Enmity (also known as hate) is Final Fantasy XI's term for how much a monster hates any particular player. This is the quantity which determines whom a monster would be attacking during battle, and is comparable to terms like Threat Level in some other MMORPGs.

Enmity's nature

Accumulating Enmity

Enmity is not to be confused with aggression, which means that a monster detects a player and starts attacking. To be able to gain enmity, a player has to be on the monster's enmity list, a list of players toward whom it holds hate. To get on that list, a player either has to perform any kind of action on the monster itself (i.e. cast a spell on it, or attack it), perform an action on someone who is already on the monster's enmity list (i.e. cure or buff the player), or simply rest near a monster which has established enmity on a party or alliance member.


  • Person A got an aggression from a monster and runs away. Person B sees that and cures A, right before A reaches the zoneline and runs to safety. Now the monster pursuing A will just disappear without going after B.
  • Person A tried to solo a monster and keeps attacking it for a while, but decides that it can't handle the situation and tries to run to the zoneline. Player B sees that and cures him. Now after A zoned out of the area, the monster will turn around and pursue B, because it cured A when A was still on the monster's hate list.

Player testing indicates that the total amount of enmity for a player consists of two components, a static form of enmity (referred to as cumulative enmity or CE), and a dynamic form of enmity (volatile enmity or VE). The difference between the two is that cumulative enmity stays at the same level and can only be lost by taking damage, while volatile enmity will decay over time, whether any damage is taken or not. So far, almost every single action seems capable of producing at least a small amount of cumulative enmity, and many actions seem to be able to produce both cumulative and volatile enmity. The amount of enmity produced however may differ greatly.

Losing enmity

Upon dying, a player will be removed from all monsters' hate lists it was on before. That means the monster(s) won't pursue this player anymore. Zoning will also work but only if no other players remain on the monter's hate list.

There are a number of possible situations that might arise from this:

  • There are still other players on the monster's hate list
In this case, the monster will turn around and pursue the other people on its hate list, depending on who currently has the most enmity. If a player returns to the zone at least a portion of this player's enmity will remain.
  • No other players are on the monster's hate list
If this is the case, there are again a number of possible outcomes, depending on the situation a player is in.
  • The monster is far away from its spawn area
The monster will despawn on the spot and just disappear. It will respawn in its original area shortly thereafter.
  • The monster is close to its spawn area
The monster is likely to return to where it came from and will roam its usual area. This only works for very short distances and won't happen in most situations. However this is an important reason to pull monsters back from their spawn area when fighting them, so that in the case of the player's death, the monster doesn't stay close and prevent safe raising of people.
  • Exceptions
In certain situations, like in most battlefields (BCNM, KSNM, mission battlefields, etc.) and events (Dynamis, Limbus, Salvage, etc.), monsters won't disappear at all, no matter how far from their spawn points they are. This is important since raises need to be timed so that after a wipe, people getting up too early don't get aggression from monsters that were walking back to their spawn points.
Some monsters will lose their track on players after traveling varrying distances.


Enmity gain can be modified with certain equipment and merit points. Enmity +/-x means a percentual increase/decrease in total enmity gain.


  • A PLD has Enmity+50, so his total enmity gain would be 150%, or 1.5 times normal enmity gain. If he would use Provoke on a monster, and another player with no enmity modifiers would use it shortly after the PLD, the monster would still be facing the PLD. Also, this ensures that the PLD gets the monster's attention back easily. In some cases, a WAR might use Provoke to get hate off a mage, if the PLD's voke is not up yet. If the PLD vokes right after the WAR, he will get the monster back on him, since his enmity modifier is higher than the WAR's and thus his provoke gave him more enmity than the WAR's.
  • A common problem in EXP parties is that mages get too much hate with a spell and the mob runs over and kills them in a few hits. Often their total enmity is close to the tank's. That's why they try to get enmity decrease equipment. Even as little as Enmity-2 can make a difference in these situations.

Shared enmity

The concept of shared enmity or shared hate has nothing to do with actual enmity, as described in this article. It's a colloquial term that describes aggression and fighting behaviour of certain monsters or monster families. It differs from enmity in that it is gained by killing monsters of a certain type, and that every monster of the family will act according to that number. Depending on the actual monster family, it can either be used to modify aggression behaviour (as with Fomors and possibly Pixies), or even affect the battle style and single attacks (i.e. Apkallu and Tonberries). While it still may have effects on enmity gain, depending on the monster family, it is coincidental and unrelated to enmity as mentioned here. Usually it is possible to reduce accumulated shared enmity, but that also differs with each monster family.

