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Wings of the Goddess Class Q&A

By Carolyn Koh on February 14, 2008 | Interviews | Comments

Wings of the Goddess Class Q&A

FFXI Expansions 1 and 3 has added 3 new classes each and expansion 4 has added two. Tell us about the thoughts and reasons behind the addition of new classes (jobs). Why so many at a time for example. Is it so there's more than one kind of newbie around? ;)


The first reason for the addition of multiple jobs is to give a variety of choices to players interested in starting a new job. Secondly, as you mentioned, having this variety allows a party composed of all new jobs to have more flexibility.

And unlike the addition of new monsters or other basic elements, adding a new job requires significant system changes. These changes are best made during the release of expansion packs, so it makes sense to introduce all the jobs in development as major features of an expansion.


There's what is known in MMOGs as the "Holy Trinity" of classes: the melee, the healer and crowd control, followed by other classic roles such as the rogue and the magic user. Where does the Dancer and the Scholar fall in? How would you describe the two new classes? Let's start with the Dancer.


While being classed as a "healer", the dancer stands in the thick of things with the melee jobs. After designing the blue mage for Treasures of Aht Urhgan, we decided that the next job we designed would follow this concept.

What about the Scholar?


Scholars are capable of being healers, damage dealers, or crowd control, depending on how they combine the use of abilities, magic, and support jobs.

With the ability to switch between roles, this job is designed to make a significant contribution to the party no matter the situation. However, we still need to make some adjustments before the scholar's potential is fully realized.

What does the Dancer bring to the table that is new and what, if anything, is shared with older jobs?


First and foremost, dancers require TP in order to activate their abilities. When I thought about designing a healer that hits the enemy, I decided to make TP a necessary component of the job in order to give dancers a reason to be in melee. Another new element is the dancer's ability to alter the enemy using Samba moves, wherein other party members gain various effects from attacking the altered opponent. The short duration of Samba effects on a target was another way to ensure the dancer remained on the front line.

Finishing moves were added as a way to activate abilities that didn't rely on HP, MP, or TP. This element brings a level of complexity to the job that prevents the dancer's actions from being subject to nothing more than the recast timer.

I'll ask the same about the Scholar.


Up until now, the actions of a magic user have been limited by spells and the use of MP. However, we designed scholars with abilities that grant them an expanded range of flexibility and control over the magic they command. The "charge" system was also introduced to allow scholars further freedom to combine abilities or use them in rapid succession.

What about their roles in a group? What do they bring to the group mix? What powers/skills do they add?


I suppose you could call dancers "healers with good footwork." I think their ability to heal during a mobile fight, and the fact that they don't need to rest to recover MP is a key factor. Clever use of their many abilities in conjunction with those of other party members makes dancers an excellent support class.

Scholars, on the other hand, bring the ability to convert certain single-target spells into area of effect spells, which can make all the difference in some situations.

It looks like every class is designed to have a primary and a secondary purpose. Are some classes better at one than the other?


There are many jobs in the world of FINAL FANTASY XI, but everyone has their favorite. Even with a system that allows players to change jobs freely, it's extremely satisfying for us to see players form an attachment with a specific job.

It depends on the situation, but if one job appears to be performing far above the rest, then it is usually time to make some adjustments. In an online game where new elements are being continuously introduced, it often becomes necessary to make weaker jobs stronger and stronger jobs weaker. The first thing we consider is how these adjustments will make the game more interesting, and also how they will affect the overall balance of the game.

Certain jobs will perform better in certain circumstances or against certain enemies. However, this becomes more an issue with the range of play style available, rather than a problem with job balance.

Can either the Dancer or Scholar solo effectively? Tell us some of the offensive and defensive powers they have access to that?


The dancer was designed to be effective in small parties, so the job is certainly viable for solo play. certainly viable for solo play. If you have yet to try playing a dancer, I suggest you see how effective the Drain Samba (gained at level 5) and the Curing Waltz (gained at level 15) can be in combat.

To be completely honest, the scholar is not intended as a solo job. However, as a scholar reaches the higher levels, they become more capable of defeating enemies with offensive spells in much the same way as a black mage or red mage.

There has been some comment that the Dancer seems to be over-powered, especially when compared to the Scholar. Do you feel that's true and have there been some re-balancing that's taken or is taking place?


We feel that the scholar is in need of adjustment, and changes are currently in the works.

We hope to make the scholar a job that players will consider interesting and challenging to play.

Are more classes to come do you think?


Are more classes to come do you think?

We'll see. (laughs)

I think we'll stick with improving the scholar for now! (laughs)

Carolyn Koh / Carolyn has been writing for since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.
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