Bravely Default Has 24 Jobs, But Infinite Possibilities

By Ethan . February 6, 2014 . 9:30am

Bravely Default spices up otherwise familiar dungeon-crawling and world exploring with a job system. That may not seem like much of a spice, since job systems are almost as old as Square Enix JRPGs themselves, but the great thing about job systems is that they can continue to feel fresh for as long as the jobs themselves break new ground.

 

The first jobs you gain access to in Bravely Default are Freelancer, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage, Knight, and (optionally) Thief.

 

Okay, so the first stretch of the game doesn’t really break any new ground on the job front. Every single one of those jobs was an early game job in Final Fantasy III back in 1990, and although they have a few more abilities in this game, each job’s role in a party is the same as ever. That’s not to take anything away from the job system in Final Fantasy III, mind, but compared to what’s standard in the genre these days, it’s a little bit simplistic.

 

Fortunately, I discovered first impressions to be misleading. My choice of early game party composition was one Monk, one White Mage, one Black Mage, and one Freelancer. Tinkering around in the menus, though, I saw that Freelancers gain strength based on how many other jobs the character has mastered. So, by raising a freelancer as a first class, I wasn’t getting full utility out of it! That would not do.

 

As soon as I acquired the Thief job, I swapped him out. But at that same point in the game the player faces a dungeon filled with traps that a Freelancer passive ability blocks. Those traps were no fun at all, so I was torn. But wait! My Thief could equip the passive ability he’d learned as a Freelancer! That was my first experiment with mixing and matching classes, and it netted me a trap-savvy Thief. I was pleased; it was very dungeons and dragons.

 

This party did really well for me, but soon, another problem started creeping in. Job level acquisition becomes a pretty tall order even early in the game (one gains job levels independently of character levels), as the monster encounters don’t provide enough job points to keep up with the rapidly increasing thresholds. More advanced job level up rewards can be pretty worthless in the early game, too. Edea can use black magic level 3 now? Swell, I’m sure I’ll get access to those spell scrolls within the next 15 hours or so.

 

But even as the first few jobs started to seem less desirable, I was getting access to new jobs. Jobs are unlocked by defeating bosses of the same type, so there is a steady trickle of new options as main and side quests are completed. That problem I was having with mages gaining job XP just to get access to spells yet unavailable? Not a problem any more, once I swapped some classes around and got access to the time mage. Characters moving to a new job can not only use passive abilities learned in other jobs, but can also use all the combat abilities they learned in one other profession. So moving between jobs isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a straight-up utility gain that makes your party far more diverse. My White mage is still basically a White Mage, but he has a few turn manipulation tricks up his sleeve for boss battles now, too.

 

Ultimately, the ability to have two jobs’ active abilities—and whatever mishmash of passive abilities the character may have learned—allows the player to transcend the job system to create entirely unique characters. When my early-game Monk was feeling a little long in the tooth, I started looking for alternatives. My Thief managed to snag a cool Katana off of a boss, so I jumped her over to Spell Fencer. When her damage output wasn’t where I wanted it to be, I took her on a detour through the Knight job to learn to wield a weapon with two hands. This did mean sacrificing her shield, but I just activated the bonus HP Monk ability! Now, I’m rolling with a lean, mean, flaming samurai sword wielding machine and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

 

That’s just what I made from mixing and matching early in the game with more than a dozen jobs left to find. Giving players diminishing returns for sticking in a single job strongly encourages experimentation even early in the game, and I’ll bet each player ends up creating a party of strange and entirely personalized hybrids that they can proudly call their own. If ever you summon a friend from the Internet in battle and see Agnès fly into the fray with a giant burning katana and no defensive gear whatsoever, you’ll know you’ve found me. And I can’t wait to summon the characters you all come up with in turn!

 

Random Thoughts:

 

1. Of all the things to cling to after dropping the Final Fantasy brand, why the term “job”? Just call them classes, please. Job is a different word that means something different. Class is a specialized term used in Role Playing Games.

 

2. And while I’m on the topic, why did we keep the elemental crystals and airships, but lose the Chocobos and Moogles? I am totally not on the same page with what this game thought was worth keeping and what should be left behind. If I never save the elemental crystals from poorly defined “darkness” and an evil empire again, it’ll be too soon.

 

3. That early game party I listed of Monk, Thief, Black Mage, and White Mage? I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was my party through most of Final Fantasy III also. I guess those are just my favorite archetypes.

 

4. I’m gonna be frank—toying around with all the class combinations in this game kind of just made me want a new Final Fantasy Tactics game. This is good, but it’s got nothing on managing a small army of characters through 30+ jobs, mixing and matching skills on each, optimizing stat gains and equipment on each, and then taking them to battle on a freeform grid where anything goes. Bravely Default only has two dozen jobs, four characters, and doesn’t even have a front line and back line in terms of positional considerations.

 

4. I didn’t make a Knight because Knights are lame.


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  • Surgeon of Death

    Soon my pretty. SOON…….

  • Scarletmoonwish

    Tommorw will be the day I finally have my hand on this lovey game.

  • Ganali Castillo

    Stupid time !! Y u no move faster !

    • Noor Mahmoud

      Become a time mage.

      • Ganali Castillo

        Wish i could :(

  • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

    I’m really excited about this. Even though I’m not a fan of the design choices, I think the setting and the gameplay will be enough to keep me playing for hours upon hours.

  • Kotorin

    Stillness and Hasten World break the game. Just sayin

  • r0gamer940

    but knights with there one handed attack boost make the Valkyrie class awesome (at least in the demo)

  • DanijoEX ♬ the Cosmic Owl

    Infinite possibilities, eh? Well, that’s something that worthwhile to look into.

  • Kornelious

    Only 24 hours left……HURRY UP!

