I have been thinking about this alot. They did say no experience. Which means there is no experience. Now I started thinking of Rpg like games with no experience in them. They did state weapons would have a big roll in your development as well as the story. Also they would be keeping the job system and expanding on it. It will be different that is a given. No two FF games are ever the same for the most part and most dont even share the same style of gameplay in general. Here is a list of ideas>
FF2: This imo is very unlikely it means that you could just sit at a zone if there is zones and let a mob mash on ya for a good while zone, heal and rince repeat. I see many flaws in this system and it wouldnt require you to choose a class more or less use the abilities of a class to lvl up. You could argue if your a whm you would be using tons of mp so your mp would go up just as an ex. But I just know that the game itself had lots of problems with the system. At anyrate that was an old game and the problems could be ironed out. If you played the game you would understand.
FFIX: Alot of people are speculating this because the makers of FFXIV had worked on FFIX. So what would this have to do with the JOB system which they did state was coming back in a way, aswell as no exp. But if you equip a weapon and kill mobs for points towards your spells that are on your gear selection you might as well call it EXP. So I cant personally see this working out. Though a variant would maybe work. (this is all just speculation based on the interviews.) Though this would support the argument of weapons supporting your characters growth.
Now a title that is no where close to a FF series but supports alot of the claims SE made about development of characters. (This is a long long long shot but may actually have validity.)
Monster Hunter: Okay if anyone has played this game you should already know what I am talking about. I am going to hit every point and explain where I am coming from.
Growth through Storyline: This game was all about questing for monsters and then using monster parts for crafting items to help you out weither it would be a weapon, armor, food, you name it. As you progress you run into more advanced recipes and hence forth better armor. There is also no EXP in this game.
Weapons playing a key roll: So since there is no exp in this game how do you develop as a character? Well the farther you get the better your resources are and the better your weapons and gear get. Weapons and Armor are what your stats are based off. Every piece of armor is a vital part of your characters stats and strategy. And hence forth playing a huge role in the game which supports the statements made by the interviewee. They still had different classes Gunner, Gunlance, Spears, Hammers, Hunting Horns, and your gear was directly associated with this.
One day you will maybe use one weapon and then the next day use a different one: The way I think this would work is that one day youll use the gear based towards your whm then then if you are fighting something that requires you to use a different style of play just switch gear and wammoo instant change! Just like in Monster hunter one weapon had a slight advantage over a certain monster and so forth.
Determining Player Abilites and LvLs: This also wouldnt be to hard just look at the gear and bam you got an idea of where that character stands.
This would also combat RMT because in Monster Hunter all your material was dropped by mobs. Or farmed/mined and they cant keep you from killing crap. Maybe Nms could drop rare material so you can get some better then average armor stats and weapon stats. Heck who knows I think it would be awesome.
This is basically hitting head on and without a doubt everything that was stated in the interviews. Weapons playing an intricate roll. Character development through your gear. No exp. Storyline being important. It all hits home. Now im not saying im right and this is what its gonnna be but its an example of what it could be.
So to narrow it down, according to you SE has transferred the XP, (aka level up) onto your gear and switching jobs onto what weapon you equip? The problem that arises here is that getting the gear, will that be based on drop rate? Or, as you said, taking parts from the mobs and craft them? How high should the drop rate be?
How long of a grinding will it take to get that item that will upgrade my character to the next level? What if the item drop rate is % then that means that my progression is based on luck and if someone is unlucky and don’t get the item or will get out rolled in parties he will not progress due to that ? Sound really fuc*ed up. Also if you make the gear drop rate 100%, that doesn’t solve the problem.
You need to have 2 systems for char development and item development. Have those 2 blend into each other will make the game a BIG fail in my eyes. Also sounds **** of a boring to me ;( I would have thought they would be a bit more original then that. As one often hears "Why reinvent the wheel, at least the part that works?”