Final Fantasy XIV Will Have Jobs, Won't Have Levels or Experience

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Final Fantasy XIV Will Have Jobs, Won't Have Levels or Experience

Final Fantasy XIV will be keeping some aspects from its predecessor Final Fantasy XI like the Job System (sort of), but ditching others - the game apparently won't feature traditional levels or experience points.

The September issue of Famitsu Wave DVD is fresh off the presses, and with the DVD comes an 8-minute-long feature about Square-Enix's upcoming MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, recently unveiled at this year's E3. The game's producer Hiromichi Tanaka and director Nobuaki Komoto speak at length about their plans for the game - it might all be in Japanese, but don't worry, there are handy English subtitles!

Here's the skinny: Eorzea (or as I like to call it, Azero ... e) the land where the game will take place, is not a complete world like FF11's Vana'diel. Rather, it's a region within a larger world called Hai-de-rin. Meaning, that there will be plenty of opportunities for later expansion packs. According to Tanaka, the developers were looking to differentiate the look and feel of the high-fantasy FF14 from that of FF11.

The races from FF11 will be coming back, only... different, apparently. Whether that means they'll just start calling Humes and Elvaans Humans and Elves, or that they'll make some more changes beyond "a Galka by any other name" remains to be seen.

More interestingly is what Tanaka says about the planned method for character growth: "There will be no experience points or level system." Komoto mentions that the team is looking to bring back some version of the popular Job System found in FFXI (as well as FFV and FFX-2), though, well... different. The idea is that your character's growth will be tied to what weapon you use, which seems interesting enough. A dagger user might grow steadily more agile, a staff user might develop mage-y abilities, so on and so forth.

It's the comment about FF14 lacking levels or experience points that gives me pause. Unless they want character growth to be completely static from the beginning, there has to be some kind of "points accrued" system, even if they don't call it experience. Though perhaps they'd sidestep this by having your progression and stats tied directly to your experience, and not your character?

Actually, the first thing that comes to mind is FFX's Sphere Grid, which isn't entirely a bad idea, because the Sphere Grid was awesome. I certainly wouldn't say no to that.

Oh, and fans of the series should be happy to hear that musical legend Nobuo Uematsu is doing all of the songs for the game. Yes, the entire soundtrack. So it'll have pretty music, at least.

(Eurogamer, via Joystiq)

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This could either mean that there won't be very much grinding, which would be lovely, or that there will be grinding, but you'll be leveling up weapons instead of characters, which would suck. I pray it's the former, as it is the grinding that keeps me from wanting to finish JRPGs.

This, coming from a game I'm interested in, has made my interest even larger.

While I find leveling systems amazing in D20 systems (D&D, as an example) and action-rpg's, MMO's feel really weird with levels.

I really liked Ultima Onlines system a lot.

This really interests me, particularly for PVP, if such a thing exists in the game.

-Zen-:
This could either mean that there won't be very much grinding, which would be lovely, or that there will be grinding, but you'll be leveling up weapons instead of characters, which would suck. I pray it's the former, as it is the grinding that keeps me from wanting to finish JRPGs.

I don't mind a grind as long as the progression is constant. I hate games where I have to kill 10,000 enemies to notice a marked improvement on my character.

Well, I guess that's a lie. I like those kinds of games, just not when the entire point of the game is to have a rigid improvement on my character in places.

-Zen-:
This could either mean that there won't be very much grinding, which would be lovely, or that there will be grinding, but you'll be leveling up weapons instead of characters, which would suck. I pray it's the former, as it is the grinding that keeps me from wanting to finish JRPGs.

Grinding is how MMOs keep subscriptions, be it for that next epic item drop of the next million ISK you make from your corp's mining operations. There will be grinding of some variety, of this I have no doubt.

How much of it remains to be seen until they start releasing beta keys for people to test the game, but make no mistake: There will be grind. There's always a grind.

Damnit I want some news on FFXV, Haven't i waited long enough. XP /sarcasm

Thats interesting, I don't see how an MMO without levels would work... I'm curious now

Kinda eliminates a large section of RPG huh? Unless you're leving up something else like your weapons or jobs instead. Ah well something new I suppose.

I've always wanted to see an RPG like this without levels, and an MMO is even better, but how will they do it without experience? I've always thought that if a game was made that included an Oblivion-esque skill system, where skill is gained by training it, without any leveling would be awesome. But I guess we'll see in a few months...or years.

Sounds like it'll be worth at least buying to give a try. Their comments about solo play along with 'We don't ever want points where players have nothing to do' and keeping some form of job system means it might just keep the best bits of 11 and get rid of the worst bits...

