I guess the updates being on order of 100MB was completely unnecessary on SE's part in FFXI, hopefully they will fix this for FFXIV.
Your looking at this from the complete wrong side. These patches will be even larger. Detailed textures take more space to store and transfer. The problem isn't even with the size of the updates. The problem is the server locations and method they use for patching. On the lowest end cable and dsl connections you should be able to get 100MB downloaded in under 5 minutes.
I'm just thinking that new textures will be fairly rare in regular updates, new areas and monsters would be reserved mostly for expansion packs in which case you would get a new dvd with the large textures on it. The reason I suspect that FFXI's updates were so large was partially due to the fact that they would re-download an entire file even if only something small has changed in the file.
Thanks for all the inputs and discussion on this topic. So to summarizing what's been said:
1) Make updates smaller by not needing to transfer entire files when only a small part of the file has changed.
2) Make use of a peer-to-peer bittorrent like system. Restrict users upload bandwidth so that it does not affect gameplay.
3) Still have official servers with direct download.
4) Have localized mirrors with direct download.
5) Allow an encrypted version of the update to be downloaded early, and it will be unencrypted on the day the update is applied. It would be awesome if the update could be seamlessly downloaded in the background and applied while you are playing FFXIV. Then when the update cutover happens, it would be just like flipping a switch and now you're playing with the updated version. (wishful thinking)
I'm hoping SE does at least some of the things listed above.