The good folks at Final Fantasy XI took me on a tour of the latest content, featuring the new Crystalline Prophecy add-on. They also sent me their new Security Token for my FFXI account. Read on to find out all about both!
First up, Crystalline Prophecy. It's a new add-on this April that only costs $9.99 to add to your account. It tells the story of... well, I'm not entirely sure on all the details yet, but I did see the opening cut-scene, so I can safely say crystals and prophecies are definately involved. But that's true of all FFXI stories, eh?
Anyhow, what's unique about it is that it's very much desigend to be optional content. You add it on, or you don't, but it's all good. There's two more add-on adventure coming soon, and none of them require any other to be installed. So if you only want to play one or two of the three, you won't have any technical problems doing that. You'll just miss out on what you don't buy!
Another major new addition is the first ever Manthra! Yes, a male mithra has appeared in Vana'diel! Actually, I wasn't totally paying attention to the tour guides so I'm not sure if this is only part of Crystalline Prophecy or part of Wings of the Goddess in general... but I suspect its the former. Very cool look to the character though, I must say. FFXI's cutscenes just get better and better with new unique characters and custom animations.
There's also this new Training Regime system which allows you to take a training routine every Vana'diel day for some bonus experience points and gil. Tomes are available in nearly every area, so you can get some added bonuses while fighting what you normally fight anyways, or hunt around the world for new, exciting challenges. There's no group requirements or limitations, so you can solo or duo or, heck, throw an 18-person alliance together for them!
Also, there's a new augmentation system, which lets you buff up common items with new magical properties. Some of them are random (I got "Resist Earth +1" on a cloak during the tour. We all got a chuckle out of that) and I think some are fixed. Anyhow, players seem to be enjoying the chance to get some unique properties on their gear, and it certainly stimulates the crafting industries, since you can only augment common stuff, not rare or exclusive gear.
White mages got some nice changes in the recent update, including new abilities that cause the white mage to power up when he/she heals, or takes damage. There's also a new ability called Sacrifice which lets you take status effects away from an enemy and onto yourself, and a Final Fantasy classic, Esuna, makes its appearance in FFXI, allowing the white mage to clear debuffs off the entire party. Good time to play WHM!
Finally, for all those greedaloxes out there, there's the new mog satchel, which DOUBLES your personal portable inventory. Whatever size your gobbiebag is, your mog satchel is that size too. And it goes everywhere you go! How do you get a mog satchel, you might ask? Simple: link a Square Enix Security Token to your account.
Security has become a major problem for online games, and more and more are adding additional security measures, such as authentication tokens. It's not just another source of income for the game companies; it also saves headaches if players don't report hacked accounts. So Squeenix is giving a pretty generous bonus to players who secure their accounts, probably in the hope that reduced account hacking will make the game more secure and stable.
As always, you'll have to check it out for yourself! Go to the FFXI home page and download the free trial, if you haven't seen what this classic MMO has to offer.