I do see where you're coming from, but to me that's just the perspective of a skeptic-- afraid that things won't work out if you change them. It's fine to be cautious about those things because they certainly have the potential to present greater balance issues. Let's be frank though-- FFXI has had balance issues for essentially always, but huge balance issues tend to be addressed sooner or later. Balance is really not that hard to tweak just by changing a few numbers or adding a multiplier.
But one of the primary aspects of this type of game is the Role-Playing, even if you don't actually roleplay. The fun in building a character is in making it the way you want it, usually in making it different. The less of that you have, the less enriching the experience is. I know some people are very, well frankly, uncreative, and the prospect of them having to think outside of simple cookie cutter setups and still keep up with the Jones' worries them. It's a good learning experience for them, is I guess the best I can say.
It's not that I don't find the job system absolutely charming. I've loved it all the way since implementation to FFT. But restricting people to those jobs takes customization (not to mention realism) out of an MMO where it is desperately needed. And if you really just want to make a Taru BLM, then by all means you should be able to do so, but I have full confidence that SE knows this because it's the same rationale behind the reincarnations of the FFXI races. But if I want to make a Moogle who sings songs, steals things, and casts ice magic, then I should be able to do that too, and I should be able to make it relatively balanced (at least not gimp). This is entirely possible when you're not confining these major changes to the same old systems that you're familiar with.
*And I also want to throw out there that it's so easy to stereotype and evaluate jobs purely BECAUSE they are all so similar. Simply by classifying a group of players as a Dark Knight you're already limiting them heavily based on their gear, merits, and subjob, but when you don't know WHAT someone is you really have to stop and look at them on the merits of their own performance.
Edited, Jun 11th 2009 11:05pm by Kachi
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...
Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.
Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.