Enmity control

Almost every party or alliance must manage their players' respective enmity levels in some way. Usually the focus is to keep the hate on the tank, the person with the highest chance of surviving the enemy attacks. However, some party setups with no real tanks just rely on the melees constantly out damaging each other, so that tanks are switched regularly, which gives enough time to recast shadows, or to bind/kite the mob around while nuking, which is used in an all BLM setup.

Enmity related moves

Some mobs behave differently in certain situations involving enmity.

The special move Spike Flail for instance, native to a variety of wyrms, is triggered when a player standing behind the wyrm in question suddenly gets hate. Since this move usually results in the death of most, if not all members of the alliance, people try to avoid it at all costs. But since players will get hit by cone damage attacks like breaths if they stand in front of wyrms, they have to be very careful where to stand, and to control their enmity gain if they're behind the wyrm.

A few moves are known to reduce or reset enmity. These can either be single target (like Delver's Impalement, or Vrtra's Horrid Roar) or target everyone in the area of effect, with range differing greatly (i.e. Kam'lanaut's short ranged Great Wheel, or Sand Trap, a move native to the Antica family). These can prove to be a threat, since the tank needs to get hate back fast, or the monster will target the next person who uses a weapon skill or a high enmity ability. And since mages have and use high enmity spells, they risk being attacked by the monster if the timing is bad and the tank is out of means to generate enmity fast. Also, in the case of a short range enmity resetting move such as Sand Trap, mages are usually out of range of the move when it occurs, thus their enmity is not reset at the same time as the front-liners, and it becomes harder to regain enmity from the mages if they have not managed their enmity gain to some degree.

FFXI Producer Akihiko Matsui's Explanation of the Enmity System

The following text is a translated quote from FFXI Producer Akihiko Matsui:

I'd like to take a moment to explain about the workings of the enmity system, which will include some numbers. Furthermore, I would like to touch on the aspects we are trying to adjust.

Before I get into it, I'd like you all to understand that we will not be revealing all of the formulas and inner workings moving forward. Since we are dealing with the adjustment of the enmity system, which is very large, I feel it necessary to know the fundamentals and where we are coming from, and have decided to make a special exception this time.

Due to this, writing up this post was a bit tricky and there is quite a bit of text. However, in order to deepen the discussion related to enmity, please take a moment and read over the post. --

The Enmity System


The enmity system is such that a monster will attack the player that is threatening them the most. In order to determine which player is the most threatening, the parameter known as enmity is used to make it possible to measure and compare the amount of threat.


The enmity system is not in place to make monster AI more intelligent. It's more of a stronger significance for securing battle strategy elements by giving players a means of controlling the monster's target (to some extent).

Types of Enmity (Classification by the method of enmity decay)

Depending on the method of decay, enmity in FFXI is separated into two groups and logged.

  • Time-volatile Enmity

Enmity which decays over time.

  • Damage-volatile Enmity

Enmity which decays when players take damage.

Due to the fact that multiple players are generating enmity against a monster, the work of recording enmity is accomplished by creating a list for the characters. (Though I use the term “enmity list” here, this will not be popping up again in this post.) Based on this list, the monster will target (auto-attack target) the player with the highest value of combined time-volatile enmity and damage-volatile enmity.

Enmity related data embedded in actions (commands, magic, etc.)

Classification based on how it influences enmity (direct, indirect, none)
Ignoring the type of actions that have no influence towards enmity, actions are classified into two groups based on how they influence enmity.

  • Direct

Players perform enmity generating actions towards a monster, and the monster’s enmity for the player increases. This mainly consists of damage and enfeebling type commands.

  • Indirect

A player performs an action towards another player that already has enmity from a monster, and enmity increases towards the player performing the action. This mainly consists of healing and enhancing type commands.

Classification based on how enmity increases are calculated (fixed, effect dependent)

  • Fixed

A set value is added to time-volatile enmity and damage-volatile enmity when an action is successful. This is applies to enhancements and enfeebles that generally do not have numerical results.

