Use the /clock on command to display both Vana'diel's and Earth's time and date.
Vana'diel, like the real world, has a fundamental set of rules that govern time. It experiences both day and night, different days of the week, different months with varying seasons, and a full cycle of moon phases. Unlike the real world though, Vana'diel time is a very exact science; there is no leap year and every month consists of the same number of days. Taking a moment to understand Vana'diel time will eliminate a lot of guesswork during your stay here.
Vana'diel Time Increments
Minutes & Seconds
A Vana'diel minute is composed of 60 Vana'diel seconds, similar to earth time, but this process is sped up due to its smaller scale. This makes a Vana'diel minute seem to pass by in only a couple of seconds.
A Vana'diel day is made of 24 Vana'diel hours, like an earth day, but the entire process takes less than an hour due to its smaller scale.
A Vana'diel week consists of 8 Vana'diel days, unlike earth, which only has 7. Each day corresponds with an Element, which it is also named for. The first day of the week is Firesday and is followed by Earthsday, Watersday, Windsday, Iceday, Lightningday, Lightsday, and Darksday. The moon will have a faint tint corresponding to the day of the week.
A Vana'diel month has exactly 30 days, which in Vana'diel time is 2 days short of a full four weeks. It is this reason that there are irregularities in which day each month begins with and adds a sense of realism to the Vana'diel timesphere.
A Vana'diel year, like an earth year, has 12 months as well, but because of the exact nature of Vana'diel weeks and months, there are only and always 360 days in a Vana'diel year.
Vana'diel Time to Earth Time Conversions
Vana'diel time is scaled down in relation to Earth time so it appears to move faster for us; twenty five times faster to be exact. An earth hour is exactly twenty-five hours in Vana'diel. These solid mechanics make Vana'diel time extremely easy and fun to calculate! Below is a list of equivalents for each element of Vana'diel time.
- Vana'diel Second
- .04 Seconds (1/25th of a second)
- Vana'diel Minute
- 2.4 seconds
- Vana'diel Hour
- 2 minutes 24 seconds
- Vana'diel Day
- 57 minutes 36 seconds
- Vana'diel Week
- 7 hours 40 minutes 48 seconds
- 9 weeks: 2 days 21 hours 7 minutes 12 seconds (AH expiration time)
- Vana'diel Calendar Month
- 1 day 4 hours 48 minutes
- Vana'diel Lunar Month
- 3 days 8 hours 38 minutes 24 seconds
- Vana'diel Season
- 3 days 14 hours 24 minutes
- Vana'diel Year
- 14 days 9 hours 36 minutes
The in-game clock, viewable with the /clock on command, only appears to "tick" in sync with Earth seconds. As a result, the Vana'diel minutes do not appear to increment exactly every 2.4 Earth seconds. Instead, it increments in a 2-2-3-2-3 Earth second pattern, which averages out to 2.4 Earth seconds.
The following equivalents have various uses, particularly if you are farming a certain type of monsters and want to reference the Vana'diel clock as to when to expect a pop. These times were calculated using the simple formula eM/2.4 = vH.
- 16 Earth minutes
- ~6 Vana'diel hours and 40 Vana'diel minutes
- 12 Earth Minutes
- ~5 Vana'diel hours
- 5 Earth Minutes
- ~2 Vana'diel hours and 5 Vana'diel minutes
- 1 Earth Minute
- ~25 Vana'diel minutes
See Moon Phase for more detailed information.
The system that governs the moon phases helps create one of the most beautiful aspects of Final Fantasy XI; a moon that is visually altered as it "orbits" the world of Vana'diel. Like our moon, this produces an effect that gives the moon phases because of its orientation with the "sun" and our viewpoint from Vana'diel. The only thing that could make this system even more beautiful is the occurrence of eclipses.
One of the really neat things about this system is that it's quite different than Earth moon phase. The moon takes an entire 10½ Vana'diel weeks to complete its cycle, which is 84 Vana'diel days, almost 3 whole months. However, there's 90 days in 3 Vana'diel months causing a six-day alteration every three-months-period in the moon's phases in relation to the actual day of those months. Whether Square Enix designed it this way to make it different than Earth's moon phase or because they simply didn't want people being able to predict the moon's phase every month without looking at the "/clock" is still a mystery.
