OK, the other day I talked about what FF Jobs where justifiable. Now I’m wondering what Job system (that is, the way the characters learn their jobs) is best. Here’s a list from every FF game that had one (please note, I have NOT played some of these games yet, so I might have some details wrong- corrections are welcome):

FF1- You choose the Jobs of your four characters at the start, and can’t change them later (but you CAN upgrade them- Black Mage to Black Wizard, for example.)

FF3- Your characters start as Onionkids, and you gain access to new jobs by finding the famous FF Crystals. You CAN change jobs at will, but you have to spend points each time (I need more info on this, btw.)

FF5- You start as “bare” characters, then earn jobs from crystals ala FF3. You learn a job’s abilities by going up in levels, but you cannot use them while in a different job UNLESS you “buy” them first, with points earned in battle. You can change jobs freely (out of battle.) Note, the “bare” job has no abilities to start with, but can use any abilities you have mastered. So you can mix-and-match.

FFTactics- To gain access to a job, you must meet the prerequisites, usually a level in another job. Abilities can be bought with points earned in battle ala FF5 (except these points are gained from doing things in battle, not from killing monsters.) Again, you can change jobs outside of battle. Your main set of abilities depends on your current job, BUT you can set up auxiliary abilities from other jobs (Ex: If you’re a Black Mage, you can use only your Black Mage spells, BUT you could set up your Samurai blade-catching ability to protect you in battle.)

FF11- You choose your race and job (any race can take any job.) When you’re high-level enough (and fulfill a quest) you can switch jobs at will (but you start the new jobs at first level.) Abilities are gained by leveling up, and you can choose one of your jobs to be “secondary.” That means you can use its abilities while on your main job, but only at half your main level. (So, if I’m a 20th level Black Mage and a 5th level Mage, I CAN use my WM abilities while a BM… but only at level 10. ) You also can’t learn new abilities for your Second Job uinless you switch back to it and level it up. You switch jobs at your home base (the Mog House.)

FF Tactics Advance: You choose your race and Jobs (and there are some race-specific jobs) but most jobs require prerequisites ala FFT. You learn your job abilities from items, buying them with points, ala FF9. You change jobs at will (out of battle.) You can also set up auxiliary abilities here.

FFX2: Not sure yet, but I hear you gain your jobs from the spheres you find, and you CAN switch during battles. More as soon as I find out.

So, which system do you prefer? I haven’t decided my favorite yet; will post my choice soon.

I thought Final Fantasy V’s Job System was pretty unique. You were able to select from at least 20 jobs and master their skills. Of course, nothing was more original than Final Fantasy’s job system.

What about the rest of the games, Wil? The jobs might not be rigidly defined, but they still have something (don’t they? I haven’t played all of them).

Well, FF1 was classic, but limited. On the other hand, simplicity is a beautiful things.
FF3 was the second game in the series I played that had a strictly defined job system (previous games in order being 1, 7, 8). The ability to change class proved very useful, even though I only ever did this with my 2nd character, the other three optimized their class ability. It took me a while to realize that the skill points actually affected the other stats.
FF5, while I’m not very familiar with this game, seems to have the best system. No, not best, but my favorite. This is because there is distinctions between classes, but you can retain skills from previous ones.
I believe FFX’s sphere grid is the best. The jobs are there, but they can be customized to personal preference. While the customization is also available in at least FF7, and possibly 8 (I haven’t played that one much), unless you spend an excessive amount of time leveling materia, the powerful abilities and spells can not be used by multiple characters, and there is a noticeable limit to the amount of abilities available to any one character.
FF2 was horrible, and that is why I will never again play that game.

Addendum: Argh! I hate writing long posts because I time out and have to log back in to post my reply.

I listed only those games where you had the CHOICE of changing the characters’ jobs (in FF1 you could only do this at the start of the game, so it barely qualifies).

You are right, however, that in FFX, despite each character only having access to his or her own section of the sphere grid at start, later on you can have them learn abilities from someone else’s section, so in a way, it IS a job system. Thanks for reminding me.)

Oh, BTW, you people can also suggest how YOU would like a Job System to work.

