Last week saw the successful relaunch of Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIV, now dubbed A Realm Reborn. One of the major drawing points to this title was its character customization. Whereas many massively multiplayer RPGs would require a player to create another character in order to play as more than one class, Final Fantasy XIV changes things up in order to give the player more options.
Players are able to change classes on the fly and are even encouraged to. If a player is level 10 or higher in their given class and has progressed enough through their guild's main story, then they will be given the option to change classes. This is done by equipping a weapon that is relevant to the new class in the character's dominant hand. All the player has to do then is sign up at the local guild and begin leveling up their new class. It should be noted that, while classes can usually be changed at will, players will be unable to do so in the middle of battle.
The ability to change classes saves players from having to create multiple avatars in order to experience more varied types of gameplay. It also aids in one of the game's strong points, its social aspect. Many of the game's FATEs (another one of the game's unique features), have players forming spontaneous parties. While playing, it was common to see players who hadn't yet entered the battle change classes to better suit the situation. Some players went through a surprising amount of discussion to decide which class would better suit their free companies.
During our playthrough, we gave the Conjurer and Archer classes a try. Bringing the initial character up to level 10 was quick and easy to do, as there are plenty of quests that offer enough EXP to help reduce the need to grind. In fact, players should be able to get a couple of classes to level 10 with ease. Changing from one class to another kept the game feeling fresh and helped avoid some of the monotony found in other RPGs.
While we only formed a few spontaneous teams for certain quests and FATEs, the benefits of changing classes was immediately noticeable. Solo players will definitely want to take advantage of the class change system. In a game that's filled with hundreds of scenarios, the ability to change classes adds an entirely new level of strategy to the game.
All in all, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's unique class change system is a feature that even players who have dedicated themselves to a certain style of play should check out. It does wonders for a solo experience and helps make it even easier for players to form small groups and work together. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is available now for the PC and PlayStation 3.