If FFXI was worse, i'd say that was a perfect excuse, just look at how that blossomed. I'm sure the Japanese players (of FFXI)complained in the early months of its release.
Considering this was a worldwide release there are obviously going to be alot more mouths at the ready to complain and a lot more fingers to quit the title all together, I don't blame them really, who wants to pay monthly for something they're unsatisfied with?
In the next year to come, when SE irons out some of the (major) creases, we'll probably see more of those "complainers" return and have an all around better experience as the population grows.
The difference though is FFXI was released in a vastly
different era. MMORPGs were a very niche genre in 2001 and FFXI really didn't have a whole lot of competition. In stark contrast, FFXIV launched into a saturated market and is attempting to compete with some very well polished and established MMORPGs (one of which is ironically FFXI - I have many friends that have already returned from their relatively short adventure into FFXIV).
And do you really think that people will magically return to FFXIV in droves? Looking at fellow triple A MMORPGs such as Warhammer and Age of Conan (both of which are actually very solid games now after all the bug fixes/polishing) and the answer is a clear and resounding "No". With so many other MMORPGs out there, people simply are not going to come back.
In this day and age there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for SE to have released the game in its current state. It's so irritating because it's a mistake that's been repeated over and over again for the past 5+ years for almost every major MMORPG release. First impressions are huge and whoever is pushing these games out before they are ready are really doing a disservice to their fans as well as its developers who have spent multiple years creating the game. Edited, Nov 6th 2010 6:24pm by Numnaydar