Final Fantasy XI: Diary 3 (4/28/2024)

Welcome back to my FF11 diary! It's been nearly a month since I made the last update. Since I think I've laid enough groundwork in the previous entries, we can get right into what I've been doing for the last 30-some hours since the last entry.

First note of business: I became a Dark Knight after getting Warrior to level 50! I enjoy the class fantasy and have a general affinity for the word Knight, so I was drawn to this extra Job. Each 'extra' Job (that is, Jobs outside of the starting six) all come with a quest to unlock them. After that, you can choose to be them at any time, and assign a sub-job. The Dark Knight quest was amusing enough, you are given an evil Great Sword and asked to kill 100(!) things with it. Not as bad as it sounded, since anything counts towards the 100. It took less than an hour.

I knew it would do so, but this had the side effect of me needing to level Dark Knight from level 1 to catch back up to where I was as a Warrior. I would be a far stronger character for it though, with a Warrior subjob that would grow with me along the way. I enjoy easy-going leveling, and at this point I could much more confidently navigate around the world to catch back up. I still spread this out over a fair number of play sessions, so it took about a week to get back to 50 as a DRK.

Getting access to spells was cool for flavor, but elemental magic is a whole other skill, just like how I explained weapon skills in the last diary. This means that it's not terribly effective at first, and truthfully, the elemental part is just not super important to a DRK. There's actually a large number of Magic skills! That surprises me, but I suppose it makes sense!

Limit Breaks

This is, sadly, where the game starts to crawl. Are my relaxing days of freely leveling and unlocking tons of convenience over? When you start the game, you are capped at a level of 50. After that, every five(!!) levels are locked away by Limit Break quests. I don't have many positive things to say about this feature of the game. Because leveling is relatively fast (now, anyway), you're gonna have to stop what you're doing and get these out of the way at your earliest convenience.

You probably had the same fear as me: "Do I lose any EXP earned if I hit my level cap?"
The answer, unfortunately, is yes. It's gone. It doesn't get added to your total after you break your limit. I found this particularly frustrating, as I ended up slaying a metric ton of monsters as I was stuck at level 50, trying to unlock 55.

I admit, there's a huge lack of foresight from me on this. Had I bothered to use items like Silent Oils and Prism Powders, much of the first limit break would have gone a lot faster. Why I ignored the very clear instructions is anyone's guess. I'm pretty sure I just decided I could get through everything with Trusts. Which was true, mostly, for a while, but it made things slow, very slow.

In my defense, though, look at how many locations you need to visit, and items you to obtain! Just for 50 to 55, the very first limit break? Yeesh! It seems like a bit much. This was broken up by me into a few days progress.

Around this time, you're also able to begin questing for your Artifact Armor. This Job-specific armor gives you the iconic look you'd imagine for Final Fantasy! It's awesome class fantasy to be sure, and with the game's Lockstyle command, you can wear these even way after their usefulness as equipment. As of this writing, I've got the Scythe and the Legs for Dark Knight. I wanted to go get these basically as soon as I could, but...

Magicite and Whence Blows the Wind

This is when it got really, REALLY out of hand for me. I'll admit it, I thought it might be the end for me. In the Quickstart guide, it is recommended you do a major story quest and the 3rd Limit Break at the same time, since you visit the same locations, and nearly the exact same spots in some instances. That sounds like a great time saver, and it must be compared to coming back later, but oh goodness me.

Firstly, there is a lot of prerequisite work to do. This took a play session by itself, but no one prerequisite was particularly annoying. Do not let the bullet point nature of the guide fool you. The maps are greatly appreciated, but it's a fair amount more traveling, sneaking around, (or fighting, if you are a fool as I am) than it appears!

Navigating Davoi, even with a map, ended up being a huge mess for me. To enter the area where both quest objectives are, you have to take an Orb around to four different ponds on the map. Have fun circumnavigating this place at least once. Not to mention, I would frequently die even with my full party of trusts. So, it was time to use those sneaky-sneaky items. Still, that caused its own hiccups. You have to apply the Invisible effect on yourself last, as most actions you try to take with the effect will either not happen or cancel your Invisibility. I did not catch onto this right away.

I spent about 3 hours just on the Davoi section. I was pretty depressed by this! It was dawning on me what a lonely experience I was having, lately. I hadn't palled around with anyone since the last diary entry. The irony of this is not lost on me. I called FF14 "A single player game you play with other people" in the first diary entry. It was at this moment that I felt, leveling alone in FF11 is almost certainly worse than 14s. Or at the very least, it's unnervingly similar, bizarrely enough, for two games designed so far apart. But without my beloved Dungeons to link me up with other people, the joy I had felt from seeing my fellows in major cities and short dates was diminishing.

I Like Being Escorted

I mentioned in the Linkshell chat that I was feeling lonely and could use some help. Sure enough, gosh bless, in only a few minutes, an extremely high level White Mage came to assist me in the last two sections. This is why you should talk about your feelings! With this companion, we got the last two parts of the quest done in just an hour. I was elated. I could have kissed that guy, I was so grateful! Seems like my original story is starting to seep into my brain.

Supposedly, I've just passed two major road bumps by doing these two quests together, but my heart has started to sink. I was told by my escort that the subsequent Limit Breaks are far simpler. It's worth noting that you do not have to do Limit Breaks per Job. Once you get that level uncapped, you're good to go on that character forever.

As I write this, I have to say that if general game progress continues to be this slow, I can't see myself making it to the endgame. If playing with other people more easily is this far away, I fear another lonely spell and the time I have to dedicate. I do appreciate everyone that has helped me in matters large or small, of course! The first fifty levels were pretty fun, but what about the back half? We'll have to say! Hopefully, my heart will warm back up.

Current Play Time: 2 days, 11 hours, 17 minutes and 11 seconds.

See you next time! Logging out...

- James