There's improvements to the battle system planned for the next scheduled patch in Final Fantasy XI.
Up until now, battle music would only be triggered when the player executes the "attack" command on an enemy. This has meant that battle music is not triggered when other commands, such as "magic," are used instead.
The development team has made considerations for battle music to be triggered based on factors such as distance from the enemy, and whether or not a party member is engaged in battle. However, it was raised that triggers that would cause unexpected and abrupt changes in BGM would not be well received by our players. Furthermore, depending on platform, sound playback can be a hardware intensive process. Frequent changes in music would result in lowered hardware performance, e.g. a delay in log messages. For these reasons, the battle music system has been left untouched until now.
For the next version update, however, our programmers have been working hard to make improvements to the battle music system become reality. These adjustments should allow battle music to play if you are within the vicinity of a party member currently engaged with an enemy, even if you yourself have not executed the "attack" command. This way, even those who play with long range attack characters such as mages, will not have to miss out on an essential atmospheric element in the game. While it may not be possible to account for all scenarios, due to the nearly limitless ways in which battles can be initiated; we believe this will improve things significantly.
Monster Name Text Color
A new text color will be added to monster names, in order to differentiate those that are engaged with an alliance member as opposed to those engaged with players from another party. The names of monsters being engaged by an alliance member will now be displayed as reddish-purple.
Macro and Marker Data
Until now, it has been possible to store character macro and marker data only on the hard disk drives of players' game machines. However, the next version update will make it possible to also store this data on PlayOnline's servers. Now you can enjoy the convenience of using your very own user-defined macros no matter where you go!