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#1 Jul 09 2009 at 7:52 PM Rating: Good
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After reading a number of theories on how the job system in FFXIV could work I thought I’d give my 2 cents. I think it fits pretty well with what SE has said about the the type of growth they want in the game.


The air in the land of Eorzea is so full of magical power that it crystallizes by one’s everyday actions. Because of this they often are imbued with qualities of the very thing you were doing when they were created. The adventurers of Eorzea have found a way to use these magical energies trapped inside the crystals for their own benefit. These are the different types of crystals and how they are used:

Stat crystals – The most common crystal that is created by pretty much everything you do. Though, the most abundant source of stat crystals is from the monsters spread throughout Eorzea. Stat crystals are not specific in which stat they increase.

Spell/ability/skill crystals – The second most common crystal which are also produced by every action but far less abundant than stat crystals. These are also abundant on monsters but far more so on beastmen (they might not call them “beastmen” in FFXIV but you know what I mean). Like stat crystals, skill crystals are not specific to any spell, skill or ability but take an increasing amount of crystals the more complex a ability you try to learn. In addition to these normal skill crystals there are odd variations called solo skill crystals and group skill crystals that offer skills best suited for solo and group play, respectively.

Job Crystals – The rarest crystals that unlock new job options for the adventurer. While no one knows how they are all formed, adventurers often come back from dangerous missions carrying them. They guide your character to fit the classic FF jobs but give you a decent amount of customization.

Crafting crystals
– These crystals form when crafting which can be used to level your crafting skill as well as give some unique abilities/jobs. For example, one who uses alchemy enough might obtain enough crystals to create the Chemist job crystal (perhaps with a quest).

Exploration crystals – Fairly rare crystals that appear only when exploring new territory. These give power to the adventurer who likes adventure. Abilities like Widescan could possibly be given by these crystals.


Things to keep in mind (these are mainly mechanisms I’ve made up to patch up some holes in the system):

• Job, exploration and crafting crystals modify the character.

• Stat and skill crystals modify your job crystal. Stat and skill crystals can also be “removed” from the job crystal so you can “respec”.

• The types of skills you can learn from skill crystals are moderately dependent on your job crystal.

Example: A WHM can’t learn super jump but it can learn the polearm to a certain extent and perhaps even jump or a DRG could learn some WHM spells like cure but not the majority of them. Also, like in FFXI there is some progression…You must learn Cure before Cure II as well as a number of other prerequisites.

• The amount of stat crystals you have is limited to the amount of skill crystals you have and are also loosely dependent on your job crystal. This is a way of limiting a player’s stats to an appropriate level without actually giving the person a “level”.

Example: A WHM can’t have the same amount of STR as a DRG but it can stack up substantially in order to improve its melee capabilities.

• Crystals are more like the key items from FFXI so that you cannot obtain them in one job and use them in another. All stat and skill crystals are bound to a specific job upon obtaining them.

• Upon starting you are given a basic job crystal of your choice (think the basic jobs in FFXI) and are given opportunities to obtain more as you progress in the game (the basic jobs being the first several you obtain).

• The lower the “level” you explore the greater number of exploration crystals you obtain. Since there is a finite amount of areas in the game you will want to explore the game early to reap the best benefits from exploration.

In the end I think this is a great system that provides great flexibility and customization yet also keeps the iconic jobs of the FF series somewhat intact. I may have left things out or simply have decided not to cover some things due to the enormous amount of time such theorizing could consume but if you want me to clarify anything or give my reasoning for certain aspects of the system please ask. Anywho, offer any criticisms or praises you want...I know we all have different expectations for the game so there's bound to be people who don't like the idea.

I had a fun time creating this system so I’ve decided to create (or let blogger create) a simple blog where I can possibly continue with different aspects of the game.


EDIT: It all makes sense in my head but the more I think about it the more I'm worried it wont to others. I think I just left out too much detail.

