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JPGAMES.DE Interview with Yoshida NaokiFollow

#1 Oct 26 2011 at 7:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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reposting this from the official forums...

an interview with yoshi-p and sage sundi by jpgames.de, posted by one of the jpgames forum moderators.

http://jpgames.de/2011/10/jpgames-de-our-interview-with-naoki-yoshida/
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#2 Oct 26 2011 at 7:17 PM Rating: Good
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Very nice interview. Thanks for sharing.
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#3 Oct 26 2011 at 7:36 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm interested to see a confirmation that Jobs will potentially require more than one class leveled. I'm not sure if I like it or not yet, I'll have to try it first, but I think the idea is interesting. Also a lot of information in there about summoning primals.

I'm a little sad about the direction they are taking LNC, I really liked the idea of it being a melee support class with buffing/debuffing abilities that depend on position. It's be slipping further and further toward a pure DD and it sounds like Dragoon is going to be the last stroke to kill that idea. Fortunately I can still roll my own class using the Armory system.
#4 Oct 26 2011 at 7:44 PM Rating: Decent
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YoshiP wrote:
For example, paladin will be a really special job for tanking. To make sure that he gets those abilities, he will need do more different quests to get those abilities. You are going to protect others, but that’s not all. You have the marauder as a background class before you become a paladin. Those kind of class abilities will be connected to the paladin job. Even if you had more classes in the past, these are not related to the paladin and can’t be used.



And this is what I've been worried about all along. The status quo is such that anyone can level up any class without restriction.

I was thinking that in order to take on a particular "job", to specialize in a particular line of work, you will have to sacrifice levels and/or abilities towards existing classes which you have already ranked up.

At the surface, I don't like the idea, but upon deeper reflection, it's the only way to make the game stable long-term. You simply cannot have an MMO where everyone can level up everything with disregard. It would make everything stagnant and not fun to play.
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#5 Oct 26 2011 at 7:54 PM Rating: Default
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volta1 wrote:
YoshiP wrote:
For example, paladin will be a really special job for tanking. To make sure that he gets those abilities, he will need do more different quests to get those abilities. You are going to protect others, but that’s not all. You have the marauder as a background class before you become a paladin. Those kind of class abilities will be connected to the paladin job. Even if you had more classes in the past, these are not related to the paladin and can’t be used.



And this is what I've been worried about all along. The status quo is such that anyone can level up any class without restriction.

I was thinking that in order to take on a particular "job", to specialize in a particular line of work, you will have to sacrifice levels and/or abilities towards existing classes which you have already ranked up.

At the surface, I don't like the idea, but upon deeper reflection, it's the only way to make the game stable long-term. You simply cannot have an MMO where everyone can level up everything with disregard. It would make everything stagnant and not fun to play.


There's this game...


What in the seven hells are you talking about? As long as you can't access all of the skills at the same time, there's absolutely no reason to restrict your player from playing a class.




Anyway...

It seems to me the requirement of having Marauder leveled in order to unlock Paladin etc, is because Paladin will likely have access to skills like "Defender" which are currently Marauder skills, and as we've been told, Jobs cannot equip cross-class skills.

I'm curious if, however, they will have access to all of their equivalent class skills... Regardless, I always felt like it made absolutely 0 sense to have jobs be 1:1 in the first place, but these dual class requirements don't seem to be any change to that, more like a justification for why X job will have Y ability from Z class that isn't X's equivalent class.

Honestly, all the jobs are a mix of disparate parts of other classes, and random new crap thrown in on top of that. Paladin is going to have skills from Gladiator, some from Marauder, white magic like what's found on Conjurer, and holy offensive magic like what's found on Thaumaturge... most likely.

And don't get me started on how disassociated Conjurer and Thaumaturge are from their equivalent White Mage and Black Mage jobs... ****, Conjurer is obviously a "Sage," wielding what we traditionally view as "Black" and "White" magic, with no melee capability, and lack of specilization in either. And Thaumaturge is some weird amalgam of Oracle, the Caster part of a Dark Knight and some random Offensive White Magic.


Edited, Oct 26th 2011 7:17pm by RamseySylph
#6 Oct 26 2011 at 8:14 PM Rating: Decent
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I didn't play FFXI. If that's how it worked, I'm sorry.

I'm not beefing with the requirements. I'm worried about the skill restriction.

If they're going to wipe the slate clean, if you will, with respect to what classes will yield what benefits, and what the consequences of the choices are (i.e. - if i specialize in Dragoon, my CON/THM skills will be inaccessible/go away and be wiped to zero entirely) then I'm OK with it.


I don't want the option for everyone to max out in everything. Not knowing or particularly caring how it worked in XI, I think that's pointless. On the same token, I don't want to waste my time. If I'm sitting here like a goon diddling myself to get 36 Gladiator for no other reason except to get Sentinel for Ifrit, I want to at least know whether or not I'm mostly or completely wasting my time. If my main is Lancer and I want to continue down that path, but I can't find an Ifrit party right now and the plan for LNC is DRG, then why in the name of the seventh umbral era should I be leveling a class which will have no effect long term.

FFXIV is not my life, it's a way to kill a few hours a week when I have the time. Instead of making things a dead end, they should limit specialization of class roles in order to make it, you know, special, then have the decency to let the early adopters what it is beforehand.

If you want people to subsidize an extended beta while you make the game ready for release, then at least be completely transparent with your plan. This dangling the carrot BS gets old after about a week or so of feeling like a chicken with its head cut off.
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#7 Oct 26 2011 at 8:18 PM Rating: Decent
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The reality is, team Yoshi inherited what is frankly an inbred system, the Armory system, while it had a promising outlook early on (much like the game overall) fell flat on it's own face under the weight of it's own indecision. "Am I a class system? Am I a classless system? WHO AM I!?"

At some point, I am sure it was suggested that the system be utterly scrapped, and honestly, I wish that they had chosen this method. Likely it was avoided because the idea of trying to port over and retain a player's sense of progress with an entire re-do of this system would be... difficult, bordering on impossible.

With that said, we're now going to be stuck with a "Class System" hitherto known as "Job System" and a "Quasi-Class System" that is the Armory system. Basically, if you drew a vendiagram between the two systems, there's going to be a **** of a lot more overlap than there ought to be for these to feel like "distinct," different systems.

The way items and skills are moving, every day we're getting stricter and stricter rules on what we can and cannot do, can and cannot wear as each class, which is constantly shifting them into becoming more and more distinctly different entities. Which is what Jobs are, entities that have very distinct roles in combat. What's the division point between classes and jobs then? Classes are inherently equipped with more hybrid abilities, and can equip, let's face it, the same abilities any sane person cross-classes, in order to up their survivability?

At what point is that just making jobs feel weak and unimaginative? At what point is that going to just kill any possibility of emergent play in group situations? How the **** are "jobs" like Red Mage, or any traditionally hybridized Final Fantasy job going to fit into this vendiagram?

The old Final Fantasy XIV team wanted to create a system that allowed for player customization, they wanted to make a system that was something more like the class-less systems of FF6/7/8/10/12/13 and adapt that to an MMO. They were indecisive though, something that has bitten this game in the *** in more than a few places. Because they couldn't reconcile the idea of a completely class-less system with MMO design, they decided to make something that was somewhere in the middle.

