The surplus is simply an unfinished system in the beta. The surplus points that you get don't slow down your exp-- they're a "consolation prize" of sorts for the fact that your xp has slowed down. It's just that right now, you can't see how many you have or spend them on anything.
Surplus *was* a finished system. They made it, got it to within a few minor tweaks of being happy with it. It was ready to go. They are only thinking about changing it now because of the outrage. Surplus points were never a consolation, their original intentions were to do nothing but show you how much you are losing for sticking to one class.
Actually, there is less game to play. The people who race to cap are going to bypass lower level content to the point that it is obsolete. It's still there, but is no longer a part of the game for them. They have no incentive to work for decent midlevel gear-- they'll level straight past that content. If they go back and do lower level events at higher levels, the difficulty won't be scaled to them, and that will result in less challenge and less game. Why do Camp Bearded Rock leves when you can do Skull Valley leves instead? The faster you reach higher levels, the fewer Bearded Rock leves will be done and the more Skull Valley leves will be done. This is a typical trend in MMOs, and results in the same total amount of playtime being distributed unevenly towards endgame content.
I think we're on the same page here of understanding, but have different opinions about it. We both agree the content doesn't disappear, but you're calling it obsolete. I disagree, when my Dragoon was in the 60s, I still leveled summoner and bard in sarutabaruta or Ronfur. My point was people are still going to level conj up to make the most of their thurm, but if they do that at level 10, or at level 30, should really be their own choice IMO.
With your comment that having a boosted phys level would allow people to skip leve area 1, for leve area 2, well I would argue that was a problem with the physical level system.
And of course most playtime is spent at the endgame. Once you're capped your stuck there. You can't spend but too much time at any mid level content because you bypass it.
Yes, people could have, but they wouldn't. Let's not blatantly ignore human nature. You "could" keep leveling one class to cap-- it'd simply take you ten times longer than if you spread out your playtime. Why would you choose not to? Probably because it's not very productive progress towards your goals. And because almost everyone's primary goals are the same-- to reach endgame-- most everyone has difficulty justifying many side trips that don't work towards reaching the level cap. And now, they don't have nearly as much justifying to do.
As a simple example of these concepts, most people would probably LIKE to do the mission-style quests for all three of the nations, but that will take time away from their main goal to max their level. So they'll maybe do one of these, and/or they'll just come back to them after they reach their goal of capping their level. Only at this point, the content will be something they blow through BECAUSE they are at cap.
With the surplus system, those same people can easily justify capping a couple of classes for the week, and then doing all of the quests available to them, and then raising some money on better gear, and maybe then helping out a friend. Before, they would do nothing but grind to cap, completely surpassing all of that.
Of course, the system only works for the people who can appreciate what it does, but it shouldn't ruin the game for anyone. If grinding to cap is honestly the only part of the game you'll enjoy, you can still do that. Not being able to do it as much as you want shouldn't ruin the fun for you. It's not really any different than any other type of content on a timer. You couldn't do Dynamis, Assaults, Apollyon/Temenos, Einherjar or Salvage as much as you wanted to, either.
I can fully understand why people don't like the system, but it is largely a matter of perspective, rather than an inherently broken game mechanic. It's certainly not going to ruin the game.
You are right, some people wouldn't. And that shouldn't bother anyone. If a guy wants to skip a bunch of content, spend 3 months leveling up to cap before Star War's new MMO comes out, I think he should be able to. Maybe i want to level my lancer to 40, before going back and picking up some of the pugilist abilities I'd like to have. Maybe I'm so sick of skull rock and want to see the next zone, but I can't. Maybe my friend's level 20, I'm 17, but i can't quite catch up because I'm surplused down to 20% exp, or "capped" at 1%.
as far as surplus shouldn't ruin the game for people, I agree. I'll modify my play to fit within it, but other's wont. It'll alienate people away from the game, and I'll be sad to see that happen. I don't see a problem with timer/lockouts for endgame content, because thats all there is, you're already at the top of a ladder. However, if I'm out questing on Em mobs that gave 200exp each 2 hours ago, and give 150 now, it should be because I progressed past them, and not because the software thinks I've had more than my share.
I think most of your arguments are against "hardcore", rush to cap, finish all available end game content and complain the game is to short types of players. I agree that they'll miss out, but they're also not likely to be the players who doddle around leveling DoL and DoH jobs, since the cap on those is going to upset them just as much as the cap on DoW/DoMs. They're going to miss most of any game they play, and either their fine with it, or its their loss. Me I'm the kind of player who will get to most of it one day, but I'd rather choose when. I don't like that I can't play extra during thanksgiving break when I have the extra time. (and I should add, that by play, I mean play how I want, I'm aware I could go ***** around on some class I'm not interested in).
I still think the whole system is a slow raising level cap in disguise, in which case I'm angry. Or its a misguided attempt to reward players who play various classes (which I'm fine with, but surplus is a poor way of doing that).