Despite the fact that Final Fantasy XI marks a drastic departure by taking the series online, Square is making an earnest attempt to make sure that fans of the seminal franchise will be comfortable in the game world. The company has recently announced that two staples of the series, crystals and classic jobs, will be present in the anticipated title.
Entrenched gamers will recognize the many classes that FFXI will present, those being: Warrior, Thief, Monk, White Mage, Red Mage, Black Mage, Knight, Summoner, Poet, Ninja, Samurai, Gunner, Hunter, Dark Knight and Beast Rancher.
Over the course of the title, gamers will be made to feel part of a real society. An increase in rank, which is accomplished by completing set tasks, will allow you to take on various, more senior societal and military positions, and there is an additional system that will let gamers form closer relationships with their online friends. This will be accomplished by passing a Link Shell to the person, who is then added to your list of friends and can be contacted by email.
The crystals will make a return as well, as one of the more important items available in Vana Diel. Eight flavors will be available, namely Fire, Water, Ground, Wind, Ice, Thunder, Light and Darkness. The crystals, which each have unique properties, can be used for a variety of surprisingly disparate purposes, ranging from food and medicine preparation to armor and weapon customization. Of course, this power won't come easy, and gamers will have to level up to unleash the latent crystal-utilizing powers within them.
Final Fantasy XI is currently slated to hit Japanese stores on April 27, for a recommended price of 7,800 ¥ (~$59). It should be noted that this price does not include the 500 - 1,280 ¥ monthly fee. Official North American launch details are not yet available, but look for that to change in the very near future.