My personal take on the disqualification on this game as being a "real" FF and being a huge disappointment at it being "online only" are because, well let's start with the last bit. Most gamers, casual and hardcore can't justify the monthly fee. I'm one of them, with XI being my exception (I can't even justify XBox Gold, simply to play with asshats I don't care about via the internet). That's an extra $13 a month for XI if you don't have any mules, which you're going to 'have' to. I'm up to $20 a month for a $40 game (back when I got into XI, +$30 for WotG, even more so for you PS2 / PC players who've had to buy Zilart, CoP and ToAU individually w/ release date prices vs "every FFXI game for $20!" these days). Sure, with a $20 game, the extra $12 may not be bad, but as I said, the majority of us paid more than $20 for the games and more than $12 a mo. for our services.
So there's the price for starters and second, there's the quality of MMO players, especially those I run into on XI. They don't play for the story, they play for the levels. These guys are the ones who log on after school or work, level for an hour or two then log off. All they care about is getting the gear that makes them identical to everyone else in their profession (an army of O.Hats and S.Harnesses. Ugh). These guys rarely play for the story and if they do, they don't play because they care about Bahamut rising from the ocean and what it means, they do it for the ring. They don't care about the Dukes of Jeuno, they want an earring and have to sit through the missions spamming the CS to get 'em. Honestly though, you can't compare FFXI to the four disks of story that VIII for example had. I mean, the only story line you have is one of the three nations you joined. Go through to R10 Sandy and boom. Story's over. Either switch to another nation and go from 1-10 again or call it done. But XI has an advantage over the other Final Fantasy games (aside X), and that's the fact that the game continues to grow. You became a top agent in your nation of choice, great. But now you've been asked to find out about the Zilart and go through another sixteen missions, going to new lands, wearing new equipment taking on new adventures. Then, the Zilart and Kuluu involve you in another grand story, taking up 8 real mean chapters.
Sky, Sea, Dream, the Past, crossing the ocean to the middle east. If you're after story, XI is a great resource, matching and surpassing many of it's predecessors, the only hitch is that you don't control you and 3 friends, you've got to depend on others, "joining hands" to take on these tasks.
Maybe these complaining gamers who don't consider XI/XIV 'true' Final Fantasies fall under the negative stereotype of being afraid of people / too socially awkward to make friends in even a fantasy setting. But then again, with all the, "You can't party with us if you don't have Amamet +1 & Haub" and "We only invite RDM for Haste, Refresh and Cure, stay back there and don't add to the mob's tp" I can't say I really blame them. ;p All in all, it's their loss, yeah? It's just a ****** that because of their ignorance, we're told, "lol, you play a fake FF game".