If you want to play wow, go play it. The less things about FFXIV that are like wow, the better.
And if you want to play FFXI, go play that.
This is a new game. It won't be WoW. It won't be EQII. It won't be EVE. It won't be FFXI. It won't be War.
It'll be FFXIV.
Do you HONESTLY think that FFXIV didn't borrow concepts from other games? MMOs existed a long time before it did. And the FF genre itself was built like Dragon Quest (back when Enix and Squaresoft were different companies). Was FF a DQ clone? No. And it was very popular. Was it similar in many ways? Of course.
SE is going to be looking at what works and does not work in EVERY popular MMO they can find (and the unpopular ones). They may try and emulate certain aspects, but even those won't be copies of what is found elsewhere. Maybe they'll have a minimap. That doesn't mean they can't create one from scratch that has functionality that specifically tailors to FFXIV. Maybe they'll have an Armory. That doesn't mean they won't add a privacy feature, let people leave comments on their own page and those of their friends, allow people to access it in game, etc.
If no video game developer looked at what the others were doing, games would SUCK. Why? Because progression would be IMPOSSIBLE. We'd just be playing board games with good graphics against a computer, if lucky.
Things WILL be shared between WoW and FFXIV. That may or may not be a good thing.
But, not even considering them is beyond a doubt, a HORRIBLE decision.
Here's a simile.
You are writing a paper for a class. In that paper you need to research and cite sources. These will be the obvious markers.
But, what goes into a paper isn't just that info directly taken from other sources. You need to think about it. Explain it. Build upon it. Support it. Make it work with the rest of the info. Just because my friend successfully used a fact about a volcano in his, doesn't mean that fact will help mine. I need to tailor my selection of facts so that it helps my piece. And, sometimes, I may have to sacrifice other pieces for something that is more important.
And, I have also learned how to do this over years of practice and study. I've written and read works. I've learned different ways to grammatically structure sentences. I've learned what passive voice in, and discovered what kind of situations it can be useful for (though they may be few in college-level nonfiction). Had I never participated in this, my paper would be dull and unable to express my thoughts, opinions, discoveries and more.
It is the same for MMOs and other games.
They are going to look at all the other sources they can and try to learn their grammar, if you will. They'll see the systems in place, and how they interact. They'll try and work some in, and others they will shy away from. But, all the while, they'll resist putting something in that is just out of place, like a comment on igneous rock in an essay about the mating rituals of hippos.
In the end, we hope for something where all the parts are strong, and compliment the whole. Some things may have to be abandoned. Maybe SE thinks such absolute privacy needs to be abandoned in favor of information flow with an armory. Maybe they don't. Maybe some variation of the system will work. Maybe it won't.
A game is far more than a bunch of brand new ideas that designers throw together. And, when you really look at the gaming industry, those that try the hardest to be completely new and innovative are the ones that are approached delicately and with apprehension--no one knows what to expect and they rarely sell well (you usually see similar systems in best sellers down the road).
People want to be able to relate to a game. When I went to WoW from FFXI, there were many similarities and many differences. But, the fact that there WERE similarities let me approach the new game. Things like Exp, AHs, guilds (LSs), leveling, etc. were all there and understood, at least a little, so I could spend time learning other things. Whereas, with EVE, I was WAY over my head--space ships, complicated ecnomies, traversing a universe, etc.
It would be a sad day for FFXIV if SE said they weren't going to consider how other MMOs worked in their process. Edited, Jul 4th 2009 3:16am by idiggory