from FINAL FANTASY XI Development Team
Monsters and Enmity(04/28/2006)

In the version update news released on April 17, there was a brief explanation of the changes made to claiming monsters. We would now like to expand upon that explanation to give players a concrete idea of how the process of claiming monsters has been altered.

To state things clearly, only the conditions for "claiming" a monster have been changed--the process through which a monster chooses a target based on enmity remains the same.

Player A is fighting two monsters, M1 and M2, and has generated enmity from both creatures. However, since Player A can only claim one monster at a time, let us assume he currently has a claim on M1. The second monster, M2, is free to be attacked by any other player.

Now Player B appears and begins to attack M2.

Player B has begun to generate enmity from M2, but as long as the enmity generated by Player A remains greater, M2 will continue to attack Player A. And since Player A still maintains greater enmity, Player B cannot claim M2. (This is the main change that was made in the recent version update. Previously, Player B would immediately claim M2 regardless of the amount of enmity.)

Player B continues to attack M2, eventually generating enough enmity to override the enmity held by Player A. Now M2 turns to attack Player B. And since M2 has switched its target to Player B, Player B now claims the monster.

* The following line has been removed from the version update news to help avoid any confusion: "Accordingly, players will no longer be attacked by monsters that they themselves are unable to attack."

While this change prevents certain instances of MPK, it is still possible for a player to become the target of a monster he does not have a claim on. Consider the following situations.

Situation 1

Player A has claimed monster M and is being assisted by Player B (not in Player A's party).
Player B generates enmity from M by curing Player A. If the enmity generated by Player B overrides the enmity generated by Player A, the monster will move to attack Player B, while still being claimed by Player A. Player B will be unable to attack M.

To prevent this from happening, Player B must moderate his curing assistance, or Player A must somehow generate more enmity from M through attacks or abilities.
It is also possible for Player B to join Player A's party, or for Player A to choose Call For Help, so that Player B no longer has to suffer a one-sided battle with M.

Situation 2

Player C has claimed monster M. Player C then loses his claim on M by disengaging from battle or by putting too much distance between them.
While M is unclaimed, Player D appears. Player D manages to claim M by generating more enmity than Player C. At this point, M holds enmity towards both Player C and Player D.

Although M is now claimed by Player D, it is still possible for Player C to perform an action that will generate more enmity than Player D. Should this occur, M will then move to attack Player C while still being claimed by Player D. M will continue to attack Player C as long as Player C maintains the greater amount of enmity. However, Player C is unable to attack M.

To prevent this situation from happening, Player C must take care not to lose his claim on M. After Player D has claimed M in the above situation, Player C cannot reclaim M no matter how much enmity he generates, unless Player D chooses to disengage from battle.

This change was implemented to help reduce the instances of MPK, and we hope the above explanation helps players to avoid finding themselves in similar situations.