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How Far FFXI has come....Follow

#1 Feb 28 2005 at 10:29 PM Rating: Excellent
688 posts
In light of the recent update, I got to wondering what FFXI was like way back when... like, way back when the game first started, and how it compares to now. So, I went researching and found out some interesting facts. Knowing how it used to be really makes me appreciate all the changes SE has done over the years!

[Please note: This info is correct to the best of my ability. I looked at the official update info in both Japanese and English to compile this list. I am not 100% fluent in Japanese, so there may be some errors.]

How Things Used to Be:

Spell Related

- Gravity did not exist, and did not lower mob evasion when first introduced.
- RDM could not use Raise.
- RDM could not use Invisible, Sneak, or Deodorize.
- Refresh was not added until February 3, 2003.
- Regen was introduced as a RDM-only spell, and could be used like Poison to prevent Sleep.
- RDM's Enfeebling Magic skill was not as high.
- Dispel did not exist, and was added much later than Magic Finale.

- The effect of BRD songs lasted longer.
- Horde Lullaby did not exist.
- Elemental Threnodies did not exist.
- Magic Finale did not exist.
- Mage's Ballad was originally stronger.
- Prelude was originally an area song.
- Etudes were originally area songs.

- Teleport-Mea, Teleport-Holla, Teleport-Dem, and Teleport-Vahzl did not exist even in the original game.
- Protectra II-IV and Shellra II-IV did not exist.
- Sneak, Invisible, and Deodorize did not exist, and when first introduced, all could be overwritten by recasting before the spell wore off.
- Reraise did not exist.
- Raise II and III did not exist.
- Erase did not exist, and when first introduced had an even longer recast.
- Cure V was not WHM-only when introduced.
- Cure V originally did not have a set hate value, but acted like other Cure spells.
- Bar-spells originally lasted much longer, took longer to cast, and cost more MP.

- Warp II did not exist.
- Escape did not exist.
- Tractor did not exist.
- Sleepga and Sleepga II did not exist.

- Absorb spells did not exist.
- Stun did not exist.

- Flash did not exist.

- In a funny error, SE claimed to introduce the elemental spirit pacts when SMN was released, but actually Thunder Spirit Pact and Earth Spirit Pact did not exist until a much later update.

Job Ability & Trait Related
- For almost 1 year of gameplay, RDM did not have Convert. It did not exist until April 15, 2003.
- Mighty Strikes used to be even shorter duration.
- WAR ability Aggressor originally gave a bonus to Ranged Accuracy.
- Sneak Attack dealt the same high damage even when subbing THF.
- Sneak Attack had a wider angle of use behind the mob.
- Treasure Hunter II did not exist.
- Trick Attack did not exist.
- BST ability Leave was higher than level 35.
- BST ability Call Beast did not exist.
- Charm had a much longer recast timer.
- Charm did not Bind un-Charmable targets.
- BST ability Reward did not exist.
- MNK's Dodge, Focus, and Chakra had a 15 minute recast.
- MNK abilities Chi Blast and Kick Attacks did not exist.
- Divine Seal did not exist.
- Elemental Seal did not exist.
- Weapon Bash did not exist.
- Sentinel did not have a high enmity value.
- PLD ability Rampart did not exist.
- RNG ability Unlimited Shot did not exist.
- 2-Hour abilities originally could be reset by changing jobs.
- SMN did not originally have Clear Mind.
- SMN's Astral Flow was of shorter duration.
- BLM's Manafont ability originally allowed for spells to be interrupted.
- SAM's Meikyo Shisui did not originally fill the TP bar.
- "Killer" and "Circle" traits and abilities originally had the effect of Slow rather than Paralyze.
- DRG's Spirit Link did not exist, and when introduced, did not heal status effects.

Weapon Related
- Guns were RNG-only.
- Ammo only stacked to 12, not 99.
- Quivers did not exist.
- Ranged attacks did not generate TP.
- DRKs could not use Great Sword Weaponskills.
- PLD's could originally use Axes and Great Axes.
- PLD originally had Throwing skill.
- RDM originally had Marksmanship skill.
- BRD could not use Staves.
- RNG could not use Axes.
- Equipping a boomerang did not originally change TP, but equipping a fishing rod and bait did.

Battle Related
- **Experience Chains** did not exist. @__@
- Weather and day effects on spells did not exist.
- Half-resists on spells did not exist.
- Magic Bursts did not exist.
- The enmity system was drastically different, with more abilities having set hate amounts rather than based on damage.

