*eyes the ultimate edition on amazon*
How does it run on Vista/Windows 7? Are there any key online resources I should check out before I play? If any kind vets want to help me out I'd greatly appreciate it. :P
"You breathe oxygen? Oh, we have so much in common!"
ON POINT: Terra | Gabranth | Edea | Shantotto
RESERVE: Vaan | Kuja | Tidus | Onion Knight | Prishe
I'd like to start by saying that getting into FFXI right now will probably not lead to you having a very pleasurable experience as a lot of stuff has died off recently. A lot of the game is mostly end-game so people starting from scratch will have a very hard time getting into anything late in the game without a very dedicated set of friends (both for help with early quests and so you have someone to level with).
As for your technical questions: I ran FFXI great on Vista (despite the fact that I don't really like Vista as an OS) so it shouldn't be an issue. I'm fairly sure Seven should be viable as well.
As for resources, check out the following:
FFXIclopedia is the FFXI wiki, which is mostly up to date but lacks a few things for some new late game stuff (dependant on how popular the item or monster is, mostly). The windower website is for the unofficial windowed version of FFXI, which is superior in SEVERAL ways to the official windowed version presented by SE. (The unofficial one gives you plugins for stuff like Recast Timers, Status duration timers, and other cool stuff)
I personally found the game a lot of fun, but I started playing over 6 or 7 years ago (I recently quit in January) and made a lot of great friends. Unfortunately, it would probably be much harder nowadays to do the same.
Though apart, forever connected.
Above sig courtesy of Kayarine, sigs in spoilers courtesy of Kurayami and Waffles. Thanks to Mizu for the sketch of Airal (my avatar)!
I started playing the game about 3 years ago, and since then they've implemented a lot of things that have made the game a lot more accessible - but it's true that there has been a more recent shift towards higher-level content lately.
An excellent example is the version update from last week - in FFXI you usually lose EXP and can delevel from that, but now it no longer happens under level 30 (when you get access to quests to unlock more classes/jobs - when you start the game, you only have access to the same 6 jobs as in FF1); on the other hand, some areas that used to be low-to-middle level have now gotten some high level mobs in deeper parts of them, to give more options to higher level players, since the level cap has been raised recently.
As for the wiki, there's been a recent split, and the admins of FFXIclopedia have taken its content and started a new site with it, Gamerescape - it's hard to say if it'll catch on, but it might be handy to keep it in mind, but I like the fact that it has a "What links here" link for every wiki page, which the old one used to have, but was dropped due to the enforced Wikia templates. I find it useful to check what a given drop/item might be useful for if it's referenced elsewhere, just in case its wiki page isn't complete (can be an issue after a version update when new things are added and information isn't fully consolidated yet). The wiki split was slightly before the version update, so time will tell which will be more complete...
This could be handy:
There are versions of that for each of the starter cities.
BTW, every city has a predominant race or two, and if you pick a matching race/city combination, you get a ring with some little bonuses which could be handy. You can get these rings through other ways later one, but they're nice starting pieces.
These bonuses tend to reflect general tendencies for each of the cities class/job-wise: Windurst for mages, Bastok for physical offense, San d'Oria for defense (these things tend to have roles in each city's major stories, but there are variations and hybrids).
These things are also reflected in the equipment you can buy with conquest points in each city (a great way to save money early on). You get more options as you advance in rank (through rank missions, which tend to develop on the nation and world's stories).
Some research on topics like these can be helpful to optimize your early choices to match your playing preferences - take your time and don't be afraid to ask
Might as well toss in stuff nobody ever told me when I started, with a weight in the game that could be small most of the times, but can sometimes be relevant:
- choosing Galka as a race lets you eat raw meat, which can boost physical stats (food gives stat boosts in the game, but usually needs to be cooked, which is a craft that requires its own specific levelling up - raw meat, however, is a common drop from several mobs; some food can drop some stats while boosting others, which seems more likely with the raw stuff, but it's best to check a wiki for the specifics); a bigger advantage of playing Galka is being able to go anywhere in a zone called Quicksand Caves by yourself - parts of it require 2 or more people to stand on a spot to open a door, but since Galka are the heaviest race, they can solo that, not to mention the zone is connected to their specific game lore.
- picking Mithra as a race lets you eat raw fish, also for stat boosts - getting some usually involves fishing, which is a skill that can be levelled up
- a sufficiently high rank in Windurst lets you access part of a zone called Horutoto Ruins by yourself through a mini-quest - normally, getting there involves having a white mage, a black mage and a red mage standing on specific spots - or someone wo's already gone though that rank mission and mini-quest before.
When I started, I picked human (Galka seemed interesting, but I didn't like the tails - glad they fixed that for FFXIV... :P ), so I missed out on soloable Quicksand Caves (so some quests and missions require help to get through some spots), and started in Bastok since I like its look and feel more (despite my friends starting in Windurst; I switched to Windurst later when I finished all the Bastok missions, to get that special access taken care of), so I missed on a couple of small things (but had I picked a Galka/Windusrt combo for maximum accesspossibilities, no free mage ring for me then), but I managed fine. Ultimately, you pick what you like, but research is still very important to make the best of your time and resources.
Windower counts as 3rd party software, which theoretically could get you banned... I don't use it, but I read it can be useful for mage jobs (when you have high enough levels and gear, there are methods to swap gear around to optimize every action/spell, but that's not a concern early into the game), maybe rangers too (I think there's an option to check exact distances).