Why people keep coming back to FFXI?

What SE did right.

With the latest attention focused to bannings, everyone would only really just go with their bat and just keep hitting SE of what they did. I do agree it was a little bit severe, and they wern’t putting them in the player’s shoe when it comes to doing stuff like this… but whatever SE is doing, they are ALSO doing something right. They are keeping their steady not too much up’s or down’s in their subscription (a little bit outdated though). For one thing they aren’t merging servers.

Being away for over 4 months now (with little bits of login for a quick hi) from FFXI, I’ve came to realize what is really keeping people playing FFXI. I can tell you it is NOT because of the gameplay. =)

However, it’s a bit sad how SE is now doing their 2nd MMO – Rapture. There are even rumors of how SE is trying to kill FFXI and just focus their energy on Rapture. :/

For those that don’t keep up with Mai stuff. I’ve been a FFXI and WoW player for quote some time. FFXI being 5 years and WoW just little past 2 years. I believe I’ve experienced what both games got to offer, experience end-game content and also invested a great amount of time in both community. I am still subscribed to both games.

Dragon Aery, Fenrir, Omen, FFXI

Dragon Aery – April, 2004 (Anyone Know these ppl?)

A Chat with Takalo/Roranora.

We had the greatest chat. For those who didn’t play long enough to know these people. Takalo was a very Pro TLW Taru, whereas Roranora and I was in Omen, both of these linkshells are consider the top-notch linkshell back in 2004. We discuss a few things which we think… kept people coming back including Takalo. (Yes, he reactivated it lol)

But whatever it is, we still chat over AIM. Why? Our past bonded people together. We get together, we talk about the epic good-old times doing WHM blink, maintain Provoke 15sec apart with 1 MainTank and 1 OffTank, skillchain and burst without dying. Those achievements of killing hard monster was hard-wired into our gaming experience, it was epic and.. it felt like those people made it all happen and without them… duh.. it wouldn’t have happened. Nowadays, that mob feels like exp mob. Rora even said it doesn’t even feel epic anymore to kill it. I agree :x

Dynamis Lord, Fenrir, FFXI

Last Dynamis with AscentantSky before Hades Transfer

The Smaller Community

I certainly feel that this played a big part in what keeping FFXI going. The smaller community. In WoW, each server can hold up to 10k people on each side. 10k Alliance 10k Horde. Yes, we kind of have that too… but our 10k is not active players. Those 10k are active players. In WoW, you are just a John Doe. If you are 1st on the server to get say.. a [item]44707[/item]. Yea you’ll be the well-known Takalo for a week but after that… it’s kinda gone and you are back to John Doe.

WoW constantly try to attract players by creating a point where players can play catch ups. First, it releases dungeons. Okay, you can get the hardcore people to go run for it. But then it waits until it releases the next set of Dungeons, just so the casual players can play catchups. So the 1337 ppl can get their e-peen in as well as keeping the casuals. It attracts casual players that way but not necessarily keeping them coming back.

This is where FFXI shines. If you are bad, you aren’t John Doe because… people will remember you and won’t invite you again for another bad exp party fuckups. If you are good, you aren’t John Doe again! There isn’t that many playing to begin with… so it’s really not that hard to remember names. Plus, you are only dealing with a couple hundred of players anyway… 3k on server at anytime, 1/2 JP’s.. then a ton of AFK’s, then you won’t really have that many walking around.

World of Warcraft's Name Change

World of Warcraft’s Name Change Screenshot

Your Permanent Identity/Character Attachment

Changing character face/name in FFXI is beyond possible. Well name.. if you change servers. So what does that mean? Your krama stays on that server ^_^; Especially how you don’t create a new char for each class/job, you keep your name so… it makes it easier to remember people. There’s good and bad to both system, but in terms of building community, of course a same name is better.

