At this point I think I do want the game to fail. Not out of spite, but out of a painful realization that the people responsible are so oblivious to their failings that possibly the only way S-E will realize what they are doing so horribly wrong is if the game ends up as a decisive failure.
I have been a huge S-E fan. Many of you would weep at my awesome shrine, which among other things includes every U.S. released game* for every console/handheld since the SNES (*except the kid focused Eidos releases since 2009) and a bunch of other goodies. I have a freaking S-E logo iPod Touch that I got for free from registering their games. Soundtracks, books, crazy promotional items, the works. I've had a continuously paid FFXI subscription since 2004, and my wife has had one since 2005. I put together a brand new PC solely to play XIV and deal with its bloated system requirements (which seem less about forward thinking ways to prevent obsolescence and more about rushed programming and lack of optimization). It's safe to say I have been one of their biggest fans.
Sadly, FFXIV has singlehandedly made me more skeptical of anything they release in the future. I am more disappointed with this game than probably any game I have ever looked forward to, and I've been playing games hardcore since the mid-80s. I don't expect a perfect MMO at launch, and I don't expect a FFXI clone. But this is such a phenomenally botched launch that I'm quite positive the FF and Square-Enix name is the only reason this game will last past November. Even with the S-E and FF brands, I have serious doubts about whether XIV will be a viable game a year from now - I NEVER would have expected to say that a few months ago. I can forgive: 1. Lack of initial content.
It does seem very sparse now, but that can change - specifically, lack of any quests for flavor (like FFXI had MANY of) outside of the infrequent main storyline quests, boring Levequests that essentially just replicate the not very exciting Fields of Valor pages from FFXI (kill x # of y mob), and grinding at your chosen class whether fighting or crafting/gathering. Still, I know this stuff can all change. They can add more quests, more cities, change mob distribution, more events, notorious monsters, etc. This is an early MMO and I get that. 2. Some bugs.
"The target is already engaged", mobs regenerating HP, etc.
3. A learning curve and lack of explanation.
I don't mind having to consult other players and online resources to learn, even though I understand some people may be frustrated with S-E's fairly weak lack of in game contextual direction. I'm used to this from FFXI anyway, and didn't expect anything different. 4. Technical issues during the initial rush.
Like my inability to get on my desired server the day of CE release for hours, or my wife's inability to join me for 5 days, or server lag during the overwhelming rush. I can't forgive: 1. Fundamental design flaws.
The utter disaster of the economy system, which is obviously heavily based on crafting and selling items, but makes selling items incredibly difficult due to the horrid lack of organization. The extreme difficulty of searching for people, coordinating parties, and cooperating in a supposedly cooperative game. The simple lack of FUN in doing levequests and fighting monsters. Awful AI, with far too many unintuitive menus, overly lengthy process to do anything (sell items to NPCs, check a bazaar or retainer when the laggy system prevents from viewing their items quickly). The oversights that can be added but definitely should have been there at retail release (e.g. inventory sorting, major targeting issues).
2. Shocking lack of insight and inability to take lessons from running another MMO for the past 8 years.
Also, apparent inability or lack of desire to address the issues that were present and big player issues from the betas.
3. Inability to communicate with the players.
A few softball questions from Sage Sundi that say nothing is far different from a dialogue with the community. It's painful to watch. 4. Horrific customer service.
This includes the general rudeness of customer service, lack of explanation about anything, and the convoluted payment/setup system. It also includes the unforgivable offense of BANNING players for playing the game the way it exists with no explanation. If you want to change flawed game design for CON skill leveling, patching the game is the solution. Not telling people on the internet that they shouldn't use "exploits" that aren't well explained and with warnings that aren't very visible. The only acceptable way they possibly could have done this where I would have found it acceptable is a very clear warning at login for all players telling them precisely what the dev team views as a bug, which will be patched soon.
Here's a great example: http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?game=268&mid=128688965886775248&page=1.
Essentially, brand new players trying to do a couple levequests, suspension for "exploit" that these people OBVIOUSLY weren't aware of, and to top it off terrible treatment by S-E "customer service". 5. Egos out of control.
The "this is our game and you will enjoy it how we tell you to" philosophy is disgusting. Especially in contrast to the rather inspired efforts to make FFXI player-friendly for the past year or so, this only sticks out more. This also ties into the "don't review our game for a month" garbage they are telling legitimate media sources, the customer service, and the smug insistence that they are right about everything that the majority of the community sees as flaws.
At this point, in order to satisfy me S-E would need to fire Tanaka-san and the rest of the team responsible for this fiasco. Maybe another team would be able to salvage something out of this mess. I would also need substantial game system changes fast to show me the company intends to ACTUALLY address problems and respond to the community, starting with an admission that this economy retainer/ward/bazaar system isn't working and needs to be overhauled. Add a new "main" city (a la Jeuno in FFXI) with an auction house and admit your mistake, and I'll accept it as growing pains.
The nearly unanimously bad reviews aren't really being unfair. They're generally understanding that the first weeks of an MMO are a bit chaotic and subject to lots of patching, revision, and additions. Some of the complaints are fixable things like lack of quest content and mob distribution, but most of the serious issues are core design flaws that aren't so easily patched. Basic interface complaints, battle system issues, fundamental economy problems. These are legitimate complaints, and such important issues that they will contribute to this game's failure if S-E doesn't take emergency action to do all they can to mitigate these flaws. After seeing these kinds of complaints from mainstream press, blogs, community sites, and all kinda of players - S-E's reactions (or lack thereof) give me zero confidence they are understanding the gravity of the situation.