The Daily Grind: Are Final Fantasy XIV’s classes too restrictive?

    
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La la la.

One of my absolute favorite things about Final Fantasy XIV was the baked-in ability to switch out classes (jobs) on the same character. This saved so much time in rerolling alts while giving players a lot of flexibility. Bravo, I say. I wish more games would do this.

But I always did feel restricted no matter what job I picked. As far as I can tell, there’s precious little in the way of tailoring and building classes to differentiate yours from anyone else’s in the game. For someone who loves talent trees and build options in MMOs, I felt constrained every time I stepped into this game.

So my question today is for you legion of FFXIV players: Do you find these jobs too restrictive in how they’re build? Too regimented in how they function? If not, what makes you content about this system?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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john_is_dead_

in single player games its fun. In MMOs there is one or two ‘viable’ builds that everyone mimics, so it ends up being a false a choice every time, which is not real customization.

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Sean Walsh

No, because of the aforementioned ability to switch classes whenever I feel like it on the same character. I’m definitely an “altoholic”, and having to re-roll new characters anytime I want to drastically switch up my playstyle totally sucks imo. I don’t RP, and thus don’t have that more than a single character I want to BE when I’m playing. Just different versions of my “self” that I want reflected in the game, which can change over time(yay for cosmetic re-rolls!)

Except also…yes, in that, hardly any of these jobs are particularly fun until max level or maybe the -10 levels behind the current cap where the current expansion starts. It’s worth it, as the gameplay at max has ALWAYS been fun in my experience, but it’s the brilliant story via questing & overall class fantasy that gets me to max, not the fun of the job.

Apridise
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Apridise

It’s a beautiful game and I’d still play it over WoW retail but after the first expansion I pretty much stopped playing. I’ve tried to return several times but it just doesn’t have enough substance where I feel like I can make my own unique character.

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Knight Porter

No choice paralysis, no fear of making a nonviable build if I don’t follow the exact steps of some online guide… no, I don’t find it too restrictive. If I play a class, I know it’s viable in any content. There’s plenty of variety between the classes themselves to keep things fresh if I want to do something new.

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Jon Camp

IME, even when there are talent trees and whatnot, there’s always the “best build” that everyone uses, and thus there’s only the illusion of choice. I don’t have a problem with FFXIV dispelling that illusion.

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bungledess

They used to have a lot of cross class abilities, and honestly, it was a mess. In order to become a White Mage, or get the really important spells like Swiftcast, you had to level Thm. It was a lot of work and I remember tons of salty players if you didn’t do your cross class quests. This applied to tank cooldowns as well. While a neat idea to start with, the class system evolved into something easy for new players to step into, and ended up removing a ton of bloat. Now the only issue stems from whether or not players keep up with their class quests.

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Darkedone02

As I read the OP and the comments, I think I got the bigger picture of what this is all about.

I personally think it’s restrictive to the point to make things feel balanced, non-meta, able to do all the content without having to have a build, etc. This game is not PvP based what so ever (good, screw pvp in general).

IF they game was non-restrive as it is, it would cause problems. The outcasting of people who play specific classes that are non-meta will happen. People will only play “The best class” out of anything, even if you make the game “classless” people would actually try to find out which build is more OP then anything, causing a bit of a disharmonic balance.

Luckly with no PvP scene at all in this game, the community has proven to be less toxic, although there are some moments where I see some issues with people but it’s almost uncommon so far, compared to WoW where it’s more revealing. Any game that possibly have a PvP Scene, the salt and disharmony would flow, creating that toxic environment. Like WoW, like MOBA games, etc.

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Danny Smith

I don’t feel they are mostly because of the Job system. In WoW for example your character is one in a stable all locked to one class per character. In FFXIV your character is your account. You want to heal? you hit the button to change your loadout to any of the healer jobs you have and the character is now a White Mage or Scholar or whatever. With no real “i’m sorry what spec are you? yeahhhh, thats not what we are looking for” unbalanced jobs you can play what you want in what role there is to do and thats a lot more freedom than “my character took this minor change but its still only ever going to be a hunter or a mage” or whatever.

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jealouspirate

The problem for me is that you only get that convenience of swapping after you’ve leveled up everything separately. When you have to level each job separately there is no real functional difference between having every job on 1 character or multiple characters.

In WoW if you want to tank or heal you are free to solo in your dps spec and then switch to tank or heals for group content with the click of a button. In FFXIV if I want to level in a dps spec and then switch to heals for dungeons, I essentially have to reroll my character and start from level 1 all over again.

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Knight Porter

While you do have to level secondary jobs, it is far faster and less grindy than leveling a new alt in another MMO would be. Not only do you have conveniences like mounts and beast tribes unlocked (and no need to do the storyline again), but you get a very nice flat bonus to XP on secondary classes after leveling your first.

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Rndomuser

Yes they are but I don’t mind it. FFXIV does not have open world PvP so it does not matter what you do with the build (such as optimize it for specific combat types). Even if you will give it more talent trees, for example give Dancer ability to go into pure DPS or DPS and healing or DPS and more utility buffs – players will calculate the optimum build for highest DPS and 90% of players will Google it and use this specific build. Same goes for healing classes or other DPS classes or tank classes – even if you give tanks abilities such as “more damage mitigation” or “more DPS but less damage mitigation” or anything in between – other players will always expect you to use most efficient build needed to complete dungeon faster. So why waste time on giving illusions of choice in PvE-oriented game where it does not matter? It is a waste of time which could be spent on other things like giving people more tools for better socialization experience, where people can create their own content once they’re done grinding for whatever gear each expansion adds.

And I really like how I can switch to any class on single character. No need to go through main story quests again, no need to change my name when creating a new character and trying to spam friends with “hey, this is my new alt, add me to friends list”, no need to mail items to an alt, no need to farm for specific cosmetics on an alt, no need to do many other things. I wish other games would adapt same system. And before anyone might say “bUt iT bReAkS iMmErSioN!!!!11” – no it does not, it’s a fantasy game made in a fantasy world, anything should be possible in it including single character knowing how to do everything. Only time “immersion” argument is valid if a game claims to be based on historical events which occurred in real life.

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Franz Kitzenjer

New to comments but not to site.

Anyway, for me person I don’t mind it honestly. I’m currently on an ESO kick and while there are choices to be made so far as builds are concerned it’s all artificial. All games have that. Like I’m playing the vaguely off meta Nightblade tank (even more off meta with my choice of wood elf but whatever) but all the choices I make will come down to the same things other Nightblade tanks have in their kits for the most part.

This is very obvious on the stamina dps front as dual wield/bow is super prevalent. And pretty much every stamina dps rolls caltrops. It’s all fake basically. I kinda appreciate FF14 removing that illusion of choice and saying, “all the classes have their special thing they bring” where the fun part is learning how it’s meant to be played. Is my Red Mage any different from another’s? No. Not even slightly. But maybe I can play it better.

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noun

Tell that to my nightblade blood mage.