To start with I'm rank 50mrd and have completed all the current story quests/missions.
In all I have been immensely dissapointed. The story starts off really good, and then starts to get kind of lame once you leave your main city. There were so many times where you got to see an -epic- cutscene, only to be dissapointed by a completely lame battle. And other times you just ran around the world for 5 lines of dialogue and then back.
Does anyone think this is due to crafters + gatherers and SE's decision to make missions completeable by all jobs? I think due to this, it has become impossible to create an "epic" boss battle, and has forced almost every mission to be easily completable. In reality, you could probably complete every mission so far with a level 1 job.
The following is a summary of the missions that seem like they will be epic and then let you down.
First "epic" mission: You go to gridania, and the empire attacks the sylphs. you see these awesome machines attacking and all these troops.... then you get to the fight.
The fight is essentially running around and avoiding 3-4 soldiers which aren't exactly difficult to avoid. Fighting them isn't even difficult. So essentially its 20 minutes of running. There are no machines anywhere, just weak foot soldiers.
Second "epic" mission: you go to ul'dah and try to break up some beastman fight.
Aside from the fact that fighting 2 beastmen isn't really epic, you can just play parley and beat this fight easily. Overall theres nothing epic about this at all. In the cutscene it makes it look like the beastmen will be fighting each other. but in reality they just run in circles and don't even agro (at least they didn't agro me)
Third "epic" mission: zomg ifrit. Super hardcore looking, and about to attack you. But that would be too fun for this game. Instead you fight or parley some "controlled" people and then fight/parley some beastmen. Once again, not epic at all.
Fourth "epic" mission: run alllllllllll the way to nine ivies, then follow your npc guy for 5-10 min with no mobs in the way. Then fight 2 weak hyenas. Get a few lines of pointless dialogue. now run allllllllllllll the way back to ul'dah.
Fifth "epic" mission: Final current mission. You run to mor'dhona and try to pull off some super epic attack on the empire. So guess what happens. You follow 3 imperial soldiers for 5 min, then run in circles and let a machine blow them up. then you chase a guy a bit and your done.
Overall the point is so far this game doesn't have a single epic fight or epic boss battle. Nothing takes hardcore skill to beat. You never feel like you're really accomplishing anything, just hitting easy-prey mobs. Like ffxi had an epic dragon fight at early levels, and then some other pretty epic fights, even in the original missions. ffxiv (and i realize its not ffxi) just has a lot of running and a few seconds of easy fighting. Due to the class system this seems to be all the game will ever be able to deliver story-wise.
Has anyone else felt the same disappointment?
On a positive note, the final cutscene for the current missions makes it look like the game will get A LOT better storywise (because tbh right now the story is all over the place).