Three Downloadable Expansions Announced For Final Fantasy XI
I spent 3.5 years playing FFXI, and then moved to WoW for about two before realizing that I couldn't dedicate the amount of time that MMOs demand if I was going to keep a good GPA.
FFXI was an incredibly flawed and frustrating game. The grind was slow, and back when I played, I had to spend all my time coming up with 8.5 million gil for one piece of armor that I'd be fairly nerfed without. It took me several months, and I finally quit from burnout after I made the gil. This was before inflation, so sadly, that'd probably be worth less than a million today.
Anyways, for all its flaws and issues, FFXI was an incredible experience that I still miss a lot. I made friends in that game who I'm still close to now... you spend so much time working with all of the people in your linkshell (guild) that you form really close bonds. Also, since everyone works in parties, there's a real sense of community throughout the server, because you work with hundreds of different people. There was something really extraordinary for me to work with people who I didn't even share a language with, via the few words that you could autotranslate. You could chain your weapon skills and then finish them with a magic burst to do heavy damage in parties, so there had to be good communication. In WoW you can often get by playing really sloppily.
Because WoW was more punishing, there was more tension, and more of a fear of death (you lost sometimes large amounts of experience from dying). The boss battles were sometimes incredibly difficult... I remember finally clearing one after days of trying and feeling absolutely elated.
Lastly, the story is absolutely amazing for an MMO. While many of the quests are your usual "give me x number of items" or whatever, there were some that were really interesting and exciting. There was one that involved a ninja katana and had a creative twist during a cutscene. There were frequent cutscenes, and missions had great plots to them... they took a lot of time to complete, but watching the plot unfold was really rewarding. Another thing FFXI trumped WoW in was atmosphere - there were a lot of interesting and fleshed out characters. I loved the cute Star Onion Brigade of Windurst and all their adventures.
But God, I hated having to walk forever to get somewhere, or get slaughtered by impossible enemies if I didn't have invis and sneak, or put up with moronic party members, or spend my time making money so I could afford to buy ninja tools so I could grind in a party.
Feds Can Locate Cell Phones Without Telcos
Unlike older generations of phones, 3G GSM standard requires base stations to authenticate themselves. Finally, a reason to go out and buy that iPhone.