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Elpizo
11-04-2011, 12:00 AM
Beware, this will get lengthy.


The new Final Fantasy III job system!
The classic system remade for the modern age. Maybe.

Let's do a theoretical exercise to blow some life into the forum of this often overlooked classic. You aren't a Final Fantasy fan if you haven't experienced the job system of FF III, a big leap forward in terms of character customization for the series. Looking back at the classic Famicom version, it's not hard to see some flaws. Some jobs are useless aside from a unique situation here and there, and once Ninja and Sage become available only the adventurous players will keep using different jobs (I was one of them. :p ). There also wasn't very much that differentiated the job classes. Only a few really had unique job abilities, like the Dragoon's jump of Scholar's scan. Most jobs just had attack and access to some low lv magic.

The DS remake stuck pretty close to this original concept, only it made more of an effort to make each job unique and useful at the end of the game, and every job gained a unique ability (in case they didn't have one already). The job levels from the original remained: act enough times during battle, and you'd level up the level of your job. Doing so had purely statistical benefits, if I remember correctly, in the famicom version, as well as lowered the cost of changing jobs. In the DS version, the jobs' unique abilities were often strengthened by a higher job level. Warriors' Advance dealt more damage the higher your job level was, same for the Ranger's Barrage. Getting job lv 99 also meant that you could switch to said job without the adjustment phase added in the DS remake (where your stats were lowered for a couple of fights until your character had adjusted to the job).

From personal experience, however, I felt that raising job levels was an absolute chore, especially since the benefits you got from it were so minimal (aside from getting said job's ultimate weapon). Having Advance and Barrage deal more damage is nice and all, but when I'm endgame I can deal just as much damage by hasting a knight or Dark Knight dual wielding, for example. It's hard to notice the effects of a raised job level.

So I started to think: SE remade Final Fantasy III on the DS to stick as close to the original as possible. What if they remade it again, but overhauled it completely to, instead of sticking to the original, polish it up to modern standards (well, given the state of Final Fantasy recently, maybe that has some of you cringing. Just pretend I said "Playstation 1 era" standards then). Such a change could include a complete reworking of the job system, and offer new chances and possibilities. Being a Final Fantasy III fan, I had my own ideas of how I personally would overhaul the job system, and I'd like to present the results here.

What sets FF III's job system apart from V's and Tactics', is that job abilities can't be switched between jobs once you've mastered that ability. In V, it was possible to have a White Mage going at it barefisted like a Monk. People enjoy this kind of freedom, and one could easily just bring V's job system to III and few would complain (except purists, but to them I say: go play the Famicom version or DS remake). But I didn't want to do that. I like the unique aspect in III of having to use a job if you want to use its abilities, no switching around. So that aspect in my overhaul stayed. A White Mage still won't go at it barefisted like a Monk: it does White Magic only.

What I did do, was enlarge the arsenal of abilities that each job has. Instead of one unique ability, each job now has many. They start out with a default ability (in most cases I took the DS ones), and gain new ones by raising their job level. Job level now functions more like in FF V: each job has only a set number of levels they can gain, and they gain levels by gaining Ability Points. That concept has now been applied to this overhauled job system in III. It also means that in my vision, Ability Points are added to III, instead of the 'do an action so many times and gain a job level' in the DS and Famicom version. Rising in job level unlocks a new ability for each job. With this in mind, I feel that rising a job level is more rewarding, and players would be more pressed to spent time on job grinding. Reaching the highest level masters the job, and you could get an ultimate job weapon for it then, just like in the DS version.

I have worked out a full list, showcasing the new form of each job and their new abilities. One of the reasons I gave each job new abilities, was to give each of them potential to be useful in the endgame. So even Wind Crystal jobs have some ability now to keep up with later jobs in terms of damage dealing. The only unfortunate exceptions here are black and white mages. It's hard to work around the fact that Devout and Magus are meant to replace them.

The list is not perfect. This is my initial idea, but I would very much like to discuss with fellow FF III fans what they would add or remove, their view on it and etc. Let's just make it a fun theoretical exercise.

To people who say "Don't bother, FF III was fine as it is, it needs no overhauled job system", I kindly point at the Famicom and DS remake, which has that classic system. In here, I would like to discuss an overhaul of that classic system, and if you don't like that, please don't bother.

