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Final Fantasy XI Starter Pack Q&A with Yasu Kurosawa

The Anime Expo 2007, which took place this past weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center in California, brought not only a host of FFXI activities but the exciting release of the Final Fantasy XI Starter Pack for Windows. We were fortunate enough to get more information about the Starter Pack from Yasu Kurosawa, North American Online Producer:

Allakhazam.com: The decision to make this starter pack is quite a jump; especially considering the price ($3.99). What influenced your decision to do this?

Yasu Kurosawa: We wanted to make the first step into FINAL FANTASY XI easier. We would like to welcome people who are familiar with other Final Fantasy titles and have yet to try FINAL FANTASY XI, people who play other MMOs, and even more types of new people.

Allakhazam.com: A concern for lack of publicity has repeatedly come up within the Allakhazam.com community, what type of marketing will we see for the starter pack and where will potential new players be able to purchase it?

Yasu Kurosawa: We are planning to have FINAL FANTASY XI Starter Pack available at places that you wouldn’t normally expect to see it. We are very excited to reach out to these new gamers!

Allakhazam.com: Is there a JP version? Will you have an EU version of the starter pack available?

Yasu Kurosawa: The Japanese version recently debuted at the Square Enix Party in May and is currently on sale from SOURCENEXT. Details of the EU starter pack will be announced shortly.

Allakhazam.com: Do you intend to release similar packs for each expansion, perhaps with a shorter trial period?

Yasu Kurosawa: A unique feature of the FINAL FANTASY XI Starter Pack is the fact that you can install all currently available expansion packs from the DVD. All you need to do to experience the expansion pack content is to obtain registration codes for each pack. In Japan, we recently started making expansion pack registration codes available for purchase via PlayOnline. We are currently planning a similar plan for other regions as well. Vana’diel Collection 2007 will continue to be available at retail stores for an economical way to enjoy all of the expansion packs.

Allakhazam.com: Is the starter pack Windows Vista compatible?

Yasu Kurosawa: Yes, it is. The Windows Vista version of the PlayOnline software was used in the creation of the Starter Pack.

Allakhazam.com: Do you expect the introduction of this starter pack to make a significant impact?

Yasu Kurosawa: With the low price point we are hoping to reach a wider variety of people than ever and introduce to them to just how exciting the world of Vana’diel is.


Allakhazam.com: A common question posed by new players on the Allakhazam.com community is what server they should go to. Would Square Enix ever consider releasing statistics on each server so that new players can determine where they should begin their life in Vana'diel? If not, can this be included in your next Vana'diel census?

Yasu Kurosawa: We have no plans of releasing the numbers related to World population, but we can say that currently there are 32 Worlds and our players are nearly-equally spread.

Officially, there are no differences between servers and the player’s experience should be the same. We feel that it’s better to ask fellow Allakhazam.com forum members about a specific server’s pros and cons. If someone’s friends or colleagues are already playing, they might want to choose the server they are on to start their adventure. For our current players, it’s always a good idea to research where they would like to settle down before using the World Transfer service.

Comments

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i think we need more players
# Jul 09 2007 at 5:14 PM Rating: Decent
1 post
I havent played in a few months and I miss playing, so i think i might come back now. I think we do need new players for the same reason mentioned in another post about getting more low lvl party's. My main Character is like a 50 whm, but i was getting a little tired of waiting for parties for a long time and sometimes not having anybody to help me in the game for missions and stuff.
Just my opinion.
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RMT?
# Jul 06 2007 at 2:49 AM Rating: Decent
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I suspect this Starter Pack will make it easier/cheaper for RMT as well.
Instead of paying $40 + monthly cost, it'll only be $4 + monthly cost...

Ofcourse, they still get banned at the same speed, but less cost means cheaper gil, means more demand, means more RMT...

