In October 2003, Final Fantasy XI was released for the PC in North America, and by March 2004, players could also access it on their PlayStation 2. Nearly 18 years after its launch, FFXI still has a robust player base, with over 1 million subscribers and nearly 100K daily players. There's obviously something about it that's managed to keep players interested and engaged. Final Fantasy XIV, on the other hand, was originally released in September 2010 and did exceptionally poorly in almost every aspect.
Final Fantasy 11 was tough as nails. The version we can play in 2021 is accommodating, the end result of nearly two decades of quality of life improvements. But the early days were no joke. Every death would take a huge chunk of your experience—sometimes enough to de-level you and leave you naked, suddenly out leveled by your equipment. The difficulty galvanized the community, though, this subscription-based trial by fire. Suffering through a game is one thing, but suffering through it together with a tight-knit group of friends is an entirely different experience. And enough FFXI Gil will help you get more fun in-game.
FFXI allows players to choose out of a handful of weapons and gear for each job, with some weapons being better options than others. FFXI also uses a sub-job system that allows main jobs to use up to half the skills of their sub-job. It allows for a wider variety of types since players can choose which sub-job will serve them best in any given situation.
In Final Fantasy XI, players need to form parties themselves by either starting a party and recruiting or advertising themselves as potential party members. It's been easier to get by without the community since the Trust system released, which allows FFXI players to solo-level like never before, but there's still a huge focus on exploring the world. Several quests (such as the Artifact Gear quests) require players to find specific locations. Most importantly, however, parties in FFXI need extensive knowledge of maps and the monsters found on each map to generate a reliable leveling strategy. Parties mostly rely on experience point chains to gain levels, so knowing safe spots with an abundant population of good monsters is essential.
Rather than trying to reinvent itself or remain a shrine to its younger self, Final Fantasy 11 has done something unique among MMOs: it's aged with its players, slowly reshaping itself to offer new adventures alongside nostalgia. "One of the major factors that affected FF11 from its release to now was FF14," Matsui said. "FF11 was released as Square's first MMORPG and we were trying to get people interested in this new genre we were exploring. After FF14's release as the latest MMORPG in Square Enix's roster at the time, we wanted to focus on people who still wanted to play an old-school MMORPG with FF11, and see what we could do to cater to that crowd."