Can't sleep until I get this out of my brain.
A few weeks ago, someone in a Discord server I'm in said she was sad that all her friends were playing Final Fantasy 14 while she physically can not play. And yeah, she has a point; I'm NOT disabled and combat sometimes hurts my hands and wrists, too. If you can't physically press a bunch of buttons every one to two seconds, then...
Anyway, after staying up until 2am playing this game, I wound up thinking of that person. I thought to myself, "It would be nice if they could implement a pacifist or easy mode, but there's no way it could work."
Five seconds later I said to myself, "Well, WHY couldn't it work?" I laid here turning it over in my head for about an hour, and I came to the conclusion that it totally could. And now I have to write this post so my brain will shut up.
If anyone is reading this out of morbid curiosity without knowing much about the game, it's a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) RPG. There is no single player or offline mode. ("That's not very FOSS money of you, November.") You can play large amounts of the game by yourself, but there are mandatory dungeons and boss fights where you HAVE to be in a party with three (or seven, or twenty-three, or apparently fifty-three?? I haven't gotten to that part yet, if it's real) other people. If you don't have enough friends to party up with, you have to wait in a queue that matches you up with other players.
And of course, game progression is based on fighting. Even outside of dungeons, if you can't press those buttons fast enough, you're dead. Unless you find a way to overlevel yourself, I guess, but that would only really work early in the game anyway.
So how could a pacifist mode be implemented?
The idea I hit upon involves adding three new jobs. Like Blue Mage, these are limited jobs -- they're not tanks, healers, or DPS. Though they do get some battle abilities. They cannot go into dungeons unless in a full party, but they can instead watch the important parts of the dungeons as cutscenes (with relevant NPCs taking the roles of the other party members). In instance fights, there's always all least one NPC there to fight for you (instances that don't currently have one will have one added for pacifist jobs).
Pacifist jobs progress through the game and gain levels in non-fighty ways. Like Disciples of the Hand/Land, killing enemies won't even earn EXP, so there's no point. In the rare case that a pacifist character does wind up in battle, they have healing and support spells that are powerful enough you don't have to cast them every two seconds. (To compensate, they should probability have a longer recast timer.)
A pacifist STARTS with Cure II rather than Cure, and gets Medica II instead of Medica. They also get Regen, Regen II (Regen for the whole party!), and Arise (Raise but insta-cast). Where the jobs differ is in their non-healing spells.
Of course, they also get Sneak at level 8 and Auto-Sneak at level 27. They also get a trait that greatly reduces enmity.
Starts the story in Ul'dah, equips a quill and notepad. The job quest storyline involves the Warrior of Light reporting for a local newspaper, uncovering dirt on unethical merchants and the Syndicate.
Journalists get defensive spells for themselves and their party. They can also debuff enemies' attack. It might be funny if they got a Poison Pen spell to poison enemies, but that might go against the spirit of a pacifist class.
I would have called this one Scholar if that wasn't already a thing. They start in Gridania, equip a quill in one hand and blank tome in the other, and have a plot revolving around uncovering and recording the history of Eorzea.
Scribes actually exist in the side game Final Fantasy: The Four Heroes of Light. There, they're a gimmick job that gets stronger based on how long you've been playing the game. That's enough justification for me to say, make them Time Mages! Player characters can't currently cast Slow or Haste or Stop, all iconic Final Fantasy spells. And, yeah, I can see how they might be game-breaking, but the whole point of these jobs is to break the game for people who need it broken while leaving it intact for everyone else.
They start in Limsa, with the Cheerleader's Guild having evolved from those pirates who wanted to spread their methods of boosting crew morale. This one's a little flimsier than the other jobs, I'll admit, but Bard is already a thing, okay?
They equip handheld drums and have outfits inspired by Japanese ouendan troops (though pompoms and American cheerleader outfits can probably also be available, at least for glamour purposes). To round out the set, they cast spells that buff their party's attacking stats.
Make that scholasticate in Ishgard actually good for something.
If you work for Square Enix you can just take this idea, I'm waiving all claims to it. (Though I wouldn't say no to some free subscription time or a Mogstation gift card.)
Not that anyone with the power to make those decisions will ever read this. Really, I just wrote this out to show that I proved Past Me wrong about something. That's what really matters.
It took me an hour to type this on my phone. I should have sat down at my computer. Whoops.
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