Stances & Level Promotion
Each class has several Stances which have varying level and equipment dependencies. It should be noted that each stance's level is independent from a character's level. As the character levels a stance they gain skill points that can be used within that stance in addition to increasing the stance's stat bonuses. A stance may have up to five different skills which are unlocked as the stance levels up. Additional generic stances may be purchased at the class Master, from Emilia for constellation expert stances, while some are rewarded via quests.
One feature of stances is that stances which have the same equipment requirements can be swapped on the fly using the F5-F8 keys (alternatively, using the number keys 4-7). The musketeer's Standing Shot and Kneeling Shot stances are examples of this, as well as the fighter's Back Guard and High Guard stances.
However, stances are limited in that only particular stances may be used with a certain equipment type, e.g., a fighter wanting to use the Roof Guard stance would have to use a Great Sword, rather than a sword and shield. A musketeer wanting to use the Flintlock stance would have to use a Rifle, rather than a pistol. A stance is usable only when it is learned; unlearned stances are greyed-out and unavailable for use.
When a new player starts out, their character starts out at Level 1, while the RNPCs he or she recruits start out at various levels. When the characters reach level 100, they are able to be promoted with the use of 25 Shiny Crystals to become Veterans, and in the process create a new leveling system. In later updates, players gain the ability to move beyond Veteran level to become Experts (Level 110-120) and Masters (Level 120 and above).