It’s like Tsunade who plays on FFXI. He can have 15 jobs and still be Tsunade. In WoW? Tsunadei, Tsunadeii, Kirika.. that’s already 3 char names. He might be well-known on Kirika for good tanking skills (which comes down to player skill), but then he won’t be recognized on Tsunadei… he’s good but since people can’t relate those 2 together. Player skill usually carries across other jobs they play because it comes down to one thing – they know wtf they are doing. Some people I know, both FFXI and in WoW, do not know wtf they are doing 24/7. I’m sure you all have someone in mind like that ^_^;

So what’s the deal with Leeroy Jenkins on the right? To those that don’t play WoW, Leeroy Jenkins is someone who was being an idiot and ran in like a noob when their guild is planning their attack. It’s kinda like “sorry to reference”, a WHM and Tazo in our linkshell who ran into KS99 like a noob, got Dragon Breath as first attack, smoked and rocked my KS99 orb to ashes. In WoW, they call it “don’t pull a Leeroy Jenkins” to reference to someone who ran in like a noob. Actually, Blizzard saw THIS YOUTUBE and found it funny, so you can now do a quest and… have the word “Jenkins” beside your name. Eg. “Kimiko Jenkins”. Yes, Blizzard watch YouTube too!

So Blizzard wanted to help people like Jenkins to lose their horrible krama. Well they provided a $10 name change! What does this mean? It allows people to use that server as one way to get rid of Krama =) Of course they say your friend will be notified, Friend List updated with new name and if you are on somebody’s ignore list, you’d still be on it. But at least people cannot relate you right away! Which overall makes WoW a more..asshole game than FFXI. But regardless, I’d still get assholes in our LS , they are pretty equally spread among WoW and FFXI.. I’d say both game 5% are asses. You get them both in WoW and FFXI. With 5% out of 3000 char, you are only looking at 15 assholes, In WoW, if 10,000 each people are on each side, then you are looking at 50 assholes. Which IMO is why people always say WoW is more of a kiddie game. You’re just exposed to more assholes but that’s because the server is big! There, another advantage or.. what SE did right. Keep it small.. so you keep assholes small too!

All this comes down to one thing… smaller community, same name… builds your character attachment. Having 6 different WoW characters… not so much. One Taru or 5 years? Oh yea.. that’d sure make you attached to the game.

*PS: I name change too!! =) Not for Krama (lol), but to make a more FFXi name :D You don’t have to believe it though :D
It’s now “Shantotto” from Majeev, which is how I got the screenshot of “SUCCESS” LOL.

Sheikh Manteel, Maiev, Fenrir, Goldsmithing

Sheikh’ Manteel [Maiev], Legendary :D

Gear Progress

FFXI took the approach of not replacing gear like WoW. In WoW, your shit becomes obsolete with every major expansion, and slightly obsolete with each version update. In FFXI, you can swap gear during combat, making a lot of gear being useful in “specific” purpose, making it more room to..collect gear. WoW’s only got 2 sets of gear, PvE or PvP. Well if you’re say a… Resto (healing) Druid and also a Tank Druid, then you might keep 4 sets of gear “PvE Tank, PvE Heal”, then “PvP Tank, PvP Heal”. Whereas in FFXI, you can have a glove to cast 1 spell, another glove to cast other spells, one for healing. There are just numerous more possibilities with gear swap capability.

With gear not being replaced as much, people feel like they aren’t that far behind and is always welcome back into the community even if it means just a few hours. Whereas WoW, when your shit becomes obsolete, you could either 1. feel like playing a lot or 2. an excuse to cut back on your hours or just don’t play at all.

So yea, the feeling of not being left behind from not replacing gear as frequent, is definitely one reason people keep coming back. They are always welcomed back because… they fit right into the community.

Delkfutt Mission, FFXI, Fenrir, Maiev

Forming an Alliance to Climb the Qufim Tower – 2004.

