I played the open beta, and was disappointed in the overall gameplay mechanics. However, I'm considering giving it another look based on some of the threads I've read here which seem to indicate there is a lot of hidden stuff in the game that is difficult to access or otherwise not explicitly indicated anywhere.
Is this true? For example, NPCs, locations, hidden quests, hidden cool items. I kinda like the idea of partying and going out and exploring for the sake of exploring, because at the moment I feel the mainline quests and guildleves leave much to be desired, and I just didn't understand the market system enough to bother with crafting. One of my qualms with other MMOs is that everything has already been done or found, and gameplay really is about following steps you found on-line to acquire supergear. I'm not interested in that - when I play FF games, I always play without a walkthrough and do my best to get as much of the hidden content without any help whatsoever. I love that aspect of FF games - there is so much to find. However, the point of an MMO, obviously, is multiplayer, and if the "hidden" content really isn't hidden, and all the other players already know it (because it's been broadcast across the main chat or forums), then I'll just be going out of my way to ignore chat and forum messages and will have a dandy of a time finding people to party with.
Did FFXI have lots of hidden content that wasn't all uncovered 2-3 weeks after launch?