Hello ZAM community once again!
I'm not sure if this has been brought up before, but I think I may have figured where SE was trying to go with regards to earning skill points.
Let's refer to FFXI for awhile. In FFXI, the experience point system is such that when we level up, it affects both physical attributes (HP/MP/STR/DEX/INT/etc.) as well as enabling us to become more powerful in that job by allowing access to new and stronger spells at specific levels. EXP gains are pretty much fixed in that when we kill a mob of a certain difficulty, we will definitely be rewarded with the relevant amount of EXP.
This has not changed much in FFXIV, as physical EXP are awarded specifically based on a mob's level of difficulty. The only issue right now, is that our classes level up not based on experience point gains, but instead based on this new separate system called "skill points". At first look, it seems to be a strange new way of leveling due to the fact that we are earning one set of points to gain physical levels to improve physical attributes, and another set to gain class levels to access abilities and spells, and coupled with the random distribution of SP, it is proving to be entirely frustrating.
But is this system really that new at all? Going back to FFXI, I'm sure we can remember very well that there is a skill point system in that game as well, one that allows us to gain combat/magic/crafting skill-ups when we partake in combat or crafts. The skill point system as implemented in FFXI is also based on a random distribution of points, although one could argue that the system is more effective such that we get more skill points or at a faster rate the further away we are from cap, or when we kill tougher mobs. Yet, the system is largely similar, in that we do not always get awarded points with every swing we make, and sometimes we do not even get any skill points for one fight or craft.
That brings me to my point that perhaps, SE is not doing things very much differently in FFXIV. The only difference is that they have combined the skill point system together with our class ranks, such that we can only unlock more powerful spells and weapon skills when we have attained a certain rank, as compared to how job spells and abilities used to be tied with EXP while weapon skills to SP in FFXI. I suppose SE could make it friendlier to healers though, to allow more frequent skill ups even when we cast healing or defensive spells, taking into account how FFXI allows skill-ups for using such magic too. But I'm sure we also remember how frustrating it was to be 0.1 or 0.2 points away from unlocking some new powerful weapon skill, and when we did we felt so thrilled by that achievement? I am thus very much convinced that the same is being done here in FFXIV, only packaged differently.
Edited, Nov 18th 2010 6:26am by Raithlion