We Just Played Final Fantasy XI: Vision of Abyssea

Better late than never. We take a quick look at some of latest content that was recently added to Final Fantasy XI.


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If you missed it, the Final Fantasy console role-playing series went massively multiplayer about seven years ago, appearing first on the PC, then later on the PlayStation 2 and on the Xbox 360, with mixed results. In any case, the game has continued to run and Square Enix's content team has continued to gradually build out the game with more content for loyal players who have continued to fight the good fight and steadily build up characters that are more and more powerful. Vision of Abyssea, the game's latest content expansion, is built specifically for loyal players with high-level characters and focuses primarily on adding high-end combat areas and piles of desirable loot…and it's up and running right now.

A new world awaits in Abyssea. A world where monsters float in midair until you and your buddies slaughter them.
A new world awaits in Abyssea. A world where monsters float in midair until you and your buddies slaughter them.

The story behind the expansion begins with the appearance of a mysterious rift in the sky that strikes your character down in the street in a brief cinematic scene. The crusty old sailor Joachim in the town of Port Jeuno observes your character's collapse and points out that the incident must mean that your character's body and mind are in tune with the interdimensional shifts that have brought Abyssea nearer to FFXI's realm of Vana'diel. As it happens, Abyssea is an alternate dimension that has been almost completely destroyed by raids of interplanar monsters that have ruined civilization and killed off nearly everyone living on that world. Your job this time around will be to provide whatever aid you can to the survivors while taking as many of those darned, dirty monsters with you as possible.

To this end, you must acquire a traverser's stone, which is an item that lets you pass across worlds to Abyssea for up to 30 minutes at once, though you can accrue up to four stones' worth of time to save up to a total of two hours. And once in Abyssea, you can also find items from monsters you slay to prolong your stay even further. Unlike previous updates to Final Fantasy XI, Vision of Abyssea doesn't emphasize story and quests as much as it does high-level battles and valuable loot rewards, including colored treasure chests that will grant temporary color-coded enhancements (known in online role-playing game parlance as buffs) along with loot.

In addition, there is a new type of Abyssea-only in-game currency called cruor, which can be exchanged for special character rewards, like full armor sets that provide powerful bonuses (a full suit of Abyssea warrior armor, for instance, provides haste, a speed bonus in battle). The update also increases the game's existing level cap from 75 to 80, so if high-end combat is what you were in the market for, you'll find it here. Abyssea is home to several new species of monster, including the clionids. These are floating critters, which, when killed repeatedly, will respawn more quickly and in greater numbers, making them a prime target for adventuring parties who want to try out their new high-level character abilities and tear through monsters like a meat grinder.

The new update focuses a bit less on story and quests and a bit more on higher-level battles and loot.
The new update focuses a bit less on story and quests and a bit more on higher-level battles and loot.

The expansion also offers new fast travel through Abyssea by way of confluxes, which are gigantic floating crystals scattered throughout this alternate plane you can discover, mark on your map, and use to jump to different parts of the new land. These include the new battlefield area, which lets up to 36 players (in a group, or not) hunt down a field full of challenging monsters, leading up to a climactic battle with a single boss monster that drops the best loot in the most valuable chest (though the loot spawns randomly and depends on the battle performance of the adventurer or war party that brought it down).

Vision of Abyssea also adds a new objective (that is, an additional maze level) to the existing Moblin Maze Monger shop, which lets players enter short, repeatable, instanced adventures. The update adds the ninth maze to the shop, Revitalization Team--a very straightforward challenge that pits your team against Gumdrop, a giant (and very angry) yellow slime monster with huge, bulgy cartoon eyes and no visible health bar. Your team has just 15 minutes to try to kill Gumdrop or, at least, lower his health as much as possible. And your score--and resulting loot rewards--will depend on how much damage you can do before time runs out.

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Avatar image for unilover702

oh and to tommygun nice avatar, love the deadwood/justified guy. If they make a real red dead redemption movie he should be the main character

Avatar image for unilover702

To durtyDoubleD, if you would of played xi 7 years ago (i'm still playing) you would of liked it, its mostly based on earlier rpgs like 1-5 but its got the classic FF feel with classic FF jobs. I hate XIII and am ready for their next mmo XIV which feels classic and medieval like older FFs

Avatar image for durtyDoubleD

Haven't played FFXI yet but I do agree and I think every one can agree that Square needs to get back on making Epic RPG's like FF7 or 8 and 9 They need to go back to the classics and stop pumpming out all these half-assed super futuristic crap they've been doing

Avatar image for tommygun6644

Haven't played FFXI in like a year, but hats off to SE for not letting up on content after all these years. FFXIV, how I long for thee.

Avatar image for Murder_Star

WoW is dying. Simple as that, and it's gonna be even harder for it to keep it's head above the water with stuff like Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV. As NColdhardt said, old maps will be revamped, but what you will be doing in them makes a world of a difference. Final Fantasy XI still has a huge fanbase. And that's really saying something for it. One thing that Blizzard has that no one else does though, quite simply, Starcraft II. That game will easily make up some, if not majority of the loss of income when these games hit the shelves. And when SCII has been released for a bit, when WoW is in trouble again, Diablo 3 will be released. At least that's how I think of it.

Avatar image for NColdhardt

@stevoiscrunk132: Completely agree with you, bud. The only thing is... Blizzard already knows that. That's why Cataclysm is coming out. It's also why all the old maps will be revamped - to give players a new world to collect 8 skeletal bones and to kill 16 necromancers.

Avatar image for PenguinIzzy

@stevoiscrunk132 If the rumor mill proves true and WoW does indeed become free-to-play after Blizzard releases its second MMMORPG offering, I will be the first in line to re-install my WoW and play it! I love that game, it is timeless.

Avatar image for stevoiscrunk132

- On another note: OMG FF14!!!! Hopefully it will hold me over until Star Wars comes out!

Avatar image for stevoiscrunk132

@Ncoldhardt I agree 90%; although, I think WOW is starting to lose its touch. It isn't the spectacle that it once was and, with the new additions to the mmo market, I believe that people are looking for reasons to move on from WOW. If you look at the past year, Star Trek Online and Aion were both mmo's of little success; however they still attracted numerous WOW players looking for something new. I don't think FF14 will be the answer due to the sheer gaming requirements, but a replacement is going to come rather swiftly.

Avatar image for NColdhardt

Square Enix should get out of the MMO business. WoW is currently pummeling and crushing all of its revenue. And I don't think FFXIV had as much hype as Star Wars: The Old Republic or Cataclysm. Please, Square, go back into making great, breathtaking RPGs rather than the half-decent crap you've been tossing at us since X-2 (I'm specifically talking about the FF series, not DQ).

Avatar image for TheEternalGamer

"Vision of Abyssea, the game's latest free content expansion..." I would like to know how you got this expansion for free. They want $9.99 from me.

Avatar image for tidus_ff

Fantastic game! ...if you met like minded people in it and managed to join a good linkshell. Otherwise it can come off as cold.

Avatar image for bonander

One of the best MMO's of all time! I played it off and on since the US release. Though with the FFXIV on the horizon, all my desire to play this one is gone. With seven years since FFXI's launch, I'm very anxious to see what they've done in FFXIV. Come on, September!

Avatar image for ColdfireTrilogy

I remember when my gf made me play FFXI ... we both installed through the 20 minute archaic signup process and client front end ... come to find out you play with your numpad and even 4 years ago the game looked as bad as a mid lifecycle PS2 game.... i played and killed around 10 mobs and never went back ... took about 10 minutes to figure out how to unsubscribe since the client front end is so dang warped, its like they try to trap you :O