I'd be shocked if it was better by release, to the point where it'd make me want to play the game. I'm really hoping that they're holding out a lot in the beta and come release day everyone will be surprised to see how much there is to do suddenly.
I have strong doubts. That's why I canceled my preorder. Maybe 6 months down the road they'll have the game adjusted and fixed to a point where it's a lot more fun to play. I still am rooting for its success. I want it to be fun and enthralling. I wish I wanted to play the game. From what I've seen so far, they just don't have it yet.
I know this will get karma bombed, but I have to ask. What exactly do you not like? I really have a hard time understanding this from people who played ffxi. The game plays like a more exciting ffxi with better graphics and combat imo. Not to mention, the crafting system has to be one of the most unique and fun in any mmo out there, and there are enough classes to keep even the most DIE HARD players busy. So what exactly DON'T you like? I* really hope it isn't something like "UI lag" or "not enough mobs"...
I'll try to explain if I can. First, a little background. I've been playing FFXI for about 6-7 years now. Obviously, I've enjoyed FFXI a great deal or I wouldn't have played so long or be still subscribing to it. I tried WoW for about a month since some friends were playing and I couldn't stand it. I don't like to pre-order anything. I'm undecided about playing the game, but heavily leaning towards not playing at this point. I've had limited play time in FF14 because their update process is very slow and they keep shutting down a beta phase just as I'm about to be playing it more. I got up to around class level 7-8 or so. I haven't had a chance to try crafting yet. I made it part way through Treasures of the Main before getting too bored with it to bother to continue.
My main complaints (that either aren't easy to fix or aren't likely to be fixed by launch imo):
- It just doesn't feel very innovative to me. I was hoping for more of a leap forward. Progress seems to be mostly from killing mobs over and over again. The guildleves seem like really lame quests that basically boil down to kill # of <insert mob name here> and there are so few on such a long timer that I don't feel like they add much to the game. The mixing of class abilities is somewhat interesting, but I don't feel that it is that revolutionary. The positioning aspects to combat might be interesting, but with lots of lag, there isn't much hope of controlling or even really seeing the positioning. The battle regimens could be interesting, but it doesn't matter if no one parties up. I haven't had a chance to try them yet.
- SE said they wanted an extended beta so that players could have a greater influence in the direction of the game. IMO, they are not actually interested in feedback from the players at all. They have a particular idea of how they want the game and input from the players is just not important to them. This was one of the most frustrating things from FFXI as glaring flaws that could be easily fixed were either not addressed or addressed only after lingering for years.
- SE has been doing a poor job with FFXI lately adding truly terrible game mechanics (such as trial of the magians), drastically worsening customer support by requiring esoteric payment methods, and having lackluster add-ons (such A Crystaline Prophecy, A Moogle Kupo'detat, and A Shantatto Ascension).
- There is no particular reason to join a party and no one seems to be joining parties. The option to solo is nice, but the real attraction of an MMO to me is getting to play with different people that bring different play styles to bear. The main source of variety in FFXI was the people and jobs you had in your party. Without a party, it is all very repetitive. The party search functionality seems a bit clunky.
- The difficulty scaling is way off. I couldn't find anything that wasn't either a super easy kill or a guaranteed death. I want some challenge with a possibility of either victory or defeat. Rewards don't seem to scale with difficulty, so the most efficient method seems to be killing weak, boring stuff.
- Mages seems very unbalanced compared to melee. I tend to like playing mage classes and the lack of any way to restore MP except via aethyryte (at least at low level) crippled them into nothing more than a spirit dart (or equivalent) spammer. Advancement also seems slower for mages. I tried playing some melee classes after struggling with the mage classes for a while and it was like night and day. The melee jobs just cruised through mobs like a hot knife through butter and could basically full heal with just a few seconds in passive mode.
Add that on top of the stuff they could potentially fix easier and I'm having a hard time getting excited about this game. Which is too bad, since I was really looking forward to it before.