Item Related
- RSE did not exist.
- Crystals were much rarer drops from enemies.
- Crystal clusters did not exist.
- Percentage-boost foods did not exist; All foods gave static bonuses.
- AF did not exist until November 26, 2002.
- The Life Belt could not be worn by All Jobs.
- Kindred Seals did not exist.
- Scrolls of Instant Warp and Scrolls of Instant Reraise cost double the amount of CP.

Area Related
- Eldieme Necropolis, Crawler's Nest, Garlaige Citadel, and Castle Zvahl Baileys were less difficult and had a lower level enemy cap.

Other Game Related
- The original Level Cap was 50.
- The highest Rank was 5.
- Crafts were capped at level 60.
- Harvesting, Excavation, Logging, and Mining did not exist.
- Gardening did not exist.
- Chests and coffers did not exist.
- Only items came from chests and coffers, not gil.
- Thieves did not have the ability to pick chests and coffers.
- Mog Safe expansions did not exist.
- Gobbiebag quests did not exist.
- It was not possible to exit to any zone in a city from a Mog House.
- There were no fame-reporter NPCs.
- Title-changing NPCs did not exist.
- Synthesis inside a Mog House was not possible.
- Changing your job required an entire other game screen, instead of the Mog House menu.
- Chocobos were not available at Crags.
- The level limit for riding Chocobos even from home cities was originally 20, not 15.
- Expeditionary Force quests did not exist.
- Non-quest BCNMs did not exist.
- BCNM orbs cost more Beastmen Seals.
- BCNM clear-time scores were not recorded.
- SMN, SAM, NIN, and DRG did not exist until April 15, 2003.
- True Sight did not exist as a mob ability.
- DRGs could not originally change their wyvern's name.
- Dying in a BC originally had an experience penalty equal to your true level (rather than your capped level).
- Jeuno originally only had 2 Auction Houses, one in Ru'Lude and one in Lower.
- The amount of PCs allowed in Lower Jeuno at any one time was restricted (due to game/server limitations).
- Desynthesis did not exist.
- Synthesis recipes for ninja tools originally produced less tools per synth.
- Cutscenes from quests could not be replayed.
- Furniture did not add any Storage.
- Moghancements did not exist.
- Wedding Services did not exist.
- Garrison battles did not exist.
- PVP in the form of Ballista was added nearly 2 years after FFXI's release.
- The Mentor system did not exist.
- The Merit Point system did not exist.

System Related
- There was only 1 window-type, instead of 8.
- /attack on & /attack off commands did not exist.
- /names command did not exist.
- The following emotes did not exist: /kneel, /sigh, /comfort, /huh, /blush, /angry, /disgusted, /upset, /panic, /fume, /doubt, /sulk, /shocked, /hurray, /toss. (In the beginning, Taru couldn't dance!)
- /sit and its associated emotes were added only after the NA release.
- The Triangle and + buttons couldn't be used to cycle through different windows.
- The log window could not be decreased in size manually.
- The log window could not be filtered into the different chat channels.
- Calling for Help did not make a target appear on nearby people's compasses.
- Valkurm Dunes was not displayed on the Title Screen.
- Text for items was not color-coded (I.E., Yellow, Green, Red, or Blue).
- The subtarget cursor did not function except when using magic spells.
- Received Friends List messages could not be read in-game.
- The <call> function did not exist.
- Search Comments did not exist.
- The first Search Comment function did not have any category subdivisions.
- Names in the search function were not color-coded (Blue for in-party, Yellow for party-leader).
- The following commands did not exist: <pos>, <tp> <st>, <lastst>, <stpc>, <stnpc>, <hp>, <mp>, <job>, <hpp>, <mpp>, <bt>, <scan>, <mjob>, <sjob>, <pet>, <pethpp>, <pettp>, <ht>
- World Passes originally could only be used by one person per WP.
- The ! icon above the head of a player seeking party did not exist.
- Originally it was impossible to Seek Party while in a Mog House.
- /lsmes and Linkshell opening messages did not exist.
- Originally a player had to be in the same zone to invite them to your party, rather than the same region.

