I played both WoW and FFXI for quite some time.
People immediately talk **** about WoW when it is mentioned because it's easy to pick up and play, which in my opinion, is a bonus for those who chose and like to play it. That's what they want. The real success behind WoW, though - in my opinion again - is the freedom of movement with the skills. No other game has that freedom WoW does to such a high standard. The game has been polished over quite a few years and with it the game is smooth. Smooth in a way that raids flow, battlegrounds get stomped and fun can be had.
That said, it does have its flaws. After being out for so long it is currently undergoing a change of direction. It's going more and more pussymode - gear is easy to get. With only awful new battlegrounds (like what, 2 in 4 years or something?) they are mind numbing. Boring. Crafting is ****. Arena is repetitive (and I loved arena, was the only reason I actually played. I'm a sucker for PvP - trying to outsmart your opponent is something I find fun) and once you've got the t-shirt and realise there's some comps you cant beat, and strategies for the rest (which undoubtedly change each match but are fundamentally the same) on the same maps over and over - what are you left with? The raids are getting easier and it's been a steady downhill slope since just after the sunwell patch. Just my two cents. Pennies actually, i'm English. It was certainly not perfect on release!
There is no point in *ever* comparing the two as the only real similarity is that they are both MMO's - which sounds more of a big deal than it is. FFXI, and hopefully XIV in time to come, have their own set of awesomes. The community is much more mature as a whole and much more varied - people are nicer, I dont have to ******** PvE players with my arena rating to stop them talking ****. The PvE is, although a bit grindy in places, a very pleasant system. Crafting was, and is amazing and the music is absolutely brilliant. Awesome. Even the bad ones. I'm still waiting to play (fu thursday) so I can't really comment but there do seem to be a lot of things missing or wrong at the moment with the game. I'm 90% sure it won't flop because by the time the PS3/4/5 whatever they are on now release is out, they will have hopefully taken in all this whinging (and some definately seems valid!) (how the **** do you spell whinging?)and fixed the main points the community as a whole has a problem with.
Im eager to see what the deal is with XIV but slightly apprehensive in case I do find these niggles something major (which I probably doubt). I will see clearly, once the rain has gone. I'll see all obstacles in my way. I'll stop there as I don't know any more of the song but whatever. The question this really raises with me is that after 8 odd years of MMO 'sculpting' and improvement - why not absorb some of those ideas and take them into the launch of the next MMO? They are aware of these things, why they are required and what makes the game 'tic'. It's like me going to work every day for 8 years at a fishing company, then swapping to the next only to start as if i've never seen a river before.
I appreciate this is tl;dr wall of text, but TL;DR: I think they released the game unfinished and we're still Beta until the consoletard release. I think the evidence suggests it and if you look around the forum it seems to be the general opinion of the masses. I'm sure its a good base and i'd like to get in and play (fu thursday) but im also sure if you have patience the game will only grow into something a little more beautiful.
There's no point replying to this guy harshly, but then again there's no point in him posting in such a harsh way. IMO was a good release time, but wish they had added in a few essentials that the forums are talking about.