And just when we had this delicious negative feedback loop going...
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# Jul 05 2007 at 8:05 AM Rating: Decent
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Seeing an influx of new players would be really nice right about now. I miss the days when I personally started this game almost 3 years ago. There were people crowded all over the zones with flags up, 30, 40 people at any given time. Now, you don't see anyone below level 60. Like yesterday, with my lvl 55 bard, I sat around in a party of 5 for almost an hour waiting for a tank. My fiance sat around with his level 30 thf for about 45 minutes in his party waiting for another job as well. It would be very nice to see people join the game to offer those jobs to each server again.
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crass much?
# Jul 05 2007 at 7:37 AM Rating: Decent
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I thought the point of coming to forums was to learn and share knowledge. Aka, ask a question and get an answer. Personally I would like to see new people on Carbuncle. As I am approaching 75 with the last job I intend on leveling, I spend most of my time either farming, getting items I want, or missions completed, or helping others with farming, items, missions, or quests.

I would be more then happy to see more new people coming to carbuncle and help re-kickstart our sliding economy. To see 10 people fighting over bees in gustaberg, or watching someone running from an army of bunnies in tahrongi canyon... Ah, those were the days...
ps3 version in the works?
# Jul 05 2007 at 4:32 AM Rating: Decent
34 posts
personally i hav the ps2 one and i put it on the ps3. do u think they will release a official ff11 for the ps3 with better graphics and such? basically lik this starter pack?
ps3 version in the works?
# Jul 05 2007 at 8:47 AM Rating: Decent
1 post
The last I heard there was no plans to put FFXI on PS3 because the PS3 doesn't use a windows based system like PC or XBox360. It would take a lot of changing in the code in order to make it compatible. Still not impossible, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
aww... c'mon, give the newbs a break
# Jul 04 2007 at 11:28 PM Rating: Good
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I'd like to look at this as a wonderful opportunity to gain more support and fans for our wonderful worlds we've created. I mean, leveling in dunes is hard as ever nowadays thanks to the decline in low level players. Just type "/sea all inv 10-20" and if it's anything like Ramuh. You'll find maybe 10-20 players lfp, none of which are plds, nins, or whms. Sad, huh? With a massive immigration of newbies, dunes would be lively again! And with all those newbies down there, where else to recruit for your LS? Spot a young prodigy and scoop him up! The quicker a newbie is in an LS, I've noticed that they earn money quicker, don't drop the occasional bounding boots they happened to find, and most importantly: stick around!

Sorry for the long post if you happened to read through it all... just my opinion.
aww... c'mon, give the newbs a break
# Jul 05 2007 at 6:37 AM Rating: Decent
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Very true (rate up),

The only other time you will see a mass movement through the dunes again is when new jobs are created. The problem with that is most of the jobs lfg will be the new jobs. This is an MMO ladies and gents. This one happens to have more of a need for forming parties and alliances to get things done at an appropriate level. FFXI is higher on the social scale than most (if not all) others. That is what makes it great though. I remember setting up my first SC and MB in the dunes. The entire PT dynamic is awesome (and probably what keeps most people interested in this game after the missions/quests are complete).

I don't know why some of you think getting more players into the game is a bad thing. Of course, they all wont be great people, but those are the ones that probably won't be staying long anyway. Like Foresutu said, befriend those newbs. Someone did it with you when you started.
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# Jul 04 2007 at 7:49 PM Rating: Good
7 posts
It poses the question: $4 try it out, why not. Game play is like <insert game name here> and I like this, but don't like this about it. Price per month, now that may be the make or break issue of me staying.

Most people that have played MMOs usually chose this as a basic test of if they want to play it, and to see what all the hype is about. I've done it myself with 2 other games, er rather 1 other game (I didn't even open the trial of World of Warcraft >.<) Some MMOs have people that are friendly and help out others or Noobs, some don't. It's all up in the air and falls on the person that tries it. Many things influence a persons decision on trying it and staying. Don't look at it as a bad thing, as the first poster did, look at it as an opportunity to have more people to join in and party with and share your enjoyment for the game with.