I know people really like their freedom, but how much freedom do you currently get from the armory system? Sure I could equip a bunch of magic on my Gladiator, a set of really awful magic gear I can manage to wear, stick MP materia in it... I'd just be a really bad caster, with slightly above the caster-norm melee damage.

How exciting! The armory system really is just a grab-bag of situational skills and survivability skills, that require us to go out of our way and level X job to 30, bypassing some large number of useless-to-us skills in order to get one thing we need to survive some boss attack.

This rant has... gone quite long... WRAP IT UP!

Anyway, why would I have rather they totally scrapped the armory system? To give us a truly class-less system, one where we can, freely equip skills, that we learn from weapons and equipment a la Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, or Final Fantasy 9.

This free system would be totally disconnected from the Job Systems, jobs would be unlocked by meeting specific ability requirements.

Want to unlock Paladin? Learn Cure II, Cover, Defender, etc. etc. Then complete a quest, and equip/activate the Paladin job, and now you have specific equipment restrictions and skill restrictions and trees that you learn skills from. Or it's just built into the "free system" in a way that when you activate it, it locks out other skills, and improves one within it's restrictions.

The game would benefit greatly from a truly free system for solo and low man, and by having the job system be something totally separate, you could ensure that there was balance, because for end game, you had to chose a specific role to play in most cases. Let us make our plate wearing, magic wielding crazy characters. Build our stats as we chose our skills and equipment. Then give us the job system for the real tough stuff, where we want to have a specific role.


volta1 wrote:
I didn't play FFXI. If that's how it worked, I'm sorry.

I'm not beefing with the requirements. I'm worried about the skill restriction.

If they're going to wipe the slate clean, if you will, with respect to what classes will yield what benefits, and what the consequences of the choices are (i.e. - if i specialize in Dragoon, my CON/THM skills will be inaccessible/go away and be wiped to zero entirely) then I'm OK with it.


I don't want the option for everyone to max out in everything. Not knowing or particularly caring how it worked in XI, I think that's pointless. On the same token, I don't want to waste my time. If I'm sitting here like a goon diddling myself to get 36 Gladiator for no other reason except to get Sentinel for Ifrit, I want to at least know whether or not I'm mostly or completely wasting my time. If my main is Lancer and I want to continue down that path, but I can't find an Ifrit party right now and the plan for LNC is DRG, then why in the name of the seventh umbral era should I be leveling a class which will have no effect long term.

FFXIV is not my life, it's a way to kill a few hours a week when I have the time. Instead of making things a dead end, they should limit specialization of class roles in order to make it, you know, special, then have the decency to let the early adopters what it is beforehand.

If you want people to subsidize an extended beta while you make the game ready for release, then at least be completely transparent with your plan. This dangling the carrot BS gets old after about a week or so of feeling like a chicken with its head cut off.


To respond specifically to you...

I'm not sure what you're saying. But on one hand it seems like you're basically complaining that all your effort leveling for cross-class skills will be wasted in the future? Yeah, that's the case, at least it seems to be in terms of end game.

That's the nature of an MMO though, things change, equipment and skills are depreciated. You'll still have access to those skills when you are a LANCER, but not as a DRAGOON. They intend for you to use Lancer in a party of 1-4 basically, I get the feeling. While Dragoon is more suited for 4-RaidSize. With possible exceptions popping up all over depending on how they balance this.

I understand this entire part of your post... But what I don't understand is you're saying people shouldn't be able to master everything?

I'm confused. If I level Paladin, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage, Warrior and Dragoon to 50, I can only use any of those Job's given skills, when I have my job set to that job. If you only level Dragoon to 50, the only advantage I have over you is that I have the ability to perform those other roles. I can't perform them all at once, when we're both lv50 Dragoons, our skills are equivalent, I have no advantage over you.

Starting to get the idea? This is how it worked in Final Fantasy XI as well. Leveling more jobs gave you more versatility, you could change jobs from event to event, based on the needs of your group, but in a given battle you can only perform that one role as well as anyone else who had leveled it. What part of this is unfair?

The alternative is, people can still do it, they just have to make a new character, and honestly, that's not very "Job system" considering as long as the job system has been around in FF, it was one that characters could freely swap between jobs in. On top of that it's just a giant pain in the ***, to have to require players to level a whole new character to play a new job, and they'd have to remove the additional fee for characters, or risk totally alienating everyone, because it's just plain stupid to be limited to one class/job per account unless we pay 3$ extra a month.


Edited, Oct 26th 2011 7:29pm by RamseySylph
#8 Oct 26 2011 at 9:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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I gotta say, this guy has won my respect, It's so refreshing to see someone who is so open and honest with the community.
#9 Oct 26 2011 at 10:12 PM Rating: Decent
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RamseySylph wrote:
...


I understand what you're saying, I just don't agree with it.

Again, I didn't play XI, nor did I research it, so I don't know how it worked. I fully understand "If you are paladin, you can't use black mage skills", but at the same time I don't like the idea of being able to swap roles entirely with no penalty.

You say "oh, I shouldn't have to make a new character". But I say, no, you should. Especially in a regime where you can max out everything and switch out all at once, why would one need two characters?

What I don't want the job system to do is bring into play second-tier classes that everyone can choose just like the first tier classes. From what you are saying, it sounds like XI had this type of system. Personally, I don't want it, but I am one of many. No need to be pedantic with "starting to get the idea?". That's just douchey.

In any case, I would personally prefer, if people are clamoring for class uniqueness, OK, pick a class and stick to it. Not this whole swap out whenever I have to BS. I am hoping the difference between "job" and "class" are more than just words - if you choose a job, you forego other opportunities. Sticking to a class gives you more versatility but less advanced skills, etc.

It remains to be seen. But I'm of the persuasion that the game would be better if a more restrictive leveling system be in place.
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#10 Oct 26 2011 at 11:09 PM Rating: Decent
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lol @ Sundi and Yoshida. The latter posts at midnight and the former wakes up and has to try and keep him in line - it's like a great comedy - like Puutan from Cromartie High, I love it! XD
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#11 Oct 26 2011 at 11:46 PM Rating: Default
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I don't know about the summoning, I was excited when it was free companies summoning them, but now it seems a little gimmicky. I also worry the weather will change too often X.X; I don't want to see it flashing every second because someone summoned ifrit. Then they will have to balance with the summons, that could be annoying, having to fight the summon to get him, to then use him to defeat another monster...and if you wipe you got to do it all over again.
#12 Oct 27 2011 at 12:02 AM Rating: Decent
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volta1 wrote:
RamseySylph wrote:
...


I understand what you're saying, I just don't agree with it.

Again, I didn't play XI, nor did I research it, so I don't know how it worked. I fully understand "If you are paladin, you can't use black mage skills", but at the same time I don't like the idea of being able to swap roles entirely with no penalty.

You say "oh, I shouldn't have to make a new character". But I say, no, you should. Especially in a regime where you can max out everything and switch out all at once, why would one need two characters?

What I don't want the job system to do is bring into play second-tier classes that everyone can choose just like the first tier classes. From what you are saying, it sounds like XI had this type of system. Personally, I don't want it, but I am one of many. No need to be pedantic with "starting to get the idea?". That's just douchey.

In any case, I would personally prefer, if people are clamoring for class uniqueness, OK, pick a class and stick to it. Not this whole swap out whenever I have to BS. I am hoping the difference between "job" and "class" are more than just words - if you choose a job, you forego other opportunities. Sticking to a class gives you more versatility but less advanced skills, etc.

