The Job System
Final Fantasy III saw the debut of the Job System, which would later be used in future titles. Under this system, when the player encountered each crystal, a new set of jobs were unlocked in which to choose from. Not only that, but the player had the freedom to switch between jobs at will; however, changing jobs came at a price of an “adjustment period” in which the affected character had to survive a certain number of battles in order to unlock the jobs full potential.
Along with this, came a slightly different experience system. While the characters would see their stats rise rather naturally (Hit Points, HP, were the exception here) through good ‘ol experience points, the jobs the characters used would also level up separately. For each action taken in battle a separate experience stat was kept for jobs (which I’ve commonly seen referred to as Job Points), and the accumulation of those points allowed for jobs to level up as well. While leveling up jobs didn’t directly affect the character’s stats, it would increase the character’s effectiveness at that job. For example, a level 1 Thief would possibly land a couple of weak blows; however, level that Thief up to say 50, and that Thief would be able to land far more hits in a round.
Think of it this way: Levels increased raw strength and Job Levels increased only skills that came with each job.
Thankfully, jobs were very easy to level up, making it somewhat easy to become decently proficient in one in a rather short amount of time. Even better, battles could be prolonged in order to level up said jobs quicker as more actions taken in a fight meant more Job Points obtained.
Unlike your basic levels, you could have more than one job at maximum level (99…although that would definitely take a while!); however, despite the game allowing you mastery over several jobs, you could only pick one at a time. Sadly, at this point in the series, you could not carry over previously gained skills from job to job, nor could you combine their abilities.
While the system is still quite basic in comparison to some of the other leveling systems seen in later games, the Job System of Final Fantasy III was light years ahead of its two predecessors.
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