Here is one of the points that really caught my attention in this game. The possibility of equipping my character whoever I like really fascinated me! I saw it was a bit raw, with many “if’s” from the certain layer groups…like not showing the real attribute when you choose the armor and stuff…and I agree with some of these points.
The Optimal Rank alone is already a winner concept, not only being a very important point of Armory System, which supports you changing class regardless of having or not an armor of second class’ rank, but also offering options to those willing to play for fun or willing to RPG.
However, a point has been raised…the motivation gears cause to players…the will of ranking up just to be able to equip a certain piece of armor was “lost” somewhere in this concept. But a player posted at official forum (Naylia, here: http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/22613-Required-rank-on-all-gear?p=326986&viewfull=1#post326986) which I found to be just as awesome as the optimal rank concept itself…making players have to “learn” how to use that armor. If all your classes are rank 1, you can only equip rank 1 gear but, as soon as one of your classes has the rank to equip that armor and is favored by it, so can the other classes. Let me elaborate an example:
Imagine that I have a Bronze Haubergeon, optimal rank 27 armor, but I don’t have any lass that high that is favored by it (GLA, MRD, LNC, ARM, MIN)…I wouldn’t then be able to equip it…my character don’t have what’s needed to equip this kind of armor. But now let’s say my MRD reached rank 27…now I do can equip bronze haubergeon…I just won the right of equipping it. “And what would happen if I tried to equip it in my CON rank 1?” you might ask…it would equip it normally! Because you got the right of equipping bronze haubergeons when your MRD reached rank 27! “So this means that once I get a class to rank cap, any class will be free to equip any armor that favors that class regardless of rank?” Yes! Once you reached MRD 50 all your other classes are free to use the armors that favored MRD because you earned the right of equipping them!
So, in short, this idea would keep the optimal rank going exactly as it is for higher rank players, but also would give players that motivation to reach certain ranks just for that armor, increasing the gear freedom as you rank up.
About favored classes, there isn’t much I’d add…maybe just making certain armors more restricted to certain classes, like removing heavy armors from MRD…because, as a pirate, just makes no sense he using plate or chain armors…he could, though, use leather haubergeons…this all would be like I suggested at recipes regarding armors being made of different materials.
Now let’s talk about the effects…one of the most important points of optimal rank and favor system is how it adjusts to those that not fit the requirements. I’d love seeing not only the effects being explicit but also the penalties much more specific! I’d split them is 2 separated ways…
-Optimal rank penalty: It would adjust the gear attributes to the underranked class’ rank. It would, though, also have an extra 10% penalty to make sure it wouldn’t be superior in any way to armors that were at that class’ optimal rank, but also making them perfectly usable still if needed. So I’d use some formula similar to ((Your rank)/(Optimal rank))*0.9 and rounding it down. -Favor penalty: When you equip an armor in a class not favored by it the penalty would be simple…all damage cut and secondary effects would be removed, This way, regardless of how good an armor is, it would be just common to any class not favored by it, but keeping the attributes intact to leave a strategic option…sometimes we might have a mage in need of more def, even if this means not having secondary effects from armors.
With these 2 penalties, the armors would be still usable in emergencies, but also stimulating the player to seek equipments under his optimal rank and that favors his class.
And another point here are the accessories…regarding them I’d do 2 changes…one is adding facegear slot so we can equip spectacles, eyepatches, masks and other facial stuff regardless of what headgear we’re using. I’d also add exclusive slots, like having miqo’tes with tail slot for tail rings and ribbons, extra earring slots for miqo’tes, elezen and lalafells, noserings for Roegadyns and Highlanders, anklets and extra ring slots for midlanders, armlets to Highlanders and lalafells, etc.
The second point would be increasing the slot points with the rank so players can keep up to 6 accessories equipped regardless of rank. It’s not fair a low rank player being able to equip 6 accessories and a higher rank one being able to equip only 3 due slot cost. A player at rank 50 should be able to equip 6 rank 50 accessories, just like a rank 10 player can equip 6 rank 10 accessories.