Account Policy

The fact they they “could” delete your account after inactivity is always one thing that keeps me or others bugged and keeps it being paid. Well what does that mean? You have no barriers to login when you already are paying for it. Whereas in WoW, once you stop paying, you kinda feel like… well it cost $15 to just chat to friends… This is one good way to keep people coming back… even if they are at the edge of quitting or stop playing. I know for one thing, Tazo would activate once every 3 months just to keep it alive =) She love what she put in, misses Tazo just… burnt out :)

To cut it short. Whatever SE is doing IMO, they are doing something right. Unlike other MMO who merge server after 3 months. FFXi been very steady. Not enhancing each server to hold people nor shrinking. Odin even had population problem. Regardless… the community in FFXI is what really “imo” keeps this game together. The gameplay… meh… it’s old, tiring. We really use this as a way to chat more than “really” enjoying the gameplay.

You might have another opinion :) By all means express it! But this is what we’ve all found (Takalo, who came back playing, Farkee, who also came back playing for a bit, Rora expressing his 2c about the game) was what keeping together :) It is a great community, and I wish SE would just really put some effort and healing this game up. Good ideas was brought up on BG (What’s keeping FFXI Alive / How do you Improve FFXI). Well whatever it is… I’m still paying so… whatever they are doing.. it works in keeping subscribers. After-all, businesses exists for the sole purpose of profits. It’s there =)

15 Responses to “Why people keep coming back to FFXI?”

  1. Oman says:

    Googling any ffxi related threads / blogs worth to read and here is you again haha.

    As for Rapture … who can afford (time/$)to play 2x MMORPG in parallel? Well at least not for me, and if there is no way to transfer / export / reborn in Rapture I might just have to kiss my taru goodbye w.

  2. Maiev says:

    Hihi :)

    Thank you for your kind word and ya! I was thinking the same.. if they can’t reborn our ffxi tarus to the new game… should jus call it GG.

    OR come WoW until u get bored :D the gameplay is there for sure :D

  3. Kimiko says:

    Maiev! I is not a Leeroy… =P~

  4. Etain says:

    The thing is, for every 1 person who wants to come back to FFXI, there are 1-2 more who are quitting or going “on break.” That’s half of why (imo) the numbers for FFXI have sort of stagnated instead of moving either up or down. It’s not a bad thing but, SE has a LOT to learn about running a game and interacting with their customer base (which is something Blizzard both succeeds and fails at, at the same time).

    Personally, most of the people I enjoyed playing with on a daily basis have moved on or quit, and with changes that SE made to the game that soured my experience… I’m moving onto something different. I like WoW, I’m having a lot of fun with it, and it’s a refreshing change from FFXI. When Falconfire and I were not married and living over 45 minutes apart, it was a nice way to spend time together and chat every night. Now that we’re married and living together… we don’t really play together so much because it doesn’t hold the same purpose (instead we sit on the couch and have marathon Guitar Hero sessions or play Super Mario Galaxy together). I realized I’m only playing FFXI these days out of obligation, and not so much because I’m having fun talking to people. I’ve kept in touch with a lot of former FFXI friends via IM or Facebook or whatever, so continuing to play SE for something I no longer enjoy seems… silly.

    Just my $0.02. :

  5. Maiev says:

    I realized I’m only playing FFXI these days out of obligation

    Well worded. That’s exactly what I felt like while I was leading. The gameplay just wasn’t there anymore. I like the people but it’s hard and doesn’t give it enough motives to play just to chat with people. I can chat with them like you said (FB, IM’s etc). But spending my time on it… just isn’t the same. I rather have “real fun”, such as playing another MMO, with a refreshed gameplay :)

    If I was in a more laid-back mode, I’d probably wouldn’t have gotten myself burnt out so quickly. Oh well! However, I do miss the Taru and keep wanting to go back :O! Damn Account Policy!!!

  6. Takalo says:

    Why do people keep coming back to FFXI?

    I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I tend to burn myself out everytime by playing too much of the game. For the past few years I have bounced around FFXI and WoW, and a little DoTA. I tend to burn my bridges, such a deleting characters or giving away all my items. Yet, I still come back.
    I suppose its out of boredom.

