FINAL FANTASY XI The Evolution of Vana'diel

October 2003 - FINAL FANTASY XI launches in North America
  • The auto-translation function was created to allow players from around the world to play together.
  • The search comment feature was divided into four categories to allow users to specify what types of parties, quests or missions they were interested in.
  • The amount of players that could be invited to a World using a World Pass was increased from 1 to 5.
    • This was adjusted to allow players to invite more of their friends to adventure with them.
  • The synthesis results of other players are now displayed within "say" radius; also a chat filter for this feature was created.
    • This function was created so that players would be able to seek out crafters of specific items more easily.
  • The new command /sit was implemented as well as a range of motions players could perform while sitting.
December 2003 - Level cap was increased to 75.
  • The level cap was raised from 70 to 75 when the new quest "Shattering Stars" was introduced.
  • New weapon skill quests were added for each type of weapon.
  • The crafting skill cap was raised from 90 to 100 (Veteran).
  • The conquest point items "Instant Warp" and "Instant Reraise" had their cost halved.
    • This was done in response to many requests by players. Many players used these items very often and the conquest point costs were high for their frequent use.
  • The best clear time for each battlefield will now be displayed along with the time limit for the battle.
  • A new NPC was added so that players can bundle their arrows into quivers. A set of 99 arrows can be traded to the NPC for each quiver. These quivers can be stacked in groups of twelve, essentially allowing players to carry twelve times the number of arrows.
    • This was changed to allow users who carried multiple stacks of arrows to free up their inventory space.
  • The summoner 2 hour ability "Astral Flow" had its duration increased to three minutes.
  • Mog House functions have been expanded with the addition of the "Storage" menu item. Furniture placed in your Mog House using the Layout command gives you access to extra storage space separate from your Mog Safe, accessible though the Storage menu.
    • This gave players more storage options beside just their Mog Safe and character slots.
  • The level restriction for riding chocobos in the three main nations has been decreased to 15.
    • This allowed lower level users to journey out from towns easier; useful to join adventuring parties in far away zones.
  • The "Ammo & Misc.," "Food" and "Others" categories of the auction house were further subdivided.
    • With the dramatic increase in items since the game launched, it was important to make the auction house easier to navigate.
February 2004 - Dynamis, Artifact 2 and Relic Weapons were introduced.
  • Four Dynamis zones were added—Dynamis-Bastok, Dynamis-Windurst, Dynamis-San d'Oria and Dynamis-Jeuno. Players that participate in Dynamis have a chance to earn the second set of artifact armor for each job and relic weapons.
    • These zones were created to challenge players as well as offer great rewards.
  • A new quest was added to allow players to earn the avatar "Fenrir."
  • Furnishings placed in your Mog House were updated with Moghancements of different elemental types as well as multiple storage spaces.
  • The Opaline dress set was introduced.
  • The auction house was changed to allow players to sort alphabetically. In addition, the method of sorting will be saved for future usage.
  • The lot system was updated: If a player who wins a lot has no room in their inventory or cannot hold two of the item in question, the treasure will no longer be lost; the item will now be given to the player with the next highest lot. When an item cannot be obtained, a message informing the player of the lost treasure will appear in his or her log window.
    • This feature was created due to a high player demand. This way items will no longer be lost if the winner does not have room in their inventory.
April 2004 - Ballista, Garrison, guild items and new job abilities and traits were created.
  • Through the reinstatement of the Conflict system, "Ballista" was introduced to the citizens of Vana'diel.
    • In response to an overwhelming request for PVP, the developers created Ballista so that in specific areas players could battle each other.
  • Outposts around Vana'diel play host to varying levels of "Garrison" battles.
  • Ninja and monks both earned a new job trait called "Subtle Blow"; this trait reduces the amount of TP that a monster gains when being attacked.
  • Dragoons were given the job ability "Spirit Link" which sacrifices some of their own HP to heal their wyvern. Also, if a wyvern at full HP is sent away using the "Dismiss" command, the "Call Wyvern" ability is now available for use immediately.
    • This was designed due to give dragoons a better chance to keep their wyverns alive for longer periods of times, something that many players often asked for.
  • Crafters were given access to special crystals that allowed them to "sign" the items they created using them. Also a new system where crafters could turn in daily "guild items" for "guild points" to purchase craft enhancing items was introduced.
    • These remain two of the most popular aspects of the FINAL FANTASY XI crafting system.
  • New commands added include: /hurray, /toss, and /recast. Also the macro wait time was increased to 60 seconds.
    • /recast was created for players who wanted to know the exact time their magic/abilities would be ready without having to try and use them. The macro wait time had been requested numerous times.
  • New graphical filters were introduced so that users could select which options they would like filtered. This really helped in large alliance based battles like Dynamis.
  • The Mentor system was introduced. Players could opt to register as a "Mentor" to assist new players with any questions they may have during the course of starting the game.
June 2004 - Mannequins and Merit Points created.
  • The merit point system was introduced. This allows level 75 players to earn "limit points" to increase various attributes.
    • This system was implemented due to a high user demand.
  • Over 20 new Burning Circle battles were added in this update. Also the ability to select which battlefield the player wants to choose was created.
  • Mannequins were created.
    • These were added to increase the players' storage slots in the Mog House.
September 2004 - Chains of Promathia expansion released worldwide.
  • The merit system was updated to include combat skills, magic skills and other skills as well as the previous statistical enhancements.