It remains to be seen. But I'm of the persuasion that the game would be better if a more restrictive leveling system be in place.


You're not making a permanent choice between "job" and "class" either way, you basically activate your job when you want to be more focused and specialized. I am sure that mechanically they will differ enough, if only on the fact that you can't "Cross-class" job skills.

Anyways, it's a moot point, I wasn't trying to be condescending or anything like that. Have you ever played a Final Fantasy game before this that featured a job system ? It's just the series standard to allow characters to swap jobs freely. And if there's one thing this game has suffered from, it's failing to actually feel like a Final Fantasy. (And Yoshida seems to agree.) The only penalties there have ever been date back to Final Fantasy 3, the first game to feature the system, in which you had "swap points" essentially, limiting how often you could swap jobs.

There are a lot of logistical problems with not allowing players to swap, especially if you provide a significant number of jobs. 30 jobs and only 8 character slots? You're limiting your players from accessing a HUGE amount of content you created. Not to mention, if you do gate your content a lot, as SE tended to do with FFXI, requiring players to make new characters and re-"attune" themselves through everything is a giant kick in the groin.

So while I respect your opinion that a non-free-swapping job system is more desirable for you, I would say, wait for Dragon Quest Online, that game's always required you sacrifice your existing class to train a new one, or go play any of the other MMOs, because very few have a free-swap system. And I'm not saying this to be an ***, if you can get over this and stick around and enjoy FFXIV, I will be glad, but if it's a huge sticking point, don't expect it to play out any differently than what has been described.

zuogehaomeng wrote:
I don't know about the summoning, I was excited when it was free companies summoning them, but now it seems a little gimmicky. I also worry the weather will change too often X.X; I don't want to see it flashing every second because someone summoned ifrit. Then they will have to balance with the summons, that could be annoying, having to fight the summon to get him, to then use him to defeat another monster...and if you wipe you got to do it all over again.


I don't think you have to worry about that, for one thing, it seems like most end game content will actually be instanced, and I'm assuming if they proceed with the plan to make these "summoning cards" consumable, the frequency with which people use them in the open world is probably going to be slim to none, unless they add world spawns or really epic invasion style encounters, in which case I don't think it would really break anyone's experience.

Not sure if you've played FFXI (or if you have, you've played post Abyssea) but I get the sense that they intend these to be like brews, only somehow further limited, so it won't be people summoning them constantly. I'm personally worried that it's going to create a weird situation where people try to farm the card in order to clear some other encounter.

The weather thing could certainly be toned down to radial effect as well, only altering the weather, lighting, etc. if you're within so many yalms of the summon, and can actually see it.


Edited, Oct 26th 2011 11:09pm by RamseySylph
#13 Oct 27 2011 at 12:33 AM Rating: Decent
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volta1 wrote:
Again, I didn't play XI, nor did I research it, so I don't know how it worked. I fully understand "If you are paladin, you can't use black mage skills", but at the same time I don't like the idea of being able to swap roles entirely with no penalty.


Basically the way it worked in XI was that you had the option of using spells and abilities from only one secondary class. You had all available spells and abilities of your primary job, but your secondary job was capped at half the level of your primary. Relating this to XIV, if your main class was 50 Conjurer and you selected Thaumaturge as your secondary class, you could only use the spells and abilities that Thaumaturge gets up to level 25.

The problem I have with the 'classless' system is that it doesn't really have any specialization. Anyone can roll any class and have access to nearly all of the spells and abilities. What separates one adventurer from the next? It would be nice to see a 'stick to one class' system, but with what they have implemented so far and the limits of what older FF jobs offer, it would have to be rebuilt around the idea of roles rather than classes.






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#14 Oct 27 2011 at 12:38 AM Rating: Good
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All the combat stuff aside, LotR Online style housing (in my understanding)? With 19 neighbors in the district? In FFXIV aesthetics?

I'm quite excited about that.
#15 Oct 27 2011 at 12:44 AM Rating: Decent
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FilthMcNasty wrote:
volta1 wrote:
Again, I didn't play XI, nor did I research it, so I don't know how it worked. I fully understand "If you are paladin, you can't use black mage skills", but at the same time I don't like the idea of being able to swap roles entirely with no penalty.


Basically the way it worked in XI was that you had the option of using spells and abilities from only one secondary class. You had all available spells and abilities of your primary job, but your secondary job was capped at half the level of your primary. Relating this to XIV, if your main class was 50 Conjurer and you selected Thaumaturge as your secondary class, you could only use the spells and abilities that Thaumaturge gets up to level 25.

The problem I have with the 'classless' system is that it doesn't really have any specialization. Anyone can roll any class and have access to nearly all of the spells and abilities. What separates one adventurer from the next? It would be nice to see a 'stick to one class' system, but with what they have implemented so far and the limits of what older FF jobs offer, it would have to be rebuilt around the idea of roles rather than classes.





Obviously it's that exact line of thinking that's lead to the soon-to-be "Job System" but at the same time, they're pushing the "class system" to be more and more specialized as well, which begs the question, why bother? Why not just convert the classes over to jobs, snub the guilds, re-design them, or make it an "evolution" where Gladiator "becomes" Paladin permanently, etc.

Anyway, the really sad part for me is the fact that "a classless system doesn't support specialization" is essentially what a bunch of paid AAA game designers decided on, and they're steering the supposedly free-form class system further and further into the idea of a very class-driven system.

Why does a class-less system have to mean a system without specialization? Who chiseled it into stone and declared it a universal law?

I raise you one Final Fantasy XI Blue Magic system as an example of how freedom to set one's skills does not mean various roles and specializations cannot be represented. Example time...

In a system that expanded off of FFXI's Blue Magic system, you would essentially gain stat bonuses, as well as passive traits based on the skills you set, and how they interacted with one another. The more healing spells you set, the stronger the stats associated with healing would become on your character, and the more passive traits that enhance your healing would be enabled. In addition, discounts could be provided for setting skills that are in line with one another, such as setting Fire I and Fire II or Defender and Cover, etc.

By balancing properly, you could encourage players using this system to branch out in percentages that you were comfortable with. Making optimal builds follow a 80/20, or 60/40 rule. Players could adjust their skills and abilities as they see fit, a tank focusing more on damage dealing skills in fights where threat was more of a problem, etc.

But what you're allowing with this system is for flavor to be separated form "role" you could make a tank that uses magic damage or healing to gain threat, instead of damage dealing. You could build a healer that supports the party with ranged attacks etc. You're opening up players to a whole wide world of various "flavor combos" that have existed as archetypes in the Final Fantasy series for quite some time, but could never be provided in a "unique class" system, simply because creating and balancing each one of those individual packages would result in a job system with 50-100 jobs, at the very least.
#16 Oct 27 2011 at 1:45 AM Rating: Decent
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RamseySylph wrote:
"a classless system doesn't support specialization" is essentially what a bunch of paid AAA game designers decided on, and they're steering the supposedly free-form class system further and further into the idea of a very class-driven system.


A classless system doesn't impose enough limits on the player. I think this is where you are confused, at least by what you say in this statement...

RamseySylph wrote:
I raise you one Final Fantasy XI Blue Magic system as an example of how freedom to set one's skills does not mean various roles and specializations cannot be represented. Example time...


Again, specialization is about limits. A classless system is about limitless freedom. Almost complete opposites.

