Abyssea wasn't really a playground until later in the life cycle of the content. If you were killing things while they were still new then you weren't doing it lowman. Sure people were farming the lesser NMs, but people weren't doing that for higher tier NMs out of the box.
And this is exactly the kind of content FFXIV needs more of. We need more inclusive content that both small and large groups can enjoy, where people don't need to worry about finding statics for hours upon hours of practice just to get to the point of having a shot at an RNG drop.
Just as important as lowman content is the need for large-scale content where the same principles hold true to groups of larger sizes. Sky, sea, dynamis and einherjar are all examples of XI content where first-timers could jump right in and contribute, and groups didn't have to be ultra-specific sizes.
The lack of this kind of content in XI is holding the game back.
If we're at the point where a game can only be deemed good if like 1 out of 10 people actually like it, and the reason the other 9 don't is because of some disparaging jargon, I'd say that speaks more of the 1 than the 9. Overall, gaming is a more acceptable hobby nowadays, which brings with it the reality the age range is far wider than the likely (college) student base of a decade ago. Yes, you still have some people who will play a given title 18+ hours a day. You're also gonna have some who can only play 1-2 hours a week.
Yes, great point about gaming being more of an acceptable hobby nowadays. And the implications from aging are obvious. Back in 2004, the average MMORPG gamer was approximately 26 years old, according to studies at the time -- but that has likely changed significantly since then.
This year, a report by the Entertainment Software Association revealed this: "The average age of someone who plays games (not specifying MMOs, but I'm sure the correlation is close) is 31 years old. In fact, more gamers are over the age of 36 than between the ages of 18 to 35 or under the age of 18.
They are also mostly men, but by a slimming margin. Men make up 52 percent. From 2012 to 2013, the number of women gamers over the age of 50 grew by 32 percent."
This is exactly why the lack of more inclusive content is holding FFXIV back.
Life after 30 is just tremendously different than life before 30. And while some 30+ adults haven't changed their priorities (which is totally fine), adults whose priorities do change over time can't (and shouldn't) be blamed. For many, playing video games just isn't as important as getting enough sleep, taking more time to cook healthy meals, going on runs, hitting the gym, doing contract work, hanging out with friends, making time for family, cleaning the house, working in the yard, etc. Even an adult who doesn't have barrels of other obligations may simply realize that spending so much time in a virtual world isn't exactly healthy.
And beyond the age of 35, there are more adults like me than there are adults who want to live in their games.
Don't blame game developers for designing games with those adults in mind. FFXIV was mostly designed exactly for that crowd. In the leadup to ARR, Yoshi-P talked extensively about how the game was redesigned for busier gamers who could enjoy the game in their pockets of free time. For the most part, he accomplished that goal -- right up until endgame, and then he fell a bit short. Edited, Jul 31st 2016 9:59am by Thayos