There's also the gradual raising of the level cap from 75 to 99, after years of the best gear at 75 being the best in the game. For some, it means the game becomes more soloable or less people are required to get things done, for others it means their hard earned gear now amount to nothing compared to the new stuff. Either way, there will be grind.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Shantotto. Square seems to have taken notice of this, and included her as the de facto representative for this game in crossovers.
Cornelia Karst is a supporting character who is only really important to the Bastok missions, but her colorful design and upbeat personality endeared her to players. Years after her last in-game appearance, she won a popularity poll and became a temporary Trust. When her powerful and popular GEO Trust was retired, Japanese fans thanked her on Twitter.
Due to the numerous similarities between the playable races in both games, fans going to FFXI from FFXIV and vice versa tend to nickname one game's race after their equivalent from the other (ex: calling Tarutarus, "Lalafells", or calling Mithras, "Miquotes".
Fanon Discontinuity: Fans of the Final Fantasy series tend to skip this game when talking about the numbered series, due to it being an MMO.
Take your pick, and be aware that opinions are somewhat mixed: The Ninja's Blink ability, Red Mages in general, Meleeburn parties, Astralburn parties...
There's the job combo of Red Mage/Ninja. There are videos on YouTube of players with this combination soloing enemies that were intended to be fought by full alliances. Do note that while these are possible, they require maximum skill and several hours of not leaving the game for any reason whatsoever, as well as expensive healing items. It's more for E-peen than anything else.
For most of the game's run, Ninja had a special place in the Stop Having Fun Guys arsenal — Ninjas at 37 get a Game-Breaker ability (Blink, thanks to the Utsusemi spell) that allows them to ignore any and all incoming damage. It was considered mandatory for the longest time to take Ninja as your subjob if you were melee, simply because of how broken the Blink spell was - instead of healing better, faster, or using tactics, everyone simply had to blink away the damage. In addition, you had to get the Blink spell (which cost a lot of money) and spend money on the Blink spell component (which you used up every single time you cast it). As a result, playing a Ninja was extremely expensive in the long run.
Many areas of the game just toss your normally-used detection-prevention spells out the window, as the monsters there are able to spot you despite these spells. Most notable example are imps, monsters who possess true sight (ie. they will spot you, even if you are invisible).
Literal, to low level players trying to cross the Valkurm Dunes map to reach their exp party, the Sand Bats in that tunnel. Impossible to avoid and aggressive to any player low level enough that they HAVE to take that route (as opposed to higher levels and travel spells).
The trope was originally called "The Ridill" over the infamous drama Ridill would cause when it dropped. The Ridill was a sword that was usable by multiple classes and had an extremely useful effect, but was a 5% drop off a boss that only appeared once every day.
Other items that have similar effects on the player-base but at a reduced rate due to being more specialized, even rarer, include Defending Ring, Hauteclaire, and anything from Absolute Virtue.
Long-Runners: Final Fantasy XI is actually over a year OLDER than Square Enix, with it's first trailers and releases having Squaresoft logos and copyrights... and it is still running, even with a diminished customer base, nearly a decade and a half later, with only support for outdated consoles being removed.
Haste Samba. And Boost. Which you will hear Every. 15. Seconds. And Bard songs.
Also the spell Ice Spikes, a defensive spell that causes ice-type damage any time the buffed target is hit, and every time it activates (as in everytime the target is hit) it sounds like someone is loudly breaking glass. Particularly annoying when its on an enemy, and you're entire party sounds like its emulating a bull in a china shop by meleeing it.
Never Live It Down: Pandemonium Warden made headlines when a group stubbornly sat for eighteen hours while fighting it (Which the game STRONGLY suggests against, hell, you gotta click past the warning every time you enter the game, not even Warcraft does that). The boss has been killed relatively quickly (that is to say, with a bit of time left on the two hour timer) multiple times since it was nerfed, but journalists (and this very wiki) continue to report on the evil online game that makes you sit at the computer until you're physically sick. (See Marathon Boss above.) A general rule of thumb nowadays is that no boss sticks around for more than two hours. After that, the critter despawns, but if it takes you that long to kill the guy, you are not doing it right (Underleveled, bad strategy, half the alliance being made up of bots).
Nightmare Fuel: The Gusgen Mine has the ghosts of faceless children going through repeated motions, and their faint crying and moans in the background — it freaks out pretty much everyone the first time they go down there. Something horrible happened there, but it has never been explained.
Scrappy Mechanic: The "Level Down" mechanic, wherein when a player dies they lose EXP, and if they lose too much they will actually level down. The reason this is so hated is because in most endgame missions a player is almost expected to die, sometimes multiple times, in order to complete it. Worst, the mechanic only makes sense from an MMO Fake Difficulty stand-point, in that it makes sure a player can never be truly "done" with leveling up a character, thus forcing players to play more just to make up the level(s) they've lost.
Due to the way job/subjob combinations work, there are only a few that are considered "correct," and anyone who does not conform to the "right way" to play is just asking for a "Stop Having Fun Guy" to go off on them. Meleeburns, for example, are heavily slanted towards piercing damage such as Dragoons, the "correct" way to melee in the endgame is either a Dragoon or Samurai, subbing the other class — or Warrior. Having underleveled subjobs or gear is also considered unacceptable, even though it can take months to farm the money required for at-level gear. The game is basically designed for the SHFG mentality. While the norms aren't too ridiculous, Lord have mercy if you don't follow them, much to the resentment of many players. One popular endgame-oriented forum, has 15 fifty-page threads devoted to nothing but "gimped" players (to varying degrees).
Part of it is the sheer amount of Level Grinding — both for EXP and for Money / Items. When it takes literally months to do certain things in game, having any slowdowns can become very frustrating.
Having said that, subjobs can be an indication of incompetence: for example, a Paladin / Blackmage thinking they can be a direct damage specialist, or a Warrior / Ninja before the subjob grants abilities that are worthwhile.
The game, especially before it was made easier to progress, was Nintendo Hard so when people suggested you go to a certain area to farm certain enemies it's pretty much accepted that doing so is the easiest and least risky way of gaining experience.
Everybody has a horror story about at least one Chains of Promathia boss, most aggravatingly the 45-minute airship fight where dying to any one of three stages of the fight meant you needed to fight all three again, but not before reacquiring special items needed to win. The Pandemonium Wardendeserved this title once, on account of literally beating a linkshell into submission courtesy of a nineteen hour fight that ended when the leaders started realizing people were sacrificing their actual health and called it off. Due to the negative press, they nerfed both it and the similarly maddening Absolute Virtue while also going to the extreme Anti Poop-Socking measure of a two-hour time limit on both fights.
Interviews have revealed that Absolute Virtue was never meant to be beaten, and that he was supposed to be the risk for killing the last boss of the Sea region. After players figured out how to kill him through exploits, they made him a guaranteed pop and gave him a loot table which he did not have the first time he was killed.
Win Back the Crowd: To say that Abyssea has re-energized an aging game is quite the understatement.