I played FFXI for only about a year, really liked it for the most part. I stopped playing because I liked it so much and found myself putting off other things that needed to get done.
I know most of you can agree with me, a good group to grind with made grinding bearable and dare I say fun. While a bad group could make it a very horrible experience.
I found that when I grouped with non-Japanese players my experience varied a lot between fun and misery. I defintitely had more fun grouping with Japanese players. I'm going to list (in my opinion) the aspects of grouping/partying the way non-Japanese players party and the way Japanese players party.
** My hopes is that non-Japanese players can adapt to the subtle differences of partying which in my opinion make it a better overall experience when it comes to grinding for levels. **
1. You can join these parties by putting up LFG flag. You will get invites to parties that are already in progress and/or you are going to replace someone who has left or is leaving.
2. Generally there is no set time limit of when the party will end.
3. When you are done, you are expected to find a replacement to keep the party going.
4. There is always a chance someone will have to leave as soon as you get to the destination, or someone will take too long to make it to camp, or someone will not like the set up once it gets going or etc. etc. etc.
5. I know I started the game late (I think the 5th year it was out), but non-Japanese gamers hardly used the Skillchaining and Magic burst. This was diappointed as I felt it not only provided more damage but also made the grind that much more interesting when you could end chains with several Magic Burst.
Extra: The one benefit to the non-Japanese groups is that sometimes you get that group that is so awesome and you actually end up grinding for 4 or more hours and gaining multiple levels, and if someone is replaced the person coming in is just as good or better than the one who left... but this was an exception and not the rule.
1. You can join these parties by putting up LFG flag. This will always be a "new" party.
2. There is always a set time limit for the duration of the party ... usually 2 hours.
3. When you are done, even if it's short of the 2 hours or agreed upon time, then entire party breaks up and those who want to grind more will start a new party with a new 2 hour clock.
4. Normally we met in an easy to get to central location, then travelled to the "grind" spot as a group. Everyone arrived at the same time and there was no feeling of waiting for that 5th and 6th person to show up. Once the party started, you just have that good feeling that it is going to be a good grind for at least 2 hours.
5. Almost always did the Skillchaining/Magic Bursting to the highest levels. Mobs fell quicker and the grind went that much smoother/faster.
What are your thoughts and opinions on the different party styles?