It’s been a good month since the release of the newest expansion pack for Square Enix’s flagship MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI. Seekers of Adoulin has already added new zones, several new gameplay mechanics, two new job-classes for players to enjoy and promises of much much more in time. The slower pace of Final Fantasy XI allows for players to take part in sweeping, epic narratives that take their characters from the political intrigue of their hometown all the way to fighting the primordial guardian at the source of all worlds.
The new expansion Seekers of Adoulin, oddly enough, sends players to the western island nation of Adoulin. Having just lifted the national policy of isolationism, recent growth and population concerns in Adoulin have the local guilds setting their eyes on colonizing the vast lands of the nearby continent… but breaking a centuries old pact to do so.
However, it’s also this slower pace that tends to polarize the gamer base. A new expansion is normally unveiled piece by piece, in measured steps, over the course a year or two. So while there’s always new content and adjustments with every update, players may not see the true “endgame” content for several months down the line. While some of the newer players as well as the more jaded veterans of FFXI dislike having to wait, others find the pacing itself builds a sense of anticipation and fervor for the next update. Combined with the new frequency of update patches (once a month versus four times a year), this is a completely new state of affairs players find themselves in.
The Final Fantasy XI dev team has a new update planned for Monday, the bulk of which seems to be a new event to prepare adventurers for further content down the line.
In Delve, up to 18 adventurers are tasked with clearing out several menaces that lurk within areas that are only cryptically referred to as “fractures.” Players have the choice to fight boss monsters in the field, somehow weakening their influence and eliminating their presence in the fracture, or they can choose to charge in and fight them all within, ostensibly netting better rewards after the battle.
Win against the fracture’s boss, and you’ll get special equipment which can be further upgraded by using items acquired from fractures. Delve equipment also follows along different paths of growth, allowing players to customize the gear to their playstyle and role in a party.
The April update is scheduled for April 29, lasting from 1:00pm to 3:30pm Eastern time.