When Rise of the Zilart was released, the level cap which was at 60 at the time was raised over the course of the next few version updates to 75, where it remained for the next 7 years. Most notably, this era of Final Fantasy XI marked the introduction of Artifact Armor. This expansion's era also introduced high level crafted gear and a number of armor sets which represented the end game for its time.
Crafted Armor SetsEdit
Abjuration Armor was introduced as the first end-game armor set for level 75 characters. The armor sets may only be made by getting the San d'Orian priest Alphollon to uncurse certain equipment with items known as abjuration. The cursed items were among the highest level crafted gear at the time, and abjuration could only be obtained from high level Notorious Monsters such as Nidhogg and the Shijin in Ru'Aun Gardens.
Abjuration Armor was known to be some of the strongest equipment at 75 even after many years. This is due to the fact that the raw stat boosts they give are considerably higher than other equipment at the same level. However, each armor set has an inherent drawback. For example, the Hecatomb Harness set grant a huge STR boost when equipped, but also come with a potent Slow effect.
A successful high-quality craft of cursed equipment would result in cursed-1 equipment, which would in turn become enhanced or +1 versions of abjuration sets when uncursed. Abjuration armor may be enhanced by Synergy.
Relic Armor, commonly known as AF2 and often regarded as the second official armor sets for jobs, were introduced alongside the large scaled battle content known as Dynamis. Relic Armor is job specific and offer unique stats for each job. Graphically, Relic Armor are slightly altered versions of Artifact Armor, with each set receiving either a palette swap or slight reskin. Relic Armor originally belonged to members of the Hydra Corps, an elite unit of soldiers who fought in the Battle at Xarcabard during the Crystal War.
Initially, jobs from Aht Urhgan such as Corsair were not intended to have Relic Armor obtainable from Dynamis as Aht Urhgan did not participate in the war, and the Puppetmaster profession did not even exist yet. However, with the introduction of Wings of the Goddess, it was reasoned that as adventurers traveled back in time through the cavernous maws to participate in the war, it would explain the existence of their job's armor during that time period.