No offence to the OP but I dont understand why you're asking this.
FFXI had a decent-ish storyline in the first few ranks and not much else. All you did was grind. At level 20 you had no idea how awesome the storyline was gonna be come rank 7+.
It's about enjoying the journey, and seeing where it will take you. Don't get me wrong, I loved FFXI, but during the grind between levels 1-12 and in the dunes between 12-20, none of us had any idea what we were doing it for. Besides, the storylines seem pretty strong at the minute, it has a 'calm before the storm' feel to it.
I disagree, in FFXI we knew from the moment we logged in and watched the opening movie that we were at war against the beastmen. In sandoria we were constantly under attack by orcs and gobs. There was even on orc outpost right next to the main city.
FFXIV from the opening movie looks like they're saying, ok at first it's gonna be monster hunter online but someday you'll fight a big monster maybe.
And I'm definately getting a hint of what happened with tavnazia in the later half of the opening movie when he's riding on the flying thing.