This game could be like FFXI was, too, but SE wants to broaden their playerbase, so its not a wise move to scare away the casuals yet again.
Yeah, and what people seem to forget is that SE is a company, and they spent a lot of money creating this game (probably hundreds of millions) - and although hardcore folks don't like to believe it - most people in the world have other things to do than play a videogame for 10 hours a day. Therefore, in order to make the money to pay for the game development - SE needs lots of casual subscriptions.
Call us carebears or whatever - but casual players are a way bigger pool than hardcore players AND we use less server resources and use content slower (which means we won't be whining in two weeks that there isn't enough endgame or whatever)
Also the attitude I've seen some people have "I don't want people that don't play 10 hours a day to think they are as good as me" doesn't help anything. Do you think that SE would rather have your single subscription than 100 subs from people who have less time to play? Do you think SE wants to reward you for driving subs away with your arrogant attitude?
I think that the system needs a lot of work and it needs to be balanced better, but I am honestly happy there could be one MMO out there that isn't WoW which is AAA and casual friendly.
You know what my girlfriend said when I told her about surplus exp?
"I like these developers! What a good idea!"
She doesn't game, and she is glad that there will be a system in place that allows me to enjoy the game without giving up the rest of my life.
I bet there are players out there that will sell this as a feature to their non gamer significant others - or teenagers that sell their parents on the game by telling them there is a feature in place to help prevent addiction.
There are tons of games out there that cater to hardcore players. I DO feel bad for the people out there that were really looking forward to this game who are now afraid they won't enjoy it.
However, I honestly think it won't be as bad as some people think it is going to be, and I really hope a balance can be found between people like me who have partners and jobs and friends but still want to enjoy the game without being shut out of parties and the economy and people who want to play all day every day.
In the end people who want to play all day every day may go to another MMO. That would be sad, but I think that just on a business level - it makes way more sense to make the game enjoyable for people with lives outside of gaming (we are the majority) than to cater to the small minority who SOMEHOW can afford to game endlessly.