Will FFXI Survive the Rapture?

FFXI Wikibase Editor Thayos deliberates the fate of Vana'diel after the announcement of Final Fantasy XIV.

It was a cold, quiet day in Jeuno.

The time was midday, but I can’t say whether the sun was out. The auction house and most of the concourse stood unusually empty. A few adventurers passed without words or a glance; they just walked by, shoulders sagging, eyes fixed forward.

My linkshell leader, Zarovich, was standing near me. He leaned against a wall, starring down at the concrete between his boots. I asked my leader what was wrong.

The world was ending, he said.

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A profound feeling of desperation pressed upon Jeuno like a giant, invisible fist. I watched silently as the remaining, scattered adventurers exited the city for the last time. Even Zarovich left, although I didn’t see him go. My head was swimming. I didn’t want it to end.

I was walking to the chocobo stables when I woke up.

In my five years of playing Final Fantasy XI, only a few times has the game ever occupied my dreams. That one stayed with me though. I was glad it was only a dream, that I wouldn’t have to say goodbye to my virtual world or the real friendships within it.

Now, though, that dream seems more like prophecy.

Count me among the masses of players who are excited over the upcoming release of Final Fantasy XIV, which has long been referred to as "Rapture" by the folks at Square Enix. Based on my experiences in FFXI -- and from what I know of Square Enix -- I believe the new game will be nothing short of spectacular. A new world awaits, and I plan on being there when it goes live.

That said, I also don’t plan on leaving Vana’diel. I wonder, though, what will Vana’diel be like after The Rapture?

With Eorzea on the horizon, what will happen to the virtual world we inhabit now? Square Enix has promised at least one more year of new content, but what happens after that? Will the development team invest in an entirely new expansion to keep the game fresh? How long will Altana’s adventurers remain without significant, new content to experience and overcome? Are we almost at that point when the loathed question “is FFXI dying” is actually a valid question?

It’s too early to know whether the dawn of Eorzea will spell the end of Vana‘diel. There are too many players across too many servers for FFXI to die entirely, at least anytime soon. It wouldn’t surprise me if FFXI lived on for years to come.

Yet I can’t shake the feeling that a storm is coming. It started a few months ago when several in-game friends ended their FFXI careers. Their exodus didn‘t leave many members in our old social linkshell, and nobody left had the time available to lead. Rather than see our linkshell fade into oblivion, we decided to end it while we still had an ounce of strength left.

My Vana’diel experience has suffered without my longtime friends. Gone are the days of long linkshell chats, hilarious inside jokes and random late-night adventures. I still do dynamis, I still do campaign and I still try to help people with quests and missions when I can.

Without my friends, though, I often feel like I’m just going through the motions -- and more than ever I find myself asking why.

The Rapture -- the day when Final Fantasy XIV goes live -- will take many more adventurers from Vana’diel.

Some people will leave Final Fantasy XI to concentrate fully on the new game. Some will try to play both games, limiting the time they can spend with friends in Vana’diel. Others will keep playing until they’ve reached the end of the storyline or accomplished their in-game goals. Some will just stop playing.

Many adventurers who remain in Vana’diel will struggle with the same feelings I’ve faced during the past few months. That will cause more people to quit, which will cause more people to struggle, which will cause more people to quit.

Who knows how deeply this exodus will affect the game. If the cut is deep -- and I think it will be -- then the impact will be felt in all corners of Vana’diel.

What will happen to endgame linkshells as longtime leaders leave for the new game? Will larger groups merge before FFXIV to bolster their numbers to preemptively make up for people leaving?

Will the dawn of Eorzea be the sunset for new players in FFXI? The influx of new players is already at a trickle. Without new blood, will small social linkshells survive?

Veteran crafters who long ago reached their peaks in Vana’diel may migrate to the new game for a fresh start at striking it rich. Who will be left to create needed items and consumables in FFXI? And what will happen to the game’s economy?

Will the day come when you get more /tells from BroGames than you get from your friends?

Nothing quite like this has happened in the MMO world. Yes, I know, a certain 10-year-old game called Everquest is still being played (and updated) years after its sequel, Everquest II, hit game store shelves. The population of Everquest supposedly took a substantial hit once EQII went live, but players who felt more at home in Everquest eventually trickled back to the original title.

However, many Final Fantasy XI players are not hardcore MMO gamers -- they are hardcore Final Fantasy fans.