Interesting Points of Note
- When Behemoth was introduced, the level cap was only 55.
- When Invisible was first released, you could not see your own character at all after it being cast.
- AF was not all introduced at the same time. The six standard jobs of WAR, MNK, WHM, BLM, RDM, THF recieved their AF quests a full month before the other jobs.
- Coffers were not introduced until AF.
- "Steal II" was originally planned for THF, but was later cancelled.
- When the <call> function was introduced, there were only call0-call3.
- Bazaar tax in Jeuno used to be different depending on which level of Jeuno the bazaar was in. Ru'Lude and Lower had a 10% tax, while Upper and Port had a 5% tax.
- Kazham, Rabao, and Norg all originally had their own seperate bazaar tax. Kazham was steepest, a hefty 15% tax.
- AOE spells originally had a similar radius vertically as horizontally, thus allowing a -ga spell to hit mobs on multiple floors.
- The first people to reach level 60 had never had access to popular leveling spots like Kazham, Crawler's Nest, Garlaige Citadel, Gustav Tunnel, Altepa Desert, Kuftal Tunnel, Cape Terrigan, Valley of Sorrows, or Boyahda Tree.
- When SMN was first released as a job, the level cap was only 65, thus making the avatar prime fights all the harder.
- SMN, SAM, NIN, and DRG were released all at the same time, but SMN did not require the Zilart expansion pack to unlock and play.
- The level cap was originally intended to go much higher, over 100. For Example, RDM was supposed to learn Blizzard III at level 86, while DRK would learn it at level 103.
- Reraise did not originally reset when changing jobs. Thus anyone with a high-enough level WHM job could have Reraise or Reraise II active.
- The spell Absorb-DEX originally contained a typo and was called "Absorb-TEX"
- An error when the job was first released allowed DRGs to summon two wyverns.
- The first NA update increased the job cap to 70.
- The level cap was increased to 75 on December 16, 2003, 19 months after FFXI was released.
- Fenrir was released almost a year after SMN was added as a job. Incindentally, Happy Birthday Fenrir! (Feb 26.)
- Dynamis was released about this time last year.

So! Looking back on it, quite a lot has happened since May 15, 2002, when FFXI was first released in Japan. Considering all that, I'm pretty pleased with what SE has done over the years. I hope you enjoyed this little look back into the past. ^-^ Let's hope future updates are just as interesting!

P.S. If you would like to see the update pages I looked at for this info, links do them can be found here: http://ffxi.cannotlinkto/links/
How Far FFXI has come...
#2 Feb 28 2005 at 10:43 PM Rating: Good
4,281 posts
Wow, thank you for compiling all that. It's amazing how much the game has changed (mostly for the better).
Philemon on Valefor
Gjallarhorn 4/17/08
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Ryunohige 10/29/12
#3 Feb 28 2005 at 10:52 PM Rating: Good
26 posts
yeah...good stuff
#4 Feb 28 2005 at 10:59 PM Rating: Good
94 posts
Wow that was interesting..

THF no Trick Attack or TH2 O.o
Must have been even harder to get an invite than it is now... lol
75 THF
75 BLM
49 BST

#5 Feb 28 2005 at 11:03 PM Rating: Good
165 posts
That was wicked interesting. Rate up ^^b

>.> It's kinda scary to think before that subbed SA would still be a huge multiplyer.

And ranged attacks not gaining TP XD. Man. SE hated rangers at first XD

My profile. :)
#6 Mar 01 2005 at 12:14 AM Rating: Good
909 posts
for all those who complain, see the massive progress SE has made...and the quality and general balance of the game not only is good but only seems to get better
#7 Mar 01 2005 at 12:23 AM Rating: Good
549 posts
Sneak Attack had a wider angle of use behind the mob.

I remember this, my friend was a THF and when me and him partied in Valkurm, he could just stand whenever and use it, makes this game seem really old thinking back to that O.o
350 MB
You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s

#8 Mar 01 2005 at 12:33 AM Rating: Good
1,368 posts
/rate excellent

A most excellent and thorough compliation. I really think that every modification SE has made was a good one, though I've never really understood the logic (aka "realism") behind convert.
Pakushaku: Taru 78MNK/41WAR/39NIN/37DNC Kiyokatsu: Hume 53WHM/30BLM/30RDM (retired)
Seeshishi: Cooking 89+3 (Fairy Sylph!)
#9 Mar 01 2005 at 12:40 AM Rating: Good
1,049 posts
Also as a random thing to add, the M6 Dragon battles were uncapped. Meaning that if you had a Lv.50 Dark Knight and you wanted to slaughter that dragon solo, why not?

