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ffv job system

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i guess the only real difference between all of the final fantasy games is how you acquire the abilities and how they limit your use of them. for instance, ffiv and ffvi hav it so that characters only have a single job and each character has only one special ability. most of the games have it so that everyone is a generic husk that you can develop any way you want. good or bad?

i'm still undecided on that. see, i like that anyone can have anything, that way you know that you can be prepared for any situation because you'll have everything at your disposal. but at the same time there doesn't seem to be any real thinking to do aside from countering your targets.

i'm trying to figure out an ideal combination of all of the games. just like ternt was saying the other day, ffv and fft are probably the closest to my ideal. i don't remember fft well enough (and i don't have it) so i can't really say much about it atm. ffiii isn't much more to me than a crippled ffv.

[final fantasy v]

i'll start with ffv. you can take a main job and work on it to get new abilities, and its fun to see what kinds of things jobs will give you. each job gives you a default ability. after you try out a couple of different jobs you wind up with a variety of abilities that you can assign in a 2nd ability slot. some jobs give you good abilities that you might want to replace the job default with, but you're stuck with the default unless you choose to be a freelancer. freelancer can put any usable ability in both slots, but you don't get any job points.

a big problem i have with this is that you can't put the non-equippable abilities to use unless you pick the job you got them from or are a freelancer. if i get hp+20% from the monk job, i should be able to have that for any job. once you give that to me you shouldn't punish me by taking it away for switching to another job. i kinda understand that bare-handed shouldn't be given automatically to someone who's a time mage, though.

another issue i take is how the job levelling actually works. when you gain a level in a job you get some new ability. some are immediately usable, some are enhancements to some stat. the only abilities that are actually affected by job level are the spell abilities. in fact, they're the most important ones to level in my opinion - !white and !black are probably the most useful abilities in the game, and you need to ensure everyone has them pumped to the highest level spell you've got. the problem i have is, that's my idea of how all of the abilites should work. the jobs aren't really anything more to me than a representation of how good my skills are. if i've got my theif job to level 4, it seems to me that i aught to be better at theiving than someone who only has a level 1 theif job - but that isn't true at all. i just have a few more abilities. !steal should work better for a higher-level theif.

so i get that they've got it set up so that you can only take two abilities at any one time. its limiting and it forces you to think about what you need for a battle. i'm thinking that if its the crystals that give you the job powers, then they would probably do best to force you to equip the crystal somehow, like how you have to equip magicite in ffvi. any skill you earn from the crystals is yours to keep, and any buff you earn should stay with you no matter which crystal you're hanging on to. i think ffvi had the right idea with esper-holding buffs instead of ffv's permanent buff acquisition.

i don't like the freelance job either. well, i love using it in the game, but the idea of it is that you use it to access everything you've earned from your jobs. suddenly there isn't alot of thinking to do, you equip everyone with the best weapons and armor you've found, give two people maxed white, two people maxed black and then probably rapid-fire&dual-wield everyone. i suppose you could sword-dance enhance someone's equipment, dual-wield and !dance to see if you can do some retarded damage.. but the point is, acing every job is really only to stack freelancer. i'm suspecting that noone is going to go into the final battle with anything other than freelancers. i don't plan on it any other way when i get there.

and isn't that a bad thing? i mean, if the focus of the game is the job system, wouldn't it do to keep them focused on that to the very end? juggling the jobs to suit the situation is the point of the game, so what's up with the freelance job?
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