leveling all the classes and crafting at my pace
That's the thing, you don't get to level at your pace, you level at SEs pace. Now I like alts as much as the next guy but I generally play my main to max before I go back and alt, that way I get to play out the story as my character.
Now I hear the occasional person say they like the game and we should quit QQing. Well I do not enjoy the game, and neither do a lot of other people. If you like the game, go play it, nobody is stopping you. The rest of us will continue to voice our opinions until things get fixed.
The bugs in game can be expected, it's a new game and the kinks need to be ironed out. The problem is that the bugs are just the tip of the iceberg. Several core mechanics are poorly designed, or flat out missing.
The crafting system is a big one for me. Many games use a reaction type crafting system, which I have no problem with. The problem is that other games usually give some type of explanation of the system, where here we're expected to blindly fumble through it until we figure it out. Now if they wanted us to figure out recipes through experimentation, I again have no problem with that, but once we discover them we should learn them and be able to access those recipes somewhere. Requiring us to use the good old PnP method is absurd.
Gathering is another one, no explanation of the mini games. While they are easy to figure out, not giving some type of explanation and again, expecting us to blindly fumble through them does not add an element of difficulty to the game, it simply makes it annoying. And the mini games were fun for about the first thirty seconds, after that they just got old. After an hour they were flat out annoying the **** out of me.
I also hear a lot of people excusing the lack of an AH because FFXI didn't have one at launch. Well if they implemented one for FFXI, they obviously realized they needed one. With FFXIV relying so heavily on a character based economy, not having an AH is simply inexcusable. If they were so set on using the bazaar style retainer system, they should have at the very least added a search feature. And since the player based economy seems to be the backbone of the game, having such a poorly designed system is just.....no.
Travel is a bit on the excessive side, and the horrid recharge rate of Anima only compounds the issue. The copy/pasted textures... Once I've run an area enough times I should be able to tell where I am without opening a map. Unfortunately, I end up running past the same texture every minute or so, giving me the feeling that I'm running in circles.
Questing (leves) are disappointing. Requiring me to go to a magic crystal to start a quest, then teleport back to it once I'm done, completely kills the immersion factor for me. On top of that, the quests do nothing for the storyline. ****, they don't even really carry their own storyline. And any sense of immersion I did have gets destroyed by the leve cap.
"Sorry, you smashed those bugs, kicked those fungi, shot those birds enough times for me today, I don't have any work left for you. Oh, and don't bother going to talk to anyone else, I already told them you work too much so they won't give you any work either. Come back in a day or so and maybe I'll let you kill some more bugs."
Now I've been playing MMOs long enough to understand exactly what these things are. Timesinks are how you turn an hours worth of content and stretch it out for a week, but other games at least have enough sense to make these timesinks enjoyable. The excessive travel and that stupid gathering mini game are nothing more than a royal pain.
The MMO industry has been around long enough for companies to know what's excusable and what isn't. Excessive timesinks AND a time based XP cap is NOT excusable. The poorly created, or complete omission of core mechanics and basic features is NOT excusable. What makes it worse is that not only is SE an established gaming company, but this isn't even their first MMO.