Overall Battle System Adjustments for the Future

Although it's only been a few months in since Akihiko Matsui took over as producter of Final Fantasy XI following Hiromichi Tanaka's departure from the game, he's already been making great strides towards changing and improving Square Enix's first mmorpg. Today, Matsui released a comprehensive look at several planned changes towards XI's battle system, including overhauls to elemental magic, adjusting the potency of the recently added merit weaponskills, upcoming changes for several battlefields such as Legion and Voidwatch, and much, much more!

Let us know what you think of Matsui's planned changes, or what you think still needs worked on, over on the ZAM forums!


From the official Final Fantasy XI forums:


Thank you for the vast amount of feedback regarding battle.

We’ve received a variety of different adjustment suggestions and amongst them a suggestion for enfeebling. However, instead of thinking about this in terms of individual points, I’ve been reading over everything from the viewpoint of battle overall.

Towards the end of last year I made a series of posts about the plans we have; however, this raised the issue of requests for more specific, concrete details, which in turn made it difficult for all of you to hold discussions. With that said, from an overall battle system perspective, I would like to share a couple of ideas the development team is currently thinking about.

Please note that all of these ideas have not been finalized. Also, please know that the below is not the entirety of the overall battle adjustments.
We’d appreciate it greatly if you took the content listed here to not represent the cure-all solution, and see it more as things we will be doing while working to solve the issues.

Balance between two-handed and single-handed weapons

This is a topic that has been discussed in several threads, particularly one about making adjustments to single-handed weapons, and we would like to perform adjustments.

As has been mentioned, food and other choices are quite limited due to the fact that status modifiers are far greater for two-handed weapons and there is a higher need for accuracy when using single-handed weapons.

For example, we are currently looking into the possibility of adding some form of merit that would enhance the modifiers for the single-handed weapon main weapon slot.

Regarding Dark Knight

This is a topic that has been discussed in several threads, particularly one about dark knight being too powerful. As was commented during VanaFest, we feel dark knight is becoming powerful, and at the same time decided to put off the adjustments we had looked into at that time. I believe there are many who remember this.
We are currently looking to adjust Desperate Blows and Last Resort.

Currently, the haste cap for equipment and magic is the same for all jobs, but haste from abilities is a separate category outside of this cap, and Desperate Blows is the ability with the highest value of haste.

However, simply reducing the value of Desperate Blows would only cause dark knight to become weaker, so we are considering giving a portion of the total haste effect granted from Desperate Blows to Last Resort, and giving the remaining amount back to Desperate Blows.


Desperate Blows +25%


Desperate Blows +10% (*Value with 5 merit points)
Last Resort +15%

Simply put, this adjustment will allow you to gain this effect in the case you use dark knight as your support job.

While currently, it might be difficult to imagine the situations where a front-line job would select dark knight for their support job, we would like to look into this based on this possibility.

Regarding Defense

This is a topic that we have received feedback on asking to increase the boons of defense. Due to the attack/defense ratio, the meaning behind adding defense past a certain value starts to become pointless, and we would like to make it have meaning.

As a merit, for example, the more you increase your defense, the lower the damage taken will be and the boons for Defender would become large.
On the other hand, while under the effects of abilities that decrease defense such as Berserk or Last Resort, the damage you take would become higher than what it is currently.

Merit Point Weapon Skills

This is a topic we have seen in threads asking to increase the cap on the merit point weapon skill category.
Instead of adjusting the cap value, we are currently looking into adjusting the modifier values so that these weapon skills can be used with a single merit point.

We are envisioning to make it so 1 merit point will yield a 65% status modifier, and each point afterwards will grant an addition 5% for a maximum of 85% (no changes to the max value).

Elemental Magic

We have received a variety of feedback on elemental magic.
The first thing I’m thinking of doing is making adjustments to the damage calculations.

Here’s my current image of how elemental magic is going to work:
The damage output on earth element spells will initially be lower compared to the rest of the elements, but have the best cost performance overall. Also, INT will have an even larger impact on the damage output. As a result, players will basically try to raise their INT and magic attack to get closer to the damage output done by lightning element spells.

Breakdown by element

MP Efficiency: Earth > Water > Wind > Fire > Ice > Lightning
INT Offset: Earth > Water > Wind > Fire > Ice > Lightning
Initial Damage Output: Lightning > Ice > Fire > Wind > Water > Earth
Maximum Damage Output: Lightning > Ice > Fire > Wind > Water > Earth

Breakdown by spell tier

MP Efficiency: I > II > III > IV > V
INT Offset: V > IV > III > II > I
Initial Damage Output: V > IV > III > II > I
Maximum Damage Output: V > IV > III > II > I

The charts below explain my idea in detail.
* The magic attack does not include any offsets.
* “INT+0” and “INT+100” represents the INT difference between the caster and the target.


