Wisdom of Nym: What other character jobs could Final Fantasy XIV pilfer in the future?

Michael Bay palette.

If there is only one game I know in the Final Fantasy franchise other than Final Fantasy XIV, it is Final Fantasy VI. This is because absence makes the heart grow kinda creepy sometimes, so you wind up digesting and reading a lot about a game you get to play only in brief spurts at your aunt’s house, but it enchants the living heck out of you when you do. This is why I’m so amused that Pictomancer will become a new job in FFXIV, partly because Relm is one of the best characters in FFVI… but her unique abilities are the worst part of her character!

Seriously, Relm is great because she has a great Magic stat, pretty good equipment available to her, and solid Speed, plus you can train her to learn a lot of good magical skills. Sketch and Control are both blah commands, and you’ll barely ever use them. But now she’s getting her unique job immortalized for everyone to play in Dawntrail, which makes me think about… well, more future jobs. What else is there that could become a unique job for a future expansion?

First of all, let’s start by taking a loot at what may seem like an unlikely source for this: Dissidia. That might seem real weird, but remember that we know for a fact that Squall’s abilities in that game were a big part of the ability lineup for Gunbreaker, so it’s clear that the game can be mined for this. And it’s possible that Viper may also have abilities inspired by Zidane’s gameplay (we don’t know the full ability lineup or names yet), so that is also a potential inspiration. What about other heroic characters?

Unfortunately, the most interesting potential picks here are characters like Vaan, Bartz, and Firion, who come from games that don’t really have unique abilities for characters. And all of their abilities involve swapping weapons or otherwise simulating multiple talents, which is kind of a non-starter. It’s very clear that if Zidane is an inspiration for Viper, he’s about the endpoint for useful ability inspirations there.

Moving on to the main titles, I think that obviously the job-based games are right out for unique character abilities, and we can also rule out Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy XII as games that very explicitly lack any unique character “job” abilities outside of different limit breaks. So let’s start in with Final Fantasy IV, where… literally the only character whose job is not represented is Cid, whose ability (Analyze) really doesn’t fit with the gameplay. His use of a hammer as a physical attacker is the most we can get from him, it seems.

This guy!

The immediate sequel to FFIV doesn’t offer much more in terms of abilities, although Luca’s Band abilities could again lend something to a hammer-based job. (Harley was apparently supposed to be a Blue Mage, but that don’t mean nothing now.) Final Fantasy VI also has Setzer, whose Gambler job actually doesn’t show up very often at all; I’m putting it here because there are other characters who have slot-based abilities, but usually it’s in addition to other tricks.

Interestingly enough, Cait Sith in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is pretty clearly a kind of gambler-tank, which is another interesting collision of concepts that could potentially be mined out for a job. Whether Gambler would make more sense as a ranged DPS or a tank is pretty ambiguous here, but a case for either could be made.

From here we find ourselves in a bit of a graveyard again; most of the cast of the next couple games are pretty well represented by existing jobs, albeit sometimes in odd combinations. While some characters have unusual weapon choices (like Ward’s massive anchor from Final Fantasy VIII), they don’t really have distinct abilities that you could use to inform a whole new job based on that. Amarant from Final Fantasy IX comes closest, mostly because of Throw and Spare Change; the former is arguably represented with the Ninja shuriken, and the latter would probably roll into a Gambler if it were implemented at all.

Once we hit Final Fantasy X, though, we get a little something more. The Sphere Grid is laid out in such a way that very few abilities are totally unique, but each character does start out in his or her own spot with some unique tricks to start with. Yuna, Lulu, and Rikku are all very much traditional (White Mage/Summoner, Black Mage, and Thief), Kimahri has to copy somebody pretty early, and Tidus is basically “what if Basic Sword Guy but fast” to pick up whatever Thief-like tricks Rikku left on the table.

Auron, however, takes a page out of the Final Fantasy Tactics Knight with break abilities designed to weaken enemy stats, and Wakka has a number of debuffs associated with his ranged attacks. The main “problem” here is that Auron is very clearly a samurai and Wakka’s blitzball weapon kinda requires… you know, blitzball. I don’t see either of them getting a job based on them, although it wouldn’t surprise me to see these traits rolled into another job. (Wakka also uses a slot-based Overdrive, so… you know, Gambler as ranged DPS? Plausible!)

Fingerblasting, I guess.

That probably doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but we do have a couple other games worth covering. There are two games which post-date FFXIV, and while Final Fantasy XV doesn’t offer much here (your guest party members and backups are all conventional jobs, and Noctis himself is another “use lots of weapons” character), Final Fantasy XVI’s Clive does have a pretty unique job in the way that he channels eikonic power and moves around. It’s also worth noting that he does use at least a somewhat distinct weapon as a bastard sword, so it wouldn’t be entirely insane to base something off him.

But we also have the odd outlier of Final Fantasy Type-0, which does have a very unique style of shared magic and some pretty out-there weapons. Seven’s whipblade, for example, can cover wide areas but leaves her stationary while she’s attacking, which might suggest some sort of hybrid ranged/melee job (perhaps even a foundation for Rune Knight when mixed with the game’s unique magic). Deuce and King also both offer opportunities for unusual weapons that overlap somewhat with existing jobs but could be expanded upon.

Of course, it probably goes without saying that there aren’t a ton of options here. But in a way, that’s just something that I’ve already mentioned before. At the end of the day, the Final Fantasy series is built on familiar foundations, and that means you expect to see certain job and ability combinations. You expect someone with curative magic and a sword and shield, you expect someone with jumping attacks and a spear, some kind of hand-to-hand expert, and so forth.

In order to keep adding new jobs, the game is going to have to start going further and further afield. That doesn’t mean that we are out of material – there’s still stuff to put into the game! But a lot of it requires more work and more original material.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next time, I want to actually change to something that we never talk about when discussing new jobs: crafting and gathering.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.
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