So, I was pretty excited about the 9/30/10 release date of the game, as I've been following this fairly closely since E3 2009. And I felt the entire gambit of emotions posted in the new threads started today. I checked online for prices of new computer systems as I intended to start the game off on PS3, since my iMac is, unfortunately, locked into its 3 year old graphics card. It took me until just now to realize I needed a reality check.
On 9/22 or 9/30/10 - Thousands of people will be creating accounts, servers will be congested and more than likely there will be times where you can't log in, there will be server maintenance ironing out bugs and server upgrades. We'll probably get that in March, too. Lower level areas will be over camped, there will be a lot of discovery about how things work, how they don't work, the wiki knowledge base will grow by leaps and bounds and those who log in a little later will have that as a reference. Also, by that time, I would assume some kind of FFIXVah.com will be up and running and we'll be able to examine some sort of gaming economy and make a wise choice as to where we would like to go. Linkshells (or..err.. what ever they will be called in XIV) will have time to be established so it will be easier to become part of a stable community.
In my years of playing FFXI (which.. I retired from, again, officially now) I have seen people start the game 7 years after the release. While they do not get the same experience as the community that started from the beginning they do get to experience the game. Of course there is no "magic tingly feeling" that you have when you're playing the game for the first time along others that have just started... I think I'll have that "magic and tingly feeling" in March, should I decide FFXIV is for me.
Square-Enix is separating the release dates for PS3 and PC. No amount whining, shouting, crying, belly-aching, account canceling, Santeria, voodoo, hexes or hungry strikes will change that. But what also will not change is this: When you log on on March 2011 you'll have hundreds of new PS3 players to experience the newness with you. There will always be people further along in the story than you are, and you'll bound to be further along in some aspect of the game then the guy next to you. There will be people who create accounts before you and people will create accounts long after you. Expansions will roll out. And in a years time no one will care if you started in September '09 or March '10.
I'll ask you a question.... Assuming you play an MMO now... look at the people in your own guild or shell. Did you all start in the same month? The same year?