    I must say I have enjoyed WoW’s game play more, the fights in FFXI just dont feel as ‘epic’. or maybe I enjoy WoW more because I dont have to stand there for three hours to fight something, maybe. There are many fights I enjoy in WoW: Shade of Aran, The opera event and The chess event. (I name mostly Karazhan events since that is what I primarily did before I quit, though there are many more) Though, maybe I dont enjoy FFXIs as much simply because I only have a White Mage.

    Well, I forgot what else I wanted to say, so to end.. I do not know why I came back to FFXi, a few of my friends who still played have welcomed me back and helped me however they could. I suppose I might be having some fun, or I would not still be playing?

  7. Aislin says:

    I played FFXI for about a year in 2004, quit and went and played WoW for three years.

    I quit WoW two years ago and now I’m playing FFXI again.

    I’ve played a number of online RPGs, and the one thing that really drew me back to FFXI was SE’s consistency. In WoW, it was not uncommon for one update to make your character into a god, and for the very next update to nerf it into the dirt.

    I’ve been playing my new character on Ramuh server now for about seven months. My main job is Blue Mage, and the Blue Mage I play now is still the Blue Mage that was played when Treasures of Aht Urghan was released, and is still the same Blue Mage that I played that Saturday evening when I unlocked the job as a NIN36/WAR18.

    I could go on for hours as to why I believe FFXI is the “best of the bunch” in regards to online games, but I can say it quite well with one word, “depth.” In comparison, and I have experience in many games, WoW and more modern online RPGs are much more shallow.

    This shallowness, and as my friend puts it, “games so easy all you need is $60 and a pulse = autowin” has contributed to the rising popularity of WoW.

    For more “hardcore” gamers such as myself–the type who get a lot of enjoyment out of a challenge, that shallowness that seems to be overtaking gaming as a whole is rather depressing. It is nice to know that even among all the games that are too easy or too short to be worth the sixty bucks, there are some that still offer depth and complexity of play.

  8. Maiev says:

    Well yea, WoW is shallow.. but then there are a lot of people who plays because a lot of people just really want a game to bum around, hop on the bandwagon or simply, because 70% people are casual players in the world.

    However, FFXI’s hardcore-ness is what bonds people together. You really got to work together. Especially exping. Although over the years, stuff turned into a TP spam… still, it still needs others to form a party and go exp :)

    Both worlds have their goods and bads, and obviously we can’t have both worlds :) so there are the FFXI-ers and the WoWers :D but for me.. I think I enjoy the… fact that u play with people a lot =) just about everything (well other than soloing lol). even skillup u play with people :D hehe

  9. Robo-tosho says:

    Hi everyone,i was reading through out this site, everything is great. I just droped wow with a few lvl 60s and i deleted everything because FFXI is on my mind. i have gone on and of a few times now with FFXI and dont really know why i drop it. I want it back, but the last time i played their was a small amount of people who played, this can make the game very hard to lvl or just have fun. so my question is, is it worth it? Is their enough people in the servers any more?

  10. Machupichu says:

    Very good insight and a nice reading indeed. I never play WOW (I don’t think they ever will), so thank you for nice introduction to Leeroy Jankins.

    Let me hear your thoughts about FFXI moving forward to “Rapture”. Will it bring mass exodus or give people excuse to quits (relates to your point about gear) or you think people will hogs to the old FFXI like what happened with EverQuest.

    To be honest, I would have like it better if they could make transition bettween the two worlds. But from the screenies look like there won’t be Galkas, Mithras or Tarutaru in the new game. It look like Avalice and not vana’diel to me. Dearly me I will miss my Tarutaru-self /cry

  11. Maiev says:


    Hi :o sorry I totally missed your message :o didnt see it till now.

    FFXI.. well with the latest addon having quite a significant negative review, I’m not sure if i can say worth it for the content. Wings of Goddess still good but definitely not worth it to come back for ACP.

