FYI I have played since B2, and admittedly I thought exactly as you do at first. Now, after many tweaks and patches, the xp has improved.. Since I play as a conjurer I can tell you that YOU DO get xp for healing now, just not for healing yourself. And I have to imagine that your groups arent necessarily balanced correctly, meaning you dont necessarily have the correct group make-up. (In groups I've noticed that only gladiator can decently hold any kind of hate, and to heal without killing the healer its nice to have a thaum and con sharing the work) Furthermore, I suspect that the tough you are fighting are either nannygoats or billygoats, these mobs are seriously overpowered atm. Explore a little more, find leeches or jellyfish that con orange... you'll have an easier time.
Yes, I'm sure my party makeup did need work. I'll totally agree on that. But be that as it may, I'd like to get back to the original topic. The XP system for classes is a poor design. No matter if you are solo, or in a perfect group, you will get more skillups by spamming you "1" key, than using your abilities. You will get more skillups by using a worse weapon than a better one. That just seems wrong. Maybe I just need to look at this as a more casual game, and need to just accept that poor players and good players will gain the same amount of XP, but it just seems like the system is rewarding laziness. :(
Best skillups while solo come from mobs that are fairly dangerous to fight, not standing around like a twit with a crappy weapon whacking away at a mediocre mob thinking that more hits over time yields more skillups so you're being brilliant when really you're just being lame. Skill points in XIV work very, very similar to weapon skillups in XI. There's a window for each skill range relative the level of mobs you can fight to get the most frequent skillups possible. If your skill level is too high, the skillups come very slowly. If your skill level is too low, the skillups come fairly quickly on a per hit basis, but you miss an awful lot so it seems that they come more slowly. That's operating in ranges outside the window. Within that window, where you're around the same level as the mobs, you're hitting fairly often and you're in the sweet spot for maximum skillups/hit.
It's the same in XIV. Skillups come slowly (and for lesser amounts) when you are fighting mobs considerably below your rank. Beyond a certain point, fighting mobs roughly equivalent to your rank can become difficult to do solo. But if you group to try and kill those same mobs, now you're splitting what would have been great skillups for one person with a larger number of people. So if you want to group and you want optimal skillups you need to push a little harder and fight mobs that are a challenge for your group to fight, not chump easy for your group but suddenly worth fighting because at least you can kill the mobs without dying like you would on your own.
That means that for solo skillups, your best bet is to get the best weapon you can find to reduce the risk of dying while fighting more challenging mobs (because you've got a better chance of killing them before they kill you) and fly at it. You'll land fewer hits/mob than you would if you tried to cheese out by using a lower potency weapon, but in the end it balances out.
The goal is to play the game, and part of the reward in doing so is that your character progresses. If fun in the game for you is exploiting every opportunity to level/skill up as fast as you possibly can, good for you. Just please don't think for even half a second that your superficial focus in conjunction with your general ignorance is justification for things to change.
Adjusting mob tuning? I'm all for it. Changing the base system for skillups and xp at this point? No. Edited, Sep 14th 2010 2:08pm by Aurelius