FFXI -V: What Am I Even Doing?


What even is this?

I’m totally blaming this on Massively OP’s article about FFXI. You don’t know how odd it is for me to write FFXI and not FFXIV. I’m freaking out right now. XD

Anyhow. I’ve kicked around the idea of checking back in on FFXI because… I just feel like I never had any closure with the game. I’ve heard how much better it is for solo players and how great the story is and all the improvements. I even had it added to my Steam list for a while, but then took it off because I figured… nah.

Well, after reading that article above and some of the comments, I got really curious. They said you could maybe still find your old characters on your PlayOnline account. Now, over the years, I actually made two PlayOnline accounts. One was my original FFXI account, and then when I bought the expansion box, I got a second account that I activated for the free 30 days and such.

I started looking through documentation and it seems that you now need to link your Play Online account to the Square Enix account, the same as the one I play FFXIV with. So, I dug out my old boxes knowing that I kept everything, including the manual where that cryptic 6 digit account code was scribbled, along with the account password. To my surprise, I was able to transfer both of my Play Online accounts to my new SE account.


I was astounded to see that the character on my oldest account was deactivated just a little over 10 years ago, but still there. In fact, I had an Aywren character on both accounts still there. Though, because I hear that Asura is one of the most active servers, I went with that one.

Of course, it wasn’t enough just to poke around to see if the character was still there. I had to figure out if I could download the game (I could). And then when I ran it, Play Online needed an update. I was amused at the fact that I had Play Online emails that dated back to 2006 as well. XD

The whole blended PlayOnline/SE account login interface is pretty clunky, though. Then, when I clicked Play, nothing happened because I had no character activated. So, I said, what the heck, and activated one. I hit Play and was instantly transported back to over a decade ago… when the game took over 8 hours to install updates after you just finished installing it for the first time.


Bummer. 🙁

I guess I’ll leave it on overnight and deal with my curiosities in the morning. 🙂

Anyhow. I currently only have up to the Chains of Promathia expansion on this account. I’m not sure if I’m actually going to play this game in any sort of serious way, but I did want to revisit it at least once more, especially since it’s seen the last of its story updates. I’ll be sure to blog about my steps back in time to a game I haven’t seen in over 10 years.


  1. Did they ever implement the mouse-and-keyboard controls they were talking about? And what’s happening with the port to Mobile? I never did more than dabble in FFXI but if it ever appears in some format that doesn’t have a UI that drives me insane I’d be willing to give it another run.

    1. Not sure about either of these. From the short time I’ve played it, it doesn’t seem mouse and keyboard friendly, though. I’m going to try it with a controller next time.

      1. Hii. Not sure if this is any help, but since launch I’ve found it easiest to play with keyboard exclusively. It takes a bit of tinkering to get it just how you like it, but once you do, you can lay back and relax with a keyboard on your lap (or desk) and have a really solid experience.

        1. Thank you for the suggestion! I’m discovering the same thing – you can do everything mostly with the keyboard… it’s just very hard to break the habit of reaching for a mouse for everything!

  2. I’ll look forward to seeing this. I snagged a copy of FFXI on some Steam promotion one Christmas (2012 maybe?) and tried it for the one month but the game was so confusing to play and yeah, well I couldn’t kill ‘anything’ solo 🙁

    As for the PlayOnline thing, that’s an abomination of terrible UI design right there…

    1. There’s these things called Trusts, which I will cover in an article coming up, that allow you to solo so much better. But it doesn’t fix the underlying UI issues or controls. I’ll write about that, too.

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