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FFXIV is a very different game

First, FFXIV is a very different game, and it was very unforgiving, and it was much slower paced. Most of your DPS came from physical melee strikes that generated TP to use on Weapon Skills. So imagine that you can only use one of your combo actions for every 10 melee strikes, and you have to rely on other party members to perform a combo (A skill chain which did extra damage and boosted the power of corresponding elemental attacks for about 3 seconds after).

 

FFXIV was also very early in the MMORPG genre, and at that time, the Tanaka lead team was more interested in preserving the image and feel of the classic FF14 jobs than making the game functional. So you end up with a horrendous imbalance that wasn't fixed for many many years. Of the original 15 jobs (Base 12+3 from RoZ), only 2 could heals (White Mage and Red Mage) and on initial release, Red Mage actually had LESS MP than a Paladin, and was the most worthless job in the game. However it was fixed pretty early and ended up becoming a powerhouse job that could solo anything. By that same line of thought, initially only Warrior could FFXIV tank because of provoke, though the team technically kind of expected all the melee classes to share tanking like in earlier FF14s.

 

Originally, the intention to overcome this limitation of 1 tank, 2 healers, 12 DPS was the subjob system. You could equip a second job on your character but it was capped to half of whatever your main job was. This is what allowed people to Experiment and make jobs tanks or healers. However... therein lies the flaw. You were capped at half your main job. This made it impossible to actually achieve full customization of your character and forced you into only combinations that made sense. A 75 Warrior would get maybe 170 MP from White Mage sub, compared to the 800 a 75 WHM should have. This made Summoner a popular healer in xp parties due to it having the largest MP pool, and the fact summons were not good DPS outside of a single attack and release strategy (I'll detail this later).

 

Originally /WAR was the most popular melee subjob, and the mandatory Tank one for provoke. However, When Ninja became a tank, it became a mandatory Sub. The fact Ninja was an effective tank was an accidental discovery. Originally, Utsusemi gave you 3-4 shadows that took a hit, and you lost no enmity, and Ninjas would pull hate from elemental wheeling. After a bit of ingenuity, Ninjas figured out they were a VERY effective tank as NOT tanking damage is a better way to kill things than having to heal it. This allowed healers to DPS in parties and speed up get higher xp chains. 

 

This was also brought about by the fact that despite the intention to allow anyone to tank early on... Everything hit like a truck. It was not wise to fight more than 1 monster at a time because everything just hit so hard. That's why /NIN became a popular Sub. You wanted your FFXIV DPS to not take AoE damage. However, it was nerfed so that AoE attacks wiped off Shadows, but it still was more effective as it still blocked moves.

 

One of the other major problems in FFXI was the TP system. Much as you got TP for every hit, so too did the monsters. Therefore it became discouraged for anyone that didn't have enough TP generation lowering traits or who didn't meet certain DPS standards to attack an enemy. The more people fighting a monster, the more frequently it did big attacks. This is what lead to discrimination against many job. You didn't want Pets meleeing monsters as they did pitiful damage and were free TP for the monster. Certain jobs also became useless against most popular XP mobs. Crabs were very popular for XP because they were easy and had weak TP moves, but they had resistance against piercing damage. This made things rough on Dragoons, especially after the Player TP nerfs. Thieves got around this because of their Sneak Atack/Trick Attack combination that allowed them to get a powerful critical hit and manage enmity, however Dragoon didn't have the utility to overcome.

 

Anyway... That's a BRIEF explanation. There's a lot more that involves changes over patches and innovation. Tanaka was a huge fan of nerfing all the things. If players were having fun, there was a 90% chance he was gonna nerf it in an emergency patch. He left the team during Wings of the Goddess to ruin FFXIV, at which point things started flying towards the realm of easier, and a lot of the challenge that made the game fun was removed along with all the stuff that made the game infuriatingly difficult.

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