RamseySylph wrote:
But what you're allowing with this system is for flavor to be separated form "role" you could make a tank that uses magic damage or healing to gain threat, instead of damage dealing. You could build a healer that supports the party with ranged attacks etc. You're opening up players to a whole wide world of various "flavor combos" that have existed as archetypes in the Final Fantasy series for quite some time, but could never be provided in a "unique class" system, simply because creating and balancing each one of those individual packages would result in a job system with 50-100 jobs, at the very least.


I understand your idea, but most of the flavor comes in the form of your group composition.

I don't like the idea of any of several different classes being able to 'specialize' in tanking through mitigation, threat or self-healing. I think that the class should have some element to it that dictates why said class is good at what it does. This is what gives classes identity. When you give everyone the same options there are no strengths and weaknesses.

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#17 Oct 27 2011 at 1:52 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Anyway, the really sad part for me is the fact that "a classless system doesn't support specialization" is essentially what a bunch of paid AAA game designers decided on, and they're steering the supposedly free-form class system further and further into the idea of a very class-driven system.


You don't seem to have developed games before?

Developers need to be in control of possible variables to be able to create balanced and challenging content. If there are too many variables, it is incredibly difficult to do so. You get to the point where, when people can do content with 1 to 15 people, with any group setup and any skill set, that from a game designer standpoint creating properly balanced (and thus challenging) content becomes an impossibility. Developers can not be forced to fight against their own game, guessing how the playerbase takes advantage of the great number of variables that you can't always control.

You could make the game very sandbox-like and forgo the concept of having challenging developer-created contents altogether, but when it comes to XIV it was and is very themepark-driven. It lives and dies by the content created by the developers for us to do. There's no "player-driven" content management or creation here. What we gain is freedom, what we lose is anything meaningful to use said freedom on.

Just think about how hard it is to balance an encounter with 50-100 build variables. Or just how easy it is to miss one build that can get around the boss gimmick and make it a cakewalk. And when you put a countermeasure to stop it, you need to think about whether the 99 other jobs can make the encounter a cakewalk too.

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Quote:
I don't want the option for everyone to max out in everything.


To address volta's point, you swap roles all the time in other MMO's by switching your character or re-speccing. Only this time, I'm not forced to give up my original character to do so. Either way simply getting to max level is hardly "maxing out" a class/job, especially considering SE is making the game endgame-driven. When you hit level 75 with your AF Red Mage, that was hardly it.

Edited, Oct 27th 2011 7:56am by Hyanmen
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#18 Oct 27 2011 at 2:07 AM Rating: Good
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Hyanmen wrote:

You don't seem to have developed games before?

Just think about how hard it is to balance an encounter with 50-100 build variables. Or just how easy it is to miss one build that can get around the boss gimmick and make it a cakewalk. And when you put a countermeasure to stop it, you need to think about whether the 99 other jobs can make the encounter a cakewalk too.


Smiley: dubious

I'm not saying that this sort of system wouldn't bring its own (unique) challenges to the development table. I considered adding a caveat to my original post, but it was already pushing the TL;DR regions.

Anyway, insinuating that creating a "class-less" system is an "un-balanceable" achievement is a little narrow minded. That being said, it would be a risky endeavor, and more than likely why both teams have taken the conservative approach and never fully committed to the idea.

However, Yoshida's team is in a unique position, with the "class system" and "job system" existing side by side, as long as the overall "class system" were balanced in a way that the specialized "job system" was always the best route in end game content, you'd essentially be allowed to ***** up and make balance mistakes with the "class system" more so, because you're not balancing those systems against your most challenging content.

All that said, regarding "balancing" in terms of design, classes just serve as neat quantifiable packages. I can give a bunch of arbitrary weights to skills, and stats, and balance them against eachother on paper, between classes, and it just helps us as designers to wrap our heads around the big picture much more easily.

It's because it's been wired into us through years of it being standard practice in RPGs. But FFXIV was supposed to be an innovative, next-gen MMO right? You can't have innovation without risk, and risk implies trying something new.

If you stop and think about what I said when I suggested the idea, I talked about how equipping various skills in tandem with one another would result in reductions in set point cost, the unlocking of various passive traits, and other bonuses that would cause a character to excel at the role associated with that skill.

You are correct that in a totally free-form class-less system, where skills can be equipped independently of one another, and they have no impact on each other, you've essentially created a system with an infinite number (okay not really but skill# * skill#) of breaking points in your design, making it nearly impossible to balance.

Thankfully, having skills interact with each other, and providing "set bonuses" that push your character further down the road to performing a certain role, does a few things, it prevents too much homogeneity, it forces players to in most cases chose a distinct role or pair of roles, and it creates neat "bundles" that can be balanced against one another.

In a vacuum where skills are equally effective regardless of what equipment you have, and what other skills you equip, every skill needs to be balanced in relationship to every other skill. Two outcomes occur, either a skill is so powerful that everyone cherry-picks it regardless of their overarching character goals, or the skill is nerfed to the point where it's too weak, and even people focusing on that role don't want to make use of it.

Achieving a proper balance is probably just going to result in a sea of mediocre abilities. If skills are bundled, and have relationships with one another though, we don't have to worry about "What if this melee tank just sets Flare, is it going to be too powerful?" because if that happens, it's going to cost him more points to set flare than a caster focused character, it's not going to be as powerful, or it's going to drain more mana, and not be passed through passive traits that may have made it more effective, etc. Maybe he can still get some use out of it, but unless he skews his other abilities to be in line with it, and perhaps make a magic focused tank, he's not going to break the game with it.

It's still going to be a lot of work, and a new way of thinking about skills and balancing for the designers in question, but it's certainly possible. In a situation like this you can give players a lot of freedom about the flavor with which they perform their role(s) while hopefully combating some of the problems that freedom usually brings about.

And to reiterate one important thing here, FFXIV is in a unique position, currently, with the idea that the "class" and "job" systems are going to exist side by side, and that the "job" system is how people will experience end game content. Because they have this very controlled, focused "job" system to balance against all their end-game content, they can take a lot of unique risks with the "class" system if they wanted to. It would be really interesting to see what they could come up with, and even if it went through some rough patches, I think it would be more interesting than being exactly the same as the job system with a few caveats.

With this "class" system only being intended for low man and solo content, all that freedom given to players would be really interesting, and the developers wouldn't have to worry quite as much about breaking the game. I think it's even okay if a lot of players chose to be very hybridized adventurers, I think that's just what makes sense, and the original feel the game was going for anyways?

After all, that's how I think most people would play if they could, in a single player game or an MMO. If you're alone, it's good to have a lot of support abilities to raise your surviveability. At the same time, if you want to make something crazy, you're not really raining on anyone else's parade. And as I mentioned, if the bonuses were balanced properly, most people are going to stick to 1, or 2 types of roles anyway.

Edited, Oct 27th 2011 1:17am by RamseySylph
#19 Oct 27 2011 at 2:21 AM Rating: Decent
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Guild wars 2 is heavily based on choosing skills, and your class is based on your weapon like FF14. Secret World also has a classless system. I think the real question should be, why should FF14 be a classless system? When they introduced it, my question was why? Everyone wants White mage, Red mage, ect. There could be other ways for this game to be innovative other than creating a classless sytem I think.
#20 Oct 27 2011 at 2:40 AM Rating: Decent
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zuogehaomeng wrote:
Guild wars 2 is heavily based on choosing skills, and your class is based on your weapon like FF14. Secret World also has a classless system. I think the real question should be, why should FF14 be a classless system? When they introduced it, my question was why? Everyone wants White mage, Red mage, ect. There could be other ways for this game to be innovative other than creating a classless sytem I think.


