Having to wait for new information seems to be my bane. I even went as far as to stay away from this forum and not think about what the game could end up being like.
DIdn't work to well. So um..
Yeah. About that combat system. randomly I thought of a small system to select spells and abilities not related to macros. On screen, somewhere where you can see but isn't in the way you have a small grid in a circle with round icons. These icons reflect different abilities, and are unique looking. You go through a separate menu and select where you want to place them. If you are playing on the ps3 and use a controller, you can press the d-pad to rotate this grid to select different abilities press square. 8 10 and 12 icon grids. I guess they can be unlockable as you progress. For pc users, many different ways to select. Either key-bind the keys how you want so you can press them on the keyboard or a game pad (like my n52 speed pad). Select them via mouse click. Last option is a similar method where you press the arrow keys to select and press whatever button you wish (key-bind). Then have macro's you can create to associate /cast spell for different abilities aside from your main list. But limited to 1 spell per keyboard press or mouse click. That disappear and reappear from screen. These spells or abilities could be used for utility or something you don't actively use 24/7 for that job. These options you select from the options screen as your main preference.
I was playing a demo of FFXII. Never got around to playing the actual version. People always said it was terrible or whatever and I was too busy because of my mmo-play style. I regret that. The demo isn't like the actual game i'm sure but what I saw was pretty similar to FFXI but in a better way. It was way faster to select combat, i didn't like how they auto moved you in position but it was kinda cool. The movement was overall better. I could see what everyone was targeted and the UI was pretty clean. Problem was it wasn't a combat system that would work for a mmo. Selecting spells was terrible, but it was surprisingly easier than FFXI if you didn't have macros. I also liked the battle stances versus FFXI. While similar, it was differently cooler looking.
Reflecting on the above statement. It is my hope that combat is faster pace but within reason. Attacking 50 times in 10 seconds is cool but it can get overwhelming sometimes. (like on my rogue in wow yesterday I achieved 0.8 attack speed and it was blistering fast to the point where actually using finishers was impossible.) Quickly going back between targets without any additional screens is a plus. Running up and smacking an enemy would be nice. Makes me think of pulling on a low level monk in the dunes where I had to run up to the crab, activate combat, wait to deal out a hit, hit it, select yet another button to be able to turn around freely and run back to the party. Now granted I shouldn't be pulling as a monk, but I could pull it off and other people were lazy in that particular party(s). Getting pebbles is annoying and id have run out in no time anyway so that was my only method. If I could have freely ran up, kicked it on the ass on my way back to the party would have been better.
Combat stances would be neat too, say if you were a particular job, you could have different stances wielding the same weapon(s) and shield depending if you were in aggressive or defensive stance. Could also input a stance that is more balanced between the two. Your character looks different in the varying stances and could either dish out more damage, or be more protective oriented. Switching the stances on the fly would be cool to the point where if you preemptively anticipate each attack you could switch to take less damage in time to preform a perfect guard... give you something else to do besides sitting around waiting to attack once.
My thing with parties. I like parties, as most people did in FFXI. It is a community driven event. You got to know everyone, if they were a bad player or a really good one. But there was too much emphasis on parting. Going out on your own more often would have helped, but when you go up against something that is considered decent challenge or even too weak, you had a rough time. It was mostly impart to FFXI's combat system though, you wait 8 seconds to deal out one attack, and miss, and in vain attempt to build up tp to use. By the time you do that, you're lying on the floor. Having a more active role in combat should dictate how difficult the encounter was.. especially if you know all that gear you wasted time to get was considered excellent. That DC mob should be running from you. On that note, I still think getting in a party should merit higher returns. Allowing you to take on mobs that would otherwise be out of your range. The benefit being greater, and isn't super slow to the point where you have a group of 6 people fighting the same tough mob for 3-5 minutes. It is good to hear that it is expected of us to take on a group of mobs at once. That makes it more interesting and leads me to believe a system that has a more active role in combat is possible. Where everyone in the party plays a part in the flow of combat, changing positions, actively warding off, healing, kiting the sucker around. Whatever you like. Also resting shouldn't be slow, it should be a time out or whatever, but not to the point where you have a party and all the casters are resting 70% of the time, getting up to cast spells and what not. That's boring.. more movement for the casters please. I don't want to rest in the middle of combat, I want to be fighting.
