I find it pretty **** sad that over half of the people posting in gamespot's thread, claiming for XIV to be SE's downfall, will turn into nothing but hypocrites once the game gets polished. Otherwise you wouldn't be here, whining about it. You'd uninstall and get on with your life.
The game's obviously not finished, it was pushed through to beat wow's release date. Proof of this are the lack of item sorting, chatting tabs, proper chat commands (control R doesn't function as intended for example), 80 character limit. This was obviously not a flaw in design, just that we got a place holder for an UI as they focused on making the game's mechanics functional for release (SE already announced a huge UI rehaul which hasn't been implemented, closed alpha tester here, take my word for it).
So the real question is, do you like its foundations?
I like how I can log in, do some leves and log out. It has completely eliminated the need for grinding, without actually getting rid of grinding itself for the players who don't mind it. On FFXI you needed at least 3 hours of your time to do the minimum.
Some people also complained about the lack of NPC started quests to make a more involving environment. Case is, XIV isn't missing this. Main storyline and guild quests are there. Quest have a separate tab from leves. Its just a matter of lack of content.
The graphics are stunning, but they lack in personality. Nothing's really eye gripping. But lets keep in mind XI was released in america with an expansion on it. I can't wait for what they come up with once they aren't being rushed by release dates and fixes.
I find the current areas to be more on par with aht urhgan's first and basic areas than with gustaberg and ronfaure. That's a serious step up for a game that was rushed into release.
The background music is simply beautiful. No room for discussion there.
This is a heavily social reliant game hindered by the placeholder that was placed as user interface, dealing a huge blow on the partying system. That aside the partying system permits a lot of flexibility.
You aren't boxed into a set number of players, or specific jobs to get a party going. However, you will find that the most productive way of partying is to follow the old XI setup (but not being able to comply with it doesn't forbid you from playing the game).
On a final note, the exping system is ****** up. The best way to get skill points is doing the most actions while dealing the least damage, dragging out the battles as long as you are able to. This might have made sense on XI skill up parties where the skills were a separate thing, but here on XIV your class rank seems to be more important than your physical level.
In conclusion, I do like what SE has prepared here. This game is too green, but as far as green games go, its potential seems incredible. Yes, you paid for the game, yes, you are paying for a monthly subscription, and yes you are entitled to play a full game. But this isn't the case. Get out or get over it.