I wonder how the weapony thing would work then? Equip a dagger and you get theif skills, equip a staff and you get your Black Mage abilities. That'd basically be Final Fantasy 11's job system without needing to go to your house to swap jobs, could be interesting.

Ofcourse, give me a decent game where I can run around soloing as a Red Mage (Complete with awesome hat and suit) and you have yourself a subscription. So I suppose I'm kind of biased, ofcourse with Final Fantasy I guess everyone is one way or another.

Funk, I thought you had mentioned in a previous article discussing Japanese composers, that you disliked Uematsu Nobuo. Nevermind, though.

I'm interested to see how they actually do make changes to the MMO formula. Everyone says revolution and few actually make changes so I'm very interested to see if this lack of experience sort of deal makes a significant difference. Who knows, it could be the factor that turns me onto MMOs.

Fightgarr:
Funk, I thought you had mentioned in a previous article discussing Japanese composers, that you disliked Uematsu Nobuo. Nevermind, though.

I'm interested to see how they actually do make changes to the MMO formula. Everyone says revolution and few actually make changes so I'm very interested to see if this lack of experience sort of deal makes a significant difference. Who knows, it could be the factor that turns me onto MMOs.

I don't so much dislike the guy as I don't worship him the way some people do. I generally prefer the works of Yasunori Mitsuda, but I think that the FFX Ending Theme is the single most gorgeous work Uematsu has ever composed.

Good thing someone is creating new jobs in these in these economically difficult times.

CantFaketheFunk:

It's the comment about FF14 lacking levels or experience points that gives me pause. Unless they want character growth to be completely static from the beginning, there has to be some kind of "points accrued" system, even if they don't call it experience. Though perhaps they'd sidestep this by having your progression and stats tied directly to your experience, and not your character?

look at how WoW developed over the years. leveling is basically irrelevant since the "real game" begins at max level. why make an entire world of content which most players will either see once or not at all, when you can make everything accessible to players at all levels? it's what WoW's been moving toward and i'm surprised we don't see more MMOs doing it already.

FFX never actually had levels; you just improved yourself as you went along.

Personally, I'd like to see something similar to the FFT skill system in an MMO, and I guarentee I'd actually get it. I guess I have some hopes for this game now, time to watch it.

And why must Nobuo Uematsu do all the track... I'm glad for any game he doesn't do.

Final Fantasy II leveling system maybe?
Ideally not as easily broken though.

Hmm, this does smell a bit like that other article..... and it sounds very, very interesting to boot. I'd love to try it, but I'm not really big on MMOs (yes, I do play a fair bit of Guild Wars, but I generally play it as a singleplayer RPG with very little interaction).

-Zen-:
This could either mean that there won't be very much grinding, which would be lovely, or that there will be grinding, but you'll be leveling up weapons instead of characters, which would suck. I pray it's the former, as it is the grinding that keeps me from wanting to finish JRPGs.

Yet they want money off us, so grinding is a great way of lengthening the time we play the game and thus makes more money from us. I bet there will be grinding, even if I wish there wasn't.

What was the sphere grid?

spuddyt:
What was the sphere grid?

The Final Fantasy X 'level up' system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphere_grid#Sphere_Grid:

Sphere Grid

As with previous titles in the series, players are given the opportunity to develop and improve their characters by defeating enemies and acquiring items, though the traditional experience point system is replaced by a new system called the "Sphere Grid". Instead of characters gaining pre-determined statistic bonuses for their attributes after leveling up, each character gains a "sphere level" after collecting enough ability points (AP). Sphere levels allow players to move around the Sphere Grid, a predetermined grid of interconnected nodes consisting of various statistic and ability bonuses. Items called "spheres" are applied to these nodes, unlocking its function for the selected character.[4]

The Sphere Grid system also allows players to fully customize characters in contrast to their intended battle roles, such as turning the White Mage Yuna into a physical powerhouse and the swordsman Auron into a healer. The International and PAL versions of the game include an optional "Expert" version of the Sphere Grid; in these versions, all of the characters start in the middle of the grid and may follow whichever path the player chooses. As a trade-off, the Expert grid has fewer nodes in total, thus decreasing the total statistic upgrades available during the game.[5]

I sense the japanese have been playing TES. If they are going to use that PlayOnline crap though, then I wont touch this game. I already lost half my Hard Drive's memory permenantly on 11 which I barely was able to play.