I believe that the game should allow you to go off on your own and do well by yourself, but if you want to party, the game doesn't restrict how well you progress in a team setting. I think it should be far superior to solo play of course, it allows interaction throughout all the tiers in the game and not just the last one. People won't have a team mindset. To help others and work towards a goal. But if you want to go solo for a bit because of time restraints, or you just prefer it. It shouldn't hinder you either. I'm hoping for both to be an option and a big role in how the game operates from when you first start, till whatever endgame activity becomes.
Which brings me to the question of items and if we should use more of them in combat. In my opinion, using items to refresh your mp, and gain a little bit extra mp and hp should be an option but with limits. I don't want to win a battle because I used 50 potions and 30 ethers in rapid succession. But I also don't want to have to recover after every single fight. I good medium would be, small mp gains as you move or actively regaining mp during combat unless casting a spell. Health doesn't recover in combat unless someone used an item that did that effect or spell. But afterwards you regain small amounts as you aren't in combat. Resting like in FFXI should allow a larger boost in MP and HP regeneration than standing around out of combat (or moving like stated before). You aren't allowed to rest in combat, only out of combat. Using spells to heal such as cure and others are unlimited to use in combat like any FFXI, but the items has a # limit to use in a given time frame in or out of combat. Like say, you can use 3 items in a 10 minute time frame. Each type of item has a limit to when it can be used again, healing is separate from mp restore and can be used back to back. But using 2 ethers requires 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Ok, now for armor. Hopefully jobs have armor that looks specific enough that you don't need to target them to know its such and such job. I'm hoping for a huge variety of different armor in terms of looks. Like warrior paladin and dark knight generally wear the heaviest of armor (through out their career) but as you progress further, they take on different looks. One has huge spikes coming out of everywhere and possess an dark aura. another has a hidden agenda behind that armored helmet. and of course the angelic presence you get when around a paladin in its strikingly stalwart attire. I know you're thinking about AF armor. But I think as you progress most of the armor they equip should have a theme that says what they are and intend on doing to you if cross them. This might be hard to design, but I know the art team is talented. Just don't want to see the same armor over and over with new expansions. Just colored slightly different.
Another idea about armor, or rather clothing. It would be cool if you could switch into regular looking clothing that you can collect, design or make. Most FF games, especially in the later titles wear normal clothes for the most part. I know this existed in FFXI to some small extent. But to actually implement normal looking clothing from a pair of shorts with different designs (such as straps that lace down, or perhaps emblems) Jewelry you can actually see on your character unless your exterior armor covers it. maybe a hat or bandana... casual boots. Entire outfits that look regal with a bunch of fluff.. I'm really going off the top of my head here so i'll stop for the moment.
Uh.. Pvp. I like pvp, but I didn't like a lot of the pvp wow had worked on. I liked some points, but being able to actively torment people over and over doesn't seem to be fun. (I played on a pvp server nonetheless, but didn't go around trolling low level areas for victims.) Having sanctioned fights is more my style, at least it is challenging. Balista was kind of fun, but I didn't like the level caps, having to get different armor for different fights. Also combat was usually slow, if they ran, and you followed, you could never catch up to them unless you had flee. Even then it was worthless. Again more active abilities and spells that are instant/snares would be better. Another thing, some classes were several times better. I'm not suggesting balance every small thing around each other to the point where you suffer in one area of the game to make up for pvp against you. Having some balance is great though.
I could ramble on about specific spells and effects, but i'll save that for another time. If it was too long, remember I did warn you in the subject. C: