The problem with XI isnt the grind.
Its the fact you need a 3 hour block period to do anything.
If I long in for 45 minutes, I should be able to do 45minutes worth of sh*t.
No, it's still the grind. That too, but still the grind. Whether or not I can do 45 minutes of grinding in 45 minutes, or 45 minutes of grinding in 3 hours, it still sucks to do 45 minutes worth of grinding.
If you don't understand the difference between grinding and simply leveling your character-- when I spent a few hours leveling from 53 to 54 standing in the same place, killing the same mobs, performing the same party role, nothing differing substantially from when I was level 52 and leveling to 53, and knowing that I was facing basically the EXACT SAME THING all the way til level 70/75, THAT'S grinding. You don't feel like you're getting better at your job, and there are no new elements to learn-- you're just working on a factory assembly line, whittling your life away to improve the numbers on your character's menu screen.
See, RPGs, and MMOs being no exception, are by nature strategy games. There is nothing strategic about doing the same thing over and over. Nothing strategic about facing the same opponent who is going to use the same tactics over and over, requiring little of your mental acuity.
Now if you get a new trait, ability, or weaponskill every level, every few hours, that changes the way you play the game, and at the same time you encounter opponents who are also quickly changing... then you have something there.
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...
Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.
Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.