We have been trained since the 1980s to buy and conquer the next Final Fantasy challenge. Even when given a game we don’t like (as I slog my way through FFXII), we still play through until we reach that ending cutscene. I liken the Final Fantasy series to a series of books. True fans want to read every single page.

Honestly, I don’t think it matters whether FFXIV pales in comparison to Everquest II. What matters is there was only one Everquest game before EQII. Meanwhile, there have been numerous Final Fantasy titles released across several different systems over the past two decades. We have grown up with Final Fantasy, and it seems logical we will continue to do so. To me, that indicates the playerbase shift from FFXI to FFXIV could be far more dramatic than the shift from EQ to EQII.

I’m very eager to experience Final Fantasy XIV. Those of us who are swept away by Rapture will be digitally reborn in a new, vibrant world.

Meanwhile, those left in Vana’diel will face Judgment Day. Many will be forced to make the ultimate decision: leave with their friends, or walk the world alone?

There’s plenty to love about Final Fantasy XI, but the best parts of the game are not dropped by monsters or added in with new expansions. It’s the people, the friendships, the memories and our virtual sense of purpose that compel us to keep logging in.

I won‘t give up on Vana‘diel. There are people who will keep playing until Square Enix literally rips the controls from their hands. That alone might be enough for SE to keep some servers running.

Still, I keep thinking back to that dream I had so long ago. Beyond Rapture and Judgment Day, is that the end that ultimately awaits those who stay? Or will the children of Altana carry on, even though drastic changes seem inevitable?

When the world ends, I plan to be in Valkurm Dunes, in that small cave west of Selbina. That’s where the game began for me, and fittingly, that’s where it will end. In my dream, I suspect that’s where I was going before I woke up.

In reality, I hope I won’t be heading there anytime soon.


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#REDACTED, Posted: Jun 14 2009 at 12:59 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) ok i was alright with your "main post" about the new game coming out with a few comments that made me question your actual intellect due to the "ffVII" comment your obviously one of those brain dead morons that have NO concept of a good story and great character creation, after reading your halfwit comment i had to actually create an account just to flame your stupid ***. so from now on when reading ANYTHING on this site i will just remember to pass by anything this **** for brains writes. ya take care , let me guess ffx was a great game to you and x-2 is your second fav.? ........ ******, ppl like you shouldn't be able to comment about games if your obviously that much of a idiot and wouldn't know a good game if it came and dropped it self on your door stoop. ffvi had the BEST magic system ( as opposed with ffviii gay as "steal" magic ******** system)no to mention the epic shinra story behind it all, Again your a idiot and your seed should be stricken from the earth, ppl with your brain mass are ment for games like WoW where ppl with the attention span of monkeys belong! If ffvii was SUCH a ****** game genius then explain to me why it is the ONLY one ppl want remade for the ps3 and the only one with multiple side stories? yea go back tell your mommy that you need to be breastfed more because you obviously need your mothers milk to help form more brain cells for solid thought patterns you F'ing idiot. please save us all a lot of stress and stfu and don't make anymore post's on your "opinion" you over paid hac. go ahead and flame my if u want lol but we all know it's true ( like anything a ****** would say is gonna offend me anyway LOL, but after this post I'll never return to this dip **** inhabited site obviously written by ppl that have no ******* clue, maybe you should apply at SE you would fit right in!
this topic and it's main "reporters" FAIL!
# Jun 15 2009 at 6:47 AM Rating: Good
I love how "thewiggum" made an account JUST to flame this person and call him stupid, but "thewiggum" can't even spell or adhere to basic grammar. Ahhh, irony. :) Don't pay any attention to "thewiggum," Thayos.
this topic and it's main "reporters" FAIL!
# Jun 15 2009 at 8:54 AM Rating: Excellent
41 posts
Actually the grammar and spelling arn't even an indicator here. No one else in the thread or article voiced an opinion on FFVII, that being the reason for thier little diatribe.

However we can only presume they can't read that Thayos is not a fan of XII...
#REDACTED, Posted: Jun 14 2009 at 12:46 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I hate to say it tho, but for a lot of people, the day already came and passed... FFXI will die eventually and all you addicts will have to turn to project XI (private servers) to get your fix
we've seen this before
# Jun 13 2009 at 4:32 AM Rating: Excellent
86 posts
Honestly I don't think FFXI will suffer as much as people think when FFXIV comes out. Remember back in 2004 when Everquest 2 came out? The EQ servers lost a lot of population only to slowly get it back over the next couple of months.