Still working on my list…

Personally, I kinda liked Final Fantasy IV’s system most. Everybody had their own class, which made them unique. Each character had their own set of skills, instead of having the same skills.

Final Fantasy Tactics:The Zodiac Brave Story(I prefer to call it by its full name) had the best JOB SYSTEM.

First off all I’d like to say that in FFTA, you can NOT choose your race, each “Clan member” who comes along is already a set race. Only the jobs can be changed.

Anyway, I would probably say that FF5, had the best job system. The only thing they could have done to make it better, is to allow you to have more that two abilities at once.

Well, I’ve never played XI or X-2, but V is my favorite of all the ones I’ve ever played.

I’m a Tactics junky myself. I like how you had the ability to mix any jobs you wanted, and that higher level jobs had to be “earned”.

Originally posted by Wilfredo Martinez
FF3- Your characters start as Onionkids, and you gain access to new jobs by finding the famous FF Crystals. You CAN change jobs at will, but you have to spend points each time (I need more info on this, btw.)
In FFIII, you change jobs. You don’t gain abilities, but you do gain Skills. They’re a point system, basically. When you change jobs, a certain number of Capacity points. If you change to a job, the number needed is a certain number (depending on what job you are and what you’re becoming) minus the skill points you have for the job you’re becoming. If you change jobs, your stats do not change. the only thing the jobs have an influence over is what your stat gain is when you level up.

My favorite jo system is FFI/IV/IX. Your characters are defined and unique.

Of the choices you gave, I say FFIII is my favorite.

Originally posted by PanamaJack
I’m a Tactics junky myself. I like how you had the ability to mix any jobs you wanted, and that higher level jobs had to be “earned”.

I believe FFT has the best job system as well. The most unique thing about it is that each gender had it’s own sprite for each class (except for the bard and dancer). A lot games (Disgaea comes to mind) allows job changing in different genders. I just had to change my male warrior into a female archer in mentioned game. Now, that doesn’t make sense.

After much thinking, I have come to the following choices:
-I think the players should have a choice of playable races, but Jobs shouldn’t be limited by them, so FF11 has it right.
-I think characters should start “bare” and then learn abilities from their jobs, ala FF5.
-Since some jobs have magical abilities, they should be gained from the Crystals, ala FF3 and 5.
-I think the points for buying abilities should come from DOING things in battle, as in FF Tactics.
-I think some abilities should be “always on” while others have to be chosen- in this I like FF Tactics.
-Finally, I think you SHOULD be able to change Jobs during battle, as in FFX2.

So, no FF game yet fulfills ALL my desires, but I think FF5 and FF Tactics come closest.

In FFT, the person doesn’t have to do anything to get JP. If s/he has the Job opened up, someone else can do an ability (Accumulate, anyone?) and they get a fraction (1/4 I think) of the JP earned.

Regardless, I love FFT 'cause of the mix-‘n’-match Job abilities and FFX 'cause you can make Tidus a White Mage or make Lulu a Break fiend.

To me it has to be FFT because you gain points to get abilities by doing actions in battle not just killing monsters and had more abilities to get than in FF5.I dont like it as much as in FFTA since there are some race especific Final Fantasy Tactics is my favorite in jobs right now.

I prefer FFV’s job system, but I’ve yet to really get into FFT’s Job System so I can’t pass judgement yet.

FFV’s job system was interesting, and fun to play, but I think that the way it was set up was a bit screwey.

It doesn’t make sense to me that a player who knows one job can’t use that job if they are playing as another job. This is especially true with skill like find secret passages and find pitfalls, which are useful but take up a combat skill, and you’d think that once your character knows it, they just know it.

It also doesn’t make sense that learning each job is completely independant. For instance, mastering Red Mage doesn’t gain you anything when learning White Magic.

Finally, since each character can use each job class, and they can use all equipment and every job skill when playing as the base class, it doesn’t make any sense to have equipment restrictions.

Anyways, if I was designing my own system, I’d consider some basic job types, combined with a learnable skill system. Also, I’d consider allowing every character to use a very basic level of all other job classes (except for exotic ones, or ones where some special ability is required which the character doesn’t have).