Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess

February 28, 2008

Release a product when it is finished. It would be impossible to review Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess because, despite having the game disc, an Xbox 360, and a character to play, I can’t play most of it. There are a few portals that teleport you 20 years into Vana’diel’s past, two new jobs, and a whole lot of locked zones, scant few missions, and content from the previous expansion that still doesn’t work properly (chocobo racing, I am looking at you).

Wings of the Goddess effectively doubles the size of the Vana’diel by adding Cavernous Maw portals that whisk the player 20 years into the past to see and take part in the events that made Vana’diel the world it is today. Battles are small, frantic, and nearly constant which is a refreshing change from the nigh-unplayable Besieged events of Aht Urhgan.

One portion of Wings‘ content that managed to make it onto the disc however is two new jobs: dancer and scholar. This serves to stimulate the game’s lower-level areas by encouraging players to abandon – if only for a while – their level 75 characters to develop a dancer or scholar. This makes those intro areas unbalanced, however, as there are now hundreds of each class looking for a group only to find more scholars and dancers. That’s what happens when your expansion contains two new classes that are both suited to a support role.

Of the two new classes, dancer is the easier to use as it can function as both a tank and a healer. These attributes to make it more of a support role, but it makes for a fairly hearty – if a bit flamboyant – solo character as well. Dancer works just as well as a primary job as secondary job with abilities like Animated Flourish (now you don’t have to take Warrior as a sub-job if you want Provoke), Cure, Drain (HP drain), Aspir (MP drain), and Curaga you’ll be seeing Dancers around Vana’diel long after everybody has theirs leveled because they’re a well-balanced and useful support class. Scholars, on the other hand, are only really valuable in the late game and definitely need a well-rounded party to survive. Scholar is obviously intended as a sub-job for a White Mage, Black Mage, or Summoner, but until you’re facing god-level monsters it makes more sense to use Red Mage as a sub-job. Why is the Scholar valuable in the end-game? Because he can alter the weather and turn the tides of a large-scale battle. Just make sure that he’s out of range of attacks; those attacks don’t afford him much protection.

If you’re picking up Final Fantasy XI for the first time then Wings of the Goddess is a good starting place. FFXI is packed full of content, and by the time you’re actively running through Wings of the Goddess content it should all be in place. Everybody else, however, should wait, as Wings of the Goddess is only half-released.

Score: 1/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.