I think we need to better define what we mean by "redundancy," for it seems that many people would agree were it not for differing perceptions of the term. From a reductionist perspective most jobs are redundant, since they are in essence matters of tanking, damaging, healing, and supporting. In FFXI, for example, Dancer, Scholar, White Mage, Red Mage, and even Summoner were "main healers" in many situations. The question we must ask is whether that makes these five jobs redundant.
I think what Hyrist means by redundancy is that we should be allowed to have one role filled by many different jobs, but also that each of these "redundant" jobs accomplish that task in a unique way. In this sense, the term redundant should probably not have been used, then, because it seems that the argument is for a "many solutions, many paths" philosophy, and not actually what comes to mind when using the somewhat pejorative term "redundant."
Kane is right, but redundancy is actually tech lingo for 'well covered/backed up'.
Anyways, one of FFXI's many critical flaws was the lack of substantial options for specific roles, while others were horrendously flooded. Namely - tanking and damage dealing, respectively.
And while I place the blame of this problem primarily on Utsusemi not being flat out removed from the game or revamped to be properly
balanced instead of re-writing the entire game around it (thus ruling out all possible alternatives for tanking except for Paladin, who still struggled in many areas.)... the situation snowballed.
Healing was a main issue primarily because there was one sole healer and nobody wanted to distribute the task between multiple jobs. Which pinned Red Mage, Summoner, and Dancer to all compete against a White Mage's slot in many situations. (The lack of alternative functionality on behalf of the Summoner and Red Mage was also contributes here.) But as I said, that game was a wreck.
Thankfully the design of this game has already anticipated several of those issues. Our main healer class can now do some damage to keep it interesting(Cleric's Stance). One of our damage dealer classes now has support functions (Archer > Bard.) and the role coverage is beginning to take shape in how the class system is forming.
Let me give you an example of what I see to be the ideal blooming from the mechanics now set into place.
My main character, Lin Celistine, is a Lancer. I identify primarily with Lancer above all other classes. I want to level classes that only support me making lancer better, and have issues with playing other classes simply as it pulls harshly away from that 'image' I amour myself to that character for.
But as it stands, the only real role Lancer fills is under Dragoon as a Damage Dealer. And if my party is saturate with damage dealing, or Dragoon's Damage isn't optimal for that. I have no options but to break my own desires and play something else, or wait for my 'turn' to come around.
But let's say further down the line they add "Templar" to the list of jobs under Lancer, and have it fill the Tank role (much like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.) I'll digress on the details on how that would happen, but let's just say that I've crunched the numbers and it's more than possible to fashion Lancer into a tank role with the right support classes(Marauder, Conjurer) and the right 'Job abilities' as support for that.
Now the class I identify with can fill two roles in two unique ways. Sure, a good number of move sets are the same or borrowed from other jobs, but the way they are utilized are very different. Additionally, its unique method of meeting that role can be further defined within the individual "Job" skills. More importantly, the needs of the many and the rights are the few are finally met in a fair compromise. Not only that, but now party roles are aptly covered from multiple angles through the use of the Class and Job system.
- This is the direction I see Yoshi P going with all of this, and I'm fairly excited for it.
It works on many levels to create a deep and variable system for the players to explore, while allowing themselves to grow into an identity they enjoy.
I mean, yes, in order for someone to have all the skills for all their jobs, they're going to need to level all the classes at least somewhat. However I don't feel as if that's a bad mechanic at all, because it gives players a bit of the experience for each class. Which will give them both a better understanding of some of the basics of that class and a preview of that class should they decide they like it after all and add it into their play. And if even if not, the speed of leveling at the current pace is just right so that the person isn't agonizing too long over a class they're leveling just for the shared abilities.
Overall I believe it's a intuitive and positive system, if it turns out the way I think it will (and I tend to have a good track record with predictions). And will be overall more healthy for the game than simply reducing the amount of classes that can fit a set role, and over-defining them as that set role.
That's not healthy game structure in my opinion, and more importantly that's not what Final Fantasy is about.
Yoshi said it best: This game may be an MMORPG, but it is also an RPG, and more important than both of those - it is a Final Fantasy game. Edited, Jun 10th 2012 11:11pm by Hyrist