An Informational Resource and Sanctuary for Job Dicussion
II. Confirmed New Jobs
III. Party Position Distribution
IV. Weapon Category Distribution
V.Classes in Final Fantasy
VI. Developer Comments
To navigate the post, if you happen to be too lazy to use the scroll key, simply open your search function Cntrl+F on Windows, Apple+F on Macintosh. (Wait this isn't Gamefaqs!)
This isn't a post centered around any one new job, or claiming that said job will appear in an expansion pack, or a post describing a job idea I had. This is an attempt at a concentrated discussion on the possible new jobs in upcoming expansions. Essentially, I want to look at a variety of determining factors for what the new jobs could be, based on weapon category distributions, magical schools used, party position distribution and jobs appearing in previous Final Fantasy games. The intention is not to express my opinion, but to create an environment with all of the obvious material easily available to the reader, so that a healthy and contained discussion on these jobs can occur within this single thread, as opposed to spreading out all over.
I know that for now the job threads have either been nuked, moved or disappeared, so this may seem unnecessary, but I don't feel that all new job discussion is bad, as long as it has some educated thought behind it. So I created this post in an effort to bring together all job discussion into one safe zone where people hopefully won't fear being karma bombed into Timbuktu. Also, a general job discussion post would allow people with very basic opinions, ideas and insight to provide their feedback without having to feel as though they have enough to create an original post. This isn't necessarily a place to post your fully fleshed out job ideas with ability timers etc, though feel free if you wish. This is more a place for people to speculate intelligently based on all of the information before them and to collect that information in one easy to access resource. Feel free to post anything you think I missed or you feel to be improper.
II. Confirmed New Jobs________________________________________________
The following section is devoted to the announcement and discussion of any new job classes appearing in any upcoming expansion pack.
Wings of the Goddess released.
This section to be updated at the time of the next expansion.
III. Party Position Distribution________________________________________________
This section is dedicated to the current distribution of roles of those jobs already in Final Fantasy XI. This section is here to help us identify those categories that lack population, those that have excess etc, so as to help us hopefully better understand what job types would be the most likely to be introduced from a balance standpoint. This is going to be the most obvious to all of you, and although most of us know this I though it would be useful to place it here for easy reference.
- White Mage
- Black Mage
- Red Mage
- Dark Knight
- Blue Mage
I have chosen to distribute the classes above in this manner because I feel that these are the overall roles of the jobs. In a majority (>=50%) of situations they are involved in both EXP and end game, these are the roles they are likely to play. Situational use was left out, I am well aware not all jobs have roles set in stone. I included Summoner and Blue Mage in the Hybrid role because they feature support abilities, heavy damage dealing capabilities and healing abilities. Their positions can radically vary the most. Red Mage remains in the support category despite their tendency to serve as main healers in most merit parties, because with the exception of merit PTs Red Mage is usually expected to focus on buffing and debuffing. Please note solo was not taken into account for any class other than the two Soloist classes. I chose to include Puppetmaster and Beastmaster as Soloists because although they can work well in teams their focus is on Solo play or play with groups of themselves. Dancer was added to the healer section due to healing being its primary function, despite the fact that it can arguably fill other roles. Scholar I chose to place in hybrid, though it could be easily placed in support, its ability to function as both healer, support or nuker effectively placed it in that role.
As we can see here, the largest minority categories are Nukers followed closely by Healers, with only 1 job fitting into Nukers and 2 jobs fitting into Healers. Although Red Mage, Scholar, Blue Mage and Summoner can serve as healers, White Mage and Dancer are the only job whose entire focus is on healing. Black Mage is the only job with the main focus on dealing magical damage, although Red Mage, Scholar, Blue Mage and Summoner have access to magical based attacks, they are rubbish in comparison, more so than the equivalent healers are to White Mages.
