I was thinking back on when I first started playing FFXI. I started playing at the NA PC release, and back then the people you tended to interact with were new to the game (obviously not the JPs and the folks who were in the beta).
I also get the impression (rightly or wrongly) that most people who played FFXI back then had not played MMORPGs before. So FFXI was their first experience. Now, to me, the feeling of adventure was very much alive in those days. It was fun to explore for the sake of it, people could be amazed at SMNs who had more than just Carbuncle, seeing people in AF was really cool, travelling to Selbina (via the ferry) from Windurst was a real journey etc etc.
How will it be in FFXIV? I must say I'm kinda afraid that the cynicism of having played FFXI for so long (where, at a certain point, you lose the "blue-eyed" view of the world) will be brought into FFXIV and result in people starting the hunt for loot and equipment right away, and start racing like crazy to whatever endgame there will be.
A large part of why I was interested in FFXIV in the first place was to experience that sense of wonder, and the pure and innocent fun-factor of exploring a new world. But I worry that we'll start seeing whining of how unbalanced the classes are right from the start, how this and that great sucks so much and omg how can you wear that piece of equip, how <insert whatever endgame event might be present> is a big waste of time etc.
In short, do you think the FFXIV playerbase might "grow up" too quickly? Or that there will be to much of that "leet" mentality where everyone thinks the only fun is to be had at the endgame?