FFXIV testing to begin 11th March

Also, three mini-expansions for FFXI.

Square Enix used its VanaFest 2010 convention in Tokyo yesterday to announce the beginning of closed public testing for its next MMO, Final Fantasy XIV. It's not quite beta yet, however, rather the opening of alpha testing to players from the Final Fantasy XI fanbase.

The VanaFest website reported: "With the eagerly anticipated Final Fantasy XIV drawing ever nearer its beta test phase, we are excited to announce that we will be conducting a closed alpha test - exclusive to our loyal Final Fantasy XI users!"

Those who've been selected for the test will get further information starting today, with the test itself scheduled to go live next week, on 11th March.

"Those who were not selected in this drawing, fear not, for there will be other opportunities to come," Square Enix added. "Be sure to stay tuned!"

There were a raft of announcement for the older MMO, too, as developers laid out their plans for Final Fantasy XI in 2010.

The headline was three new "battle-focused" mini-expansions, or add-ons, set in a new high level zone of Abyssea. These will go hand-in-hand with a gradual raising of the level cap from 75 to 99 over the course of the year.

The expansions are called Vision of Abyssea (due in June), Scars of Abyssea (September) and Heroes of Abyssea (December). They will be preceded by a major content update in March. Job revisions, new quests and missions and the conclusion of the Wings of the Goddess storyline are all on the roadmap for the year.

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