Since adventuring will be less focused a group play when leveling up, does it make sense that there be more focus on NPC buddy instead? Just a question. Maybe NPC buddy wouldn't even be in consideration.
i think you are thinking too much in the confines of ffxi...
npc fellows were added in an attempt to make more of the game "soloable" after an already heavily party based system and world.
xiv will be a completely new game, if they design it to have more solo activities and options from the get go there would be no need for an npc fellow and therefore i don't think they will be considered.
but who knows... i personally tried to get into the npc fellow system and never had the dedication to put much time into it, but i know a lot of people really liked it.