Final Fantasy XI's November update is just around the corner (what with the end of October fast approaching), and that means we're hearing more about what job abilities are due for an upgrade. This time around, we're getting information about the game's two classic pet-using classes, the Summoner and the Beastmaster, and what new abilities are in store for them. To summarize in brief: pure, unadulterated awesome.
Summoners will learn a new ability called Avatar's Favor at level 55, which provides a passive benefit to all party members and reduces the MP cost of keeping an avatar active. With a two-hour duration, the ability is clearly aimed at the longstanding irritation many players have had about the "preferred" approach to summoner pets. Traditionally, the class has been forced to summon their pet, use one of its party-buffing abilities, and then immediately dismiss it due to its low utility in normal combat and the high MP cost of keeping it active. Avatar's Favor obviously rewards keeping a single avatar active on the battlefield to reap the most benefit, and its promise of a cost reduction makes that more fesable.
Beastmasters, meanwhile, are gaining the ability to directly control the special abilities used by their called beasts (as opposed to beasts tamed on the field). The system is explained in brief, but it should help provide some utility and control to a class that has slowly been making the shift over to called pets instead of tamed ones. Both updates should be welcome by the classes, and lend more support to the idea that if the November update is one of the last ones to grace Final Fantasy XI, it will be going out on a high note.