Why? Because home will always be home. Right now we're left on the lurch as to how EXACTLY the gameplay in 14 will work, but what we do know is the SE will be taking steps to make it more accessible, which to some is a candy coated way of saying "easier". Not to suggest that SE would make it WoW-like in nature, but compared to XI it will probably be an overall easier experience.

Not everyone wants that of course. FFXI players are much different than the current generation of MMO players. There is no easy mode in Vana'diel, and the community likes it that way.

So what will happen? You'll see a sudden drop in population when 14 goes live followed by a steady incline until a plateau is reached. And as long as there is a solid population in a game content will follow (see Everquest and its millions of expansion packs).

Worst case scenerio: server merges to keep the populations in balance. Even that is a survivable event.
we've seen this before
# Jun 13 2009 at 4:29 PM Rating: Default
When you said the storm is coming, I just thought of that one anti-gay marriage commercial, and had to stop reading lol...
# Jun 12 2009 at 11:18 PM Rating: Good
656 posts
Although they will continue to develop new content, there is the reality we're faced with: just how good (and be honest) were WoTG and ACP compared to Zilart, CoP and ToAU? They really and truly were not of the same caliber.

Actually nothing will compare to COP's content and definitely it's storyline. Zilart was close imopo (in my own personal opinion). and although yes the missions were hardrer than ^%$# to complete (i HAD to lvl RNG to 60 to even get past the promies, rivernes, etc...)

Getitng left behind by three separate "COP linkshells" (lol clique catering bullsh*t XD)

and finally being able to not only outlast 3 other members of the PT i went with on Promathia, but kiting the fool successfully (me and Prishe) after our NIN and WAR went down to allow our mages to reraise and regain HP, heck taking around 20-25% of its HP me and Prishe was one of the funnest moments in the damn entire storyline, by far a real fun fight as THF, especially with her spamming cures and tossing me a well times icarus wing on me to self SC ^ ^

there's simply no other expansion that even comes close to COP, and it's completion reward was pretty good as well.

Sure there are some people that go around saying "I beat it back when it was hard" and all that jazz, but lets be honest, the missions, whether they're harder today or not, and whetehr you get a measly exp bonus for redoing certain BC's, there's just no other storylin elike it, and it actually surprised me that square would put so much work into an online game storyline, complete with a real good song closer at the end.

for that expansion alone, and probably nothing else, I applaud Square.

Kinda how like Halo made the XBOX what it is today, in the sense that "one killer game can make a system, and make it's mark" then if Square can manage to pull that off to some extent in FF14, whether it be it's first storyline, its job system, whatever, then they can truly hook some people towards 14 and give 11 (and it's recent lame expansions) a run for its money.

Edited, Jun 13th 2009 3:18am by KazumeSR
looking forward to the new content
# Jun 12 2009 at 7:17 PM Rating: Decent
53 posts
i will miss the few friends i will be leaving behind, bu for me having played since day one on the pc, i have already lost allot of my friends, people, who disappeared, people who got themselves banned for w/e reason and people who just gave up because real life intruded upon them forcing them to leave. w/e the reason many of my friends have left for over the years its not the same with the n00bs, the current generation of ffxi players leaves a bit much to be desired, i cant talk to them about Fafnir/nidhog, i cant tell them about epic battles with jormy, or fighting gods in sky, most of them will never experience it the way us old timers did, back when it was fresh and new, back before rangers were nerfed, back before the AP cap was introduced, back when whm's and rdm's stood on equal footing for random party invites.

i miss my friends and this new game, gives me a fresh start to make new friends to learn new content, to join new battles, and to see stuff for the first time with others who are seeing it that way as well.
I Will Proudly Serve
# Jun 12 2009 at 11:32 AM Rating: Decent
Well I cant speak for every new player or for anyone that plans on joining but I have just started the game and I feel its everything that I have ever wanted to play. The friends I've made already are as close as my friends outside the game. A bunch of my friends irl have all banded together and are going out and purchasing this game despit everything we've heard and what all the game stores are saying now. We want to keep this dream alive. I will proudly play this game and stand beside anyone that stays until the day SE shuts everything down. Until then..... I'll be lvling my WAR and my WHT because I have a feeling when the day of Rapture comes every last person will be needed. I just know all the Raise spells in all the worlds wont be enough to fix whats going to happen.
I Will Proudly Serve
# Jun 12 2009 at 4:11 PM Rating: Decent
826 posts
Although they will continue to develop new content, there is the reality we're faced with: just how good (and be honest) were WoTG and ACP compared to Zilart, CoP and ToAU? They really and truly were not of the same caliber.

