I'd be sticking around a while longer, either way.
Look, I have been very critical of this game. Square-Enix didn't only ***** up the launch, it alienated its player base and released a game that has fundamental flaws in its design that cannot all be corrected by slapping a few patches over it. I don't care if you think FFXIV is the best game ever made and that the public at large is to unrefined to see its good points - there is still no denying that this game has been met with cautious optimism of the future at best, widespread derision at worst. The jury is out from reviewers and the general public alike, and the verdict couldn't be worse: most people find the game to be not a whole lot of fun.
So why am I still playing?
For a couple reasons, I guess. The first is easier to explain. I didn't start FFXI until the PS2 release, as the computer I had wouldn't run it. By all accounts, the FFXI that I started with was light-years ahead of what the Japanese PC players started out with. That alone gives me some hope that all is not lost. Its disappointing that they regressed from current-day FFXI, yes, but there's hope all the same. I didn't get a chance to see FFXI evolve in those early days. It's kind of interesting to me to watch it unfold now.
The second reason is difficult to explain if you're not at least in your late twenties (and I'm older than that). I've been playing Square and Enix games since high school, for over twenty years. The Final Fantasy series, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Act Raiser and Soul Blazer, Secret of Mana, dang it I could go on forever. These are the games I most loved. I connect them to a much more carefree time when I was younger, slimmer, and the most stressful things in life didn't involve struggling with a mortgage, or a rocky marriage, or raising teenage children but rather who you were going to hang out with after school and getting your homework done.
My practical side tells me that I owe Square-Enix nothing. No one does. Yet, because this company has given me so much enjoyment in the past, and because they went through the same growing pains with their last MMO, where I would not have given most companies a bit more time, with Square-Enix I will. Because I really want this to succeed. The game is not unsalvageable, and hopefully its poor reception was enough of a rude awakening to them to see that things get corrected in a timely manner.
That doesn't mean I will stop my criticism of FFXIV, though. It's much like being a good friend, or a good parent. When you see that someone you love is being self-destructive, it is your duty to constructively help them face the problem and correct it. People who do not really care about you will not do this. Those types of people will let you drive yourself right into oblivion and merely detach themselves when you have no further use to them. In the same manner, I am sticking around and I will yell from the rooftops until certain things get fixed. Because if they're not fixed, they will have far worse things to worry about than Shassa quitting FFXIV.
____________________________FFXI: Shassa (Sylph) 75 THF/NIN, THF/RNG, retired '08 ** EQ2: Shassia (Lucan D'Lere) 80 SK, retired '06 ** EQ: Shassa (Bertoxx/Terris Thule) 50 SK, retired '02