Some of that speculation is, of course, completely out there. Some of it isn't. And some of it is out there in a way that would be totally cool and would attract a whole lot of interest. So let's take a look at some potential jobs, classes, and whatnot to see where they might fit into the game... or even whether they'll fit into the game. There's probably no space for Celebrant, sadly.
What it is: A master of guns of all sorts. If it has a trigger and you can shoot it, this is its home. With this class you get to shoot it like Merlwyb, which I think we can all agree is a commendable goal because Merlwyb is absolutely awesome and deserves our constant respect, full stop.
Likelihood: Pretty certain. Some speculation is that we'll see this class in the next major patch, rounding out the one missing class of Limsa Lominsa, which would make me very happy even if I don't think it's entirely likely. But we know it's coming out; it's just a matter of balancing it against the other three ranged DPS jobs currently in the game.
What it is: Just shooting guns is rarely good enough for this series, so Engineer is a likely next step. You don't just shoot guns; you get to use strange machines or otherwise bring out some weird stuff to aid in battle. Expect Allagan-style devices to be flying about and a storyline involving the Ironworks.
Likelihood: On the one hand, there's a space tailor-made for Engineers, as mentioned, and it's the most "likely" Job for a Musketeer. On the other hand... the game currently has two tanks, two melee DPS, two healers, and three ranged/support DPS. Making this feel distinct yet again might be challenging, unless it bucks every expected trend and turns into a tank.
As a side note, if that happens, I will be so happy.
What it is: An unholy combination of guns, gambling, and blades isn't what makes you a pirate, but it sure helps. This is a class that didn't exist before Final Fantasy XI, and it's at once very odd in the overall series hierarchy and incredibly neat just the same.
Likelihood: The first boss of Pharos Sirius sure does seem to be a corsair, but that's wielding a gun as an offhand and a sword in the mainhand. It certainly could work, and the presence of pirates gives it a thematic pull, but the likelihood of its making its way into the game seems unlikely. (But awesome.)
What it is: A caster that learns spells directly from enemies, allowing you access to an array of monstrous special attacks. These generally range from useless to overpowered, but they can be tuned to work within an MMO context.
Likelihood: Blue Mage represents a notable design issue within the framework that the game has already established and the way that abilities are usually acquired. It could be worked around (give Blue Mages a version of Lancet that works like Guild Wars 2's Steal, for example), but it would still have to deal with the question of what the Blue Mage is actually supposed to be, since the class is often a master of all trades with the right skills. It's an iconic class that I think the designers want in the game, but I'd give it 50/50 odds of inclusion.
What it is: A hybridization of Black Mages and White Mages, the Red Mage varies a bit from game to game -- sometimes they're physically adept with weaker magics, sometimes they're casters with a bit of physical edge, sometimes they're a weaker version of everything. The key, however, is that they straddle the point between pure destruction and pure healing.
Likelihood: This has been mentioned specifically as a potential additional job, and it's certainly an interesting concept. I've seen a lot of ideas floated around, including the idea that it has a wider range of cross-class skills than most jobs or that it can be used as a job by multiple classes. No matter what, it's going to have to preserve that duality, but I think it's a safe bet that it'll make it into the game eventually.
What it is: Dual-wielding, sneaky, occasionally pseudomagical, the Ninja is a staple of the series even if it has a widely varying role from game to game. In Final Fantasy XI the class was an avoidance tank, in Final Fantasy Tactics it was a damage-dealing monster, and in Final Fantasy III it was literally the ultimate class pre-remake.
Likelihood: I'd go so far as to say it's definite, but it's a ways away right now, likely not until the first expansion (if not later). There was speculation that it might be an offshoot of Gladiator back in the day, but that was when the inventory and armory chest worked differently; I expect we'll see paired ninja swords as single weapons and it'll be introduced as a new class with Ninja as a job.
What it is: Also sneaky, always stealing, an asset to parties who like to get more stuff, thieves are useful for parties looking for items as well as those who just want someone skilled at stabbing guys to death.
Likelihood: Final Fantasy XI provided a pretty great template for what a Thief could do in an MMO; its stealth capabilities were more about sneaking smartly and reducing aggro radius rather than turning invisible, and it brought some real party support and sneaky tactics without the usual stealth mechanic problems. As much as I'd like to see Corsair as a damage-oriented job for Gladiator, Thief seems a bit more likely. The question is when and how, but with the lack of melee DPS currently in place, sooner would be nice.
Of course, there are a lot of other potential additions -- Samurai, Dark Knight, Calculator, Geomancer, Time Mage -- but I can't write about these forever, after all. So what do you think? Leave your comments down below or mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org, as always. Next week I'd like to talk about Crystal Tower, and the week after that it's time to discuss the Beastman quests and how they work so far.
From Eorzea to Vana'diel, there is a constant: the moogles. And for analysis and opinions about the online portions of the Final Fantasy series, there is also a constant: The Mog Log. Longtime series fan Eliot Lefebvre serves up a new installment of the log every Saturday, covering almost anything related to Square-Enix's vibrant online worlds.