Well, I'm a very longtime fan of Final Fantasy, and love the classic ones as much as the new ones. I even love the weird ones like Mystic Quest and Adventure/Legend 1-3 which aren't even actual Final Fantasy games.
The one major Final Fantasy I haven't "beaten", or even gotten very far in, is FFXI. I just wasn't in a situation to play it when it was new, and by the time I finally tried it just a year or so ago, I was only able to reach about level 27 (MNK)/14 (WAR) before really giving up. I even had a friend that was an oldbie that wanted to make a new guy, but he ended up bulleting past me to like level 60 within those few weeks I was able to play. He got me into a linkshell that seemed pretty active but it pretty much just did valkrum forever, all the way up to 75, whereas I wanted to get out and explore this game I'd been missing for years. I dunno, I just kinda lost interest really badly when I realized that seemingly a massive percentage of the game was made up of super veterans who would literally kick you if you didn't have and know how to use all these crazy various sets of equipment and know about all these weaponskill chains and all this other stuff. It seemed that I was "too late" to really get into the game.
Well, I've been psyched for FFXIV for a long time, since I first heard of its existence I've been dead-set on playing it as soon as humanly possible. For once in my life, I'd like to play a major MMO from the very beginning; I've actually played many other MMOs, both small and large, P2P Western and F2P Korean and everything in between, but most of them I don't stick with that long, or "give up on" similarly to FFXI, for among other reasons difficulty running the game, difficulty finding friends to play with or who stay interested long and difficulty finding good mature players in the game itself, or as stated before, getting into the game "too late". Well, I have a PC now that's absolutely capable of running FFXIV very well as proven by the benchmark, and my own older brother--who's never even played an MMO before--plans to jump into FFXIV at the PS3 release. And I have a funny feeling I'll make a lot of good friends in the community if it's remotely mature--EverQuest II was probably my favorite MMO just due to the maturity and kindness of the community, and I've heard from many people that they experienced very similar vibes in FFXI in its earlier years, so I'm hoping it holds true for XIV.... so basically, everything looks fantastic, perfect for me to really sink my teeth into with XIV.
However... just the fact that I didn't ever get that into FFXI, or learn all that much about it outside the basics, keeps bothering me. I get this bad feeling that I'm going to run into a lot of people from FFXI that STILL keep that elitist attitude and feel that they're going to feel like "oldbies" in FFXIV even when it's freshly-released, due to their experience in its predecessor. Even if the gameplay's different enough that I needn't worry about people seriously knowing more about it than me when we're all first starting out, I can tell from such things as Square-Enix's decison to keep the races nearly identical and other such "ties" to FFXI that there's a heavy intention to make the FFXI veterans feel comfortable, and though I completely understand the wisdom behind that choice, it ends up making me a little uncomfortable. Y'know? I guess I just need someone to tell me that I shouldn't worry, and maybe give me a reason why. I mean, I probably know more about Final Fantasy in general and MMOs in general than a lot of the guys that'll be playing, anyway, it's just ... I guess FFXI's elitism was just such a bad deal to me. I just wanna be able to make a bunch of friends who aren't like that.
And I truly apologize for making such a massive post, I know most people probably won't read it, but I've been lurking around here today, reading a whole lot of stuff, and it seems that you guys are pretty mature and have made a bunch of long thoughtful posts, so maybe one or two of you will be able to handle my textwalling, lol.