On August 13th reports of a link shell (equivalent of a guild) from Final Fantasy XI took over 18 hours to fight one boss only to retreat. Platformnation.com now has the interview with one member of the link shell, Beyond the Limitation, Sylphet. Of course there is some terminology used in this interview that you may not understand, so I am going to make a list of things you may not know.
FF- Final Fantasy
LS- Link Shell
HLNM- High level notorious monster
NM- notorious monster
MMO- Massively multiplayer online
PW- Pandemonium Warden
XP- Experience Points
Platform Nation: You and your guild Beyond the Limitation spent a whole 18 hours on the Pandemonium Warden fight. How much time did it take overall before Beyond the Limitation felt they could take on the Pandemonium Warden?
Sylphet: There are two levels of preparing to fight a notorious monster like this. The first is short term. We knew that we were in for an endurance fight. Our expectations were that the fight would go on for somewhere between 6-8 hours. We specifically scheduled this on a Saturday starting at 3:00 EST in an attempt to make sure that as many members a possible would be able to make arrangements to attend. We also cancelled our scheduled events in the dates surrounding it to make sure that our members had plenty of time to do whatever they needed in game or out to prepare for the fight. In game preparations included making sure people’s XP buffers were capped (in FF even if you are at the max level you can lose that if you die enough times) as well as enough consumables for an endurance fight. We knew it would be long. We knew it would be intense. We just drastically underestimated how long and intense it would be.
Long term preparation for this fight has literally taken years. We are the oldest HNMLS (high-level notorious monster linkshell) on our server. The linkshell founder, Muteki formed it before the game was even released in North America (NA release was 4.5 years ago).
PN: That sure is a long time. How much experience does your linkshell have in general?
Sylphet: Many of our members literally have years of FFXI end-game experience under our belts and are recognized by the FFXI community to be some of the most accomplished players in the game.
PN: How long where you expecting Pandemonium Warden to last?
Sylphet: I need to stress that this is 100% NOT a normal event in FFXI. These kinds of excessively long and drawn out fights are not a part of day to day game play. This fight was not us beating down on him for 18 hours and not making progress. We were efficiently going through all of his forms about as well as can be expected. We knew basically what to expect going in from information given to us from a few other linkshells who had popped it. Their fights did not last longer than a few hours though, before ending. We were going through the forms faster than the other linkshells that tried it and still had to give up after 18 hours when we realized that most likely the fight would last for 4-5 hours more.
PN: How did it feel during the fight, not knowing when it would end?
Sylphet: This story has become sensationalized a bit with time. We all really wanted to kill it and the fact that we were making steady progress fed our desire to see the conclusion of the fight. Since nobody else had made the progress we did, we didn’t have an exact idea of when it would end. We kept on going through form after form hoping that the next would be the last. We appreciate the idea of an epic battle in an MMO but somewhere around six hours in it stopped feeling epic and started feeling like a whole lot of work for a video game. At 12 hours it started to feel horrible but we kept on persevering (i.e. well we’ve come this far, how much more can there be?). Then we realized exactly how much more there could be at 18 hours and gave up. While we do think that the design of this NM is, in a word cruel, and would like to see Square Enix re-evaluate their design, it’s not accurate to judge the entire game based on this single encounter. As it has been said in other articles, whenever you log on to FFXI you need to agree to not neglect your friends, family, work, and school. The creation of a NM like this seems to be in direct contradiction to that.
PN: Is Beyond the Limitation going to have a rematch anytime soon? If so when?
Sylphet: In regards to fighting PW again, no we have no plans to fight him again in the foreseeable future. Many of us are still on a hiatus from FFXI at the moment. Some are just doing more things in real life, others are playing around in World of Warcraft (or other online games) and still others are just taking it easy in FFXI, not doing any high-pressure events. I think that most of us just want to relax and have some fun, which was the reason why we all started playing FFXI in the first place. I think this event has helped us to remember that fact.
PN: The question on everyone’s mind, how many energy drinks did Beyond the Limitation plow through?
Sylphet: There were a lot of energy drinks consumed!