Thanks to AXL-Low-Player for the inspiration!
Final Fantasy XVI is a while away, but that shouldn’t stop us from speculating what could be. We can expect Final Fantasy to innovate. This is the one area Square Enix consistently does well. But what more can they do?
I beleive every game play informs it’s story. So using AXL-Low-Player’s theory, lets build Final Fantasy XVI’s story from the job system:
The stats and abilities system is like this:
- A crystarium with the shape of the license board for every character so you unlock abilities, stats and effects with increasing costs of experience
- Tiles that give you access to new jobs block the path to every abilities and bonus effects related to these jobs, unlocking a job gives you 4 skills
- 3 jobs are already unlocked
- Every tile that is activated increases your level so sidequests/hunts can have a recommended level
- There is a last crystarium for effects that concern your full team (small healing for every 5 hit in a combo…)
Crystariums are usually character growth systems that measure stats and abilites our party. The layout is different for each character, and the system allows us to select bonuses. Crystariums represents choices in this sense.
But AXL-Low-Player wants the Crystariim in the shape of a License Board. License Boards form the basis of the job system through a collection of abilities, spells, equipment, and augments. Just like Crystariums, they usually represent choices; at a given time, you can choose either one or the other.
They don’t seem to conflict, but they seem superfluous; you either have one or the other. In this sense, it may be better to create a brand new system. While it may lead to potential game design issues, it may work well within a narrative. How? Through tough choices.
That is, Final Fantasy XVI’s design could lead us to feel conflicted with on to progress. Each tile would have bonuses, yet also losses. That is, no matter which ability or stat you choose, you’ll gain something at the sacrifice of another. This would make Final Fantasy XVI highly mathematical; whatever you do to one side of the equation, you must do to the other. A boost in one area would be a reduction in another.
The three (more or less) jobs/tiles unlocked would only be a starting point to any direction on the Crystarium Board. This would also define our characters, and inform the players of who they are. , Warriors/soldiers have physically attributes/weapons, while mages might have ‘fire’, ‘ice’, and ‘lightning’ unlocked.
Having certain party members leave your party could be a benefit, or a detriment, to others in your party. They may get an increase in stats or abilities, some may lose some. Others may get no change. But as the sacrifice would be the theme, we have a choice. Should we try to recoup more skills to the detriment of others and our party members? Should we sacrifice other skills to save what we lost? Either way, it would amount to sacrifices.
At a certain point in the game, you can unlock no more. In this sense, you would have maxed out the “metrics”. However, a special tile would appear. This last tile would be crucial. How you choose to proceed would not only affect your team but the story as a whole.