The second minority groups are Tanks, Soloists and Hybrids, each with two, one and four members respectively. Although Warriors and Samurai can serve as tanks in some EXP situations, and Red Mages in some end game situations, the only two jobs who are expected to tank in most all situations are the Paladin and the Ninja. The only job specifically designed for soloing EXP is the Beastmaster, despite the proficiency that certain other jobs like Black and Blue Mage have discovered at soloing a small niche of enemies. The two jobs with the most ambiguous and/or shifting roles are Summoner and Blue Mage. Summoner's role shifts from Healer/Support to heavy Damage Dealer at end game. Blue Mage can play the role of a tank early, a damage dealer throughout and a decent healer/support when need be. Scholar also fits into the Hybrid role due to its ability to serve as support, healer or nuker effectively.
The Support group and Damage Dealer groups are the largest by far, with the damage dealers making up just under half of the job population. Corsair and Bard are pure support, with Corsair lending some damage dealing capabilities on the side, where Red Mage can serve as a nuker or healer in some situations they are always expected to play a support role as well, both in EXP and in end game. All of the Damage Dealing classes have fairly rigid roles in party and end game situations. Warrior and Samurai can tank in very specific situations and Dragoon can support heal, but for the most part all of these classes will be playing the roles of physical offense.
Demand is highest for the Tank, Nuker and Support role jobs. Tank and Support for EXP, Tank and Nuker for end game. Currently, the nuker role is taboo for party use, the current system encourages MP conservation as a whole, spent MP is wasted MP, Magic Damage is best saved for heavily armored enemies who are rarely the target of EXP groups. Magic is greatly enhanced by skillchains, which groups have little incentive for due to the fact that weaker, less resistant enemies are preferable targets.
At this point, the only nuker class; the Black Mage, sees almost no time in non Manaburn merit parties, therefore adding a second class without a system revision or addition would see little impact on the Black Mage community as a whole. If this nuker job was significantly more powerful, or significantly more effective in EXP situations there may be an outcry from the Black Mage community, but as long as it does not break Black Mage, it seems like a minimal risk. (Original post, now semi-irrelevant)
The only class belonging specifically to the healer role; the White Mage, also tends to be a taboo in parties, though less so than the Black Mage. White Mages receive spots in parties when no working group of two support jobs is available. Along the same lines of spent MP is wasted MP, White Mages do not offer abilities like refresh or convert to extend their MP pools indefinitely like a Red Mage. The addition of a new healing specific class could alienate the current White Mage community. They already have a difficult time finding merit parties, if their special position in end game was compromised there would likely be a large out cry. Without a system revision making a healing specific class more preferable than dual support jobs, an addition of a new healing specific class seems foolhardy. (Original post, now semi-irrelevant)
SE pulled a power move with the release of Dancer and it turned out quite well. Because Dancer is a TP based healer it does not push White Mage out of its end game role. In addition the ability for White Mages to now sub Scholar enhances the longevity of their MP pools allowing them to be more effective in both end game and party situations.
The only two jobs currently holding the spot of Tank and Tank only are the Ninja and the Paladin. The use of Paladin to tank in EXP parties has become somewhat taboo, especially at higher levels, because Ninja can tank without sinking as much MP. End Game Paladins become more and more undesireable tanks for non-kiting situations for the same reason as players become more and more proficient at shadow tanking difficult enemies. There is a relative consensus against the FFXI community that an additional tank needs to be added; however, without a system revision allowing for an equal opportunity for Paladins to meat tank enemies, both end game and in EXP situations more often, adding a new tank could severely step on the Paladin's toes, regardless of whether the new tank was a meat shield or an expert at mitigating damage.
There is no real demand for Damage Dealers or Hybrids. There is a constant demand amongst some of the audience for more soloing options, they tend; however, to be for existing classes, so the demand does not really exist for another soloing job class either. Though this does not mean there is not a possibility of a job in any of these categories being added.
It seems that to prevent new jobs from stepping on old jobs toes, battle system revisions need to take place in order to allow players to choose to EXP in a TP burn style or traditional style party. SE has commented that they plan to hopefully have such a system introduced in or alongside Wings of the Goddess, that would not force players to choose this new style but allow the player a choice. By doing this, adding new jobs would not have as big an impact on existing jobs.
IV. Weapon Category Distribution________________________________________________
This section is dedicated to the current distribution of weapon classes. Hopefully by looking at what weapons classes are underutilized it may give us a hint into what class of weapons some of the new jobs may make use of, which will help us narrow the possibilities of what these jobs could be. This assumes that Square-Enix does not wish to over utilize certain weapon classes, which may be false.