Without wasting more time, I present you the list:

Freelancer
- Magic (default): Use lv 1 black or white magic.
- Mimicry (job lv 1): Copy the ability of a job you have mastered.

Onion Knight
- Magic (default): Use lv 1 to 8 black and white magic.
- Onion Gear (job lv 1): Enable the use of Onion equipment.

Warrior
- Advance (default): Sacrifice defence for damage.
- Power Break (job lv 1): Lower the targetís strength.
- Magic Break (job lv 2): Lower the targetís magic power.
- Mind Break (job lv 3): Lower the targetís magic defence.
- Armor Break (job lv 4): Lower the targetís defence.
- Minus Strike (job lv 5): Deal damage equal to max hp Ė current hp.
- Wild Swing (job lv 6): Strike all enemies.
- Shock (job lv 7): Deal great physical damage.

Monk
- Retaliate (default): Counterattack for 2x damage when hit until the next turn.
- Chakra (job lv 1): Heal hp and remove status ailments.
- Roundhouse (job lv 2): Moderate damage to all enemies.
- Exorcise (job lv 3): High damage against the undead.
- Holy Sign (job lv 4): Remove status enhancements of an enemy.
- Revive (job lv 5): Revive a fallen ally.
- Aurablast (job lv 6): Strike with a mighty fist.

Thief
- Steal (default): Steal an item from a foe.
- Flee (default): Attempt to run from a battle with greater success rate.
- Quick Hit (job lv 1): Attack before anyone else can.
- Mug (job lv 2): Attack while stealing
- Escape (job lv 3): Escape with 100% success rate.
- Lucky Seven (job lv 4): Randomly deal 7, 77, 777 or 7777 damage.
- Thievery (job lv 5): Deal damage based on successful steals times speed/2.

White Mage
- White Magic (default): Cast lv 1 white magic.
- White Magic (job lv 1): Cast lv 2 white magic.
- White Magic (job lv 2): Cast lv 3 white magic.
- White Magic (job lv 3): Cast lv 4 white magic.
- White Magic (job lv 4): Cast lv 5 white magic.
- White Magic (job lv 5): Cast lv 6 white magic.
- White Magic (job lv 6): Cast lv 7 white magic.
- Miracle (job lv 7): Cast cura (fail), curaga (normal), curaja or esuna (success).

Black Mage
- Black Magic (default): Cast lv 1 Black magic.
- Black Magic (job lv 1): Cast lv 2 Black magic.
- Black Magic (job lv 2): Cast lv 3 Black magic.
- Black Magic (job lv 3): Cast lv 4 Black magic.
- Black Magic (job lv 4): Cast lv 5 Black magic.
- Black Magic (job lv 5): Cast lv 6 Black magic.
- Black Magic (job lv 6): Cast lv 7 Black magic.
- Witchcraft (job lv 7): Cast a random Ďagaí spell, rarely casts Flare, Meteo or Death

Red Mage
- Red Magic (default): Cast lv 1 black and white magic.
- Red Magic (job lv 1): Cast lv 2 black and white magic.
- Red Magic (job lv 2): Cast lv 3 black and white magic.
- Red Magic (job lv 3): Cast lv 4 black and white magic.
- Red Magic (job lv 4): Cast lv 5 black and white magic (limited spell list).
- Double Cast (job lv 5): Cast 2 spells of any level in 1 turn for the cost of 1.

Ranger
- Barrage (default): Fire 4 arrows at random enemies, at the cost of less damage.
- Grim Shot (job lv 1): Deal damage equal to the HP lost.
- Sidewinder (job lv 2): Deal high damage to monster-enemies.
- Vitals Shot (job lv 3): Attempt to hit a vital spot of the target, instantly killing it.
- Rapid Fire (job lv 4): Fire 4 arrows at the chosen target, at the cost of less damage.
- Sonic Boom (job lv 5): Hit all enemies with an arrow that breaks the sound barrier.

Knight
- Cover (default): Guard allies in critical status.
- Nurse (job lv 1): Heal hp and remove status ailments of the chosen target.
- Sanctify (job lv 2): High damage to the undead.
- Saint Cross (job lv 3): Holy damage to all enemies.
- Holy Blade (job lv 4): Ultimate holy damage.

