So far from what has been revealed in the in-game footage, it seems like FF14 is the BIGGEST update we'll ever see for FF11. Seems to me like 14 is just all the problems in 11, but fixed with a few new features; like a ****** Expansion pack that is so big, it became it's own game.
But we have to remember it's only in Alpha stage, not yet ready for Beta. Anything can change from now and the RTM version.
The only real deal breaking, "I'm not going to buy this" element I'm worried about is whether how much of the game's classes will be personalized for each individual player. For me, (I'm going to compare my hope's for 14 to 11) 11 always felt like the player's skill and knowledge were always a little less significant than the actual items each character had. Sure leading Dynamis runs, or running through Limbus required the Leaders of each Linkshell to have consistent knowledge of each map and how they function but overall, it just doesn't take much skill to play a melee class, face it, it's true. I always felt that a person with better gear would have a huge advantage over someone with some standard gear, say Scorpion harness compared to an Usukane body piece. I really hope that 14 kind of balances it out so that the player's action(actual skill/knowledge) makes a bigger impact than pieces of equipment. Gear is important of course, and I know why SE made some hard-to-get pieces extremely great in stats(people who show that incredible amount of devotion should be rewarded nicely, I agree there) but ****, some items are just too **** good, or too difficult to get for most "casual gamers." I feel, as difficult as it may be, there must be a way to balance it. I'm sorry I just can't devote 3 to 4+ hours of repetitive camping and farming for a single item.
Not only are the items, but as well as the job system in 11 was real aching. There wasn't TRUE customization and personalization, in that one couldn't play the style they TRULY wanted. For example, why would anyone invite a Warrior using a Spear over a G/Axe Warrior to a traditional EXP Party(Merits included). What if the Tarutaru, Koosodebooso® wanted to play as a Fighter class specializing in Pole arms? It just didn't fit right in 11. I always wanted to play songs like a Bard to support others and have the ability to attack on the front lines with some usefulness. But most already know that it's near impossible to do much damage as BRD and there is probably no way a player will get any sort of acceptance as a BRD/Melee or Melee/BRD combo.
If the Armoury System is everything I hope it is, a truly "create your own style" sort of game play or something close that allows you to mend two opposite styles into a useful style (within limits), I'm completely in. And I think SE has the ability to implement such a job system; look at FF10, 12, 7, and others in the series, the Materia system was awesome, the Sphere Grid was well done and I enjoyed the Licenses. If they found a way to create a "level up your own way" system fit for a MMORPG, it's going to be dynamite.
With the Armoury System, Guildleves, and a focus on more casual play for all gamers, Final Fantasy 14 may not be the end all be all of MMOs, but it certainly has potential to be a great FF game. Because that's what it is; Final Fantasy comes before the word "Online."
...we wanted to make the best Final Fantasy game available.
Note: Sorry it was a huge post, I didn't realize! I never post anyways. :/ Edited, Aug 20th 2009 1:48am by Yll