FFXIV ARR: Jack of all trades, master of all

The importance of multi-classing and the Armoury System in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

To anyone browsing through the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn website for the first time, without having any prior knowledge of the game, the importance of the Armoury System  will not need long to become apparent. 

The Armoury System is the cornerstone of the game, after all, and would be among the top “game features” listed should someone be asked to recite them in a top-5 list.

But is Armoury convenient? Well implemented? Balanced enough? Let’s find out.

As all beta testers already know (and even casual visitors to the FFXIV:ARR website can easily find out), the Armoury System allows a single character to become a “jack of all trades”. The difference is that with the way it works, you can feel quite assured that the “Jack of all trades, master of none” mantra does not apply.

Is the Armoury System well-implemented?

Final Fantasy XI players will be familiar with a similar system; it allowed players to “equip” a secondary class to their primary one and create several “hybrid” character combinations. While the system is different –one would say, more streamlined- than one found in XI, it’s definitely worth discussing in terms of usability, approachability and intuitiveness.

First and foremost, and this should be stressed as it’s a quite positive development, the Armoury System’s minute shortcomings seem to be steadily overcome as time goes by. The introduction of gear sets and several small, but noticeable inventory system enhancements indicate that the system is fine-tuned continuously, based on feedback.

The latest addition to the Armoury Chest, for instance (in case the term does not ring a bell, this is the gear-specific inventory that FFXIV: ARR mercifully has – organizing gear items per slot automagically), has been an indicator on every item displaying whether this can be equipped by the current class of the character, allowing for a quicker overview of gear pieces to wear, instead of having to hover over every single equipment item to ascertain whether your Conjurer can use it, or not.

Changing a class seems to be a quite straightforward experience, from the second time onward. Why the second, you ask? Well, the first time you attempt this (and promptly equip the new class weapon to change into the class you wish), you will briefly be stark naked, since your new class has no gear assigned to it. As several people (yours truly included) painfully found out in Beta Phase 3, it’s not a great idea to instantly sell your level 1 items once you replace them with better ones, since your level 1 class also needs something to wear.

You can certainly run around Eorzea half-naked if you wish, however certain crafted items (from a Weaver, or a Leatherworker or an Armorer, depending on the case at hand) can and will provide you with bonuses, and come in versions wearable at level 1, so you should prepare accordingly for your life as a new class by ensuring you can wear something after changing into it.

Once this minor nuisance is taken care of, the set-up of any class is straightforward enough. A couple of tips, in case you missed those:

  • You can “Share” hotbars between your classes (lock them).  The option to do that can be found under Character Config > Hotbar Settings > Hotbar Sharing.
  • Furthermore, you can assign class-changing actions (equipping of gear sets) on your bars as well. As such, you can easily have an action bar comprising of only “class change” icons, through which you can change to any class you want with a single click or button press.

Overall, the Armoury System seems to be quite well implemented thus far, and some additional options regarding item / inventory sorting and searching will nudge it closer to a perfect implementation. As an overview, especially considering that gathering and crafting classes (also known as “Disciples of the Land” and “Disciples of the Hand”) can have dedicated gear of their own, complete with numerous gathering / crafting bonuses, the system is adequately refined to allow for a quick, and trouble-free, class-switching experience… Provided you take care of your gear sets, of course!

The foundation of the system is stable enough, but can someone really (and easily) level up multiple classes and mix and match them to suit their personal preferences or play style?
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ffxiv retainers
# Aug 25 2013 at 11:42 PM Rating: Decent
can anyone tell me where to find the retainers we had in ffxiv?
Naked, or not naked?
# Aug 24 2013 at 4:11 PM Rating: Excellent
138 posts
A new player will definitely just "see" himself / herself naked once they equip another item.

There are many workarounds to this (vendors, crafting, keeping the original lv. 1 clothes which can be worn by all classes), however if someone does not know about them, naked it is :)
Not a fan of it
# Aug 24 2013 at 3:49 PM Rating: Default
Just like in 'The Secret World' and 'Guild Wars 2', the removal of the need for players with dedicated roles cheapens the gaming experience IMO.

The author should have mentioned every city has level 1 gear vendors, so running around naked is only showing a player's ignorance.
Not a fan of it
# Aug 25 2013 at 6:01 PM Rating: Excellent
53 posts
Zosimo wrote:
Just like in 'The Secret World' and 'Guild Wars 2', the removal of the need for players with dedicated roles cheapens the gaming experience IMO.

The author should have mentioned every city has level 1 gear vendors, so running around naked is only showing a player's ignorance.

Actually, the trinity is alive and well here. Parties consist of Tank, Healer, DPS X3. Tanks and Healers are both here to stay. There is no removal of them and I am not sure how it would "cheapen" the experience just because anyone can be any class, if they switch weapons and level that class to the appropriate level. Honestly I find it a blessing that I do not have to switch characters to make an alt and lose all of my achievements and progress in other areas like crafting. I hate that system. I also hate the removal of the trinity in games like Guild Wars 2, which is one of the main reasons I stopped playing that game.

On a side note, I am not sure why a player being naked when they switch classes would make them ignorant. I honestly see nothing wrong with being naked anyway lol.
Not a fan of it
# Aug 24 2013 at 8:33 PM Rating: Good
My time playing MMOs has lead me to the opposite conclusion, the forced roles so common in games leaves me feeling stifled and unsatisfied.
There are different types of games out there because there are different types of players.
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