Great Axe (.5)
Great Katana (1)
Great Sword (.3)
This list is an overall distribution, which shows how many jobs use this weapon as their main offensive weapon for damage dealing. Dark Knight was split, as was Corsair. The former between SCY and GSD, the later between DAG,SWD and MRK.
Merit Party Optimum/Ideal
Great Axe (.5)
Great Katana (1)
Great Sword (0)
This list is an overall action list for Merit party, given the player is using the optimum weapon class for their class. Ranger was distributed to Archery, although it could go either way, I chose to place them in archery, Warrior I placed in Axe, though this may change. Although Beastmaster and Puppetmaster do not often appear in merit parties, I placed them. I placed Corsair under sword because most of their offensive actions rely on a sword, if they're taking any offensive action at all, excluding quick draw. RDM,BLM,WHM,SMN,BRD are all placed under staves as their most active main weapon to take action with.
Great Axe (.5)
Great Katana (1)
Great Sword (0)
The only shift here was that Corsair was moved from Sword user to Marksmanship user, as most of their end game actions will focus on their guns quick draw abilities and their focus as far as weaponskills would certainly be on marksmanship.
Weapon Category Overview
We can see that the most popular weapon categories are the Sword and Staff categories. Because of the overwhelming power of the Elemental Staves, they often present the best choice for any job not directly engaging the enemy. Swords are the main hand choice of Paladins, Blue Mages, as well as a majority of Red Mages, Bards and Corsairs at end game. (The latter 3 often make use of a dagger in the main hand if dual wielding)
Clubs and Throwing have little to no offensive representation across all classes, with very rare exceptions. Staves have very little non magical application with rare exceptions.
Polearms, Katanas and Great Katanas see only one offensive representation each. Archery very narrowly missing that group due to it's use by some Samurai.
Axes and Hand-to-Hand see only one offensive representation in non soloist classes. The axe seeing some use as a stat weapon for Rangers. Daggers are in a similar position, they see only one full time offensive representation in Thief, though they are often chosen as stat weapons for COR and RNG. (Original post, now semi-irrelevant) Daggers now see use by Dancers as well as their main weapon of choice.
Great Sword sees no offensive representation. Great Swords are only given offensive representation at this point in time by a small amount of DRK/THFs, this combo is significantly less popular that Scythes. This could change with the 2 handed patch, but it seems unlikely. Great Axes fall into the same category as Great Swords, they see little offensive representation. Axes are more popular with warriors, the 2 handed patch has a higher chance of changing this than it does with Great Sword, due to the skill caps warrior has.(Original post, now semi-irrelevant) Great Axe and Axe are now represent evenly with a split for the Warrior class, both weapons prove useful depending on subjob.
Weapon Category Conclusion
The Great Sword seems to be an ambiguous weapon choice, of all two handers excluding staves, the Great Sword is useable by the largest variety of classes. All of the classes proficient with one are more proficient with another weapon however.
The Club is the most under used main hand weapon. No offensive class is significantly proficient with the weapon. Wands are obsolete after Lv51. This has changed slightly for certain jobs where new magical clubs can be useful for White Mages.
Throwing weapons are also greatly under used, the only class capable of making proficient use of them is Ninja, and their high expense and lack of weaponskills makes them unsuitable for consistent damage.
Polearms, Great Katanas and Katanas are specialized weapons. Each one is very proficiently used by one class. In the case of Polearms and Great Katanas they can be used as novelty weapons by one other class semi-proficiently.
(Please note, the distribution of weapons and comments here are subjective, but for the most part I find what I have written to be true.)
V. Classes in Final Fantasy________________________________________________
Has Appeared in Multiple Games
Has Appeared in a Single Game
Has Appeared In Varying Representations
* Is a Current Final Fantasy XI Job Class
Note: As you'll notice, some jobs are marked Orange, this means they appear in only one or two Final Fantasies, or are recurring but not generally a chose able class, or seem to overlap with other classes to an extreme. I have excluded some very specific jobs from this list like Heaven Knight, Illusionist etc from the Tactics series. I have chosen to keep some jobs which people tend to feel overlap, because their roles in different games can be quite different.
