So, I was reading a thread on another forum discussing cities for higher level players, like Jeuno, then Whitegate, which essentially housed all the top level players.
The concern was that when you have cities like those, most players tend to gravitate towards them, which then leaves some of the starter cities feel empty, less alive. It also causes issues where certain areas, i.e. Whitegate, are crowded due to masses of players congregating in one location.
I realize that early on in the MMO life, this shouldn't be too much of a concern, simply due to the fact that there will be many new players who start off in those cities before migrating to a higher level town, should one exist in FFXIV, which I assume there will be.
What wasn't discussed in that thread, is what I felt was one of the main drivers causing that behavior - the Auction House. At this point in time, other than retainers, we don't know exactly how this will work, but I'm sure we'll have a centralized auction house / marketplace system. In FFXI, each starting system had their own Auction House, that maybe one outland area was tied to, i.e. Rabao was tied to Bastok.
Since Jeuno and Whitegate were connected, and that's where the majority of players were, the majority of commerce was within that Auction House. And given the competition on that auction house, similar items were cheaper there then in a starting cities auction house (if there were even there at all). When leveling new jobs and going back to starter cities, you couldn't really buy your low level stuff from starter cities (assuming you didn't keep that stuff, which I didn't) and would constantly be going back and forth.
My preference would be to have one common marketplace that's accessible from all locations offering that service. I think that would help balance the population from residing in one area and make it easier for when you're in starter cities, you don't have to run back to a "Whitegate" because you forgot some sneak oils, thus taking another 10 minutes of time. I can't tell you how many times that happened while playing, and it would be nice to not have to in FFXIV.
Edited, Aug 2nd 2010 5:26pm by KnocturnalOne