Scholar
- Study (default): Reveal targetís HP and weakness, removes status enhancements.
- Chemistry (job lv 1): Use an item with doubled effect.
- Salve (job lv 2): Use items on all foes or allies at once.
- Dark Tome (job lv 3): Use the possessed pages of an ancient tome (random effects).
- Paper Storm (job lv 4): Hit all enemies with the power of knowledge!

Geomancer
- Terrain (default): Use the power of the environment on your foes.
- Geomancy (job lv 1): Use the Terrain spells youíve learned at will.

Dragoon
- Jump (default): Jump in the air and come down next turn to deal damage.
- Lancet (job lv 1): Strike and drain HP.
- Luna (job lv 2): Inflict berserk on all enemies (unless immune).
- Aged Circle (job lv 3): Decrease the damage dealt by Dragons for some turns.
- Wyrm Killer (job lv 4): Double damage to Dragons.
- Dragon crest (job lv 5): Deal damage dependant on the amount of slain Dragons.

Viking
- Provoke (default): Taunt the target into attacking you.
- War Cry (job lv 1): Increase defence for some turns.
- Pillage (job lv 2): Strike and steal coins.
- Tsunami (job lv 3): Water damage to all enemies.
- Mjolnir (job lv 4): Attack with the hammer of the thunder god.

Black Belt
- Boost (default): Increase the black beltís power. Use up to 2 times.
- Inner Focus (job lv 1): Heal HP and remove status ailments.
- Rend Armor (job lv 2): Shatter an opponentís defence.
- No Mercy (job lv 3): Deal damage equal to max hp Ė current hp.
- Pummel (job lv 4): Strike an opponent twice.

Dark Knight
- Souleater (default): Sacrifice HP to strike all enemies.
- Darkness (job lv 1): Sacrifice HP to strike the target with greater damage.
- Bloodsword (job lv 2): Heal hp equal to the damage done.
- Doomsday (job lv 3): Deal shadow damage to all units in battle (friend and foe).
- Climhazzard (job lv 4): Deal non-elemental damage to all enemies.

Evoker
- Evoke (default): Summon lv 1 summons for random black or white effect.
- Evoke (job lv 1): Summon lv 2 summons for random black or white effect.
- Evoke (job lv 2): Summon lv 3 summons for random black or white effect.
- Evoke (job lv 3): Summon lv 4 summons for random black or white effect.
- Evoke (job lv 4): Summon lv 5 summons for random black or white effect.
- Evoke (job lv 5): Summon lv 6 summons for random black or white effect.
- Evoke (job lv 6): Summon lv 7 summons for random black or white effect.
- Evoke (job lv 7): Summon lv 8 summons for random black or white effect.
- Grand Evoke (job lv 8): Player can now choose which effect (black or white) to evoke.

Bard
- Sing (default): Paeon song available: heal the party.
- Sing (job lv 1): Requiem song available: damage all enemies.
- Sing (job lv 2): Symphony song available: raises partyís magic defence.
- Sing (job lv 3): Minne song available: cast Protect on the entire party.
- Sing (job lv 4): Minuet song available: cast Haste on the entire party.
- Sing (job lv 5): Elegy song available: boost partyís attack with Aura.
- Sing (job lv 6): Ballad song available: recover MP charges for the entire party.

Magus
- Black Magic (default): Cast lv 1 to 7 Black Magic.
- Black Magic (job lv 1): Cast lv 8 Black Magic.
- Art of Black (job lv 2): Cast a random Black Magic spell for free.

Devout
- White Magic (default): Cast lv 1 to 7 White Magic.
- White Magic (job lv 1): Cast lv 8 White Magic.
- Art of White (job lv 2): Cast a random White Magic spell for free.

Summoner
- Summon (default): Summon the full power of lv 1 summons.
- Summon (job lv 1): Summon the full power of lv 2 summons.
- Summon (job lv 2): Summon the full power of lv 3 summons.
- Summon (job lv 3): Summon the full power of lv 4 summons.
- Summon (job lv 4): Summon the full power of lv 5 summons.
- Summon (job lv 5): Summon the full power of lv 6 summons.
- Summon (job lv 6): Summon the full power of lv 7 summons.
- Summon (job lv 7): Summon the full power of lv 8 summons.
- Conjure (job lv 8): Summon the full power of a random summon.

