This was very true for a long time. I been playing off and on sense game was released. One thing I could always state without a doubt that FF11 had the best community, lightyears past any other MMO.
But I am not certain of that anymore. Many players these days seem bitter and jaded. I actually official quit FF11 about 3 months ago for the exact reason that I no longer had a interest in the community which was main reason I played. If I were to be blunt I would say the community even fell bellow the immature 12 y/o of WoW.
Hmm. I think that FFXI has a more mature than WoW hands down. WoW starter areas are a mass wall of spam involving Myspace pages and Pee Pee jokes. You also have the added bonus with FFXI of not having a guy show up to your house with A gun, Rubber gloves and Duct tape because you didnt send him nudie pics of yourself.
Or is that just because we have a smaller community? /shrug
Honestly, when presented with the pletheroa of choices when it comes to current MMOs, FFXI is not only outdated but in the vast scheme of things not the most user friendly of the bunch. You either really love it because of its ties with Final Fantasy and those that love its quirky Japanese underlinings, or you run away from it, fast, in place of a more mainstream MMO.
Something interesting I noticed was that the majority of WoW players had no idea or previous experience with Warcraft, either it be the original Warcraft, the even more RTS based II and III or any idea or knowledge of the lore behind the game what so ever.
Where as in FFXI, it is hard to find someone that is not distinctly familiar with the previous titles and subtle similarities that have carried on throughout the previous 20 years of Final Fantasy. WoW uses pop culture references to separate the hardcore lore fanatics from those that just want to play it for fun, FFXI forces you to pay attention to it intensely.
So what does WoW have that we don't? Previous product Branding? Heck no. I guess it was the "Mass appeal" advertising scheme that catered to "Casual players" ahead of anything else. The game screams "Just try me, even if you have never played a game before." FFXI does NOT do that at all, and the media even goes as far to describe FFXI as the most difficult MMO of them all. (Number 1 in the 'hardest Live! Achievement' to obtain was a Maat cap according to a few gaming publications for a while...)
FFXIV seems to be a second attempt at capturing the crowd that walked away. The folks that said "This is too hard and I hate grinding". One of the things that really ****** me off about Square Enix is their complete lack of understanding in terms of how US product Marketing actually works. You have to PROMOTE your product, not hide it from the Public expecting that everyone is just foaming at the mouth for details. WoW did a fantastic job at that, there are references to it everywhere, it became a cultural phenominon that was backed by a great PR firm no doubt. You don't need money to attract players to FFXIV, you need to identify what it is that made people stay away the first time around and sadly to ultimately replicate what has worked with other Games (WoW >.<). Which would mean making it an "Entry-level MMO" that you can just "Hop into and start playing" followed by a massive ad campaign and great reviews by people that know NOTHING about Final Fantasy. Edited, Sep 6th 2009 5:11am by patient