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Overview

Class Change is an ability that allows a character to switch from one class or job to another.  For some games, class change is presented as a linear progression to a more powerful class, while others allow characters to freely switch between classes that provide a variety of skill sets.  As an example, compare how class change is done in the Fire Emblem series and Final Fantasy Tactics.
 

Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is one of the few games in the series with a branching promotion path.
In the Fire Emblem series, class change is representative of linear character development and progression. 
When a character becomes strong enough, he or she can promote to a new class that shares the same basic traits of the character's original class while also gaining new traits and abilities exclusive to the higher-tier class. 
The exact method with which a character is able to promote in a Fire Emblem title varies from game to game, but in general, class change occurs through three methods:

  • Leveling up:  Some games will automatically force a character to change classes once they have reached a level threshold.
  • Item use: Use of special items allows units to promote to a new class once the character has reached at least the tenth level of his or her current class.
  • Story events:  Major characters may promote automatically as part of the story's progression regardless of current level.
 

Final Fantasy Tactics

Examples of skills equipped using the Job System.
Final Fantasy Tactics utilizes a Job System that allows characters to freely switch between classes, allowing for a great degree of character and party customization.  As characters level up jobs and unlock job abilities, they gain access to new jobs with new abilities. 
As a member of a specific class, a character can equip skills from other jobs that are available, but otherwise is limited to the use of the skills and equipment allowed by his or her current class.

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