Square Enix has put rough release dates on the next version update for its long-running MMO, Final Fantasy XI, and the third in the series of downloadable mini-expansions for the game.

The expansion - titled A Shantotto Ascension - is due in October, according to a new trailer, while the official FFXI site indicates that the next free version update is "currently on track for an early November release".

The version update will add new Wings of the Goddess nation quests, new features for the Moblin Maze Mongers dungeon-crawling system, a mysterious "extensive and all-new system involving items" and adjustments to jobs.

A Shantotto Ascension is the final of a trilogy of story-led pieces created by Chrono Trigger writer Masato Kato, and deals with a mad professor who declares herself ruler of her own empire.

Could this be a last hurrah for FFXI ahead of the release of Final Fantasy XIV Online next year? Or will the seven-year-old game sit alongside its successor, and join the likes of EverQuest and Ultima Online in lasting longer than a decade?

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Oli Welsh

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