Picking your starting class in any RPG can be a daunting task (yes, even more daunting than the amount of time it takes to customize your character just right). Not with Final Fantasy XIV! This game allows you to switch your class at virtually any time you'd like, so there's no need to make a dozen different saves in search of the perfect fit.
The base classes in FFXIV are divided into two categories: Disciplines of War (melee, ranged weapons, and tanks), and Disciplines of Magic (pretty self-explanatory).
Disciplines of War
- Gladiator (Tank): sword and shield, plate armor, absorb damage, leads to the Paladin job
- Pugilist (DPS): fist weapons, leather armor, hand-to-hand combat, leads to the Monk job
- Marauder (Tank): greataxes, plate armor, absorb damage, leads to the Warrior job
- Lancer (DPS): polearms, plate armor, agile attacks, leads to the Dragoon job
- Archer (DPS): bows, leather armor, ranged attacks, leads to the Bard job
- Rogue (DPS): dual daggers, leather armor, swift melee, leads to the Ninja job
Disciplines of Magic
- Conjurer (Healer): canes/wands, cloth armor, offensive water spells, leads to the White Mage job
- Thaumaturge (DPS): staves/scepters, cloth armor, powerful dark magic, leads to the Black Mage job
- Arcanist (Healer/DPS): books, cloth armor, summon minor primals, leads to the Summoner and Scholar jobs
With the flexibility FFXIV affords its players, you're free to try on as many different play styles as you'd like to determine which class you prefer—and consequently, which jobs you're likely to enjoy taking on. Jobs are the specialized versions of their respective starting classes, and you'll be expected to perform whichever role you assume dutifully so that your party can clear dungeons and bosses more effectively.