VI. Developer Comments________________________________________________
This section serves as a compilation of excerpts from past interviews regarding jobs both new and old. The intention of this section is to give readers more insight into SE's design tendencies and allow them to use this information to improve their ability to speculate effectively, as well as to dispel misconceptions by those who have not read the interviews and improve the overall quality of the discussion.
2006 1UP Interview on Treasures of Aht Urhgan
1UP: The Blue Mages are something that fans have wanted for a long time based on their presence in the history of Final Fantasy. The Corsairs were a bit of a surprise, but the Puppetmaster was a really big surprise since there was never a precedent for such a job in Final Fantasy lore. How did you decide to create the Puppetmaster job class?
KO: In the beginning when we were thinking of new jobs, we were first thinking of a Necromancer type of job, where the job would be able to raise the undead. However, we couldn't have undeads running around in the morning and that would weaken the class, because they'd only be able to work at night. So from there we tried to think of something where the player would be able to use a puppet type of...slave if you will, at all times of day, and that's how we got to Puppetmaster.
1UP: You guys have obviously taken into consideration all of the job classes, as evidenced by the massive list of tweaks you mentioned at the developer panel. Which of the jobs was the most necessary to balance, and which jobs needed the least balancing?
Atsushi Okada: First, the ones we didn't think we needed to change are the Red Mages, the Ninjas, the Rangers and the Dragoons, because they had major changes recently, and we want to see how those changes pan out before we make new changes. Right now we can't really put a high ranking on which is most important to change; some of the ones we're going to be doing major changes on like the White Mage and the Paladin have big changes, but we have changes for all of them. We don't want to leave one out. So within the next few months, we'll be trying to make changes to as many jobs as possible, and see which ones need more and which ones might not need as many.
1UP: It's interesting how you [speaking directly to translator, Michael Christopher Koji Fox] brought up Beastmasters, since BSTs traditionally would train mobs to a zone, which made it easier to chain mobs safely. With the new anti-MPK measures implemented in the recent patch, that became all but impossible for BSTs. Does the dev team see a way to remedy that without opening the door for new MPK situations?
Nobuaki Koumoto: The reason that that was implemented was to stop the MPKs, which were becoming a really big problem, so we have no plans of changing it back to what it was. However, the dev team does realize that a lot of Beastmasters out there don't really like the change that was made, and so they're working very carefully to try to find something that will please everybody on all sides.
1UP: When you were designing the new jobs had it ever crossed your mind to create another job that would function well as a solo class?
Michael Christopher Koji Fox: [Laughs] They just got the stop [global online marketing producer, Arata Hanyuda steps in and makes a "no comment" sign], so we can't say too much, but that was one of the things we were thinking of when designing the three new jobs.
1UP: I know you guys are trying to promote diversity when it comes to selecting subjobs to go with mains, but if you had to suggest what sort of subs would go with the three new jobs in Treasures of Aht Urhgan, what would you say goes with what? Does a Blue Mage benefit mostly from a mage subjob or a melee sub? That sort of thing.
KO: We're going to try to balance it out as much as possible, but we would really like the players to decide which is the best, rather than for us to decide.
1UP: What were your feelings in seeing the crowd's response to the Blue Mage demonstration? It's kind of exciting to know that all the crap that the monsters have done to us over the years, we can now -- in theory -- do back to them.
KO: That was great for me.
Okada: At first I didn't really think it was going to be that popular, with the players just being able to use the monsters' abilities. But when I saw the reaction I was really surprised.
1UP: Do you think that -- and I know this is kind of a loaded question -- but do you think that any of the new jobs will put any of the existing jobs out of business?
KO: We're trying to make the jobs as original as possible, so they will not have to replace the other jobs. We want to make them as different as possible from the other 15.
1UP: So do you expect to see lots of dynamic new party arrangements?
KO: That's what we're hoping.
1UP: Is this one reason why you guys didn't actually add new jobs to Chains of Promathia? I can see how it can be too much for players. You can't expect three new jobs with every expansion since there's so much balancing -- even to the original jobs -- that takes place over the course of years and patch updates.