Why was Final Fantasy 3 a game with a job class system? The previous two games had been perfectly successful without allowing players to swap their character class out, and Final Fantasy 2 didn't have any strict roles at all.

Square-Enix and Final Fantasy have gotten a lot of flak over the years from angry fans, but one thing that's just as much a staple of the Final Fantasy series as Black Mages and chocobos is innovation and re-imagining of the battle system.

Even if those changes are iterative and not always as successful or as wholly originally as we would like, they've always been there. Those changes, and the new worlds that accompany them are what keeps the series fresh. They're what creates a unique series environment where fans can wildly disagree about what game is better, or whether or not they even enjoy any given entry in the series.

Final Fantasies come in two distinct varieties, well three to some extent.

  • Job System: Your characters have distinct Final Fantasy jobs, they're defined by this, and they can change their job freely. (FF3,FF5,FFT,FF10-2,FF11)
  • Fixed Job System: Your characters have distinct Final Fantasy jobs, but they're fixed, you can't change them. (FF1,FF2,FF4,FF9) *This one isn't so important, but it's included for the sake of being thorough.
  • Job-Free System: Characters are either blank slates on top of which skills can be written, or at the very least, a majority of their skills are determined by some grid, board or equippable gems. (FF6,FF7,FF8,FF10,FF12,FF13)


Ignoring the second one because it's fallen out of vogue in the series recently, and isn't really significant for this example, let's look at the other two. Final Fantasy XI was strictly a "Job System" Final Fantasy.

When considering what big change up FFXIV could make in relationship to XI, changing to a "Job-Free System" seems like the really big obvious gameplay change given the series history. (Story/Narrative wise the equivalent "two types" are the high fantasy setting vs. the quasi-science fiction fantasy settings. Which is relevant because these two are in some ways linked. FF6 was the first to feature such a setting, and also the first to feature a job-free system. FF9 and FF11 were the last to feature a strictly high fantasy setting, and they also featured the fixed job and job system, systems.)

So hopefully that answered your question to a degree, as to why they would want to steer their next online title in a new direction. The problem is that they failed to commit to it, instead of giving us a system that was truly free, they gave us the ******* child of the two systems, with some obscure "classes" that we had never heard of before.

All that did was create a stand-in for the jobs we know and love, and make us want them even more. If it had been a truly free-form system that actually worked well, it's questionable whether anyone would actually be begging for "Paladin" and "Dragoon."

After all, if I can set Jump and wear a cool Dragoon looking armor and wield a lance, why do they need to add a Dragoon class to the game?

Having a job-less system doesn't have to mean sacrificing all that lore and nostalgia that comes with each job. You're just giving the players the tools to create (or not create) their favorite jobs themselves.

Edited, Oct 27th 2011 1:43am by RamseySylph
#21 Oct 27 2011 at 2:48 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Anyway, insinuating that creating a "class-less" system is an "un-balanceable" achievement is a little narrow minded.


Yet that's not what I'm saying at all. I am saying that the more variables you need to control, the more of a hurdle controlling the game becomes. You may be able to find a reasonable balance (still won't be able to offer much in the challenge department though) but it's not likely.

It is not only risky- it would be by all accounts a dumb thing to do in a developer-driven MMO. Developers know what limitations they put on themselves by making the game like this.

Make no mistake, though, the focus on limiting and thus having a tighter control over the variables is by no means the conservative approach. Early MMO's had quite a few more variables to control. FFXI, for example, while controlling the group size and, to some extent the job setup, did not control where players chose to grind. It was left to the players to decide, and for years developers tried to dance around this variable while players were complaining that all there was to kill were crabs, crawlers, bats, dhalmels. If devs were to make adjustments players would just find some other species to kill for most efficient EXP. Devs totally weren't in control of this variable, and as they figured out balancing adjustments the playerbase was, again, two steps ahead, leaving the developers chasing for the balance carrot endlessly.

Taking control over variables is the natural evolution of the genre. It was only that way that WoW could manage to create encounters that were truly difficult. Blizzard knew, for the most part, what the set-up, skillsets, group sizes and levels of players were, and balanced the encounters based on that. It simply wouldn't be possible if they had to dance around the variables without any real control over them, similarly to SE with their grinding philosophy (although they, too, did start to take control back in ToAU and continuing to WoTG).

You can blame devs taking no risks, laziness, "they just haven't committed themselves to it" or whatever but the fact is that game developers, who have actually developed the games you have been playing, have come to a conclusion that it is not worth the hassle and is not even possible to pull off properly in a themepark games being made today.

Innovation is useless if the end result is so blatantly inferior to the previous products. Taking risks is fine, but everyone in the industry (and seemingly no one outside it) understands the consequences of this sort of development philosophy. The genre doesn't have room for black-and-white thinking. All we can reasonably get is shades of grey. The downsides are simply too great.

Quote:
You are correct that in a totally free-form class-less system, where skills can be equipped independently of one another, and they have no impact on each other, you've essentially created a system with an infinite number (okay not really but skill# * skill#) of breaking points in your design, making it nearly impossible to balance.


For what developers want to accomplish with their games, even WoW's strict-as-**** class setup requires exceptional skill and resources to balance. XIV, while moving to a more WoW-like structure, still has (or will have) more freedom, and as such more variables, and as such less balance (which, I think, is okay). This is the shade of grey I am talking about. You can have little more freedom or little more control but if you think you can just go for one extreme (and yes, your proposed system is on the extreme scale) all you'll end up with is a game not worth playing.

Quote:
It's still going to be a lot of work, and a new way of thinking about skills and balancing for the designers in question, but it's certainly possible.


It's not a new way of thinking in the least, and you aren't bringing anything new to the table. If designers thought they could manage such a system, while providing somewhat standard gameplay we've become used to in the recent years, we would have it.

All you are saying is that "it's possible. you just need to balance it." You are outright disregarding the primary reason why the system you are proposing is not possible to pull off, and solving the issue with.... no apparent solution (because it doesn't have one).

"Curing AIDS is easy... I mean, duh... find a cure!" Although this analogue is bad because the cure might actually exist.
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#22 Oct 27 2011 at 3:05 AM Rating: Good
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I don't know about you guys, but this sounds awesome:

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Yoshida Naoki: The summoning system of FINAL FANTASY XIV is quite different from what you know from other classes, like the summoning classes or the beast master classes. It’s totally different, because to me the primals – Ifrit, Titan, Leviathan or Moogle – are all gods in the game and I don’t want to have several mini-Ifrits on the battlefield, because that doesn’t make sense. *laughs* I really want just one Ifrit in one world and the free company that defeats him gets the license to summon this primal. If that company summons or calls Ifrit, on the whole world the weather will change, so everyone will realize that someone called Ifrit. The world will be like in flames. To me, this is really FINAL FANTASY-like. And of course I’m going to make sure it is not unfair, everyone will have this opportunity. But we like to have the free companies to compete with each other to make sure to get this primal as an opportunity.

For example, if they defeat Ifrit, they have one chance to summon. But once they summon Ifrit, it goes away and someone else needs to defeat him to have another go at summoning him. We will give you more details, but this is how it looks like at the moment – so be excited!