Edited, Jul 9th 2009 9:24pm by Yogtheterrible
#2 Jul 09 2009 at 8:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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I like reading people's theories on how this will all pan out.
And of the ones I've read I think this sounds the most fun. I especially liked the bit about Crafting and Exploration facilitating character growth in a wholly appropriate way.

Unfortunately!

People seem to be making two mistakes repeatedly in their theorycraft. The ones that focus on the customization feature (such as you are) forget about the quote involving weapons:
Quote:

"choosing weapons for specific tasks one day versus another could affect how your character develops."
( http://ps3.ign.com/articles/991/991483p1.html )


And the folks that focus on the weapons seem to forget about the quote implying you'd receive EXP outside of battle situations:

Quote:
"FFXIV will bring new avenues of facilitating character growth, such as quests"
( http://ffxiv.zam.com/story.html?story=18628 )

Still an entertaining read all the same :3
Rate up.




Edited, Jul 10th 2009 12:33am by Zemzelette
#3 Jul 09 2009 at 8:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Zemzelette wrote:
People seem to be making two mistakes repeatedly in their theorycraft. The ones that focus on the customization feature (such as you are) forget about the quote involving weapons:
Quote:

"choosing weapons for specific tasks one day versus another could affect how your character develops."
( http://ps3.ign.com/articles/991/991483p1.html )


Ah, yes...I forgot about it. More like blocked it out actually. It's hard to think what exactly they are talking about so I really have nothing to say about it.
#4 Jul 09 2009 at 9:19 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm not sure how feasible the 'respec' part of your plan is. I'm guessing you see this as some kind of point buy system? First your 'level' is based on how many stat crystals you've collected, say at 100 you can glom on a second ability crystal, at 250 you can attach a third, etc. Then, let's say all your stats start at 10. As a white mage, let's say I have a stat Spirit that makes my magic work, like Intelligence works for black mages. For 11 stat crystals, I can buy Spirit up to 11, for 23 I can get 12, for 35, I can get 13, etc. But my Intelligence isn't quite as good, so it costs me 30% more (14, 30, and 47 respectvely) to improve. And my Strength is kind of bad, so I have to pay 50% more (17, 35, and 55). I'm still better than a black mage who pays double for Strength, though.

At any significant level, this is a process you won't be able to manage on the fly without some automation. So I might have a 'Balanced' mode where the game tries to assign the points equally to all stats, 'Efficient' which buys whatever is cheapest first (and results in what normally looks like a white mage's stats), and user defined modes by percentage, say 'Emergency' which I've set to keep my HP max where it is under Efficient, but dump everything else into vitality to avoid damage. Or 'Safe' which I use when I'm not in the line of fire, which overloads my Spirit stat for more powerful spells.

I'm not entirely sure that kind of min/maxing is desirable from the perspectve of character balance, but I guess it could give people something to strategize.

I for some reson see these job crystals being worn around the neck and changing shape based on how you attach stat crystals. Or attached to weapons like materia.
#5 Jul 09 2009 at 10:33 PM Rating: Decent
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righteousfury wrote:
I for some reson see these job crystals being worn around the neck and changing shape based on how you attach stat crystals. Or attached to weapons like materia.


If you've ever seen FFVII: Advent Children and have seen where Kadaj absorbs the materia into his bracer, I imagine something like that. I really got the idea of a crystal that gives you a job from FFV though.


Also, I'm thinking more of a hard cap for stat crystals, otherwise it doesn't matter how expensive the stats get, if you really wanted you can grind a whm to be as tough as a war. No, I'm thinking you have a whm who has cure III, at this point it can only have 100 intelliegence and 70 strength but you can only use enough crystals to get 130 out of those 170 stats. So essentially there are two caps to stats, one is imposed by the job crystal and the other by I didn't spell this out in my system because I honestly didn't care to mess around with numbers...after all, I'm not actually implementing this in the game. I'm just putting out an idea. What I want to do is keep the identity of whatever job you have while at the same time letting you adjust it to whatever type of gameplay you want. Lets say I have a whm who wants to use h2h weapons fairly decently at the expense of some of it's other capabilities, it should be able to do it with my system.

