as well. The ideal sub job for a thief is to use ninja for Utsusemi: Ichi and Utsusemi: Ni for pulling but also for dual knives for more damage.
Warrior is the most balanced of melee jobs. They can load up on attack gear and be a respectable damage dealer, or load up on defensive gear and be a tank. Their strongest weapon proficiency is with axes (two handed and one handed), but they can do well with a variety of other weapons if needed. I recommend you to use a one hand axe so you can equip a shield as well. Warrior is quite possibly the most mis-played job in the early levels, because they start with a sword rather than an axe or great axe.
As with all Final Fantasy games, White Mages are the best at healing. A high mind stat can marginally boost their healing spells, and increase the accuracy of their paralyze and slow spells, but a large MP pool is more important in the long run. White mages are also in charge of removing negative status ailments such as poison or paralysis, which often keeps the job from being incredibly dull. White Mages are useful in the end game due to their Raise III spell which greatly reduces the experience points lost on death.
Bard is a support job, similar to Red Mage in a party situation. They sing songs for the party or against the enemy, and can eventually boost any resistance or strength in the game. The number of concurrent songs is limited, however, so most of the time accuracy and attack songs are used. Like Red Mages, Bards can easily get party invites, but the job can get repetitive.
Beast Master is very different from all other jobs because it is usually played solo or in small groups, rather than the traditional group of six. Beast Masters have the ability to charm some monsters, and to have them attack other things. This job is very slow before level 35, and even after that it can have a hard time in a crowded area. Still, Beast Master is near Red Mage in terms of solo ability, because it can charm some powerful monsters.
Dark Knight is somewhat like a cross between Warrior and Black Mage. Their highest weapon proficiency is scythe, although great sword is at least as good for most of the game. Dark Knights rely on dark magic spells to drain the stats of its enemy, effectively buffing themselves and debuffing the enemy at the same time. Dark Knights are also able to drain HP and MP, to save themselves some resting time.
The dragoon is a melee damage dealer that primarily uses a polearm. Their distinguishing feature is the wyvern they can summon to fight alongside them. Aside from attacking, the wyvern will also perform certain actions depending on the Dragoon's support job. For example, if a Dragoon/White Mage with low HP casts a spell, his wyvern will use a healing breath to heal him.
This job requires the Rise of the Zilart expansion.
Ninjas get special spells called ninjutsu which require the use of items in the inventory. Most notably, the utsusemi ninjutsu will give the caster copy image, so they can get attacked three times without taking damage. At level 37, Ninjas get a second utsusemi which can be used with the first to blink tank, which involves holding hate without taking any damage. Other ninjutsu can debuff the enemy, deal elemental damage or make the caster invisible. Due to the use of items with ninjutsu, Ninja is arguably the most expensive job.
This job requires the Rise of the Zilart expansion.
The Paladin is somewhat like a mix between a Warrior and a White Mage, and is almost exclusively used as a tank job, with Warrior as the support job. Their highest weapon proficiency is in the sword, and they also have the highest shield skill. Of all the tank jobs, Paladins are desirable because they are and bring an extra MP pool to the party.
If you ever become a Paladin, PLEASE do not yell at the Red Mages for [refresh]... DON'T or they wont give it to you...
Ranger is usually considered a melee job, although they are most effective at a short distance with a ranged weapon. Rangers have equal proficiency in bows, crossbows and guns, and their melee weapons are selected based on stat bonuses alone. Because ammo is a finite resource in Final Fantasy XI, Ranger is arguably the second most expensive job.
Samurai are the masters of weaponskills, and specialize in the great katana. Samurai are known for their meditate ability which generates tech points (TP) without having to attack anything. Samurai are also somewhat proficient with a bow, and with a Ranger support job they can use the powerful sidewinder weaponskill. (the ability to use ranged weaponskills are limited to Ranger as a main job, solely)
This job requires the Rise of the Zilart expansion.
Summoners have low physical stats, and have no offensive or healing spells of their own. Instead, they rely on summoned avatars and spirits to do their work for them. A summoner's avatars must be quested and defeated before they can be used, and gain abilities as the summoner levels up. At level 70, summoners become a formidable damage dealer due to the abilities their avatars get at that level, although avatars can only use abilities once per minute. In general, summoners use the White Mage support job so they can assist in healing while not summoning or resting.
As in many RPGs, combat is at the core of Final Fantasy XI. There are several different ways one can enjoy the battle.
- Fighting normal monsters for experience, items, or skill improvement.
- Burning Circle Notorious Monster fights, a battle within a controlled arena with special conditions such as level and party size limits.
- Ballista, combat against other players to further national conquest.
The frozen northern island of Valdeaunia is often considered to be completely uninhabitable. Old evils cast long, dark shadows across the icy land, making Valdeaunia the home of the world's darkest powers. Most predominantly, the Xarcabard region could be considered the capital of the beastmen's war efforts, being the home of Castle Zvahl, which is in turn the stronghold of the enigmatic and malevolent Shadow Lord.
Most feared and oppressive of all the land of Valdeaunia is the Xacabard region. Rumored to be so cold that even good and evil alike freeze instantly in its fiercest winds, it was also a natural place for the displaced beastraces and other monstrous creatures to make into their base of operations. From here, the Shadow Lord and his lieutenant demons plotted and still plot the destruction of the Enlightened Races, bearing a grudge that defies the ages. There are no indigenous peoples of Xarcabard, and if there was ever any settlement other than Castle Zvahl to speak of, it would be so ancient and timeless as to have been forgotten by the history of any race or nation on Vana'diel.
Castle Zvahl Baileys/Castle Zvahl Keep
A virtual city unto itself, Castle Zvahl is a massive structure that has origins far older than recorded history could accurately relate. While it is possible that it has always been the dwelling of the Shadow Lord and his hordes of beastmen lieutenants, the architecture is so unusual that it seems to hint at an even earlier purpose.
During the Crystal War, the great heroes of each nation stormed Castle Zvahl with their armies in tow, bringing a great deal of the interior into ruin. After slaying the Shadow Lord, they entombed his remains in the deepest recesses of the castle keep, hoping to place his dark legacy behind Vana'diel forever. This has only seemed to enhance the mystery behind the most recent uprisings lead by one who claims to be the very same being entombed within the castle.
Although not recognized by any of the Great Nations or the Grand Duchy as a national capital, the castle is home to legions of beastmen and their kin. During the Crystal War, many beings were reported within that defied conventional description or classification. These were labeled as "demons," and were among the most deadly of the Shadow Lord's army. Such affiliations have lead to the speculation that Castle Zvahl was intended as a home or worshipping site for the dark god Promathia.
The "Burning Circle" area for the Shadow Lord fight and the final Bastok mission. Located in Castle Zvahl Keep.