So that's the highest complete version of FFXI? Does that game still have a monthly fee?
Yeah that's the most complete version, thousands of hours worth of content. There's still a monthly fee but you get the first 30 days free. The monthly fee is annoying but in the end it's worth it because they're still constantly updating the game and adding new stuff so it's kind of like paying for perpetual DLC.
I played the game for three years from 07-10. The game was a blast, the only reason I stopped was because the friends I played with the most stopped. The game actually saved me money on games because while I didn't really increase my gaming time overall to play it it did become the only game I played pretty much so I stopped buying the bunch of games I usually did. I'm not really an MMO guy at all and was aprehensive but FFXI is pretty different, it's more like a an old school SNES Final Fantasy game (great story, great music, great battle system that actually requires skill, great job system, humor, mini-games and best of all it designed to be played with a controller) that you can play with friends and the community is very different from the typical PC MMO community. It's all about working together and helping each other to get stuff done. Also it's a very varied community because everybody plays on the same servers: whether they live in Japan or Europe or the US or Australia, whether on PC, 360 or PS2. A very large female player base too which makes for a better overall environment. I met a bunch of people all over the world that I still keep in touch with because of it.
Anyway I came back last summer to do the Abyssea content because there's not much to play during the summer and since I live in the desert and it gets up to 120 in the shade here I have to spend most of my leisure time indoors. I had a blast last summer so I figured why not do it again this summer, they raised the level cap since last year and added a lot of content plus I still need to finish the Wings of the Goddess storyline; the only one i haven't beaten yet. It'll keep me busy until all the fall blockbusters.
Wow, sorry for rambling on for so long, I'm just passionate when it comes to FFXI, it's such an under-appreciated game. Lately a lot of people are going nuts for Xenoblade Chronicles (which is a great game), well FFXI plays a lot like Xenoblade only a lot better and with other people.