If this gets a 10-20% increase in the population, that's far better than losing 5-8%, which eventually when a MMO loses enough, the cost of upkeep is outweighing the revenue, thus we would get the notice: "Sorry, we're closing our doors on FFXI on X day. Thank you for your past support. Please look forward to our next major game." It could happen if the revenue drops below what they feel is worth keeping the game alive. So encourage that Noob to keep playing, help em out, if yer rich, or a crafts person, throw some stuff to em that'll make em go "Wow! You're giving me this! This game has cool people!" That attitude will increase the population and keep us playing FFXI for years to come.

That's just my ramblings and thoughts. Flame away if you chose, but to each their own....opinion that is:D Or, just hunt me down in game and slap me around a bit...naw, just kidding on the hunting me down bit:)
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# Jul 04 2007 at 5:11 PM Rating: Decent
24 posts
my only beef is that this "starter pack", in my opinion, will only bring more players with the "meh it was only $4, lets see how many i can piss off" attitude
since its well known that those in that mind set are likly to have the cash and the desire to play video games, as well as a PC. i see them time and time again in forums and various other chats all over the net and while i fear them, i do welcome the possiblity of new nice people joining. But more than all that, the truth is that i dont think this will truly bring any more in than the Van. Col. which i just had to buy (was only $20 @ gamestop.com) long story dont ask why id have to buy them all again >.<

[edit] hadnt updated sig. in days >.<

Edited, Jul 4th 2007 6:22pm by mrnick
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#alexbadass, Posted: Jul 04 2007 at 2:32 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) They can come up with all the gimmicks they want, ffxi is a long boring time consuming game that 95% of people dont like.
Foreboding
# Jul 04 2007 at 11:07 AM Rating: Default
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The bottom post is true. I feel bad things coming from this.

Also, lolVistaPlayonline

EDIT: I don't normally comment on these front page stories. D:

Edited, Jul 4th 2007 3:09pm by Donomni
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# Jul 04 2007 at 10:19 AM Rating: Decent
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Maybe the alla staff can offer up it's census to those people who are purchasing the starter packs. Surely it doesn't give all the needed information, but it will give the new players some insight which can be used to determine their final decisions.
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# Jul 04 2007 at 3:52 AM Rating: Default
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No one form Alla even asked about the windowed version... Thanks Alla for keeping us informed.
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# Jul 04 2007 at 9:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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Windowed version has nothing to do with the Starter Pack, which is why it wasn't asked. I keep a separate line of conversation with Square about windowed mode and there is nothing new to report.
Not even a metion
# Jul 05 2007 at 5:05 AM Rating: Decent
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426 posts
Thanks for your reply Pikko!

I guess I am one of the few that will not use a 3rd party program. So I am patiently waiting for the windowed version to be released.
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# Jul 05 2007 at 5:02 AM Rating: Decent
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Thanks for your reply Pikko!

I guess I am one of the few who will not use 3rd party programs and I am anxious for the windowed versioin to be released.
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Proactive Thinking...
# Jul 03 2007 at 10:09 PM Rating: Decent
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@Above Poster

That seems like a slightly inclusive view point... How about instead, welcoming FFXI players to help the game grow and expand, and to solve your spam issue, perhaps Allakhazam needs a newbie forum for such questions... by god, it could even contain a sticky stating the answers once and for all! Just a thought. =P

P.S. If said forum is created, I'll even write the sticky for it myself.
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# Jul 03 2007 at 9:03 PM Rating: Decent
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I remember the days when L3 was soloed and teles were 300-500gil. What's an xp ring? LOL
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# Jul 03 2007 at 6:15 PM Rating: Default
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oh no, why SE, why? new starter pack, advertising, great, :). More people posting threads about which server is best, not so great. :(
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# Jul 03 2007 at 6:00 PM Rating: Decent
Sweet Jeebus Nipples. Effin great, now it's the official SE stance that new players need to spam our forums with even more "wich servr shud i join, i wnt gud ez gilz and lots na playerz! lulz" threads...
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