    However, if you got a lot of friends :o it could be worthwhile. The servers are staying strong, however skewed to a few such as Odin and some other server. The subscription definitely isn’t keeping up as strong from the feel that I get (esp the amount of people who’s blog went to WoW related), but it’s still a nice game, and it’s got its own enjoyment with less people around (such as not so camped NM’s). :D

    I got bored myself… but maybe I will get back to it someday, when I have more time “in chunks”. Only problem with FFXI is… you can’t do shit unless you have a chunk of time :x which is the only thing I hate XD

  12. Maiev says:


    Here’s my take on it. Rapture is SE’s next MMO, but one fact remains, it’s not title as the “Final Fantasy”, hence they will not get that same type of support as FFXI did.

    If they make a bridge from FFXI to Rapture, then will take some of that fanbase there, but it might also kill FFXI with the amount of people being converted. IMO FFXI will stay as FFXI and Rapture will just be another MMO coded/developed by Squeenix. If there would be a transition, they would have named it FF17 Online or something.

    I also don’t think there will be a transition, because sometimes there are people that is just waiting for a new game, for a new start to be on the top. By starting some people off with relics, they are also discouraging a lot of people playing. They already have an advantage. :x

    FFXI is a good game, but it needs fresh minds and an upgraded graphics. WoW recently upgraded all the DAT files of equipment released with the latest expansion. SE could also do that just for all the stuff created starting from Wings of the Goddess. I’d personally even pay for a graphics update. (However, I wouldn’t pay for ACP).

    I still love FFXI, I read, talk and still do stuff closely related to FFXI… just not playing the game. It needs to…get an upgrade in fun content. Just my 2c :D

  13. Machupichu says:

    True, but isn’t “Rapture” just developmental codename for the next MMO? Because it is Avalice surely it would be name Final Fantasy upon release. But then I doubt they will transfer the service across the game.

    To main issue: I’m not sure what SE had learn from the FFXI service but the key issue that hold back FFXI is their support for PS2 (I call it The Chain of Playstation 2 lol).

    While I am agree that there are a lot of players on console. The fact remain that PS2 hardware doesn’t allow room for the game to be continuously evolve. things like loading screens should exist in this day and age but it is still apparent because there are limitation to what PS2 engine can do.

    I know that SE plan to release “Rapture” or whatever they will call it apon it release on Xbox 360 and PS3 as well as PC format but is it really wise? The game will eventually hit a snag and will never be as popular as WOW despite superior graphics etc.

    My other criticism is rigid job system. It only allows people to play in certain way. For example, PLD, when XPing people doesn’t expect you to come anything /WAR or without a shield. Ofcourse there are /NIN and /RDM but you won’t be using that until endgame with some god-gear (Haste, Haste, Haste, Fast Cast). Yes, you could only manipulate the way you play through gear other than that, no chance.

    While I like how FFXI make uses of gear to change play style. I still despise the rigidness of their job class system. For example, no matter what I do I cannot have any better hate tools than “Provoke” (I’m just talking about spike hate here – not to get too technical about it). More importantly, why must I play like that other PLD? And all ended up wearing the same gear and gunning for the same items? Why could I not have DD build as PLD? – This is the key issue with FFXI.

    I hope they fix this in their next MMO. But other than that I’d like them to keep all the good things you hand mention in you article.

    Lastly, I hope they would run the current service along with “Rapture”. With people moving to next-gen console. I hope people still remain with this one (Myself, I would keep this service while try out “Rapture”). If enough people stay with this game. They might consider overhaul the graphic of FFXI to make it up-to-date with current-generation graphic, don’t you think? Well, I hope so anyway, touch wood!

  14. Joe Bartell says:

    I really miss playing with my friends on ffxi. We played during college.

  15. Maiev says:


    Any contacts with them? I manage to find a few via AIM finder on facebook :D and we are meeting up in 2 weeks :D

    That’s always something I like about FFXI, you feel more bonded with people you play, that friendship seems more real than anything :)

    hehe that’s just how I feel though :)


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