Essentially the job crystal provides you with a frame, you HAVE to take certain skills and you have to take a certain amount of certain stats but after that you're free to choose whatever you want.



On a side note before I came up with this system I thought of a freer system when you were open to take whatever skills or spells you wanted except if you took the spells from a certain template you would be rewarded with a job name and some extra abilities associated with that job. In this one I imagined you could include most of the jobs conceived of in the FF universe.

Edited, Jul 9th 2009 11:35pm by Yogtheterrible
#6 Jul 09 2009 at 11:42 PM Rating: Decent
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Exploration will ultimately become a chore of sneak/invis at lower levels
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#7 Jul 10 2009 at 12:06 AM Rating: Decent
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I never recall crystals being a major point in any of the interviews, aside from where a dev pointed out that there was a crystal in the artwork.

Good read though, and an fresh new idea.

Quote:
Exploration will ultimately become a chore of sneak/invis at lower levels


Maybe if it was FFXI exploration... but I highly doubt sneak/invis will be the only ways of exploring in the new game. ****, we already saw magical flying air-pod-type-thingies-with-bat-wings.
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#8 Jul 10 2009 at 2:32 AM Rating: Good
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I really like your ideas. I like the whole idea of these 'cystals' being used for progression and I don't think it will be very different by the time the game actually comes out.

The part about the weapons being a defining feature in the progress of your character might be something like this. If anyone ever played Vagrant Story might understand it. As I remember it there were three types of weapon in that. Blunt, Piercing and Edged. That's all pretty self explanitory and we all know that in FFXI Blunt > Skeleton Type. It was the same in VS though a bit more complex. You had things called affinities and you could improve a weapons affinity to a perticular enemy type. If you fought one type of monster regularly, that weapons affinity would grow causing greater damage to that type of mob but of course there was always a down-side too as you wold cause less damage to the opposing type of mob. Something like this may lead to us requiring more than one type of weapon.

They also say that there are clues in the FFXIV logo and I have spotted one of the charcaters with more than one weapon in hand. The Tarutaru in the centre is holding either two hammers or two wands, I can't really make it out that well. And there is another Hume like character coming out of the bottom left, holding what looks like a Javelin and a Hand Claw, similar to a Monks weapon.

Perhaps depending on 'Job Crystals' you have equiped, it will effect the types of weapon you can use. Perhaps Main Job is no longer the defining factor on which weapons you can equip, perhaps both are.
#9 Jul 10 2009 at 1:57 PM Rating: Decent
Quote:
They also say that there are clues in the FFXIV logo and I have spotted one of the charcaters with more than one weapon in hand. The Tarutaru in the centre is holding either two hammers or two wands, I can't really make it out that well. And there is another Hume like character coming out of the bottom left, holding what looks like a Javelin and a Hand Claw, similar to a Monks weapon.

Perhaps depending on 'Job Crystals' you have equiped, it will effect the types of weapon you can use. Perhaps Main Job is no longer the defining factor on which weapons you can equip, perhaps both are.


Now that i think about it, it makes a lot of FF sense. Your weapon has much to do with your growth, and some characters in the logo are carrying 2 varying weapons. It seems to me, that 1 weapon will give one job(ability/spell/traits/stats), while the other weapon will give you a "sub" job.
You might carry a sword/dagger in your main hand, and a wand in the other to give you a RDM effect. You may carry a 2 handed weapon ti give you straight melee capabilities, or carry 2 of the same weapon to double the potency of the abilities the weapons give you. you can probably only use said abilities when that weapon is equipped, and you probably skill up the weapons to gain access to the abilities.

Edit: There's the time sink.

Edited, Jul 10th 2009 6:03pm by Tenfooterten
#10 Jul 15 2009 at 5:58 AM Rating: Decent
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If its anything like Monster Hunter base stats will likely be static and only boosted by certain equipment. It'd likely be a more tactile game where its all about know when to attack and when to dodge. Basically reading the mobs habits to take handle of a given situation. rather than wondering if your character is strong enough to survive the beatings they get till they kill the mob. This would leave room for more exploration rather than grinding where depending on your personal skill you'll either be taking on one (or a few)large aggressive mobs or numerous weak mobs, or a mix of both.