While the real-world system may make it virtually impossible for the moon to be at the same exact phase for the same exact month in any subsequent year, the Vana'diel moon is governed by a much simpler system with no chance variables such as the conservation of angular momentum. Every 14 months the Vana'diel moon will once again begin the month at 2% (ending the month before it at 0%) and every 7 years it will do so on the second month of a Vana'diel year, never on the 1st month. (2% new moon can start with the 2nd/4th/6th/8th/10th/12th yearly, never on the 1st etc.) <insert diagram>
Vana'diel also experiences the four seasons which also follow exact calculations. While the seasons go by relatively without notice, they are part of the conditions and mechanics for some of the game's events; one of the most notable is the Noble Mold Notorious Monster in The Sanctuary of Zi'Tah. You'll also find it much easier to experience the weather you may need for whatever circumstance if you try to plan your event during a specific season.
Each of the seasons is three months long, similar to Earth seasons. The Winter season consists of the first three Vana'diel months followed by Spring, Summer, and Autumn, as shown below.
Each season takes exactly 3 Earth Days 14 Earth hours and 24 Earth minutes to run its course and is typically followed by specific weather patterns, especially in certain areas. You'll notice more heat spells during the Summer while in the desert and you'll notice more rain and thunderstorms in the tropical areas during the Spring.
It is worth noting that Vana'diel's sun rises and sets nearly exactly in the eastward and westward directions, with very little deflection to the north or south (unlike most of Earth); while this may not be intentional, it implies that Vana'diel's tilt on its axis is significantly less than that of Earth, though still large enough to create seasons. If it is indeed an intentional effect, it provides a neat explanation for why the variation between seasons in Vana'diel seems slight by Earth standards.
Public Transportation Schedule Architecture
The Airship schedule applications aren't as complicated as you think. They leave the same destination 4 times a Vana'diel day. The schedule, although seemingly apparent that they are six hours apart, they do have slight variations in their times, making them seem a bit more realistic in nature - in that they aren't always perfect on what time they arrive or depart. For specific information, please check out the respective airship schedules:
Selbina-Mhaura Ferry / Silver Sea Route for the Nashmau-Aht Urhgan Ferry
This Ferry also follows a very specific time pattern similar to the Airship, however it only runs three times a day. 24 Vana'diel hours divided by 3 means that each ship will be 8 hours apart; 19 Earth minutes and 12 Earth seconds. The only time you need to remember is Vana'diel midnight or 00:00. The ship will depart from Selbina, Mhaura, Nashmau, or Aht Urhgan Whitegate at exactly this time and will do so again at 08:00 and 16:00.
Mhaura-Aht Urhgan Ferry This Ferry also runs 3 times a day or 8 hours apart, but its off-scheduled from the other Ferry by four hours to make room for two ships that share the port at Mhaura. The first Time-to-Depart is 04:00; add 8 hours for 12:00 and again for 20:00 to get the other two times that this ship takes off from either zone.
The Manaclipper schedule utilizes the most complicated ship schedule in the game but it also follows a very predictable pattern. The main destination, Purgonorgo Isle is scheduled twice a day and evenly spaced 12 Vana'diel hours apart. However, it only takes half that time to complete the route leaving alot of extra time for the boat to Manaclipper to alternate between the Maliyakaleya Reef and Dhalmel Rock tours. These other two routes are also separated by 12 Vana'diel hours and happen at the same time each day.
Now, this is where the ship schedule seems complicated. The first assumption is that the four trips per day should be equally spaced 6 Vana'diel hours apart creating a harmony schedule similar to the Airship timetables. However, that could only occur if there were an equal number of departures between the boarding locations. In this case there are two boarding locations, Purgonorgo Isle and Bibiki Bay and six departures between the two. However, four of the six departures take place from Bibiki Bay creating a lopsided schedule that has to allow for the extra time it takes for the arrival and departure at one location. This is why the two optional tours can't be scheduled for the alternating half-way points between the Purgonorgo Isle schedules.
Carpenters' Landing Barge
The Carpenter's Landing Barge follows a precise route through the Phanauet Channel and takes exactly 1 Vana'diel Day to complete its entire route. Because there are three boarding locations and five departures the ship schedule may appear to be quite random. However, four of the five routes between the landings are through a different part of the channel so the arrival and departure times vary throughout the day.<insert Earth Time Table of Ship Rides>