One of Final Fantasy XIV‘s selling points for me is the ability to change your class simply by changing the weapon in your hand. In the game, you can go from a tanking gladiator to a healing conjurer simply by swapping your gear which changes your base stats as well and allows you to redistribute your ability points as you see fit per class. With this system, there is no reason to level alts as you can level everything on the same character.
What I did not know going into the game is that crafting and gathering work in the same way. Lay down your rod and pick up your hammer and you go from fisher to blacksmith. In fact, much emphasis has been put into crafting and gathering in the very design of the game. Leveling botanist, I gained an ability to find the highest level tree in the area, a buff to increase my chance to gather the material I wanted off the tree, and stealth. You are not out in the world as a gladiator who does botany; you are out in the world as a dedicated botanist. In Final Fantasy XIV‘s system, crafting and gathering are not something you do on the side, but rather something you do. With the ultra-slow combat, I’ve actually had more fun taking it easy in the game and “logging.”
This DIY attitude in the game is very appealing to me, and it’s too bad the combat classes aren’t more exciting than the crafting and gathering classes. While out in the forest, swapping between logging and carpentry, one of my rings which increases my crafting points had become overly weak, and so I simply switched over to goldsmith and repaired it without having to head back into the city.
In Final Fantasy XIV, your character is the product of what you choose to level and not something that becomes set in stone at character creation. If you roll gladiator and find you’d rather be a conjurer or lancer, you can do that, and if you have the time, you can do everything. You never have to think about which three crafting or gathering classes you have to pick like in some other games because you can do them all. You have a freedom in Final Fantasy XIV that is lacking in other games with their arbitrary restrictions. This is the game’s strongest point, and I hope future games by other developers drop the bullshit limitations and follow Final Fantasy XIV‘s model instead.