I am a gamer. I love FFXIV. If it were not around, I would not be playing mmo's right now. I enjoyed FFXI but was done with it 3 years ago, and don't feel inclined to go back. I do however have a lot of fun in FFXIV and plan on staying around for some time to come.
I gave WoW a try early this year, when some friends talked me into playing. I didn't like it. I found myself thinking how much I wished it was more like FFXI the entire time I played, and eventually quit after 2-3 months. I do not feel at all inclined to play it again, new expansion pack or not.
Now then, I'd say I'm a pretty good example of who SE is targeting. A niche gamer who doesn't even consider WoW as an option in terms of mmo's, and is dissatisfied with the other mmo's on the market. I have a ls with 60+ active players who feel the same way, and we all enjoy FFXIV a great deal. With so much to look forward to in the coming months, there is no doubt we will continue enjoying it.
WoW just doesn't suit everyone, and to compete with them for their audience would mean to cater to what their audience likes, i.e. another WoW clone, of which there are dozens already. FFXIV is an mmo for players who want something else entirely. That's what SE meant when they said they aren't trying to compete with WoW.
Yes both games are mmo's, but that doesn't mean they automatically share audiences. Both checkers and chess are boardgames, yet they don't always share players. Both poker and uno are card games, yet they don't always share players. Halo and CoD and counterstrike are all fps games, and again, they don't always share playerbases. Some just want to play their game of choice, and if it vanished, they would leave the genre rather than play the alternatives. Some people like cats, some like dogs, some like parrots that screech loudly and crap on the floor, or fanged tarantulas. Just because they are all pets doesn't mean the owner of one would automatically want the other ones too.
So OP, I would say that if you can't understand how others might have a different opinion than you, I don't think you should go on the internet and talk to others. You're free to go play WoW if you enjoy it, and think it's a better game. I personally don't enjoy it, and think FFXIV is the better game, and I will continue playing it. To each their own, simple enough right?
EDIT: As for the source, I don't have it offhand, but I do recall reading it in an official statement released by SE, back during the beta I think. So yes, they did indeed say that they aren't trying to compete with WoW, nor target the WoW audience.
Edited, Oct 31st 2010 4:52am by Tiger228