It's been obvious to even the fanboys that the dev. team has been divided in their efforts for awhile now. Do you honestly believe they'll continue to focus equally once a large influx of new players hits FF14? Think about it. Not only will the customer services be overwhelmed for a few months, but all the bugs, updating, patches, et. al that will consume most of the first year of the new MMO. FFXI will still receive attention, but only on the level it deserves in terms of profitability.

Many veteran FFXI players are well aware of these facts and have already decided a hardcore yes or no to leaving. While FFXI will not die out, you can be assured there will need to be some redesign of the system 'as it is', following the wake of FFXIV. I would bet all my gil that SE would not release a 'WoW solo-fest' as many are claiming it will be.

Despite their plethora of mistakes made with FFXI, SE deserves credit for their quality of games both in and out of the MMO genre.

That alone is the reason many people will leave. It's time for something new and mostly fresh.
Goin down swingin.
# Jun 12 2009 at 6:14 AM Rating: Good
If it does end, I plan on going out with either my scythe drawn to an enemy or eating dirt, hopefully with my favorite insane friends next to me.

Better be a goddamn scythe in XIV.
:( :)
# Jun 12 2009 at 6:10 AM Rating: Good
this post takes me back to when and how i started. had a couple friends playing ff11 telling me to go get it but i had no money for it at the time. a week later my sisters husband tells me he plays it too but doesnt like it so he just gave it to me :D haha. been playing for about 2 years now and my sisters husband play WoW...obviously if FF11 was too hard haha. he constantly asks me why i play this old ****** game, i always tell him the same thing, "FF11 is for fans of the whole FF series, and WoW is for little kids and ppl who dont want a challenge." he gets offended and starts listing off reasons why WoW is better its pretty funny. i do wish they just called it FF online or something, cuz now it makes it that you cant play 1-12 unless you have an online membership...well too much typing for me im gonna go play some FF3!! woooo

# Jun 12 2009 at 4:52 AM Rating: Excellent
I have all intentions of migrating personally. I think everyone has one real friend on ffxi after playing it for around 4 years. Mine is the retarded I'm a moron (jk) from Alexander, Wie. We've both played off and on for a long time now, we text one another, were both on facebook, and I really don't think Id have a problem going to a Braves game and chillin with Wie. Our endeavors in Vana'Diel have been mostly fruitless, but nevertheless they have been so memorable that they are a cherished part of my life. Wie ranks up with one of my best friends, someone I can always call or talk too. Sure, maybe hes a few hundred miles away, but it doesn't matter because friendship knows no bounds. Lol just yesterday when we heard about 14 we sold a bunch of our old gear to do stuff weve always wanted. Im going to level pup, hes going to level cor. Why? No reason. I think of it as...knowing your going to die and just going skydiving, rockclimbing, soloing pup, etc. We know were both going to be rockin 14 when it hits shelves so why not? Lets just hope for male mithra, ever since seeing Lehko Ive wanted to play a male mithra thf or rdm soo bad lol.

All in all thought I hope ffxi doesnt die. I have a lot of memories in there. But Im all for trying something brand new. Heres to hoping female taru have bewbz.
Headline Graphic
# Jun 12 2009 at 3:37 AM Rating: Excellent
ROFL. The graphic is honestly the best EVER. LOVE IT!! Thanks for cheering up my Friday morning!!! :D
# Jun 11 2009 at 11:33 PM Rating: Decent
Reading this post made me thing back to when I first started. The player that brought me into my first linkshell, and the people I've met and befirended over the years. How we've traveled through the lands and defeated monsters, accomplish goals, and just grew into each other's life. Just as others have notice, you either stay friended with the people you know or venture of to others for more missions and you eventually find more people with a common goal. What I want to say is that if this were to happen to people, never forget those who have been there to help, even from the begining. I know I won't.
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