Final Fantasy XIV is shedding MMO progression conventions. According to producer Hiromichi Tanaka and director Nobuaki Komoto, the upcoming offering won’t have experience points or traditional leveling. Characters will progress through the game’s job system -- an injection casual in what will undoubtedly be an MMO for the Final Fantasy faithful.
Tanaka reveals the lack of traditional grinding in a DVD companion piece to the September 2009 issue of Famitsu (via Scrawl FX): “This time, there will be no experience points or level system,” he said. “It will be different altogether.”
Komoto backs him up. He mentions that character growth will have an organic quality and then says progression will be tied to the job system: "people who may never have tried an online game before have the freedom to try many different things and tackle any number of quests and grow naturally from their experiences ... That's our priority: players enjoying the process of character growth."
"We believe the main factor behind Final Fantasy XI's lasting appeal is the job system. However, the system will become something completely different. The focus here will be on weapons. Your weapon will determine how you play. Your weapon will determine how you fight.”
Final Fantasy XI is as grindy, unfriendly, and time-consuming as any MMO on the market. Hours upon hours can be spent in search of eyeballs or magical skullcaps in order receive the pleasure of picking a second job. It’s nice to hear that SquareEnix is tweaking the formula in a big way. Here’s to hoping FFXIV is better for the new stuff.