Posted in FFXI, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXI: Return to Vana’diel – In Excenmille We Trust (Solo-Friendly FFXI!)

I return to Vana’diel after not having played FFXI for over a decade. Here are my adventures!

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Meet my new Trust-buddy!

So remember how in my previous post I mentioned that I noticed that the Red Mage character I rolled over 10 years ago had 8 hours sunk into her, but only had 4 levels? Well, when I got back to town, and visited my Mog House, I noticed the inventory there was stuffed full with fishing gear, rods and bait. I also noticed that her fishing skill had been leveled.

Then I realized that my character had 65K gil on her! Now, this isn’t very much, I know, but for a brand new character, that’s quite a bit to start with. I used to love fishing in FFXI and remember when selling fish at the AH was profitable. Now I know what this character did for 8 hours – fishing and selling fish stacks for gil!

I’m glad I decided not to reroll her! 🙂

Trusts

FFXI has been known over the years as a not very solo-friendly game. In fact, it was the forced grouping that pushed me away all those years ago. I’m a shy player, and I like being able to make progress at my own pace. FFXI didn’t quite mesh with that playstyle, but I’ve heard that it’s done a lot to help leveling players handle older content on their own.

One big thing that I researched before coming back to the game were Trusts. This reminds me a whole lot of Guild Wars’ Heroes/Henchmen system. You bond with NPC heroes, and this allows you to summon an alter-ego version of themselves when out in the world. They have their own jobs and skills, and level up as you do (though you need to resummon them when you level).

In the beginning, you can summon up to three Trusts at a time (granted that you’ve unlocked them). This means you can put together your own NPC parties to help you out with lower level content! And I am having a TON of fun with this!

My First Trust

Since I’m in San d’Oria, I had to find the Trust quest giver, Gondebaud, who offers a quest upon reaching level 5. This was a simple quest – just go and talk to someone named Excenmille. This fellow is apparently a pretty powerful hero, and he also seems to be quite full of himself. 😉

Since I never leveled very far into the story of FFXI so long ago, I never experienced the text and tone of the game. This was the first time I really got to see some of the more recently-written NPC dialogue, and I found it pleasantly amusing. In fact, it reminded me a lot of the feeling of FFXIV writing.

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Okay, so he’s a bit vain. But I can put up with that. The dude can fight. He can heal. And I feel like 100% more confident of myself running around with a partner at my side.

We just ran around that forest and slaughtered everything, even the things that I used to be afraid of. Vengance! I was just having so much fun beating on things that I didn’t even notice that I was continuing to level, but I hadn’t picked up anything beyond the starter gear. So, I headed back to town to gear up.

I wasn’t yet aware that Quests and RoE existed yet… so I was doing things the old-skool way. I went to the armor shop and purchased a set of leather gear. XD

I’ll blog about Sparks and RoE later, but just know that there’s a better (and cheaper) way of gearing up now, but I had no idea about it at this point. I didn’t care, though. I was proud of my new gear and happy to finally bank the starter stuff.

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I was still exploring town, buying my spells, and re-learning my way around. I noticed there were all sorts of Home Points around the city I was unlocking for the first time — I can’t remember if these existed before? But they work a lot like the Aetheryte system in FFXIV, allowing you to warp around from one part of the city to another.

I went back outside to work on a little more leveling, and that’s when I first discovered the Field Manuals. But that’s a story for another post! 🙂