Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess ReviewKyle Stepp
A war waged across the beautiful backdrop of the world of Vana'diel. Known as the Crystal War, it was a war that shattered the very foundations of her people, broke bonds, and left scars on the world that would take years to heal--and never completely. In short, it's the perfect backstory of an MMORPG.
It's also the backstory that the players never got to experience. Until now.
In Final Fantasy XI Online: Wings of the Goddess, players are now able to go back into the past twenty years to the stage of the Crystal War and wage a campaign against the beastman forces that terrorized Vana'diel. To help with your mission, two new Jobs have been released: Scholar and Dancer. Scholars are mages that can utilize both defensive
and offensive magic. By switching between Light Arts and Dark Arts, the Scholar can receive access to special abilities that will empower their abilities. Dancers, on the other hand, are versatile warriors that can utilize their dance techniques for a variety of effects,
including healing, provoking, draining HP or MP, and even causing status effects. They're two very powerful additions to FFXI's already deep Job System.
To the uninitiated, the Job system is Final Fantasy XI's most powerful draw. While many previous Final Fantasy games allowed your character to take on any single job at one time, Final Fantasy XI is different in that it allows your character to take on a second, with the second job being half as powerful as the first. This allows your character to again an unprecedented amount of customizability, and because it's not the character that gains levels but rather the job, you only need one character to be able to experience every different option Final Fantasy XI has to offer.
And boy, are those a lot of options. After selecting your character's race, starting job, and country of allegiance, you're dropped into the massive world of Vana'diel, free to do as you wish... as long as you have the fame and rank. Fame is your popularity among the denizens of Vana'diel. As you complete quests you'll earn fame, which will in turn unlock a vast array of newer, more difficult quests with even greater rewards. Furthermore, you can increase your rank, or your standing in the government of your nation of allegiance, by embarking on specially sanctioned missions which tell the storyline.
In Wings of the Goddess, the storyline is further continued. Upon finding a mysterious portal out in the wilderness, your character is thrown twenty years into the past, to the time of the Crystal War- a time that saw the three nations of Bastok, Dan d'Oria, and Windurst banding together to defeat the beastman armies. Upon further investigation, your character can ally himself with one of the three nations and take part in the campaign against the beastmen. The campaign-WotG's biggest draw- is a large-scale battle where you and nearly fifty other players fight against oncoming waves of beastmen.Upon successfully repelling the beastmen, you'll earn experience points and Allied Notes, the latter being a new form of currency you can use to purchase special items based on your standing in the Allied army. Furthermore, in Campaign, a death won't result in the loss of any experience points, a refreshing change of pace from one of Final Fantasy XI's biggest complaints.
All in all, Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess is an excellent addition to an already excellent MMORPG. If you're not a fan of the game, Wings of the Goddess won't change your mind, but with two great new classes to try out and a new campaign battle system that can be used to gain experience rather quickly, there's no reason a fan of the game shouldn't check out this great expansion.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.