*laughs* Oh, I did tell you quite the information there, so… *laughs*
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#23 Oct 27 2011 at 3:13 AM Rating: Decent
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Hyanmen wrote:

1. For what developers want to accomplish with their games, even WoW's strict-as-**** class setup requires exceptional skill and resources to balance.

2. It's not a new way of thinking in the least, and you aren't bringing anything new to the table.

3. If designers thought they could manage such a system, while providing somewhat standard gameplay we've become used to in the recent years, we would have it.


These are the three main points of your post that I feel strongly need a response, I think they definitely sum up your overall post anyway. So I'll address them one at a time.

1. Balance isn't everything, let's not forget this. You're right, no matter how strict your system is, balance is well, a balancing act, one that will last the duration of your game's lifecycle. But how much importance you place on balance is up to you as the developer. Games can be successful without having every class perfectly balanced. FFXI's classes certainly aren't balanced. Not having perfect balance doesn't make your game bad. Blizzard has an obsession bordering on insanity with balance. Listening to Dustin Browder talk about mutli-player balance in SC2 is both informative and frightening. Different strokes for different folks, FFXIV is not about to become an eSport.

2. I wasn't implying that I was. At all, so I want to clear that up. I'm not claiming to be the second coming of Christ, and if my posts came off like that, chalk it up to it being very late where I am. There are very little "new ideas" anyways, most of the time it's more like "new application of old ideas mingled together." Game design is about iteration. Just to repeat myself, I'm not trying to claim credit for any brilliant idea. I simply presented one way in which a job-less system could be achieved in an MMO.

3. That's simply not true, and if you think it is, you're as naive as you appear to believe I am. You made another point about innovation, saying it's not good to innovate for innovation's sake. This is true, especially with the budget of today's AAA games, not that the indy scene is going to start innovating on large scale MMOs anytime soon, but there are smaller developers breaking into the genre, anyways, back on point: Saying that "Everything that can be done, has been done" is just plain short-sighted, to say the least.



Edit: Also, your talk about "taking control of variables" as a major point against my argument that a classless system could work, leads me to believe that you either A. didn't read what I wrote about how it could be achieved. Or B. don't understand what you're saying.

A strictly class-less system, without any sort of restrictions, and a class-based system have, relatively speaking, the same number of variables. It's really about how those variables are bundled, and how they can be weighed against one another, as well as how many points of intersection those variables have. It really has very little at all to do with the overall number of variables.

500 abilities that can be freely set, vs 500 abilities across 5 jobs, that's a very different balancing challenge, because in the first example, those 500 abilities have points of intersection with every other ability, directly. In the second case, the 100 abilities within each job intersect, then they're bundled within that "job" before you have to take them into account in relationship with eachother, looking at the whole set of 100 vs another whole set of 100.

Which was... my entire point, one solid way to approach the balancing issue (and simultaneously solve the role issue) is to give skills a relationship with one another, thus forming bundles that allow the designers to more easily wrap their head around, and create less strenuous points of intersection. Every ability has a direct point of intersection with every other ability, but some are stronger, and some are weaker, and balance can be taken into account accordingly. Thus we can weigh "bundles" of skills and roles against eachother.

In some ways you still have "jobs" behind the scenes I suppose, in the sense that you have "roles" but the manner in which you perform them is more open. I don't care how you look at it, really.

* Point of intersection is honestly not the best word for the concept I am trying to convey, but I'm tired and the term I'm looking for wasn't coming to me. Semantics aside, I hope my point was clear.

Edited, Oct 27th 2011 2:44am by RamseySylph
#24 Oct 27 2011 at 3:45 AM Rating: Default
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Balance isn't everything, let's not forget this


The problem with your mindset is that in the system you propose, balance doesn't exist. Balance means more challenging developer-created content, and the concept of "challenging encounters" is in great demand these days, much more-so because in the best case it can replace the grind as a means of adding longevity to your game, something that XI's much less balanced encounters never could pull off.

It all comes down to shades of grey once again. Blizzard has an obsession with balance, and the result is better encounters- yet they still can't pull it off, and they have the variables on a tight leash. XIV is not about to become like WoW anytime soon, although the Ifrit fight shows some promise, but to achieve that the devs need to be in control.

"Balance" is not something that you can simply replace in a game created by devs for the players. Balance is crucial for any game, and when it comes to MMO's, so is freedom. You need both to a) create a solid game, and b) to create a solid MMO. It's all about the grey, always has been, always will be.

Granted, some upcoming MMO's like ArcheAge really try to pull off the sandbox model of player-driven content. Sure, the game most likely won't be challenging, perhaps it will be less of a game in all ways imaginable, and devs will have a harder time in balancing it all, but the trade-off is clear. Players build the game. More of an MMO, less of a game. It is nothing like FFXIV though. FFXIV is a very traditional Themepark and it has never been anything else.

Quote:
I'm not claiming to be the second coming of Christ, and if my posts came off like that, chalk it up to it being very late where I am.


The issue I have with your stance is that you essentially ridicule the game developers, the actual professionals developing games, while yourself coming off as someone who knows better, who has realized something developers haven't, while having developed no commercial games in your lifetime. It is the sort of arrogance that is hard to just ignore. Basically, you have no practical experience of doing anything you're saying here, but you assume that it "would be doable if you try hard enough". Sure, that's easy, when in essence you can resort to reasoning that it's not impossible in theory, because all you do is add more variables.

Sadly, that is not something you can work around with by simply "working harder, being better, having more designers in the team" and whatever else. Humans are limited beings, and even WoW is as balanced as it is with so few variables (for an MMO) because they have great designers in their team. Assuming that somebody could do even better and still achieve at least somewhat similar results, gameplay wise, with a system that has so many more variables to control it's hard to even count them, is quite... quite a stretch to say the least. Blizzard has the top-of-the-line designers in the industry and they barely manage to pull it off.

Quote:
Saying that "Everything that can be done, has been done" is just plain short-sighted, to say the least.


You misunderstand me. I am saying that what you are proposing can't be done with the way the industry standards regarding gameplay have gone up. That isn't to say that everything that can be done has been done. This is simply not a part of that "everything". The limitations of this kind of system have been demonstrated countless times in every possible genre. The industry is not going to evolve in that direction, and I think it makes perfect sense why. Players expect a game out of an MMO, and you are not going to have one if you add many more variables than what we have these days.

Edited, Oct 27th 2011 9:46am by Hyanmen
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#25 Oct 27 2011 at 8:18 AM Rating: Decent
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For the job system i can best compare it to the FFT, were you need to level class X and class Y to a point to unlock class Z... As you level class X and Y you acquire spells/skills, and then equip some of them on to class Z. And only general skills can go across so class X and Y still maintain the special ones. That is what i understand from it all, i maybe wrong... Still i can't wait to see how it turns out, i just hope SE balances classes by buffing them and not nerfing them. All one can do is sit back dream and wait.
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#26 Oct 27 2011 at 9:24 AM Rating: Good
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Volta wrote:
You say "oh, I shouldn't have to make a new character". But I say, no, you should. Especially in a regime where you can max out everything and switch out all at once, why would one need two characters?


If that's what you want, go play any other MMO out there BESIDES FFXIV or FFXI. I mean honestly, you're complaining over the fact that you DON'T have to level multiple characters to play multiple jobs. That is one of the main things that sets FFXI/XIV apart, and if you don't like that about the game, this game was never meant for you. It really baffles me that anyone could be complaining about this in a game that was specifically advertised FOR this. Sheesh.