Sage
- Grand magic (default): Cast lv 1 to 5 black or white magic, and evoker summons.
- Grand magic (job lv 1): Cast lv 6 black or white magic, and evoker summons.
- Grand magic (job lv 2): Cast lv 7 black or white magic, and evoker summons.
- Grand magic (job lv 3): Cast lv 8 black or white magic, and evoker summons.
- Ultima (job lv 4): Attempt to use the ultimate magic.

Ninja
- Throw (default): Throw weapons at the target.
- Ninjutsu (job lv 1): Gain access to Flame spell, dealing moderate fire damage.
- Ninjutsu (job lv 2): Gain access to Flood spell, dealing moderate water damage.
- Ninjutsu (job lv 3): Gain access to Blitz spell, dealing moderate lightning damage.
- Ninjutsu (job lv 4): Gain access to Tremor spell, dealing moderate earth damage.
- Ninjutsu (job lv 5): Gain access to Gale spell, dealing moderate wind damage.
- Ninjutsu (job lv 6): Gain access to Frost spell, dealing moderate ice damage.
- Gil Toss (job lv 7): Deal damage to all enemies by throwing Gil.

And there you have it. Thoughts?

Wolf Kanno
11-04-2011, 09:29 PM
Not a bad list, I'm assuming you're also going to be switching to a regular MP system instead of Spell Charges, since most modern FF fans don't seem to care for the old D&D system.

I think one thing I may add to Devout and Magus which would actually make them better than their previous counterparts and actually make them useful against, say a Sage, is that they gain MP saving bonuses with certain job levels up. Like at Level 3, their MP consumption is reduced by 10% and it can level up to maybe costing 1/2 the MP cost by end game. For the Sage, I'd return their ability to use Summons again and give them a minor Turbo MP effect with some of their level ups, like 10% more MP cost to raise Magic damage by 1.5x damage, and move it up so while the cost is higher than average, ultimately capping at 3x damage at 70% MP cost. Then all you have to do is either give Sage boosted MP for his stat growth, or you can implement an equipment system like Tactics or FFXII that can artificially increase MP and HP on the party just by having it equipped.

Just my thoughts.

VeloZer0
11-05-2011, 01:14 AM
I think the D&D system would be amazing if it was just tweaked a little. The problem is that the lower level spells are very weak end game, and you still don't get to use that many of them. IMO you should get like 99 charges of your rank 1-3 spells by the end of the game. They are doing less damage than your super charged physical attack characters, but at least the mage isn't standing around doing nothing until a tough enemy appears.

Hopefully I have time on the weekend to give this interesting thread more attention.

Elpizo
11-06-2011, 01:43 AM
Not a bad list, I'm assuming you're also going to be switching to a regular MP system instead of Spell Charges, since most modern FF fans don't seem to care for the old D&D system.

Actually, I'm glad you brought this up. I'm a fan of the spell charges, myself, and in all honesty I'm not sure what to do with them. I think it works fine in the famicom and DS version, but if one would overhaul III like I suggested here, you run into some problems. The main problem are mostly the new abilities of non-mage classes.

The spell charges always worked with 8 levels. You had 8 levels of charges, and the higher you went up the ladder, the less charges you had. But looking at the new list, not all jobs have enough abilities to add a move to every level of charges. Take my new Thief. WIth Thievery able to do 9999 damage, naturally you'd add a price for the power. Thus it gets a spell charge. But what of the rest of the Thief's abilities? Steal? Mug? Escape? Those never required MP costs in the past. What remains? Lucky Seven, Quick Hit, Thievery. What level of spell charge will they get? It seems logical they won't get three following levels (3, 4, 5, for example). So you'll have to spread them out, over a 3 x 8 spell roster. It'll look awful, to say the least, and very empty. If you have one big MP pool, this problem wouldn't rear its head. It's also very much the question if you could actually divide a Thief's abilities into 'levels' with Spell charges.

