High Notorious Monsters are a nebulous category of typically higher-level Notorious Monster that grant everyone in the party or alliance a title upon its defeat. The term was coined by the Japanese players during the first release stages of Final Fantasy XI and was quickly adopted by the NA and EU players as a standard to referring to such NMs. The moniker (also known variably as "Honorific Notorious Monster", "Hard Notorious Monster", "Hyper Notorious Monster" or "Heavy Notorious Monster") is largely an informal one used by players, not by developers of the game itself.
There has always been some dispute over what constitutes an HNM, and even today many continue to disagree about both its origin and definition. While some could consider both Morbolger and Stray Mary HNM, many others would consider these mobs now too easily defeated to hold this label. Those traits that most are in agreement over are as follows:
- Levels at or above 75, typically requiring an Alliance (or even multiple Alliances!) of players Levels 70 to 75 to defeat.
- Found on standard maps, rather than BCNM fights.
- Drop valuable and exclusive items and equipment, sometimes specific to that particular HNM, often in multiple types.
- All Wyrms are HNMs. (note: no longer true with Abyssea)
- Some believe HNM stands for "Honorary Notorious Monster" HNM would signify monsters that grant a title after defeat.
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