Edited, Oct 27th 2011 11:29am by BartelX
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#27 Oct 27 2011 at 9:25 AM Rating: Decent
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TwiddleDee wrote:
For the job system i can best compare it to the FFT, were you need to level class X and class Y to a point to unlock class Z... As you level class X and Y you acquire spells/skills, and then equip some of them on to class Z. And only general skills can go across so class X and Y still maintain the special ones. That is what i understand from it all, i maybe wrong... Still i can't wait to see how it turns out, i just hope SE balances classes by buffing them and not nerfing them. All one can do is sit back dream and wait.


I hear you, and I think this is what Ramsey was saying too in alluding to old Final Fantasy job systems. The difference between FFTactics and XIV is one is a single-player console game and the other is an MMO.

I remember spending time leveling up Ramza in every job so I could teleport to Weigraf and one-shot him as Monk and counter-Hamedo. I had a ton of fun as a level 99 calculator casting meteor and destroying everything on the map. And Orlandu...lol.

My point was only that allowing everyone to freely do this at any time in an MMO would make the game a bit nonsensical, I would think.

Instead, I want a job selection in XIV to be a PERMANENT decision for a character, as opposed to classes which can be swapped freely. It's not clear at this point which it will be, but again I hope they put a little bit of restraint over what choosing a "job" really means for a character, as it's not a compulsory decision to begin with.
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#28 Oct 27 2011 at 10:44 AM Rating: Good
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volta1 wrote:


Instead, I want a job selection in XIV to be a PERMANENT decision for a character, as opposed to classes which can be swapped freely. It's not clear at this point which it will be, but again I hope they put a little bit of restraint over what choosing a "job" really means for a character, as it's not a compulsory decision to begin with.


No. No, no, no, no, no.

I want to be able to play Paladin one day, and then go Black Mage another day. What job I want to go adventuring as really depends on my mood. I'd rather not have to have a new character and re-do ALL the quests and storyline just to be able to go as another job.

Did you not play Final Fantasy XI? I love being able to switch between classes/jobs at my freedom. The problem shouldn't be solved by restricting the character to the class or job, the problem should be solved by restricting the jobs themselves and making them more unique. (Which is what they're doing.)



Edited, Oct 27th 2011 9:48am by UltKnightGrover
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#29 Oct 27 2011 at 10:56 AM Rating: Default
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UltKnightGrover wrote:

Did you not play Final Fantasy XI?


Sigh, I love when people reply without reading the thread. Almost as good as getting defaulted for sharing an opinion.
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#30 Oct 27 2011 at 11:07 AM Rating: Good
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Yoshida sounds like a really cool dude. I like his commitment to rebuilding.

Hopefully in a year this game will be awesome.
#31 Oct 27 2011 at 11:14 AM Rating: Good
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volta1 wrote:
UltKnightGrover wrote:

Did you not play Final Fantasy XI?


Sigh, I love when people reply without reading the thread. Almost as good as getting defaulted for sharing an opinion.


Well you are suggesting that SE drop the ONE thing that FF MMOs still do different from mainstream games.
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#32 Oct 27 2011 at 11:19 AM Rating: Decent
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volta1 wrote:
UltKnightGrover wrote:

Did you not play Final Fantasy XI?


Sigh, I love when people reply without reading the thread. Almost as good as getting defaulted for sharing an opinion.


Right, and I'm sure you're TOTALLY above rating down other people you don't agree with. Smiley: rolleyes
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#33 Oct 27 2011 at 11:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Hyanmen wrote:
...while having developed no commercial games in your lifetime. It is the sort of arrogance that is hard to just ignore. Basically, you have no practical experience of doing anything you're saying here...


The problem with your mindset is that in the system you propose, balance doesn't exist.


Two things.

First, don't make assumptions. Even if that was true, it's really not a strong argument, but on-top of that, though I certainly did criticize the original development team for choosing to commit halfway to a class-less system, I admitted that they were only making a safe choice, not wanting to commit to something that could blow up in their face and become unmanageable.

Guess what though? By half committing they created a system that was seriously lack-luster and suffered from its identity crisis. The original system deserves criticism, and the new "class system" deserves a little skepticism, though to some degree judgment has to be reserved until more "job system" details actually surface, and we see how the two interact. Right now I am seriously wondering how the two are different in any significant way.

To me it seems like it's just going to boil down to swapping between a "hybrid-solo-capable build" and a "raid build," which I suppose is okay, but the flavor of the classes and jobs is so different that it honestly doesn't make much sense to take this approach.

Secondly, balance can exist in the system I described, if you removed your head from your metaphorical *** long enough to actually think, and comprehend. What does the word "Balance" even mean, are you even thinking about the word?

"Balance" in terms of PvE content can traditionally be defined as a state of equilibrium between the performance of all of a game's given classes in terms of that PvE content. No one class being significantly more useful or less useful than another. No one class being more or less desirable.

But the word class doesn't actually have to be in the definition of balance, what you can really say is that...

"Balance" is a state where the kinds of characters that any given player chooses to play are at an equilibrium under optimized conditions. No one style/role combination has a significant advantage over another, no one method of performing a role is significantly more desirable than another.

What I'm trying (foolishly) to help you understand is that I'm not suggesting a completely sandbox approach to building characters. You are either not reading this part of what I am saying, or totally choosing to ignore it.


Certain "Classes" would essentially emerge from this class-less system. Because of incentives in place to choose and stick to a few roles, and what I mean by "incentive" is that if you were to cherry-pick various disparate abilities that had nothing in common, your lack of passive traits and stat bonuses and cost reductions would be such a heavy burden that your character would suffer tremendously for attempting to be too much of a mish-mash.

Would there still be optimal builds? Yes. Would it be possible for a player to set up their character in a way that made them absolutely awful? Yes. But the same can be said about any MMO that allows the player to make choices on their talent tree. By allowing a player to set and change these skills freely, they'll be able to keep tweaking until they find something that works.

The developers still have control over a lot of the variability that you are so afraid of. Flare too powerful when used by characters not focusing on magic damage? Lower the offset and raise the intellect multiplier, or weight the offset by thresholds of a player's intellect or magic attack, etc. The skill becomes less powerful for non-magic focused players, without becoming less powerful for those focusing on magic.

The system doesn't allow you to simply become a god, king of all magics and melee, able to perform all roles, and leap tall buildings in a single bound. It simply allows you to choose:

  • The flavor with which you perform a role. (Are you going to be a healer that shoots a bow? Are you going to be a tank that wields black magic?
  • What roles you perform. (Are you going to focus heavily on one role with an 80/20 split? 60/20? 50/50? 60/20/20?
  • Some of the methods you employ to perform your role.


There's going to be optimal skills and spells that most players are going to use to perform certain roles. Skills could even be gated. Is sentinel simply too powerful when used by non tanks? Force players to set enough pre-requisite skills before setting sentinel, that setting it for those not choosing to play a tank would simply be too costly.

There's so many tools that can be used to "Balance" player choice vs. game content. Just because strict "classes" don't exist doesn't make balance impossible. If you look, the system I describe still has "roles" which allow the designers to bundle their variables, and track their points of intersection. It's not a true "job-less" system, it's essentially a "build-your-own-job."

"Balance" isn't about having or not having classes, its about having control and a system your team can wrap their head around long enough to actually think critically and make iterative changes based on feedback and performance.



