I've said it before, though, to really raid, you can't just do it once and call it a day. Be it token systems or RNG drops, you've gotta do it repeatedly if you want to max out on it.
Indeed, which makes it no different than any other content, ESPECIALLY in this game. However, given that SE weekly locksout gear and PUNISHES you for going back to help others doesn't help things either.
And all of this is before you really step too deeply into the social aspect of it all, with some being hyper-competitive about stuff like world firsts, zero tolerance of certain classes/strategies
The funny thing about zero tolerance as you put it:
The game itself has zero tolerance for anything but what is designed, so definitely don't lump that into social aspect. No one BUT a WAR/PLD/DRK can tank simply because no other classes not only can produce as much enmity, but doesn't come anywhere near the defense and mitigation requirements. Not even Titan/Topaz/Onyx Carby can end-game tank properly due to their special nature (it would be highly OP if they could.)
Otherwise, as long as you have melee/ranged/caster mix you're fine, because the game punishes you for stacking classes, something people complained to SE to make happen, because of saltiness of Manaburns back in FFXI prime days.
Given the numerous MMOs I've poked my head into over time, this grouping has a high tendency to believe they're the more important demographic
In the more than 20+ MMOs I've played for any decent amount of time, "Raid content" tends to be the content that actually lasts the longest when you ignore artifical barriers because it is USUALLY designed to be a culmination of all you've done in order to tackle it and thus get rewarded for it.
Content like Weeping City for example would be done within a day if you were allowed to farm it for points to purchase gear without weekly restriction. Diadem proved that content in XIV has an EXTREMELY short life span if you can use it as an alternate to raid content. Diadem was fine as a concept because it works as an alternative, but it pretty much obsoleted any set of content you could think of at the time. So it's not that that group of people "think they're more important", they just realize what content tends to last the most.
SERIOUSLY think about the content FFXIV adds and which set of content tends to last even 2 weeks after a major patch goes live. Barring forcing us back into obsoleted content, it's usually the raid content, rarely the fluff content and before it gets taken out of context, as usual, it's not because of the difficulty either, because people were still doing Binding Coil well into the CT days because it offered more than just gear.
It's the in-betweeners that really want stuff that's more than just cosmetics or sidegrades.
When it comes to XIV though...I really wonder who are the "in-betweeners", since I'm classified as a casual player, I'm just not going to pretend 1-3 hours a day sometimes every other 4 days isn't enough time to get through this game's content, especially once you learn it (since a full run of Midas Savage 1-4 is about 4 hours at the slowest pace possible given 4's mechanic orgy.) Yet when I see people mention casual players..it gets said they don't do "hardcore raids" or "ex primals"..so like..what IS casual? what IS midcore? Since 3.x actually did better at introducing "not just side grades"...for example you had Sephirot Ex, gave you 220 weapons, you have Lore weapons, which takes 7 weeks of Midas 4 Normal and 1k Lore tomes to get if you refuse to do Savage Midas for the token drop, then you had Nidhogg Ex and now you have Deep Dungeon when considering weapons alone (as they matter the most for any kind of progression.)
The open world needs to matter, and part of that includes trash mobs being worth killing, to have random events people want to do, and to bluntly cut the shackles of daily/weekly limitations. The true essence of "role-playing" doesn't really exist in these games anymore, and I mean in being a character and not so much a slot in the trinity. And we're partly to blame this precisely because we fell into the raiding design trap, and for some it's to the point of sadomasochism.
While true, raiding isn't why this happen...far from it or it would have happened with XI as well because most of the sought after gear was ALWAYS from events like Dynamis, while Sky/Sea open world had it's share of drops as well, but open world systems like Campaign/Besieged/Voidwatch/etc also still existed. What DID happen, were people saying open world is "outdated"...really, look back on the 1.0 forum archive or the beta forums, **** even look back to pre 2.0 interviews where Yoshida said Open world won't be a focus outside of FATEs.
I'm not sure how Raiding has anything to do with open world being forgotten in this game, since as proven with Diadem, people would GLADLY move away from instance raiding if there's a decent open world "raid."
Sadly, this is all part of Yoshi's "the formula won't change because it works" he said during E3, because 4 Man has a particular balance, 8 man has a particular balance. 24 man is the only set of content that can change everything because if they tune 24 man to be a "hardcore raid", they can EASILY retune 4/8 man content to be anything from "easy" to "hard" content and save 24 man for the top tier drops since it literally solves the 3-4 bosses every 6 months they release in one raid lol.
Since idk, no matter what you say or suggest, just the mere mention of raiding is "wrong."
Coil had high participation levels and extremely higher clear rates overall? Wrong for this game!
Ex primals that take memorization and learning? WRONG!
Alexander Savage? Ain't that cute, BUT IT'S STILL WRONG!
So realistically, to some people, raiding is just "wrong" and they want to see it gone, yet would fight tooth and nail if you were to say "get rid of chocobo racing or the golden saucer" since even looking at ticket sales (the best way to gauge how many people actually bother with utilizing that content system), GS has THE lowest participation rate of any content in the game. Even on Balmung where people use it more for RP atmosphere than anything. Chocobo Racing was dead in the dirt, but you'd still have some people queuing for it every now and then. Lord of Verminion was dead in the dirt, people still do it every now and then. Triple Triad is dead in the water..people still participate every now and then..yet if you say get rid of that content, you'll become public enemy #1, but it's perfectly okay to say get rid of a progression component.