First, I would like to apologize for staunchly defending this awful game for the last few weeks. It doesn't deserve it, and I don't know what I was thinking. I believe I was enamored of the sparkly new game, and wanting with all my heart to find some element of the game(aside from the gorgeous graphics) worth paying 13$ a month.
I just can't find it.
The graphics are awesome, and the idea behind the leveling system(character skill customization) is nice, but that's exactly where the pleasantries end.
I love crafting. I've done it in every single MMO I've played over the years, and FFXIV showed a real promise in this area, moving the crafters to the forefront and making them main classes, rather than subclasses. Except the implementation is awful.
Crafting shouldn't consist of clicking so many windows.
First, you equip your tool(s), then you open your main meu. From here, you proceed to select Synthesize. Following this selection, you wait for your character to assume the position(did you remember to pay for synthesis support? If not, get back up and go talk to that repair npc before continuing, because otherwise, even trying to craft a lvl 1 synth, you're going to have ridiculous hurdles if you want a successful synth).
After you've paid for synthesis support and assumed the position, it's now time to begin loading your ingredients in the boxes(anywhere from 1-8 ingredients...and hopefully it's only one, because otherwise, you'll be searching up and down through your inventory for each ingredient, and this takes some time).
After you've selected your ingredients, you're at the point where you hit your first confirmation button( we won't count all those buttons you had to hit to select the number of ingredients for your synthesis, even though there could have been up to eight of those selections, which would have been 24 clicks if you needed 8 different ingredients!).
After confirming ingredients, you now move on to confirm which recipe you plan to use from the list of available recipes for those ingredients. Thereafter, you are asked to confirm once again. After this confirmation of the recipe, you confirm that that was the recipe you had wanted to select, after which, you must again confirm that you intend to craft the given item and use the necessary crystals/shards from your inventory as well.
Finally, we've moved on to the minigame of crafting(because all those confirmation windows were not a game to me, nor should they be to you). You will now continue to click any of your various options(standard/rapid/bold/wait/class specific "luck" buff with a fun little "ching!" sound and flash...And believe me, there is nothing Rapid about rapid. it takes just as long as the other animations, and only sometimes gives a great degree of progression).
You'll click your various selections until completion or failure, which can be anywhere from 4-10 or more clicks, depending on how quick and successful you are.
There. You crafted. And got SP for your crafting class, but not very much, because the synths that give good SP are damned near impossible, even if you're supposedly in the proper rank lvl to be crafting them(and this is all with appropriate-leveled crafting gear for your level, buffs from NPCs, and food buffs).
Now it's time to do all that again.
I'm not saying it should be as simple as Wow. Pulling up a recipe, selecting "craft all", and then going out for a smoke does not a crafting class make.
But 413 confirmation windows, and 2,037 clicks later and you have 12 Beeswax does not make a crafting class either.
Sorry, I'm a little bitter from all the money I spent to build a system to meet the standards of a game that doesn't meet the standards of even the worst MMOs out on the market today.
This post was merely a warning to anyone thinking this game might be worth paying for right now.
It's also a warning to the people hanging on until the end of the first free month. Cancel a few days earlier, because SE will no doubt have the registration servers down for maintenance when the billing cycle comes up, so they can lock the waiters in to another month of billing (more money SE does not deserve).
Best of luck to the adventurers who remain steadfast and stand by the game, but Bravo! to the ones who walk away now and wait until SE fixes a LOT of issues before resubbing to Timesink, the MMO.