So it's an interesting problem here. I am a fan of Spell Charges, but I also understand that once you bring more abilities than just magic into your game, you'll have a problem on your hands. You hardly can have both MP for non-magic classes and Spell Charges for mages. So it either needs to be one or the other, and one big MP pool seems to be the way to go. On the other hand, it takes away the managing-factor of mages that I liked in III, in that you had to dose your spell usage and mages couldn't just spam Holy, Flare or Bahamut. Others will call that a hindrance, saying it limits the usefulness of offensive mages. So in the end, it comes down to a debate of old vs. new.



I think one thing I may add to Devout and Magus which would actually make them better than their previous counterparts and actually make them useful against, say a Sage, is that they gain MP saving bonuses with certain job levels up. Like at Level 3, their MP consumption is reduced by 10% and it can level up to maybe costing 1/2 the MP cost by end game.

It's definately worth looking into. This is one of the problem's you get by getting 'levelled up' jobs like White Mage ==> Devout ==> Sage. :p Though I seem to remember that in the DS remake, Sages had a smaller amount of MP charges for the higher spells than either Magus or Devout, so for a healer you were still better off with a Devout. (Preferably backed up by a Sage with the most vital White Magic, and the rest filled up with Black. So the Magus did kind of get left in the cold.) I'm not sure, I'd have to check my guide again, but I though Devout and Magus, aside from higher Spell Charges, also benefitted from higher stats for their respective magic than the Sage, but I'd have to check.

Bonusses or job benefits to make either of the specialists preferable over the do-it-all Sage are definately a good idea, though!


For the Sage, I'd return their ability to use Summons again and give them a minor Turbo MP effect with some of their level ups, like 10% more MP cost to raise Magic damage by 1.5x damage, and move it up so while the cost is higher than average, ultimately capping at 3x damage at 70% MP cost. Then all you have to do is either give Sage boosted MP for his stat growth, or you can implement an equipment system like Tactics or FFXII that can artificially increase MP and HP on the party just by having it equipped.

To be fair, I feel that the Turbo MP effect suggested here would actually be more beneficial for the Devout and Magus, to make them better choices for pure Black or White than the do-it-all Sage, while the Sage, with his lower MP pool, gets the reduced MP cost.

I'm also not sure about returning the Summoner-effect summons to sages. I always felt that it made Summoners obsolete, even more so than Magus or Devout. The DS remake, I felt, did it right by saying "You want summons? Take a summoner!", instead of allowing the Sage to do it too, like in the NES version. In the DS, I used the Sage more as a kind of support Mage, supporting my Devout with white magic when needed (especially in the final dungeon), casting Black when he could. It's also an opportunity for Black Magic to actually get used again (since, let's be honest, Summons kinda outshine BM. Flare is nice and all, but it ain't no Megaflare), because the Sage can't give you high Summons. This means Summons are still highly specialized magic only 1 job can fully use to its highest potential, and adding one to the party or not will be a more tactical decision. (Since you mostly have 2 physical classes and 2 magical ones, you'd have to pick: back-up healer, or damage dealer? Considering the brutal final areas, not a decision to be made lightly.)


I think the D&D system would be amazing if it was just tweaked a little. The problem is that the lower level spells are very weak end game, and you still don't get to use that many of them. IMO you should get like 99 charges of your rank 1-3 spells by the end of the game. They are doing less damage than your super charged physical attack characters, but at least the mage isn't standing around doing nothing until a tough enemy appears.

I like Spell Charges too, and they definately should be tweaked if they want to be kept by the overhaul. You also adress a very good point. Because of the low amount of spell charges (you only get like 8 lv 8 spell charges as a Devout or Magus, and only 4 as a Sage), you save them up for bosses, meaning most of the time your mages are sitting ducks for the rest of the game. This greatly lowers the use of Mages in FF III, which is a shame and should definately be adressed. In fact, I feel most of the series suffers from this phenomena, even those games without Spell Charges.

I do seem to remember having 99 lv 1 spells once I was lv 99, but again, what use does that have, like you said? Those spells are indeed incredibly weak, and I only ended up using them for curing on the overworld, to save my higher cure spells. And for Black Mages, this is even more dramatic, for what use are 99 fire spells in the endgame?

Doing away with the Spell Charges and having an MP pool would do away with this problem right away. So just like with Wolf's post, it comes down to a debate of old vs new: to keep the Spell Charges (and update them) or to do away with them? :p