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