Warning: Wall of text. I am tired, so I type a lot...
You're reading a lot into this whole "Rift was built from the ground up around Dynamic content" jazz. Sure, that's true, but you need to also accept a few things.
- At Rift's inception, Trion was a brand spanking new company. They were just building their team, the company infrastructure, everything from scratch.
- Though they were working with Gamebryo as a base, they basically built their own engine, and by retail time, Gamebryo had been completely replaced. They had two teams working on the same code, that is to say, a lot of the code in the engine was shared between Rift and End of Nations.
- MMO development normally takes 5+ years, it's not a strange thing. Rift was only in development 4 and a half, and by a brand new studio!
- Most of those years aren't spent with a full production staff either, a lot of prototyping and back-end stuff needs to be accomplished before a full team can be brought on. (Rift's team size was only 110 by launch.) Not to mention all 4.5 of those years weren't spent on making sure "rifts" worked. Sure they had that content in mind as they were building, but they had to build everything else that goes along with constructing your own MMO engine as well, and I guarantee you're over-estimating what % of their time was spent on directly "rift" related code.
I don't even care whether an Imperial Invasion in FFXIV is "dynamic" or "scripted" and where you draw the line on this is totally up in the air anyways. How "Dynamic" are rift's rift systems anyways? Having played the game... Rifts boil down to...
Portals that may randomly spawn in a set number of locations. Each portal can be one of two elements depending on the area, and spawns packs of mobs on a timer. The type of mobs are selected from "sets" of mobs available to any given rift.
"Invasion" forces spawned from rifts, which go out and attack outposts, are chosen randomly from "sets" of mobs as well, and appear to use a simple FSM and waypoint system in order to determine their target.
There may or may not be some dynamic difficulty adjustment going on behind the scenes, where the game uses some sort of telemetry to determine how frequently to spawn rifts, and such, but the actual events themselves (the large scale invasions) are largely scripted affairs.
The reality is, scripting a similar system into FFXIV would not be nearly
impossible or require 5 years (more development time than was spent on all of Rift) to implement. Having a set of locations that imperial task forces could spawn at, set locations they could attack, etc. This wouldn't be hard. In fact, they already do it with the imperial invasion system in place.
It's just expanding that to happen in multiple locations, and then put systems in place to keep track of the invasion, provide rewards etc. The largest part of any of this would be creating assets, such as the airship landing to drop off troops, as well as creating the systems around
So while I definitely want to see an Imperial invasion system in the game, and feel like it's a natural fit, and would be a waste not to do so, it needn't be dynamic. The ability for the end user to even discern between random and dynamic is going to be minimal.
And it's really narrow-sighted and silly to say that "If you can't do invasions the way Rift can, don't bother." Giant war zone style battles are not something new to the genre, or new to games, or new to fiction. They belong in FFXIV, they were featured in FFXI. If the system doesn't play out exactly like Rift it's okay, it doesn't have to.
The only thing Rift did was make that sort of system a solid alternative to leveling via other methods (Something Campaign did in FFXI before Rift, though admittedly not from Lv10, more like 50/60+), and create a world where those sort of events were happening on a big and small scale continuously.
The biggest step forward for Rift was honestly their drop-in/drop-out party system, and how they built that with the content. Implementing something like that, especially with the way they're revising the entire FFXIV engine would be far from impossible. And even if they didn't do drop-in-drop-out public parties, I think players would still appreciate the flavor and fun that participating in some large scale Garlean invasion event would offer.
It's an example from WoW so some people may not get it but.. IMO it's sounding like jobs will be the equivalent of the way certain "specs" or abilities work in WoW. A druid is the best example I can think of. Back before you could just buy it from a trainer, when you reached a certain level you would do a quest to unlock cat/bear/etc forms. The cat was a much better version of a melee dps than a druid in it's normal form. The bear was a much better tank. The moonkin (humanoid chicken) was a much better caster. They are all still that same druid, just specializations in different areas.
The paladin (from the example above) is just a gladiator with specialized abilities.
That's just my view of it but it is pretty hard to tell and they can change their mind anytime along the way.
I could see this if they were intent on adding multiple "specs" per class. The main issue I think is that FF jobs don't fit well as specs of something bigger. At least, not when certain jobs have proven to have multiple aspects themselves. Your Paladin mention is the best example, as we have tank paladins (like Cecil) and face-melter paladins (like Agrias).
Though this was sort of a derail from MrTalos' original thought, which was probably a decent metaphor, I would like to bring up a point here...
Agrias is not exactly a Paladin. Nothing against her, she's probably one of my favorite characters in the history of the series!
Though they are sometimes distinguished between "Knight" and "Paladin" are fairly interchangeable. ナイト ("naito" lit "knight") is often used in the Japanese version of a Final Fantasy to refer to the class we traditionally call a "Paladin." FF1's "Knight" was a sword and shield wielding class with low level white magic access. FF3's "Knight" was the same, but with the signature "Cover" move.
FF4's "Paladin" followed the exact same mold as FF3's "Knight" and then it got weird in FF5 with the "Knight" that dropped white magic but kept cover, and no Paladin class. But in all honesty, this was likely due to the fact that you could cross-class.
Meanwhile, Agrias' class is Japanese is 天騎士 ("tenkishi" lit. "heaven knight") or in the English version "Holy Knight." Though you could certainly draw some similarities in flavor, Tactics was full of _kishi/_ knight classes and their abilities that only appeared in that game, and that game alone.
I'm rambling right now. My point: Paladin is pretty well defined as a shield bearing, sword wielding class with access to low level white magic and the cover ability. That's not to say that they couldn't add more jobs that use gladiator as a class-base, essentially providing you with something resembling "specs" but I don't think it would make sense to be within
the Paladin job.
Something more like... Archer being able to change between "Ranger" and "Bard," Marauder between "Warrior" and "Dark Knight" etc. Edited, Nov 7th 2011 11:20pm by RamseySylph