* It is worth noting that balance has multiple definitions and applications, but none of them apply directly to the debate on a job-system vs job-less-system. Balancing the players overall ability to tackle content is easy, even in a totally sandbox style job-less-system. Even if it means everyone is playing the exact same character build, you can absolutely balance a challenge against the players abilities.

volta1 wrote:
My point was only that allowing everyone to freely do this at any time in an MMO would make the game a bit nonsensical, I would think.


I'm actually curious why you feel this way?

I mean it's certainly not unfair in any way, if one player puts in more time they can level more classes, that's the case even if you have to swap over to another character in order to perform that role.

The only possible explanation (I see anyway) is related to character identity and believe-ability, you're either having a hard time suspending your disbelief that one character could master black magic and being a knight, or you feel that swapping-jobs sacrifices a character's sense of identity.

If it is the former, I'm curious why you feel this applies just to MMOs? Why were you able to suspend your disbelief in Final Fantasy Tactics, or in any other Final Fantasy with a job system? Just the more abstracted 5 heads tall characters made it easier to believe? In reality it's just become a staple of the Final Fantasy series, something that just has to be accepted, but I'm still interested to know your response.

If it's the later, you're probably right on that count. There is very little that's unique about a character, but I honestly don't feel that limiting what classes we level on our characters makes them any more unique. Okay so maybe I can only be a Black Mage? Sure, that makes me more "focused" I suppose, in a vacuum, but it makes me no more unique, because there's a sea of other Black Mages out there.

In reality, all forcing us to play our different jobs on different characters would do is inflate the amount of characters SE needs to support per account, force them to not charge, or risk gating content behind a free, force players to drop loot that could otherwise go to someone's second job, force players to log in and out to switch jobs, complete gated-content and attunements multiple times, and make players less likely to be versatile, or be willing to be versatile for your linkshell. "Why would I want to come on Dragoon when I really want gear for my Monk?"


Edited, Oct 27th 2011 10:42am by RamseySylph
#34 Oct 27 2011 at 2:53 PM Rating: Excellent
I think just about everyone in this thread seems to be forgetting that once Patch 1.20 hits, the classes as we know them could change beyond recognition. Although the actual new "jobs" won't be in place until 1.21, this next patch is going to see the changing of class abilities and the rebalancing of stats to make each class more unique.

Right now, we more or less have a classless system. All indications are this will change with 1.20.

There's no way to speculate which abilities paladin will have, because at this point, we don't even know what the classes we're currently playing will look like in two months from now.
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#35 Oct 27 2011 at 3:05 PM Rating: Good
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Thayos wrote:
I think just about everyone in this thread seems to be forgetting that once Patch 1.20 hits, the classes as we know them could change beyond recognition.


This is the way I'm thinking as well... however it's causing me to not play as much as I actually do have time available to. I want to learn my classes/jobs from the ground up... but I think I should try and cap my mages since I really don't like the current ones, but may like what they can create.
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#36 Oct 27 2011 at 3:15 PM Rating: Good
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Thayos wrote:
I think just about everyone in this thread seems to be forgetting that once Patch 1.20 hits, the classes as we know them could change beyond recognition. Although the actual new "jobs" won't be in place until 1.21, this next patch is going to see the changing of class abilities and the rebalancing of stats to make each class more unique.

Right now, we more or less have a classless system. All indications are this will change with 1.20.

There's no way to speculate which abilities paladin will have, because at this point, we don't even know what the classes we're currently playing will look like in two months from now.



This actually frightens me more than it excites me.

After all, a two-layered approach to this game can be highly beneficial and limiting it down to the 'role' base system that is, in my opinion, an overused MMO staple, just throws FFXIV's lot with all the rest.


My best conception of finding balance between the Class and the Job system is a layered approach.

The Classes are basically variable, you choose them for the style of play you want, and the abilities you have are simply optional. Yes, that means you can tote around and be a Juggernaut on Marauder and tank as well as deal damage. That sort of flexibility is something I highly value in this game.

However, JOBS can be served as a optional role to take on that performs head-and-shoulders above Classes in their respective roles, at the sacrifice of that flexibility.

For example. A Lancer can be more durable than a Dragoon can due to being able to use Marader and Gladiator abilities, but Dragoon's are always going to be by far the better damage dealer.

This gives the players the choice of choosing for a more 'role' centric approach for parties, or work for a more variable, adaptable system for soloing or even for perhaps PVP.



If they alter the underlining classes too much to try to give them a 'unique' feel, then choice is lost. You never really want to give players a lack of options.

The 'Job' System solves the identity issue players are having, and gives them a set purpose and direction for partying. There's no need to damage the variability in the mechanics to solve that issue.

I'll really be watching what they do over the next two patches carefully, as they can really do well or really mess up in these next couple patches.
#37 Oct 27 2011 at 3:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Just my 2c here, but i think we are over analyzing this. From what Yoshi has said i get the feel that classes even after 1.20 will still be classes thought skills and attributes will be adjusted and changed at the core they will still have the same feel. While jobs will introduce the ability to specialize in a area of one's choosing. I guess this shows it better then i can say it here.

Edited, Oct 27th 2011 5:48pm by TwiddleDee
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#38 Oct 27 2011 at 4:04 PM Rating: Decent
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That's what I'm hoping for, at least.

Though honestly, depending on how much of a glass cannon Dragoon is, I still might up hanging out on the job more than the lancer class.

That armor is just way too ****.
#39 Oct 27 2011 at 6:00 PM Rating: Good
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Thayos wrote:
Right now, we more or less have a classless system. All indications are this will change with 1.20.


I would actually disagree with this.

While I agree that drastic changes could occur to the "class system" in tandem with the introduction of the job system, Yoshi was talking about making changes to ensure that each "class" felt more "specialized" and "unique."

Which, if I'm not mistaken is the entire point of the job system. Which means they're steering the class-system into being even more compartmentalized, with each "class" serving a specific role or set of roles.

Back to the part where I said I disagree though, I would say that we really don't have a class-less system at all. We do have a system where we can cross-class some skills, but their potency is reduced, their cooldowns increase, and many high end skills are limited by class. Our primary role is also determined by our class. No matter how many healing spells you set, your Archer is never going to be able to be a decent healer. Thanks in large part to equipment restrictions, and the way stats currently work.

Which was my whole point, the job and class systems are far too similar as we know of them now, though I know it won't happen, it would be nice to see the armory system dropped in favor of a far truer class-less system, especially since they're in a unique position where that system wouldn't need to be balanced against end game content.


#40 Oct 27 2011 at 6:16 PM Rating: Good
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Even to this day it feels to me that the devs are somewhat directionless with regard to classes and jobs. On one hand, they say that jobs are made for parties and that they will essentially be a sort of enhancement that we can toggle 'off' or 'on' when using a certain class. My Archer can be Bard, in other words, but he can just as easily be Archer. However, SE is also making "job-specific equipment," which leaves me wondering whether we're supposed to be on these jobs full time, or whether we're just supposed to have generic armour whenever we're not.

It becomes especially unclear when we think about classes that get jobs that do the same things as the classes. It seems to me that SE is designing jobs as though they were jobs from FFXI - that is, what classes are in FFXIV! It's rather strange to make Gladiator > Paladin, for example, because what does that leave Gladiator good at doing? Comparatively mediocre damage and mediocre tanking? o_O
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