CantFaketheFunk:

Oh, and fans of the series should be happy to hear that musical legend Nobuo Uematsu is doing all of the songs for the game. Yes, the entire soundtrack. So it'll have pretty music, at least.

Yeah, it'll be pretty until you've been grinding Kobolds for seven hours. Then you'll just turn off the music and listen to some Daft Punk.

Preset character classes with preset character growth is getting old.

I don't know how the job system will work and I've never played Final Fantasy XI, but if it's possible to switch jobs, or combine them dynamically through some kind of character progression, I will be interested.

So it will be kind of similar to Monster Hunter in that character growth is based on the weapons and armor you wear? That's awesome. I may try it out if I'm not already sucked in by The Old Republic by the time it's released.

Honestly, the part about how your weapon affects your growth sounds more like FFIX's system, where you had to equip certain items and weapons to learn new abilities. I wouldn't mind that, as I liked IX a lot.

They could possibly do what Bandai did in Riviera: The Promised Land. In that game, when you use a weapon, you gain points for it, filling in a bar for that weapon. Once you've filled the bar (it can only be filled once), you unlock a new ability (basically a limit break) for that weapon. For every such ability, you gain a stat increase (exactly which stats improve is different for each item and character). It resulted in a LOT of "training battle" grind, which allowed you to reface enemies, with absolutely no risk, and level up your weapons in that way.

That's what first came to mind. I quite liked Riviera's progression system, although the implementation left something to be desired, and would like to see it done better in another game.

Earthbound:
I've always wanted to see an RPG like this without levels, and an MMO is even better, but how will they do it without experience? I've always thought that if a game was made that included an Oblivion-esque skill system, where skill is gained by training it, without any leveling would be awesome. But I guess we'll see in a few months...or years.

When the game was announced at Sony's E3 conference, they said it was to be around the same time as FF13. Since its a separate MMO I buy that. But I wouldn't be suprized of it was pushed back, considering it SE. I am intrigued by this news though. Maybe it will finally get me into MMOs

Oh noes! The video's down thanks to a copyright claim by 株式会社エンターブレイン! Damn you, 株式会社エンターブレイン! I should have known!

Why not have a Junction system? You can cut down on grinding quite easily (as it'd be pretty fast to Draw a complete set of magic) and (by giving special monsters special magics) you can encourage people to travel vast distance to kill something, without relying on randomly dropped loot.

That and Raiding would be interesting. Rather than just throwing everything at a boss you need to juggle it and keep everyone alive and Drawing the precious magic.

Man I love FF8.

A sphere grid? Wow. That just gives me an idea of the kind of thing they will do. My idea is - For example, each item will have a sphere grid, which will be progressed through use. There will be a limit to the number of weapons and armour in-game and no little weapon drops from weak monsters. It looks exciting.

If staves will allow you to learn mage-y abilities and swords make you physically stronger... How will I be able to be a Red Mage?
A Red Mage is someone wielding the basics from every spell-type along with a sword, I don't like staves... I do not want to end up switching from swords to staves every hundred battles to get a steady increase in both.

Though he did mention something about jobs as well.
Perhaps Black Mages will gain a big boost of MP and magic power with staves, but if he would equip a dagger the Black Mage would still gain MP and magic power, but less along with dexterity and melee bonuses.
Then the idea changes from not so good to pretty damn awesome.

A Red Mage is someone wielding the basics from every spell-type along with a sword, I don't like staves... I do not want to end up switching from swords to staves every hundred battles to get a steady increase in both.

Do what FFT(A?) did with Red Mages and give them 'special' swords in the way of Rapiers with spells on those? That'd be my guess seeing as they've already followed such a path at least twice.

Sounds interestng but also sound like it could have some flaws. I'm not a big fan of grinding or having strict limits placed on my gear by my class, but it is nice to see some alternative to leveling.
Something that just uses advancement points with out levels, just slowly gain points that can be spent directly for skills and upgrades. Kinda like WoD or DemonHunter rpgs (table top, not computer)

Admit it everyone.
We all say we hate the Grinding, but what is a good Final Fantasy without the Grind.

Grinding to Master Knights of the Round in FF7
Grinding to max out GFs in FF8
Grinding to get that last node you want on the Sphere Grid in FF10

I'm all kinds of curious about how this will turn out.

To be perfectly honest, I really liked FFXI. I just didn't care for the whole waiting 2+ hours to get a group invite, although I enjoyed grouping up with other players plenty well. But I am interested in hearing how this system will end up working. When I hear things like "no levels" and "no experience" I get excited. I am curious to see what their take really will be.

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