NK: When Chains of Promathia was first released, there were still a lot of things we wanted to adjust with the original 15 jobs. So rather than add new jobs there when the other jobs weren't adjusted well enough yet, we decided to wait and spend the CoP time to adjust those jobs. Now with the new expansion pack and a lot of new game styles (Assault and Besieged) coming out, we thought it was the perfect time to add new jobs, now rather than before.
1UP: Do you think Summoners always asking for new avatars is a little -- and I guess this is really the only way to put it -- unfair, since every other job doesn't receive a new spell or ability every time they get a new summon, like Diabolos? Moreover, all of the elements have been covered -- now you're getting to the point where you have to be more creative about your avatar selection, right?
Sage Sundi: By adding something to one job, there are always going to be 14 other jobs that are going to complain that they didn't get anything. So we have to hope that after we add one thing to one job, that we can think of other things to add to the other jobs so that everybody will be just as happy. We can't keep everybody happy though
2007 1UP Interview on Wings of the Goddess
1UP: I've noticed that the new jobs don't have many job traits, at least not as many as the previous 15 jobs have. Most of the new jobs rely on the job abilities of the selected subjob to influence how they play. Do you plan to add any abilities with content updates?
AM: When designing the new jobs, we decided that we wanted to put the focus of character development on the adjustment of the special characteristics of each job rather than trying to balance the jobs by simply adding various abilities or attributes. While we are not denying the benefits of implementing new attributes/abilities, we would first like to continue expanding on features of blue magic, the corsair's roll, and puppet attachments.
1UP: One original concern with some jobs, is that they're too powerful, like BLU and COR in particular. Some Bards and Red Mages were worried that they were out of a job thanks to the various Corsair rolls, but it's become more apparent that Corsair is more effective when those jobs are actually in the same party alongside them, especially since CORs can't enfeeble. Was this part of your grand design for COR? How would you say the other jobs fit in?
AM: During development, the aspect on which the corsair planner worked hardest was how the new job would work with other jobs with similar roles (such as bards and red mages). So far we have been pleased with how things have turned out.
2007 Allakhazam Interview on Wings of the Goddess
Pikko: Corsair, Blue Mage and Puppetmaster don't really fit a tanking position. Will there be a new tanking job?
SE: Again, we can't really say too much. But we do want to say that the new jobs that will be released will be a good balance with the jobs that are here now so there won't be too much weight on one certain type of playing style.Bold Text
Pikko: Will the new jobs that are coming in Wings of the Goddess play an important role in accessing the new areas?
SE: Acquiring the new jobs will be directly connected to the new areas. Other than that there is not much we can say right now.
Please note, more interview information will be added, I was unable to find a lot of older interviews and Q&A sessions in my brief searching tonight. If you'd like to share any that you find pertinent, please feel free to PM me or post it. I'll be sure to add it if you provide an original link.
This post is intended to provide a friendly atmosphere where intelligent job discussion and suggestions and speculation can be tossed around, people can shoot ideas off of each other and speculate. Most of the Allahkazam community tends to frown upon speculation; however, if it is contained to a small area, I see no reason to be upset over it. If this is not your cup of tea please do not continue to read below, you will most likely only annoy yourself. This post is not intended to represent my opinions on possible new jobs, if I feel the need to share or discuss I will post below. I hope you have found this compilation of resources useful. Enjoy the discussion, whether or not you choose to participate in it!
Thank you for reading.
Edit(8/20/07 12:47 A.M.) Added some interviews, planning to add more when i return from my trip tomorrow or Tuesday.
(Edited, Sep 8th 2007 7:40am by RamseySylph)Switched Puppetmaster to Hybrid category.
(Edited, Sep 22nd 2007 9:41am by RamseySylph) Added Dancer and the Confirmed Jobs Section
(Edited, Occt 22nd 2007 9:58am by RamseySylph) Added Dancer flavor text and fixed a few typos.
Edited, Oct 22nd 2007 7:02am by RamseySylph
Edited, Oct 22nd 2007 3:43pm by RamseySylph
Edited, May 7th 2008 8:16pm by RamseySylph
Edited, Jan 7th 2009 2:15pm by RamseySylph