Source#1: Old Friends
Source#2: One of PiNG's videos at
#10 Mar 01 2005 at 12:41 AM Rating: Good
2,614 posts
Wow, extremely interesting stuff, especially this one:
- Ranged attacks did not generate TP.

I'd never heard about that. This must have meant as fundamental a change to the Ranger job as Refresh/Convert meant for RDM.

It's even a little ironic, considering the outcry lately on this forum to nerf Ranged Attack TP gain.
#11 Mar 01 2005 at 12:48 AM Rating: Good
37 posts
I'll add a few things to
Since i started 1 month after JP release.

SMN didnt have auto-refresh.
Also SMN didnt have Clear Mind or Max MP boost above 25
all were added later.

In jueno you could actually go to the embassy to get missions.
The guards outside of Rulude were the basic guards who didnt do much special.

Later the embassies were cleaned because whenever a Version up came, People would crowd into rulude to check on the conquest items.

Rulude also used to be the gathering place for HIgher levels until the Embassy guards were replaced.

Jueno used to be divided as such

PORT/LOWER 20-30 range
UPPER 40-50
Rulude 45-50+
The prime reason was an unspoken divide between player levels and shouts for various things. Since at that time, we had no level 70 help everything was done at cap range.

Also i was one of those(now i would be called a crappy mage)RDM high level who paid 400k for refresh when it was introduced.

Funny thing was refresh topped at 1 mil on Ramuh when it was firstintroduced and about 1.5 on Ragnarok.

Funniest things was Monster Signa used to go for 10k, Leeping boots 14-20k hehe.

Edited, Tue Mar 1 00:49:16 2005 by Tazirai
I have found my purpose in this world, the darkness has subsided.
I will protect my friends and destroy my enemies.
I am Triel Practitioner of forbidden magics.
#12 Mar 01 2005 at 12:53 AM Rating: Decent
338 posts
Really makes you feel old, looking at that list and being able to check off nearly half of those as having happened since you started.

Played since October 29, 2003 and still loving the game.
Gwaelin - Hume, Bastok Rank 6, Windurst Rank 5
BLM-42 MNK-18 RDM-25 THF-18 WAR-35 WHM-56
BRD-10 BST-04 BLU-08 COR-07 DNC-01 DRK-19 DRG-37
NIN-16 PLD-17 PUP-08 RNG-11 SAM-35 SCH-17 SMN-12
Pandemonium server
#13 Mar 01 2005 at 12:58 AM Rating: Decent
996 posts
I wonder when they are gonna add more emotes and animations.
#14 Mar 01 2005 at 1:22 AM Rating: Decent
72 posts
rickytheraccoon wrote:
I wonder when they are gonna add more emotes and animations.

Yes, /dance animation please!!

Also, animations for costumes would be nice :P
70 DRK, 37 THF, 34 DRG, 31 WAR, BST 8, WHM 7, BLM 4, NIN 1, SMN 1
#15 Mar 01 2005 at 3:05 AM Rating: Decent
699 posts
DRG did not exist for almost a year. What a terrible year to be a gamer. I alos like that Convert and Dispel didn't exist - making RDM strictly Refresh whores, but not that good at it.
#16 Mar 01 2005 at 9:06 AM Rating: Good
737 posts
I can remember a lot of that stuff . .

I'll add some more.

Back in the 'day' the paladin wasn't always tanking, because you HAD to get hit to gain TP. All the melees would share hate to gain TP. Only one skillchain was known, I forget the WS for it, but I believe it was, **** i can't remember. Once they changed it though. I do remember it being a Skill chain with a Sword. Paladins use to be active in the skillchains ALL the time, until a patch came out that makes TP gain as we know it today ^^.

For those of you that think BLM's are overpowered. Bio use to do A LOT more damage then it does now. Ga- spells would not lower in Damage if you had more mobs targeted by it. So in the old system, Thundaga III would do roughly 1000 damage to each mob it hit, regardless of how many. At one update, SE really messed up, and melees where severly gimped, to the point NO ONE would go xp unless you had a couple BLM's in your party.

When Dysynth was introduce, people use to desynth, then sell to the NPC, making profit off this like mad, until SE fixid it.

Also prior to the US update, the Qufim gaints use to drop absurd amount of gil, you could literally farm there for an hour and make a good 100k or so. (No competition)

You can tell from the OP that RDM's had a lot of work done, this is because they where considered the current DRG, no one liked them, and they thought they where gimped. Also THF use to be the "Job" to be at endgame. /Nin did not catch on until much later, the "Valid" subjobs where the following (this is even AFTER the Zilart expansion)


These where considered "Endgame" job set ups all the way to level 70. Summoner back in the day as well, ONLY had Carby, everything was slowly added.