Tier I INT+0 INT+100
Before After Before After
Earth 10 10 42 160
Water 16 25 66 165
Wind 25 40 92 170
Fire 35 55 108 175
Ice 46 70 126 180
Lightning 60 85 149 185

Tier II INT+0 INT+100
Before After Before After
Earth 78 100 175 350
Water 95 120 195 355
Wind 113 140 213 360
Fire 133 160 233 365
Ice 155 180 255 370
Lightning 178 200 278 375

Tier III INT+0 INT+100
Before After Before After
Earth 210 200 360 550
Water 236 230 386 560
Wind 265 260 415 570
Fire 295 290 445 580
Ice 320 320 470 590
Lightning 345 350 495 600

Tier IV INT+0 INT+100
Before After Before After
Earth 381 400 581 850
Water 410 440 610 865
Wind 440 480 640 880
Fire 472 520 672 895
Ice 506 560 706 910
Lightning 541 600 741 925

Tier V INT+0 INT+100
Before After Before After
Earth 626 650 855 1200
Water 680 700 909 1220
Wind 734 750 967 1240
Fire 785 800 1014 1260
Ice 829 850 1058 1280
Lightning 874 900 1103 1300

As far as casting time and recast time goes, here’s my current idea:
- Tier I~V spells will all have same casting time / recast time.
For example, Tier I spells will have a casting time of 0.5 seconds and recast time of 2 seconds. Therefore, both Thunder I and Stone I will have the casting time of 0.5 seconds and recast time of 2 seconds.

The charts below explain my idea in detail.

Tier I MP Cost Casting Time Recast Time
Before After Before After Before After
Earth 9 4 1.5 0.5 6.5 2
Water 13 10 1.75 0.5 7.75 2
Wind 18 16 2 0.5 9 2
Fire 24 22 2.25 0.5 10.25 2
Ice 30 28 2.5 0.5 11.5 2
Lightning 37 34 3 0.5 13 2

Tier II MP Cost Casting Time Recast Time
Before After Before After Before After
Earth 43 36 3.25 1.5 14.5 6
Water 51 43 3.5 1.5 15.75 6
Wind 59 51 3.75 1.5 17 6
Fire 68 60 4.25 1.5 18.5 6
Ice 77 68 4.5 1.5 19.75 6
Lightning 86 77 4.75 1.5 21 6

Tier III MP Cost Casting Time Recast Time
Before After Before After Before After
Earth 92 64 5.25 3 22.5 15
Water 98 75 5.5 3 24 15
Wind 106 88 5.75 3 25.25 15
Fire 113 101 6 3 26.5 15
Ice 120 115 6.25 3 27.75 15
Lightning 128 129 6.75 3 29.25 15

Tier IV MP Cost Casting Time Recast Time
Before After Before After Before After
Earth 138 112 7 6 30.75 30
Water 144 129 7.25 6 32 30
Wind 150 148 7.5 6 33.25 30
Fire 157 169 8 6 34.75 30
Ice 164 190 8.25 6 36 30
Lightning 171 213 8.5 6 37.25 30

Tier V MP Cost Casting Time Recast Time
Before After Before After Before After
Earth 222 156 8.75 10 39 45
Water 239 182 9.25 10 40.25 45
Wind 255 210 9.5 10 41.5 45
Fire 270 240 9.75 10 42.75 45
Ice 282 272 10 10 44 45
Lightning 294 306 10.25 10 45.5 45

Please note that we will be making additional adjustments on elemental magic using this change as the foundation.

Regarding Content

To start off, we are looking into adjustments for new Nyzul, Legion, Odin's Chamber II, Voidwatch (up to Provenance Watcher), Salvage, and in the event there is further necessity, new Salvage as well.

Below is what we are looking into for adjustments.

New Nyzul

Adjustments to the warp range of floors


- Adjustments to monster levels
- Adjustments to attack power and defense

Odin's Chamber II

Adjustments to monster levels


Expand the usage range of the void clusters to Provenance (Provenance Watcher)


- Re-examine the drop rate of level 35 equipment
- Make a change so that monsters other than the NMs that spawn from ramparts in Bhaflau Remnants drop the same equipment

Walk of Echoes

- Adjustments to monster levels
- Remove EX status from each type of coin
- Add sacks that contain multiple Trick Dice and Liminal Residue

Past this, we will continue to make adjustments as necessary, and we will be making it so strategy and play style variations can be developed instead of having to win with a huge amount of fire power in a short amount of time.

While I am repeating myself, the above are by no means finalized. There are many other topics we are looking into at the moment (enmity, TP given to enemies, etc.), so I would appreciate it if you could read over all of this on the basis that there is a possibility that the implementation order and adjustment method changes.

Thank you very much.


Post Comment
# Feb 01 2013 at 5:25 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
What about RDM?
Really like what I am seeing...
# Jan 13 2013 at 10:37 PM Rating: Decent
64 posts
Being that DRK was my first love, I was always under the impression as I read the FF lore that DRK was suppose to be the hardest hitting of all the melee. I believe as time past other melees did not take to kind to this so changes had to be made. I suppose in retrospect what I am trying to say, after the first year DRK was released it became the most gimped melee in the game. Leveling it even to 75 was a tedious chore, I gave up DRK.

Lastly, there is one subject that was not mentioned and its hot off the press, Enmity & the value of tanking. While I am sure those here know where I stand on the subject & that is part of me feels there needs to be a change in the system & the way we play tank as gamers. I must admit I have played the game since day one & a bit old fashion on some of my points with that said I love the new and Embrace the old.
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