the UI is clunky true, but its not unplayable.
That's true, it is pretty bad, but you can still play in it. For me though, I'm just not willing to subject myself to a bad UI again
from SE in a MMO. FFXIV is actually worse than FFXI, at that. That's more shocking than anything, I would've thought that having developed FFXI they'd take their good ideas and build on them, while taking the bad ideas and reworking them.
At least in FFXI, I had windower to get around some of the poor implementation. Between spellcast, scripting, and my G15 keyboard I actually was able to get by the UI enough that when I was playing the game I was actually playing the game, not maneuvering through a UI to play. Not only is SE more aggressive about stopping developers that make tools that allow me to put up with the game, but they're even going back on things like gear swaps and not allowing those in combat at all.
None of the problems in FFXIV make the game unplayable, but after playing FFXI for 5 years I was looking for something better than that if I was going to keep paying SE money. My main dealbreaker was that if SE hadn't learned from their public relations blunders in FFXI I probably wouldn't play. Things like horrendous customer service and isolating the developers from the players. There has been no change at all in how SE interacts with its users, and the quality of the game has actually degraded.
I could still play the game, but honestly SE hasn't earned a subscription fee from me. I'm voicing my opinion to SE the only way I know that actually has any impact, with my money. In the long run, maybe if enough people voiced their opinion with their wallets, SE would be hit hard enough that they'd start opening up their dev team, start seriously taking player feedback into account, and releasing prompt fixes to problems rather than sit on them in silence for weeks/months like they've done so far. That's asking an awful lot of SE and I really don't think they have it in them to do it. Not without firing all of their developers and hiring an entirely new crew, at least.