It's quite simple in my eyes.
XP in groups will most likely net the highest possible experience (as well as other possible bonuses), while other "activities" will allow you to move at a steady pace where progress is definitely still made, just not as quickly. A lot like we have it now, just refined and with more options for those with limited play time.
I don't think this game is going to be as casual as people believe, just nowhere near as torturous going solo as our good friend FFXI
To be fair, XI isn't even all that tortuous anymore either. FoV and Campaign were huge wins, and I don't think that people realize how much everyone
enjoys moderate content like that (I am sure that even the folks who are here bashing solo play options have done their fair share of campaigning).
Did it kill party play? Not really, at least not for those jobs who were the coveted *party* jobs anyway
. I still see bird camps packed, people are still fighting over the stairs in the ********* and I still have to keep anon on whenever I am on BRD for fear of my chat log getting bombed. I think that solo content in XIV would be less of an apocalypse than some of the doomsday folks in here think.
I also think that what people are more worried about is time wasting waiting to put together a group like we see in XI. That is the main deterrent when thinking, "Ok, do I want to party, or do I want to solo?" Do I have time to wait for a party
is the real question.
That, my friends, is what will kill party play, not solo options. As long as party play this time around is a little less rigid (i.e. full 6 man team needed, only 2 classes can efficiently tank, everyone wants rdm onry, and jobs like pup and bst are left out), I don't see having solo options coming out of the gate being that big a deal.
Let's just hope they keep the level sync concept intact, because that will go a long way in keeping people interested in grouping.