So I've only done gridania's story and so far i have -really- liked parts of it, but i just finished the level 26 mission and realized how ridiculous this game actually is.
SPOILERS: UP TO + INCLUDING LVL 26 MISSION
You randomly start in gridania, meet 2 ppl from who knows where and realize you have woodsin.
OK. good start.
You fight an elemental (and its a horribly designed mission which explains nothing)
things keep going well untill just before you are sent to the "secret club". Then you realize that the political situation in gridania is completely random. Nothing is really explained. You aren't told who makes decisions, who has power, etc. There is some priest guy and apparently people look to him, but he doesn't seem to make every decision. In other words, theres a nice story with almost NO background other than wood sin and elementals.
K so then you go to the epic secret club in ul'dah, figure out your some super person who has magical powers to see the past, etc. You pick your partner and wait till lvl 26.
Then at level 26 you have an epic battle with garlean forces to save a sylph egg. Up to this point i dont think anyone has heard of sylphs from ANYWHERE. its like the randomly just stuck them into the game and are like "oh btw, this is a race that lives in the forest". So you do an entire mission where you ...... sneak past garlean forces. This is the biggest joke ever since all you have to do is run by their side. I tried killing one just for fun and guess what.... its like fighting a lvl 20 mob. So the big mighty garlean army has soldier's who can be wtf-pwnd by a rank 26 marauder. Oh, there was also a bunch of those walking airships in the cutscenes that never appeared in the actual mission. Further, the mission doesn't tell you what to do other than reach a certain point, your npc companion DOES NOT HELP YOU AT ALL, and out of all the special spells the sylphs say they will give you, you get TWO.
So overall, up to rank 26 the missions are really lame, and the story is good but has no depth at all and jumps from plot line to plot line. Its kinda like if you skipped from the start of FF7 to halfway through the game ignoring what happens in between, and then skip to the end.
When you compare this to FFXI storylines like COP, TOAU, WOTG, and even the lame mini-expansions like moogle coup d'etat, its a joke....The missions are short, none so far have been anything near epic or cool, and the story is shallow.