  • Sangaz

    Knight with dual shields and rampart from Templar makes a great defender. Plus a chara with spritimaster and white mage makes you pretty much invincible.

  • Zer0faith

    Sounds more awesome the more I hear about it. This reminds me Fire Emblem Awakening and some of the crazy customizations people would come up for either a skill or certain stat growths.

  • Hector Velar

    thief all the way!

  • deadMastershiro

    JUST ONE MORE DAY!

  • toofatcat

    knights can dual wield shields so point 4 is moot

  • pimpalicious

    I want a new Final Fantasy Tactics as well but really don’t agree with point 4 so much as I’m only able to use 5 characters in battle in those games. I’m hoping to get a new one that lets me use 8-10 like Tactics Ogre or Disgaea.

    Looking forward to Bravely Default. I really enjoyed Final Fantasy V and Four Heroes of Light.

  • Aaron K Stone

    Performer+Freelancer=BP.

  • Kayriss Wins

    I wonder if the the official game will have ridiculously good grinding spots like that beach in the Demo. It would certainly be helpful for me since I plan to max out everyone’s job… god help me.

    • 하세요

      Chapter 5 opens the easiest grind spot ever. 3 Valkyrie (or Valkyrie sub) + one AoE Cura/Curaga in case enemies land an attack. Spam Crescent Moon x2 and enemies should wipe. Set to Auto and run in circles for hours and hours. Maxed out everything in a bout a day.

      This works almost anywhere, but it’s best in front of a certain town. Search for it later as I don’t want to spoil anything.

      • Adrián Alucard

        Dark Knight with spell fencer skills
        Brave x4
        1- Drain
        2- Black bane
        3- Black bane
        4- Black bane

        Inmortal Dark Knight

        • 하세요

          For levels yeah, but any job can do sub Valkyrie and do the Crescent Moon method. That way you can get all jobs to 14 without someone having to be the “killer.”

          • Adrián Alucard

            Well, for leveliing jobs I just brave x4 and attack x4 with each character

  • cj may

    i seriously hope this goes on the eshop tonight i can’t wait any longer!

  • 하세요

    It’s SO easy to break this game with job combinations. Pirate/Swordmaster, Ninja/Spellblade, Spiritmaster/White Mage, Dark Knight/Vampire…

    Well, Spiritmaster alone. Stillness is stupid. Don’t use unless you want easy mode. As for Knight…only use is Two-Handed (whatever the name for it was) and the super tank Dual-Shield + Ninja Kairi to force hate.

    • Yuuki

      the last job alone is game breaking, i regenerate more mp then i could ever use…..

    • Adrián Alucard

      Valkyrie alone is broken (with help of certain time mage ability). I defeated the final boss, and the previous battle without getting hit, all in “auto mode”

      • 하세요

        Yeah. They really didn’t think it through :/ but after all, having this much freedom with job combinations and whatnot is bound to lead to brokenness.

        I hope they make mages better next time around. Simply isn’t worth having an offensive mage with the MP cost of high level spells when a Ninja/Spellblade can do elemental damage + multi-hit.

        • Adrián Alucard

          Well, mages sucks in all JRPGs (mostly)

          • 하세요

            Depends. In speed runs, mages are the only reason it gets done. Final tier spells own face, especially in FF. The MP cost in this game is just too insane.

  • fireemblembeast

    I wish you could have them keep the same clothes when changing jobs…

  • Guilherme Matheus Silva

    You see, “Classes” and “Jobs” are two different things in RPG games. Classes define the character, his origins, past, etc, while Jobs is something temporary, something you can change. That’s why the term Job was kept.

  • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

    9am couldn’t come sooner. Early to bed tonight!

  • http://vindictushots.tumblr.com/ Okuni-chan

    Soooon!! Sooooon! Omg I can’t wait! I just barely finished Soul Hacker ( >_<) Must devote all time to this game.

  • Ganali Castillo

    Does someone know at what time they will release it on e-shop ?

  • Happy Gamer

    Just got txt from gamestop about my CE edition so happppyyyy!!!!!!

    • JohnNiles

      Thanks. You just reminded me to check my email – Best Buy claims it’ll actually be in tomorrow.

  • Astromime

    You guys are in for a treat with this game. Hope you guys over in America enjoy this one.

  • Göran Isacson

    I gotta admit, I don’t see why you would keep moogles and chocobos instead of a very useful mode of transportation. I guess one may want to see RPG inventors try their hands at some new form of transportation, and the point about elemental crystals is far enough: chasing the mcGuffin plots aren’t everyones cup of tea (though I would be interested in knowing what you’d rather have them replace it with, since they are such an integral part of the plot here). But airships are still a very central and very helpful tool in ones possession- wanting to replace that with such meaningless fluff as chocobos or moogles feels a bit weird to me.

    That aside, jobs! Holy moly, jobs. So far my Jam has been to train up a thief, give them a good bow and spell-fencer. You can easily mow down large numbers of mobs with this combination alone, though it DOES leave you pretty vulnerable as your DEF isn’t the best. I’ve had Tiz in this class for several of the games boss battles, and it’s been a very helpful workhorse for me so far.

    Also, Merchant and Takeover attack. I usually grind pretty heavily and earn much moolah while doing so, so using my wallet as a constant damage-weapon? Daddy likes. Daddy likes a lot.

  • Michael Cortorreal

    I checked amazon yesterday…
    THE NUMBER ONE SELLING VIDEOGAME ON 3DS! O YEAH!

  • Alex Shadov

    When I began reading this I was sure that this person was utterly wrong which whatever ideas he had… but the Random Thoughts won me over… two thoughts, a new Final Fantasy Tactics and Knights sucks… oh, and by the way, ninja double weapon is better than two-handed, more hits.

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