Note: This is a very long post.
Changes: Weapons no longer have slots for crystals, instead they simply let you "connect" or use the them.
The popular thing to do is make character theories, especially since SE said there will be no traditional levels. They also said, at least according to the wiki, that weapons will play a "key" role in how characters develop. That being said I think I came up with something that keeps characters somewhat unique, but still keeps a job system and adds a ton of variety.
This system is based on two primary things; weapons, and crystals. In FFXI characters would equip weapons based on their job. In my system this is somewhat reversed. Each weapon lets you "Connect" with a certain number of crystals. These crystals hold abilities which you can use when they are attached to a weapon. These crystals decide your class, and are a factor for determining your stats. For instance..
White Mage Crystal Lv 1
Cure, Dia, Banish, Regen, and other skills (support too).
Now you might ask, what is this level 1? Well early weapons will only be able to support early skills. I know a popular thing is to have stat requirement but I'm not sure if I want to see everyone in the party able to cure themselves when needed.
But how do you get higher level crystals?
The easiest way would be to either buy them from NPCS, or find them on monsters. Some might be quest rewards or other events.
But what are the requirements for using these higher level crystals? Well they vary, but the simplest is having learned the abilities from the previous level. Learning the abilities might also have +stat increases connected with them. Like Black Magic might have +2 Int every time you learn a spell. Remember you still can't use the spell unless you have the crystal equipped, and the Int bonus vanishes.
As you probably remember I said that weapons might let you connect. This is where things get interesting. To increase the different abilities players can try to see if crystals are compatible. Also, some abilities might only be useable through crystal combos. Example...
Let's say you have a Thief 1 crystal with the abilities Sneak Attack, Steal, Flee. Now you also a lets say a special crystal 2. This crystal has an ability that drains your TP but increases your attack power. Now when you mix these two you can use an ability to drain TP to increase the power of sneak attack, the accuracy of steal, and the duration of flee. This is a pretty bad example.
Mixing crystals might also allow for different job types.
Let's say you have a Black Magic 2 crystal so you have elemental spells and their second level equivalents. But you also have a Swordplay crystal which lets you use sword skills. If you mix these two crystals your class changes into a Mystic Knight and your abilities are replaced by Spell Sword which lets you enhance your Weapons with elemental properties. These would be the equivalent to an advanced job. Also when you use crystals to change your job, you might lose some abilities from the crystals you are using, but some of them might still be available to you. You might also be able to use another crystal to change your job into something even more specialized, or to give you a wider array of abilities, or even for just a simple stat boost.
However, you just can't use any crystal you want all the time. Like I said some weapons might only allow crystals from Whm, Rdm, Blm. Also some crystals might not be compatible with others. Also multiple crystals might change status bonuses in ways you might not expect..
It's obvious that a White mage and Warrior crystal would produce a Paladin. You might think a WHM poor defense would be offset by a warriors higher defense, but in the end the total defense is higher.
There is also a thing called crystal connection I'm working on. As you use abilities or attack or get hit or something you build up a gauge for special attacks. (Basically Limit breaks) unlike in FFXI they are no restricted to melee. Like in FFXI these moves can be chained (but not magic bursted). However, certain abilities if used close together will make a new ability or effect.
You will also get a weapon sack. You can use these to hold weapons to change them on the fly and therefore your job and the abilities you can use. However, you can only carry a limited number of weapons on you and you need to meet certain requirements to change jobs...
1. If the weapon lets you use the same crystal set up as you are using before you can swap at any time, as long as the crystal set up is the same.
2. If you are downgrading (as in moving to a weapon with less crystals, but all the remaining crystals are the same) you can switch at any time.
Crystals don't have to be all about combat. Some crystals might open up new animations, or improve crafting, or other things. Some might simply increase your movement speed or something. But now for some obvious questions
1. What if I am unarmed
-You always have one innate crystal at all times.
2. How do you regulate what weapons I can equip?
-It's based on the total score of abilities you know. Basic elemental abilities might give you 2 points each, while higher level ones might give you 8 points each. Each weapon will have a "Point" requirement. The points would most likely have to be from crystals the weapon is compatible with. (So if you have 30 points in bard skills, but the weapon does not support a bard crystal those points do not count)
3. What about armor?
-Armor is calculated based on your stats as in DEX, STR, etc.
4. In that case, if I level with only a Warrior crystal will I have super high attack power?
-No, while it might have some minor attack power bonus.. i want to keep it so players don't get a crappy mage if they were a warrior for over 9000 years and suddenly want to switch.
5. What are the requirements for weapon swapping?
-They vary, honestly I'm having troubles getting ideas of what a good requirement would be.
6. What about duel wielding?
-Only the main hand counts.
Edited, Jun 24th 2009 2:06pm by Litie