*basing his assumptions on the first MH for ps2, not the more recent MH games which have gotten a lot more complex and fleshed out*

SO it'd be less about how can capitalize on their characters stats to beat a mob and more about who can assess on how to survive, how to find openings for an attack, when to fall back from being attacked, when to heal, and so on. The "leet" players will be the ones with the the most battle experience and play styles.

Their would be many players who specialize with 1 or a few play-styles (based on the weapons/jobs they utilize) and the few who will specialize at a wide variety (are all play-styles).

*In MH i mastered all weapons accept for the sword and shield lol*

hard to come up with ideas for learning abilities tho, i'd expect something along the lines of utilizing crystals as some seem to think as well, or maybe just an ability point system like in ffix or the way Bluemage has to set abilities based on their point value.
#11 Jul 17 2009 at 5:42 PM Rating: Decent
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I like the idea of not having job levels. Having an actual numbered level is too limiting in the long run. Having customizable stats would provide a far greater variety of players. It might make it harder to organize a well balanced party however.
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#12 Jul 17 2009 at 6:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Djsstorm wrote:
It might make it harder to organize a well balanced party however.


I was thinking the same thing. Since the only real way to determine if someone is able to level with you is to know what type of spells/skills he/she has I think it would be smart if FFXIV adopted a LFG function where others can see the specifics of your character (skill, spells, weapons, armor, ect...) and perhaps the computer could even suggest the areas your character could handle so people know without having to study your specs.
#13 Jul 17 2009 at 6:37 PM Rating: Decent
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So this is different from Materia ... how?
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#14 Jul 18 2009 at 6:53 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
So this is different from Materia ... how?


Well how I understand his system it is a little like the Fable exp mechanic. You get more Magic exp from when you cast a spell. You get more Skill exp when you use your bow. You get more Melee exp when you use your sword/hand to hand. And then there is general exp which can be spent in anything.

Materia was nothing like this. Sure depending on the type of Materia you equiped, it effected your stats but nothing that was really noticable. Add to the fact Materia was something you equiped, this crystal system seems to me, to be something you spend to unlock abilities. Perhaps more in common with FFXs system. That was a huge table, going in one direction would open up Healing abilities. Going in another opened up Melee abilities and the more you use those abilities the stronger they become, kinda like leveling them up rather than yourself.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if this sorta thing is in FFXIV. We can speculate all we want, but I bet we'll still be surprised when its finally revealled.
#15 Jul 18 2009 at 7:57 AM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
So this is different from Materia ... how?


There are similarities in the way Materia and crystals are created (one through concentrations of lifestream inside the earth and the other concentrations of magic in the air) but other than that there aren't that many similarities. I can understand if you didn't read it all as it is rather lengthy. These crystals are more like action points from previous FF, really, but designed to fit better in a story. You don't get a crystal and automatically have a skill, you have to accumulate them until you have enough for the next skill. Your skills are limited by your job crystal and your stats are limited by what skills you have. Again, somewhat similar to materia in that they raised or increased certain stats but that was much more direct, here it is very indirect in that your skills give you a cap to the stats you can have and you use stat crystals to direct what stats you want.

In the end crystals and materia are somewhat related but vastly different.
#16 Jul 19 2009 at 8:17 PM Rating: Good
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I think he's referring to the fact that materia could be leveled up through use to unlock new abilities or better stats.

In that sense they are very similar.

But the materia system is a pretty good system. With several tweaks to modernize it, it could be a great system for XIV.

Anyway, I like some of your ideas, OP.
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#17 Jul 20 2009 at 7:14 AM Rating: Decent
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I hope they bring back AP and use it to level up the jobs. EXP would level up your base character, with their selected race, and AP would be used to level up the jobs.
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