clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Final Fantasy 14 feels designed for ‘altoholics’ like me

When you absolutely, positively must play every class or job in the game

A samurai from Final Fantasy 14 Image: Square Enix

I’ve never been able to just jump into a game and just choose the play style or class that sounds the most fun. I always second-guess myself and get an itch to try something different. All class-based games present this kind of problem for me. MMOs typically require players to start over each time they want to try a different play style, adding restrictions that only further increase my analysis paralysis. But Final Fantasy 14 feels like it’s built for fiddly, indecisive players like me.

In World of Warcraft, I’m known as an “altoholic,” a dismissive reference to a far more serious affliction. Altoholics like myself play multiple characters, sinking hours into different play styles. It’s a lot of work for very little payoff: After playing WoW for nearly a decade, I’ve only used a handful of classes in raids, despite having all 12 at max level.

To play as multiple classes in games like World of Warcraft, I need more than one character. Each character is only a Warlock, Warrior, Paladin, etc. If I want to play a different class, I need a brand-new level 1 hero. As someone who genuinely likes leveling in an MMO, I’m usually fine with this. But it means I have to grind for gold, reputation, and other annoyances on an individual character basis.

Final Fantasy 14 changes that completely. The game currently offers 17 “jobs” (the Final Fantasy word for class) and one limited job that can’t reach max level. The upcoming Endwalker expansion will add two new jobs, for a total of about 19 and a half by the end of this year. And I can play all of them without ever logging into a new character.

All I need to do is pick up a quest and swap my weapon, and all of my abilities change. Almost every job has its own, independent level, but it means I’ll eventually have a single character capable of tanking, healing, and dealing damage — all accessible with a simple gear swap, without ever having to repeat story quests.

For someone like me, who loves having options and trying new play styles, this lets me multitask my way through Final Fantasy 14. If I want to run a dungeon to build up my low-level Dragoon, I can jump in a 30-minute queue and then continue running quests on my Summoner. If a low-level friend wants to do some leveling, I can dip over to a class I’ve barely touched, and we can play together.

The ease and convenience of the class change in Final Fantasy 14 makes other MMOs seem archaic by comparison. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over how good it feels to quickly swap from my main caster to a tank I’m leveling just to get a faster queue time or more experience.

Freedom isn’t the only thing keeping me in Eorzea, but it helps cement Final Fantasy 14 as one of the friendliest MMOs out there.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon