I know I will most likely get a few slams from this post, and most likely a few name callers, but I feel the need to voice my opinion about this game, I have my flame retardant armor on ;)
First of all, my fiancee is a rabid fan of FF, having played FFXI for years, and now playing this one. I have always loved gaming.. played many different things off and on over the years, and I was excited to share his enthusiasm over this game. I started with FFXI, poked around a bit, but life changed and I didn't really have the time to play.. on to now..
I have to say entering this game as a new player with no real FF experience at all is near impossible! I found it to be extremely un welcoming in general with not even the slightest hint as to how to accomplish the simplest tasks including walking! I, having played other games in the past, managed to work out the basics but beyond that I am lost.. without my fiancee sitting over my shoulder explaining the command keys etc, I would have lost interest in the first few minutes of play!
I am aware of the minimal guides put out by SE, and have read through a few of them.. but herein lies the next problem.. every stinking time I decide I might be judging unfairly, and decide to give it one more chance.. there is some type of emergency maintenance, the server is down for whatever reason.. this can of course be pinned on this being a new game and them working out the bugs but I distinctly remember all the down time my fiancee had with FFXI as well!
To end my vent, I believe FF has a strong enough fan base to survive for many years more.. I agree, this is an amazing game graphically, and possibly even in play.. I wouldn't know as I haven't had the patience to bother. However, I believe SE is missing a huge chunk of new player income from people like me who come into the game with an open mind, only to be frustrated and shut out by the lack of direction and ability to interact. Just had to get that out there. On a good note, I do appreciate and admire those of you who love the game, and make it what it is with all your hard work!