Final Fantasy XI Locked Styles

Adventures in FFXI: Where Have I Been?

Since my last glamour spotlight, FFXIV has mostly been in the background for me, and I’ve instead been playing a lot of Final Fantasy XI. All the time I spent in Eureka really primed me for a massive nostalgia trip, and after the end of the Return Home to Vana’diel campaign, I decided to resubscribe to my very first MMO. And then, FFXI very quickly got me hooked again. There are plenty of reasons for that, with nostalgia being a major factor, but also the fact that FFXI is a very different style of MMO from FFXIV—one that, in a lot of ways, suits my gameplay preferences far better than FFXIV often does.

So, I’ve kept myself quite busy in FFXI over the last few weeks, slowly working toward many of the goals I swore I’d go back to the game to finish before I moved over to FFXIV 2.0. It’s taken me a long time to the point where I was ready to do that, but with FFXIV no longer providing the sort of involved relic quest lines that kept me busy for so long (this first stage of Eureka is far too short to really keep me going!), I was in need of some good old fashioned grinding, and FFXI has always had my heart in that area, anyway.

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Of course, a lot of my time has been spent getting my main jobs (Ninja, Thief, and Blue Mage) re-geared to better suit the modern era, primarily through the new (well, new to me anyway) Ambuscade battles, but also through Artifact reforging, Unity Notorious Monster battles, and rematches with the Ark Angels and Avatars in High-Tier battlefields, much of which have involved hilarious attempts to tackle bosses far outside my ability to solo—but that’s honestly part of what makes FFXI so fun for me. I’ve got my Ninja in a fairly solid place, my Thief is coming along, and I’ve just started really sinking my teeth back into Blue Mage.

My time in FFXIV has meant that my glamour fix never really escapes me, though, and I’ve also spent plenty of time obsessing over how best to dress each of my jobs. FFXI‘s Style Lock system is far more open than FFXIV‘s glamours, with gear being able to be locked to your character’s appearance regardless of job or level (though personally I still try to stick to things jobs can naturally equip. I’ve largely settled on styles for Ninja and Thief, but Blue Mage is still a work in progress, as I have to decide what I even want to go for there.

Beyond getting geared and glamoured up, I’ve gotten Paladin to level 60 for its Artifact Armor, which is a goal of mine that’s nearly as old as FFXI itself, gotten enough Job Points to earn Ninja’s special Utsusemi: San spell (which was in the game’s files but not available to players for much of my original time with the game so many years ago), and finished the Treasures of Aht Urghan mission storyline. Finishing ToAU got me really in the mood to spend more time in the expansion’s hub city, Al Zhabi (which has always been my favorite city in the game), and I’ve started farming the expansion’s Salvage content for Alexandrite (used to make the game’s Mythic weapons), which I’m selling to fund my own Empyrean weapon (FFXI‘s version of Kannagi) for Ninja.

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FFXI‘s ultimate weapon questlines have continued to receive updates over the years so that they all remain relevant in the game today, in marked contrast to FFXIV‘s, which are unceremoniously retired at the end of each expansion. That’s meant that my longterm goal of finishing FFXI Alahra’s Kannagi is still relevant, and I think I’m finally resolved to put the time in to finish it. Large chunks of the game’s ultimate weapon questlines come down to massive gil investments—while the required materials can be farmed, the requirements are steep enough that the various items form a huge portion of the game’s economy—and I’m on the worst gil stage for an Empyrean weapon, so I need a lot of gil (especially since the Heavy Metal Plates I need are one of the more difficult relic items to farm)! But I actually don’t mind that at all, as it gives me a really meaningful goal to work toward in the long term.

And that’s largely what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks! I’ve recently been dipping my toes back into FFXIV, though, with my Astrologian being a Roulette or two away from finally hitting 70 (and then I can get the lovely Constellation Top). I’m pondering a few other glamours, too, including some patron requests and what I’m going to do for a Fantasia Spotlight this month, and I hope to have those up before too long!

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