  • The maximum amount of experience that can be earned from a single battle was increased to 250 for players from level 51-60 and to 300 for players from level 61-75. The maximum amount of experience that can be earned during EXP chains was also increased.
  • Avatar blood pacts were given the attributes of skillchain elements and the ability to magic burst with them.
    • This was just one of the ways that the development team adjusted the Summoner job due to user feedback.
  • Two new types of weapons and armor—"enchanted" and "dispensing"—were added.
  • Mission Rank 10 conquest items were introduced.
  • The paladin ability "Cover" recast was lowered to 3 minutes from 5 minutes.
October 2004 - Chains of Promathia missions, HNMs added.
  • Tiamat, Jormungand and Vrtra were added.
  • New Promathia missions were introduced.
December 2004 - Ballista and Job enhancements were added.
  • The contents of the treasure coffers in Castle Oztroja were changed.
    • This was done in response to many player requests. Players that have their artifact armor in those coffers often complained of other jobs that would open coffers just for the treasure contents.
  • "Temporary items" were introduced in Ballista matches. Items that players are only able to dig up and use while participating in a Ballista match.
  • If all party members' HP remain at zero for a set amount of time, the party will be removed from the battlefield.
    • This was done in response to many player requests.
  • Assassin: A new thief job trait that increases the agility bonus of the ability "Trick Attack."
  • The dragoon job ability "Spirit Link" will now not only heal a pet wyvern's wounds, but also cure it of detrimental status effects such as poison. Also wyvern breath attacks are now able to magic burst during skillchains.
February 2005 - Players are now able to access Al'Taieu, the Celestial Capital.
  • Players are now able to continue the Chains of Promathia storyline up to the new area "Al'Taieu."
  • Multi-tickets are now on sale for the barge and manaclippers.
    • These were added in response to numerous player requests.
  • Players are now able to choose where they would like to exit to after completing certain battle fields.
  • Empty Notorious Monster quests were added. These battles allow users to fight in specific zones, if they can meet certain requirements, once every five days. In addition to rare items players can also earn experience points during ENM battles, and will not lose EXP when defeated.
  • It is now possible to skip previously played event scenes when completing a battle field. Also, battle fields will display the name of the first person that entered when they beat the record time.
  • The merit point system was expanded to include job-specific abilities and improvements.
  • The shield system was updated. Shields now reduce the amount of damage taken instead of negating all damage. The frequency with which a shield is used, as well as the amount of damage reduced, will depend on the type of shield equipped. To coincide with these changes, shield usage will now be determined after any evasion effects are considered.
  • White mages were given access to the new magic spell Banish III and a new job-trait called "Divine Veil." Also a new way of obtaining the magic spell Raise III was introduced.
  • Samurai earned a new job trait called "Zanshin" that allows them to occasionally attack again immediately after missing the enemy.
  • A way to store full sets of artifact armor with an NPC was introduced.
  • The fishing system was completely reworked. It's now a much more interactive experience requiring the fisher to pay attention to the direction that the fish is pulling the line in.
April 2005 - Diorama Abdhaljs-Ghelsba added and Experience Table adjustments.
  • A new player-controlled Ballista area was created to allow players to create player vs. player battles with their own rules. In this new zone, Diorama Abdhaljs, players can set any number of rules and invite anyone that they want when they are in control of the area.
  • The Grand Palace of Hu'Xzoi and the Garden of Ru'Hmet were added to the Lumoria region, continuing the Promathia storyline.
  • Players are now able to store normal sets of armor, not just artifact armor, with NPC vendors.
  • The amount of EXP required to level past level 51 was greatly reduced for each level leading up to 75. Also the amount of EXP lost when KO'd after level 25 was reduced.
  • A quest that allows players to pose their mannequins was added.
  • The handle screen that was displayed after a player selected a character to play was removed. Now a confirmation box pops up when players select a character and then logs them immediately into the game.
  • The process of registering friends to the Friend List was streamlined. Now when a player receives a friend request, the "Accept" option was replaced with "Accept & Add" thereby accepting and adding the friend in one move.
July 2005 - The Fellowship and Chocobo Riding quests were added.
  • The Fellowship quests were added. These quests culminate in the player earning the ability to call an NPC to their side in battle. The Fellow NPCs have three jobs to choose from and players can customize them with weapons and various other features.
  • Beastman-related attire quests were added. These quests let players earn headgear that look just like the major beastman races (Goblin, Yagudo, Quadav and Orc).
  • The amount of experience points earned by defeating "Easy Prey" and "Decent Challenge" monsters was increased.
  • A new NPC that bundles ninjutsu tools into stacks was added.
  • Ranger's ranged attacks accuracy and damage will now be based on their distance from the target. For instance, closer attacks will do less damage, but have more accuracy. Attacks from further away will do more damage but be less accurate.
  • Monster enmity toward a player will now decrease slightly when an attack aimed at the player is absorbed by Utsusemi.
  • 2 new Ballista-related key items were introduced:
    • Ballista earring: When in possession of this item, the player receives information about the next Ballista match and the entry registration time when entering San d'Oria, Bastok, Windurst, or Jeuno from one day prior to the match (Vana'diel time) until the end of the entry period.
    • Ballista band: When in possession of this item, the player will be given the choice of whether to keep or throw away the first Petra he quarries.
  • Experience chain bonuses in level-restricted areas of Chains of Promathia are now determined by the level of the player while in that area, rather than the player's actual level. This opens up many different choices for players to choose EXP spots, regardless of their actual level.