Ok, I hope I'm not the only one who sees this as something to absolutely loathe. Farming... This "little" time sink is one of the worse on FFXI. You spend 400 hours farming up stuff for your equipment at a certain level. Only to have to farm again for 400 hours in the next 3 levels.... /////
No MMO is without a certain amount of grinding. It's a part of the process whether you're grinding xp, grinding for auction, or grinding to skill up a profession. The main challenge for any MMO developer is finding a reasonable balance. For me, the ideal is that you should be able to go out and farm for one hour and head back to town and feel like you've accomplished something worthwhile. Not extraordinary, not, "zomfg I'm rich!"...just worthwhile. That one hour of farming got you a couple of skill points to your profession. It got you enough gil to cover your travel and consumable expenses for the next 2-3 xp sessions covered. The difficulty I had with FFXI was that all too often, one hour of farming was rarely enough for anything. Two hours started to make a dent. 3 hours my brain was numb. Four hours and I felt like I had accomplished what I should have been able to do in an hour. Part of it was that too much of what I was gathering came from mob drops. The harvesting (ie. mining, logging) aspect of FFXI was relatively primitive and just not all that fun. Tabbing around the landscape looking for your cursor to land on something labeled as a harvesting node was just...dull.
And for the second part of this thread. The Level Sync system... I personally hate this system. The System has made people so lazy that they don't want to leave qufim or valkrum at least on my server. I Say Annihilate the entire system and never put it in ever again.
If leveling isn't an enormous chore that requires a group in the first place, you don't need to figure out creative ways to encourage level capped players to go back and get the new players/vets with subjobs moving forward. I could live with something like the level synch system because it's a neat feature that could have its uses, but I'd be much happier if it was implemented as sort of a "bonus" feature and not a "how can we slow the death of our dated game" feature.