... and I'm only moderately impressed by the second, and not at all by the third.
First, the date for the update and the release of ACP is Wednesday, April 8.
Usually, these updates are on Mondays, but they decided to put this one on a Wednesday. Well, there goes our Wednesday Dynamis for the week.
Second, the trailer for ACP (A Crystalline Prophecy) is up on the FFXI Add-On site.
Ehh, it certainly can't do much of anything to reassure players about the long-term future of FFXI. It almost appears that, once the mini-expansions run their course, that's about it.
This seems almost to be a "full circle" effect -- "It all began with a stone, or so the legend says..."
It now appears it's all going to end with one as well. Perhaps this is the "prophecy" of Vana'diel's Armageddon.
(With the way the players are acting, I almost wish it'd come much faster than it is.)
But the trailer doesn't seem to add anything -- it almost seems to indicate that the Beastmen we've become so familiar with will change (probably become stronger) as a result of this huge crystal shining in the sky or something...
And, is it just me, or does every character in the artwork look like the world just ended??
We'll see... If I'm not banned by April 8 for my blog or something I say in a Besieged, I'll find out along with you.
And then, the announcement of the Mog Bonanza for the seventh anniversary.
Several changes, but not the fundamental one I thought would happen (the fact that it's still a lottery, of sorts).
Basically, here's how it works:
For 2000 gil, you purchase a 5-digit number on a Bonanza Marble. It can be, like a normal lottery, either a Quick Pick (random number) or your own pick.
You can buy up to 10 per character.
At the end of the lottery, five 5-digit numbers are drawn, one for each level of prize.
For the 5th level prize, you match the last digit (only) of the 5th-level prize number drawn.
For the 4th level prize, you match the last two digits of the 4th-level prize number drawn.
and so forth, each level up to the 1st-level, the Grand Prizes, being all five digits of the 1st-level prize number drawn.
So that's all the same that it was last year.
There are several changes:
1) The gil prizes for the top three levels are now what would be called "pari-mutuel".
What this means is that the amount of gil put into the lottery will determine how much gil the winners of the top level prizes would get, should they choose gil.
Half the money goes to the Grand Prize winners -- roughly a quarter each to the next two levels.
Of course, you can choose items and equipment...
2) And there's some interesting new options for winners on all levels for items and equipment.
Rank 5 -- the lowest level, now has, to add to the Miratete's Memoirs (XP scroll), the in-game statues that are coming out, as well as several of the exclusive Battle Circle "invitations", including Mercenary Camp and several others.
Rank 4 is basically now mostly ultra-level crafting items (Wootz Ores and the like), and a couple of equipment pieces.
Rank 3 -- along with splitting 27% of all the gil brought in, has several even better items (Imp. Wootz Ingots), and, most interestingly, a coupon for the relic armor (AF2) item of your choice which drops from Dynamis-Beaucedine.
Rank 2 -- along with splitting 23% of all the gil brought in (among fewer players), basically gets into the ultra-endgame stuff, with also the possibility of choosing a coupon for the relic armor (AF2) item of your choice from Dynamis-Xarcabard.
(Cool music in Dynamis-Xarcabard, by the way...)
Rank 1 -- along with half the gil brought in (probably almost looking at the possibility of the 100 million again), is all the insane shit (K. Club, D. Ring, Ridill, blah blah blah...)
I'd still probably take the gil and be able to buy at least two of the items or so.
So some realignment there.
3) To answer possible concerns on Square-Enix making RL money off of this (including mine), new rule for this year: To buy marbles, you must have a character which has been on the game for at least 45 days before you can purchase marbles in the second half of May.
Good call. (One of the few which Square-Enix has made recently.)
So, we'll see how it goes...