I have been playing the OB off and on when I have time and I still have some basic questions.
1) Where exactly can I hire a retainer? At the moment I am playing in Limsa and I went through Hawkers Alley and couldn't seem to find the place to hire one
At the moment I don't really get the retainer system. In theory I can understand what SE is trying to do, but it pretty much seems to fly in the face of what they are campaigning this game around. A retainer system seems to be much less "casual friendly" than a simple auction house. Attempting to find and locate retainers to purchase items, then having to send out your items via retainers and bazaars will seemingly take an enormous amount of time, which may make the game less appealing to the casual player who does not have time for such things.
2) What is the most effective and efficient way to repair gear?
I read from one of the NPC's that you can get it done at the shop for a price and a loss of durability, or you could try to throw it up in your bazaar in the hopes that some passing craftsman will fix it. If those don't work then you can repair it yourself. Again, in theory, this system sounds cool. In practice, I think it will be very troublesome and time consuming, which may again alienate the casual gamer.
3) How can we get recipes in the game for crafting?
I know that SE would like us to try out all the various classes and try our hand at becoming master craftsmen. The problem for me has been once I try a crafting class there is usually one or two leve quests where I get maybe 1 recipe. After that is complete there is no direction and I have no idea where to acquire new recipes in the game. Maybe I am just unobservant and there is a recipe vendor somewhere, but I think transparency in this area would really promote crafting in this game.
4) Can anyone recommend a good server?
I've been playing on Rabanaster and so far have only gotten two other players to chat with me. I am sure it probably has much to do with the fact that I play during Japanese prime time, but people in general just don't seem very social. For me, the friendly social environment of XI was one of the best things about the game. I really miss that type of community and hope to see it return during XIV.