Monk was considered GIMPED. Dark Knights and Dragoons use to Spam Guillotine and Penta Spam like no tommorrow. At one point BLM's where thought to be at the bottom of the DD Chain.

You use to have to pay to use Nomad Moogles.

Finally. . .
And all THE AF's and Genkias did NOT require 70 and UP to finish, but instead an allience or party of your current level.

As far as prices go, this is what I remember when I first started, @ release date on Valefor:

Leaping boots: 120k (now 600k)
Emp Pen: 90k (Now reaching one mil)
Sniper: 200k (Was 900k, lowering now to 500k due to new bettr ring)
Och Kote: 200k (Probably well over one mill now)
Elem Staffs: 300-600k (only thing that dropped, right after i get my last staff) (You can get these for 50-160k now)
Tarutaru Black Mage (Sub rdm/whm)
BLM Wardrobe...
Elemental/HNM Outfit: Complete
Enfeeble Outfit: Complete
MAB Outfit: Incomplete
HQ Staves: Complete
Resting Gear: Incomplete
Dark Magic Outfit: Incomplete

#17 Mar 01 2005 at 9:18 AM Rating: Default
59 posts
How could people do BCNM 40 back then with no Horde Lullaby for Bard?
Rank: 5
If SE did only 1 thing right for Bard it was Foe Lullaby.
Foe Lullaby saving my **** since 960.
#18 Mar 01 2005 at 9:29 AM Rating: Good
3,038 posts
Wow, so RDM didn't have Refresh, Convert, Raise, Dispel, or Gravity....

What did they do then? O.O;

- Chests and coffers did not exist.
- Only items came from chests and coffers, not gil.

#19 Mar 01 2005 at 10:52 AM Rating: Good
688 posts
Nice post~ I remember quite a few of the changes and price fluctuations, but some of the older ones are realy interesting.

I've always heard that FFXI was a really bugged and messed up game when it started, and it definately seems to have come a long way.

Just goes to show that SE does pay attention.
{Incredibley Tough}Pld46/War25
on Carbuncle and always looking for a good time!

Everything I tell you is a lie.
#20 Mar 01 2005 at 11:23 AM Rating: Decent
395 posts
I remember most of those updates since I've been playing XI since October 30th 2003. ^_^ Ah, it's been a long and rough ride but I love this game. For better or for worse, I can't ever quit lol
Auspice of Ifrit
#21 Mar 01 2005 at 12:31 PM Rating: Good
168 posts
Good stuff!!
Red Mage - 75
Ranger - 75
Thief - 75
Ninja - 54
Paladin - 46
Black Mage - 45
Dark Knight- 37
Warrior - 33
White Mage - 37

Will work on others soon!
Unicorn Server
#22 Mar 01 2005 at 1:30 PM Rating: Good
69 posts
Wow very interesting! Thanks for getting that together for us to read. :)
Server: Ifrit
LS: TheKnightsOfTheRound
Job: 75BLM/75WHM/75BRD
Clothcraft: 88+3
#23 Mar 03 2005 at 1:06 AM Rating: Decent
516 posts
too bad they fixed the Drg ability to summon 2 wyverns that would really give us Drgs some edge.
Jawbox wrote:
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#24 Mar 03 2005 at 10:08 AM Rating: Decent
579 posts
- Ammo only stacked to 12, not 99.
- Quivers did not exist.
- Ranged attacks did not generate TP

FFXI Rangers of the world stood in protest. Seconds later they sat down again, panting heavily.
Alright Meatwad now what is this?

Well that's a chair.

No I mean is it left or is it right?

Well it's a chair.... and it's right over there.
#25 Mar 03 2005 at 11:09 AM Rating: Decent
25 posts
ABS-TEX haha :)
#26 Mar 03 2005 at 11:59 AM Rating: Good
696 posts
Wow, awesome, meanwhile people bash SE all the time. Maybe they will look at this first.


But i guess being able to MB makes up for it :P
Necrofear - Alexander - RETIRED
LS: GuivreSnacks
Blm 75/ RDM 37 / WHM 37/ NIN50
Bastok / Rank 10
WoW - Legalizeit / ThinkTwice - Server: Draenor
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