We had a brief chat with Square Enix Senior VP Hiromichi Tanaka today about Chains of Promathia, the upcoming expansion pack for Final Fantasy XI. The biggest component of the expansion will be new territory for players to explore, which exists both inside and outside the borders of the current Vana'diel. There will be 40 new areas in total, which will be accessible to characters between levels 20 and the current level cap of 75. This will enable even lower-level players to reap many of the benefits of the new expansion.
In addition, Chains of Promathia will add a host of new items, including synthesis-related items, weapons and armor, and even new fish. New missions and quests that flesh out the ongoing storyline of the gameworld will also be implemented. We were told to expect these new story elements to flesh out Vana'diel while raising new mysteries at the same time. Whether or not players choose to adopt the Chains of Promathia expansion, they can look forward to a host of new world events, such as a variety of culturally themed festivals, in the coming months.
Final pricing for Chains of Promathia hasn't been determined yet, but Square Enix plans to release the expansion in the fall of this year in both Japan and America. The team is also hoping to put out both PC and PS2 versions at the same time, if at all possible. Stay tuned for more coverage of FFXI's first retail expansion pack soon.