Square Enix has announced a few big changes to Final Fantasy XI for its scheduled December 9 update. Mainly, these changes include alterations to the economy of the MMORPG as well as the drop rate of rare items and the appearance rate of rare monsters.
Beginning December 9, players in Vana'diel can look forward to easier access to rare items. This means that though the drop rate of such items may not change, there will now be other means by which a player can collect them. For example, there will be some additional Burning Circle arenas where players can fight special monsters which will drop rare items when defeated. Doing this, Square Enix hopes, will reduce the practice of trading real-world items and money for in-game items and money, popularly known as “gil selling.” These measures should also hopefully deter players that monopolize rare items by "hogging" or "camping" the monsters that drop them, thus making the game more fair and balanced for all players.
The economy isn't the only part of the game getting an overhaul. The newest addition to Final Fantasy XI, the Chains of Promathia expansion, is set to have the difficulty level of some of its quests altered to make them more accessible to players new to the game. Which quests have been altered has not been disclosed.
Final Fantasy XI was released in North America on October 28, 2003 for the PC and on March 23, 2004 for the PS2. Chains of Promathia followed with a September 21, 2004 simultaneous release for both platforms.