FFXIV: classes, jobs and the new jobs in the expansion

In the current version of Final Fantasy 14 classes and jobs (a k a advanced classes) are linked as part of character progression. You start as an initial class and level that to 10 thereafter unlocking class switching. If you level two classes in a specific combination (see this chart) you can unlock a job.

The new jobs being introduced in the Heavensward expansion (the Astrologian, the Dark Knight and the Machinist) however will not follow this normal pattern. When they will unlock hasn’t yet be detailed – forums speculation seems to favour the standard level 30 for other jobs. But unlike other jobs these new jobs won’t be tied to a base class and won’t require a set combination of levels in two classes to unlock.

It’s easy to assume that thematically the new jobs didn’t fit with any specific class well enough – jobs continue to use the abilities of their base class and secondary classes. This means the three new classes will bring a whole set of new abilities to the game – for example the Astrologian will not be using Cure or Physik (the Conjurer and Arcanist base heals respectively) as the existing jobs of White Mage and Scholar do.

As a thought experiment I had a quick think what classes the new jobs could have been based on below. There might be deeper reasons why these new jobs do not follow the classes -> job system from before but in a sense it’s a move away from a rather elegant system. Since release the only new job added to the game has been the Ninja, which also meant the base class of Rogue was also added in patch 2.4. So the decision to break with tradition stems I guess from the desire of the devs to accelerate the pace of job addition without multiplying up the effort by having to create entirely new base classes to thematically support the new jobs.

Job Base class Secondary class Tertiary class
Astrologian Conjurer Arcanist Archer
Dark Knight Gladiator Thaumaturge Arcanist
Machinist Archer Arcanist Rogue

Some thoughts on my reasoning for the above choices follow. The classes are in alphabetical order but also, by chance, in order of the obviousness of class matches to the new jobs. To repeat from earlier this is purely a thought exercise, Yoshi P has stated the new jobs work differently so this will not be how they actually work.

For Astrologian I see the Conjurer as the base class since it has only one job tied to it as a primary class. For secondary class I can see Arcanist as the secondary as the class involves ‘summoning’ cards to conjure various beneficial effects. The Tertiary class only provides a few cross-class skills to most jobs so it’s of minor thematic importance. I’ve selected Archer because the Astrologian has a support element, and the Archer as a base class for the support-heavy Bard job also has this theme.

The Dark Knight is based on a Gladiator, this looks to be a (great)sword wielding character not a axe-fighter like the Marauder. The ‘darkest’ thematically of the available classes is probably the Thaumaturge, in some RPG games ‘darkness’ is actually considered one of an expanded set of elements so I’d say of all the caster class themes Thaumaturge is the closest to bring the magic aspect to this tank-fighter. Another job isn’t ever used as one of the classes in the current system, so I’ve chosen Arcanist as the tertiary to link Dark Knight to the ‘shield healing’ mechanism of the Scholar class (Adloquium), which is based on the Arcanist.

The Machinist is the hardest to squeeze into the existing primary classes, at a stretch I imagine here it would be based on archer (it’s a gun-wielding ranged dps class) and that Arcanist is the secondary. I’d suggest Arcanist here because the class ‘summons’ turrets as part of its mechanics and summoning support pets is an Arcanist/Summoner mechanic even if thematically it’s more technology than magic in this case. I suppose in reality they would have had to add a new tech-themed primary class for Machinist, maybe Engineer?

Would you have chosen any other combination of base classes for the three new jobs?

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One Response to FFXIV: classes, jobs and the new jobs in the expansion

  1. I actually agree with you on the base classes. The Machinist class seems it could stem from Archer and Arcanist. I’ve played both of those classes and believe they would be a good fit. I’m curious to see how it will play when the expansion comes out. I’m currently a Bard, so when I purchase Heavensward I’ll be trying out the Machinist. I’d love to see what actions Astrologian will have. I played a White Mage for a bit and decided I didn’t like healing, but the Astrologian seems like it will be pretty fun. I’ve never played a tank, but Gladiator seems a better fit for the Dark Knight than Paladin.

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