  • Effect Dependent

A set calculation is added to time-volatile enmity and damage-volatile enmity proportional to the amount of damage dealt or the amount of HP healed

Finally, the formula

Defining 1 enmity

When we were revamping the enmity system for FFXIV I explained a bit about this, but we start out by calculating 1 enmity= 1 damage. Also, system-wise enmity will not decay.

For FFXI on the other hand, while there is quite a bit of management work for dividing the enmity system into time-volatile enmity and damage-volatile enmity, since this isn't sufficient for the amount of damage of NM battles and such, we adopted a method of using a formula for scaling effect dependent type enmity to fixed type enmity, as well as the use of a decay system.

With that said, 1 enmity has been set based on the principle that the amount of time-volatile enmity that decays in a single second is equal to 60 (Since the developers first began making the game on PS2, this was adopted due to the fact that the smallest unit of frame rate measurement was 1/60 seconds.). For example (I'm hesitant to give numbers, but whatevs), the job command “Provoke” is a fixed-type action, and has 1800 time-volatile enmity. This means that this amount of enmity will decay completelyin s30 seconds.

Enmity calculation for effect variations

For each level there is data known as standard damage which is used for enmity calculation.

  • This value was made to be almost the same damage value as the baseline value when weapon data is created (240 attack delay sword).

The below is how enmity is calculated at the time of dealing “d” damage:
Time-volatile enmity = 240*d/standard damage
Damage-volatile enmity= 80*d/standard damage
(Standard damage is obtained based on the level of the monster)
In other words, if you are dealing standard damage every 4 seconds, time-volatile enmity is repeatedly decaying from 240 to 0. Also, damage-volatile enmity is 1/3 of the time-volatile enmity (25% of total enmity), and the coefficient value is 80.

Currently the amount of fire power is much higher than the initially set standard, so I feel we need to rectify the situation where it is easy to reach the cap for volatile enmity by revamping the standard damage used for enmity calculations.

Calculation for the amount of decay of damage-volatile enmity

When a player takes “d” damage from a monster, the damage-volatile enmity of a monster towards a player decreases.

Damage-volatile enmity = 1800*d/player's max HP In other words, when a player takes the same amount of damage as their max HP, enmity decays by 1800 (one Provoke).

  • This amount can be modified by the effect of Sentinel.
  • 1800 might feel a bit rough from the perspective of backline jobs.

If we were to make this value larger, it would make it easier to get rid of enmity by damage taken, but it would make it difficult for tanks to maintain their target when they take damage. If we make adjustments to this, it will be necessary to look into setting up a special rule of sorts.

  • For healing magic, the value is half of the above calculation.


Enmity increase from resting

By distancing yourself from the targeted monster at a set distance, it's possible to make the amount of enmity generated from resting zero. The distance is approximately half the distance in which spells can be executed.

Enmity cap

The enmity limit is common for all jobs and the same is true for time-volatile and damage-volatile enmity. As to whether increasing this cap will make it so players don’t get stuck at the enmity cap, since it is only possible work size-wise for us to raise the value approximately three times of what it is currently, this is not an effective way to go.

While there were suggestions to change the cap values for each job, assuming that the suggestions were based on getting stuck at the cap, if this situation were to arise, it would ultimately boil down to whether you can or cannot maintain the target, so for the current conditions we are currently looking at pairing this with something else.

First step for adjustments

Standard damage (time-volatile)

First, we are planning to make adjustments to the standard damage. Since we are able to set the standard damage for each level, it will be possible to only adjust this for high levels without affecting other levels.

Damage-volatile enmity

After adjusting the standard damage, we will make adjustments to damage-volatile enmity. The ratio of time-volatile enmity and damage-volatile enmity when dealing damage or curing, as well as the amount of enmity decay when a player takes damage will be adjusted.

Individual commands and abilities

If there are problems with fixed-type data we will make adjustments.


The time it takes to defeat a monster with double HP that takes double damage is the same as the amount of time it takes to defeat a monster with 50% HP that takes 50% damage; however, enmity-wise there are large differences. If the damage taken by a monster is suppressed too much, it becomes possible to generate a lot more enmity with actions that have fixed-type enmity as opposed to those that have effect dependent enmity. We will need to check content to see if monster parameters have been set properly with an understanding of these systems.

See Also

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