you take merits into account you still can't really "master" every job on one character though. From my own experience there are enough minor advantages (sidestepping "you can only do X so often", bypassing "you can only pick one rewards, multiboxing) and disavantages (having to redo missions etc) to having one job per char vs having all jobs on one character where it's not that big of a draw either way.
And you know, I always hated that about merits. It deviates from what I always felt to be a good principle in the game. But honestly, I could never merit two jobs anyway... I couldn't bring myself to fully merit one. Way too much grinding.
Alternatively, I wouldn't mind that much it if they let us "learn" everything, but only be able to set a certain # of talents/ja/etc at a time (either similar to WoW's talent trees or BLU's spell list). However I've always felt it was really awkward and unnatural in games that I could spend all this time learning some skill set and then just "forget it" because I talked to an npc or switched an option.
This is what I'm hoping for. It's not my "perfect system" but it's pretty **** good. I might do something like a Materia grid for it. You level up the abilities yes, but you don't really forget them... just unequip them. That's one of the great things about video games: when all logic and reason fails... magic!
Alternatively, you could make it so that you can't just switch abilities willy-nilly. If you forget an ability, you have to relearn it. So it allows for that level of customization, but you still have to decide what you want your character to be, because you can't change for each situation that presents itself. I kind of prefer that way, I think, but it has one major downside. Not as much magic :c
Really, I wouldn't mind straight unlimited growth w/o max as long as it became progressively harder to skillup the more skills you had to the point where it was unrealistic to ever be able to max everything, but characters that played a lot were still significantly better than newer chars. Some older (2d) mmo's tried this and I heard it worked fairly well, but I don't see it as very likely in FFXIV.
I also like this system, though I always want to tweak it so that it's a little more flexible and you don't find yourself locked in to your ridiculously strong skills, while at the same time friendly to new players. Basically a system where, as you say, you can never max. Each use in combat improves the ability a bit, but you really might as well just play the game and enjoy it, because there's no point in busting your *** to hit the cap. I didn't realize there were games that actually used that kind of system. Though I did play a game where it -seemed- impossible to cap (but at least one guy did it... I feel sorry for him).
But yeah, at this point especially that looks unlikely.
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.