But it is about 5 years behind the norm in user-friendliness.
Maybe we've been spoiled too much. But you know what, I'm no genious and I (don't recall) being part of the SE development team and I'm fairly certain I never worked on making FFXIV - so how come the first time I played the game I knew what to do? For one, its not hard to open up the menu, sit there for a couple minutes and figure out what each option does. Second, the game starts out with a battle tutorial with little blurbs over your head that explain to you how to draw/sheathe your weapon, how to engage and enemy, how to target and lock on and what not...Third, after the opening sequence, you are then hand held by an NPC that tells you exactly what you should be doing (get a guildleve, go to first camp, etc.)...when you go to get a guildleve, there is a section that says "TUTORIAL LEVES", if you're lost, I would choose that first. On top of that, if you click on an crystal it has explanations of a few things as well if you care to read - plus the adventurer's guild also has explanations on some stuff. Moreover, every leve points you exactly in the direction of the monster(s) you'll be fighting, so you can't even get lost.
1.) Opening sequence tutorial on standard battle issuing.
2.) NPC telling you what to do/ where to go next.
3.) Adventurer's guild has tutorial leves to help out some more.
3.a) Adventurer's guild has explanations on certain things in the game.
4.) Tutorial leve teaches you about the crystals, what they do, how to battle, and how to travel back and claim reward after leve (so this is twice they taught you how to fight).
5.) Leve show you exactly where to go to get your target. Leve explanations tell you exactly where to activate the leves at.
6.) The only thing left is for SE to hire a 1:1 player:GM ratio and the GM will guide you through the entire game.
*so again, the only thing not really explained, for a noob, is how to "Return" when you die.
As for controls, they take getting used to just as any other game. And as for UI, they're building this game for both PC and PS3, unfortunately they want both to have same UI so that one we'll have to suck it up. I rambled on long enough i'm starting to bore myself, but anyway this is my view on it...and no need for your snarky remarks. And what does lag have to do with "user friendliness", lag has nothing to do with that and everything to do with this still being a beta...unfortunately many of you still don't grasp this concept.