Apparently this was supposed to be the case. I haven't played FFXI in earnest so I can't really say just how much of a grindfest it was but from what I am seeing of FF14 its grindy enough. Maybe its just my definition of what grinding in MMOs is like.
Currently I am a gladiator rank 17 with thaum, conj, pug, maurader and lancer leveled to around 10 with plans to level conj and thaum further to 16. But right now I am just focusing on my gladiator as leveling any sub classes further at this point would be fruitless as I don't have the action points to include those skills. So I am alternating between gladiator and crafting, armourer 15, smith almost 12 and goldsmith 10. That task atm is proving to be difficult enough and takes up the majority of my FF14 experience and I am thinking that when the time comes for me to go back and level my sub classes up this task is going to be twice as difficult. Not to mention I am finding it extremely difficult at this point in time to find inventory and retainer space so I can retain the mats for crafting.
So the original purpose of this thread. Does anyone else feel that FF14 isn't aimed at casual gamers? I certainly feel that way. I am not complaining however, just making an observation. I like the challenge FF14 has presented although at the moment crafting seems to take up too much time. There doesn't seem to be any other option for me regarding this. Seems like if I want armour for my gladiator it just has to be done.