I'm going to start off by saying I love this game. I have fun in it and I want to see it succeed. However, almost all the serious problem in open-beta have been ignored.
I'm wondering if anyone else has felt the pain of these problems, and if you think people will quit the game because of some of them.
Problem 1: Economy
There is no viable set-up for an economy. Over time prices will somewhat balance out, but it will be very difficult and time consuming for any adventurer to figure out the prices of various crafting items. A crafter might know what everything is worth but the average gladiator will not.
Consider this. You just got back from leveling and have 70/80 in your inventory. You decide to sell some of your materials that are needed by crafters.... But what is needed? How much is each various item worth? You can only sell a few items at a time on your retainer so which items do you choose to sell?
With no knowledge of past sales, or how much items are selling for you have only a few logical options.
You can run around all 3 cities (or maybe in a week check zam's awesome database) and figure out npc prices. Then price items somewhere inbetween what you could sell the item to an npc for and what the npc is selling the item for.
Or you can /browse every retainer in the wards and copy someone else's price.
Either way is very time consuming and not guaranteed to get you sales.
Therefore, the average person will be discouraged from NPCing -necessary- crafting items. This means crafters will be unable to craft as much without getting the mats for themselves. And this further means there will be less equipment for sale.
Problem 2: Mob Distribution
Unlike FFXI which had multiple starting-zones, FFXIV has one starting area per nation. This results in incredible lag as well as competition to claim mobs. As fun as the game is, no one enjoys spending 5 minutes to find something, only to die because of lag.
This does not improve as levels increase. In the open-beta people kept arguing that SE would change mob-distribution. And they did, but barely. For the most part nothing has really changed (except some agro mobs have been moved out of low level areas). This has resulted in a very poor first 10-levels experience, and will most likely turn a lot of non-mmorpg'ers off of the game.
Problem 3: Lack of quests/zones/immersion
FFXI and many other mmorpgs wrap the player up in their magical fantasy worlds, making them feel like -part- of the game. FF14 on the other hand doesn't. It has some nice "missions" but other than those I don't believe anyone has found any actual story-quests. When you started FFXI you could get like 10+ quests, all which had intricate storylines and interesting characters. Here there is just the main story, and the rest of the game seems to be grinding. And its a -long- grind between story-missions. Further, the token enemy-mobs are nowhere to be seen. FFXI had orcs, quadavs, and yagudo, roaming the starting areas. They presented a greater challenge than average mobs, and they created a sense of an enemy in the game. This game has no real enemy. The story is nice, but it seems like you won't see an actual enemy until level 20+. I have seen the beastmen in gridania, but only 1, and it was probably level 50.
Even more, the villages still seem pretty well useless as of now. They might be included in the storyline later, but they just seem to be there at this point. The game doesn't really get people to explore, or to learn the history of the land, or care about the world they are playing in. Rather it seems to be a very intricate grind-fest with very little immersion.
I can see this turning a lot of final-fantasy players off of this game very quickly (since final fantasy is all about story).
There is serious lack of support/explanation from SE.
There are issues with launch and with bonus items (ex. ive had my ffxi account linked for a while and have had my account active since ffxi's launch, yet i didn't get the hermes shoes)
There is horrible lag around the first camps
There is no explanation about multiple retainers
The bazaar and retainer system is still VERY slow when you consider that SE intends an economy to form around it
People have been having issues with the payment program
There seem to be claim issues with mobs (prob due to the lag)
and probably many more
Once again, I don't mean to criticize the game, I think its wonderful. But many people admitted these were problems, and ignored them using the "its A BETA" argument. It's no longer a beta, and these problems seem to pose a serious threat to user-retention. So again, does anyone else find these same issues to be a problem? And do you think SE will fix them -before- they lose 100s of potential long-term players?