I'm starting to think their design approach for this game is "Oooh, let's add this! Oooh, let's add that!" with no thought at all towards how those systems interact with one another.
There are times where I think that too, especially in consideration of the dynamic between the EXP restriction (which favors the switching of classes) and the point allocation restriction (which favors the playing of only one type of class).
In a broad sense, though, I can see what they were intending... In FFXI, things were very black and white. If you were Job X, you had Job X abilities and Job X stats and you had no choice in the matter (with the exception of "Sub Job," where you could choose ONE other Job to impact your character at any given time). The "power" your character had (abilities/stats) existed at point A and point B, but you seemingly had nothing in between, so if "traveling" from point A to point B is possible, it must be instantaneous and complete. Your "power" didn't even seem centered on your character himself, rather it seemed centered on the hat he put on before leaving the house (figuratively speaking, of course). He could be a Thief with incredible evasion, but that same character as a Black Mage just sits there and takes the hits. It makes it seem like your character is getting his power from something outside himself, rather than his inherent skill or knowledge.
In FFXIV, things are a little more grey. You can be Class X, but have Class X, Y, and Z abilities, and allocate stats that are beneficial to Class X, Y, and Z. The powers your character has exist on a continuum. There isn't just point A and point B, but a line connecting the two as well. They wanted to make you feel like you were molding your character (sliding him/her along that line between A and B). So, now it seems like your character is drawing his skill from within himself because you can carry some of what you've learned with you as you travel from A to B. The systems interact with each other in a sense that they both reflect the concept of a proficiency/potential continuum. The inconvenience comes with the fact that the concept of a continuum involves gradual (not instantaneous) change. The systems don't interact in a way that is particularly convenient, but they don't seem entirely arbitrary either.
I can't claim to be right, but it's a different way of looking at it. Edited, Aug 29th 2010 3:30pm by Kaelia88