Reading over all the different posts, on this site as well as others, It seems one of the biggest threats to FFXIV, or any future MMO for that matter, is the birthing of cookie cutter jobs/weapons/gear.
For the longest time in FFXI, everyone and his brother had on an SH or SH+1. I still, to this day, see people camping Lizzy for her boots(and have yet to get my hands on some for my newest character because of this:/) Casually flip through the job forums, and you're almost guaranteed to see Joyeuse in a thread title. /Nin will forever be whined about by those who are poor, and forever be expected by any serious HNMLS.
This is the state of MMOs today, and probably always has been and, unfortunately, may always be the case.
I was sitting here, drooling over pics of FFXIV(taking a break from lvling my DNC/COR and COR/DNC...slooooow as a turtle's pace, but dernit if I don't have like 5 bazillion bst seals in my moghouse;)...but I digress. I was sitting here trying to wrap my mind around a way to avoid the Cookie Cutter on an MMO. I was trying to think of a way to spare an MMO that unsightly monotony(because 30 days after FFXIV launches, I really will be depressed if I see everyone in my party wearing the same gear as me, using the same spells/ws as they did in the last pt I was in 3 hours prior...you get the picture).
What I came up with may have been mentioned before, but I'm not a bookworm, and sifting through every bit of knowledge on Alla or any other site is too time-consuming for me. I'm trying to launch a career as a **** star, for gosh sakes! Anyway, this was my idea:
The Majority Penalty/Minority Privelege.
FFXI is able to tell me via 'sea all ???' what jobs are on my server, how many tarus are on my server, who just drank a pepsi in the bottle on my server(way cooler than the aluminum can), who has dust mites under their bronze bed, etc.
What if the game actually penalized players for being cookie cutter and, conversely, awarded them for being unique? Just like we have our daily conquest tallies, what if the game awarded EXP boosts/loot-gil drops based on uniqueness??
In this example, all of those Joyeuse-wielding /Nins would receive a penalty for falling too deeply into the cookie cutter mold, whereas the people wielding butter knives and subbing /drg would receive a bonus to EXP/loot-gil drops.
This would also lend to stabilization of the in-game market, as their wouldn't be a huge demand for a handful of items like there is now.
An additional bonus to a system like this: RMT would be so confused about how to make a profit that they'd never be able to make much profit outside the game in RL currency. Yes, you'll still have your spoiled rich kid in Manhattan or wherever the heck 90210 is a zip code for(Beverly Hills, that's right) who feels it's better to just buy gearz and pre-developed characters rather than play the game, but I think you'd see a lot less of that with a system that runs similar to this.
It's probably wouldn't work great in application, but I felt it was a theory to bring to you all, to see what your opinions were.
I'm just dreading the parties where I'm ridiculed for not having a specific piece of gear or because I popped a sushi instead of a limp biscuit. I don't mind the correction when I need to rethink gear or food, but I hate when someone lambastes me for not having "gotten there yet". Sorry, even after all these years, I'm sometimes still a newbie.
Thanks for your time, and thank you in advance for any responses(unless you're a capital D and respond with things like 'L2P' or 'Roflcopterz' or whatever the kids are saying these days;)