Just so everyone understands, when I think Final Fantasy for an MMO, I think of the class structure/mechanics of FinalFantasy: 1-6, 11, 12, and especially the Tactic series<<this should be your core reference, where class structure and balance are concerned, for the XIV dev team, for trying to improve this mmo.
Based of the the 2011 goals for XIV from the JPN lodestone. Motto the XIV dev team is going for>>FUN LIVE REBUILD REBOOT
I for one hope the above is true. FFXIV just does not feel like a Final Fantasy set universe at all. The names you gave the DoW classes, and the fact you didn't stick to defining chess piece type roles, are major factors to this feeling.
I know you like evolving and changing(in a great way) the rpg experiences, but keep that for your single player based FF rpg's projects. This is your 2nd mmo achievement. And while FFXI kept the FF nostalgia(names & and chess piece type roles had a big factor in that), FFXIV is just not living up to it. Don't take this to mean, I want an exact HD version of XI, because I don't. But don't be afraid to take some fun mechanics from that and implement them to XIV, and I'm not talking about AH, I'm referring to things like choco raising, choco digging, choco raises, skill based story quest lines, your fame lvl to open up side quest lines in various cities/towns, These should be things you build upon for 2011 and make better than they were in FFXI.
Now, for my main gripe. The class mechanics,naming, growth, defined roles.
For FFXIV, having the ability to make everyone a Red Mage just does not work, because a Red Mage is an actual chess piece in FF lore. Its not interesting, to level lancer and I don't get that dragoon feel. Like the feel I get for being a thf that steals gil and stabs enemies in the back, that feeling is just not there. End game will look silly having cookie cutters builds that will baffle the mind, of how much we all are the same.
You all have hybrid class already: Red Mage, Dark knight, Paladin, Onion Knight, Blue Mage. Go back to define roles, please. You have way too many classes that you've already invented, to have an issue in implementing this.
This is a final fantasy MMO and you have to gear it towards that feel or it just doesn't feel right. You can't take FFXIV the same route as you would your other single rpg experiences, its not the same thing. The mmo scene you should be thinking different. Even though FF7's story was amazing, after FF6 the genre started going towards this emo, metro-sexual, modern feel with 7,8,10,13. Even though they evolved the game play mechanics, which was great, and the stories where fun to go through as always, it kinda lost the fantasy feeling you got with the other titles I mention at the top of my post.
SE you already have a rule set and the most creative class structure I have every seen/imagined. Why would you try and change and reinvent that aspect of your FF universe. Why did you make XIV based on the basic concept of the Red Mage class, but with everyone holding a different weapon? It boggles my mind. Stick to the lore & class concepts that made you SE/squaresoft. Its your 2nd mmo, keep you class structure old school. I'll say it again chess pieces.
Your don't see bio-ware messing with name structure and class roles that have already been defined, and renaming them with odd, old,...very old European words.
Stop trying to make your 2nd mmo like a single person rpg game, were class structure is concerned. You have the chess pieces to make this fun, fast thinking game. Take the class presentation/mechanics of FinalFantasyTactics lore, and implement them in 14 without the customization part. Build off that and improve/evolve the abilities each class can learn. Chess pieces
My ideas for class structure only, its the only thing that concerns me:
-Give us the all the FF:Tactic classes from the start. You want to make some of them quest oriented go ahead, but have 9 at least be available from the start, you have over 20+ classes to play with. Please don't leave out Geomancer or Time mage. Their ability list have already been made up in , they can work for this game.
eg.. for geomancer*. The terrain in XIV is very diverse, the way geomancer worked in tactics, make it so for this game. Whatever soil, ground, rock type your standing on you stay there, don't move and the magic your able to cast will be of that type.
-Reference the "FF:Tactics" lore for the list of abilities, incorporate, evolve, and strengthen it for XIV. XIV world already feels like it should be apart of Ivalice anyways,...just saying. *wink*
-There should be wild chocobos roaming the fields. And Tamers, Animst, Beastmasters, whatever you want to call them, should be able to go out there and tame them for use in battle.
-Put all classes(hybrid & all) in from the start, FF fans will pick up this game if they here something like this is a feature. You don't need to have classes be a quest unlock like it was in FFXI. You could have them from the start and you build off in increasing their strengths from level 1.
-Have quest or side missions/quests that will unlock new abilities & summons.
-As Classes increase in level the physical and aesthetic appearance becomes more and more distinct to everyone. eg. Lancers will eventually become dragoons, or instead dragoons will eventually be able to tame/receive a dragon pet, or get that distinguish armor set that separates them from the rest of the dragoon, ex. AF armor.
-Get rid of gear damage, put other money sinks in the game.
-Have Disciple of the Hand be a separate thing away from the main story line. The easiness of battles, I hear, is the cause of DoH/DoL being a part of the story line, and that sounds depressing. Why is a Culinary trying to get up in the empires affairs anyways? And trying to protect the land. Get rid of this application.
-Although, some Disciple of the Hand I could see being a fighting/support class, but then you would have to take the "Tactics" approach and change, for example: the "Alchemist" to a "Chemist", making them able to throw potions,remedied, phoenix downs, at their comrades to heal, support them. Let them have the same skill set as in tactics and at the same time be able to make alchemy type things like they do now.
I'm not sure if you get my thinking in the way I'm trying to approach FF14. But it would be awesome to see something like this be a game changer for the game.
Edited, Dec 3st 2011 11:54pm by Rustyshield
Edited, Jan 1st 2011 12:17am by Rustyshield