Ok, so I've been following FF XIV's development off and on since it was news-released last year. Now that we're so close to the retail date, I was hoping for more information on my biggest concern, but nothing yet, and it has me a little bit concerned with the game in general.
To start off, when reading early interviews it seemed like the development staff was steering towards a game where I could play with my friends at any level that they were, and any level I am, and that we'll both benefit from going out and accomplishing a guild leve or two together. Unfortunately I haven't seen any real confirmations of these early interviews, and since so much has changed since then in the information they've released, I'm hesitant to say "yep, that's the way it's going to be."
Now, I realize that FF XI introduced the level sync system, and that you can largely do what I'm describing in FFXI as it is now. The problem I have with that, at least in terms of FFXI game systems, is that you're severely gimping your higher-level synced job when leveling with lower level players in terms of weapon skill levels etc. What I want to know is whether SE has actually addressed this and made FF XIV more friendly to the "sandbox" playstyle, or if they're caving to fan pressure and just making FF XIV an updated FF XI with the same "korean MMO" (aka grind till you hate the game and want to gouge your eyes out) feel.
I would personally love to see the game have a more "sandbox" feel like the initial interviews seemed to suggest, but the closer we get to release the more it seems like they're departing from that initial design philosophy. Is there anyone who can allay my fears, or are we all in the same boat?