I guess to me it seems like you're trying to put a spin on it that makes it sound like SE failed because our expectations of them were so high.
To that, I would say that people's expectations of SE have always been a tremendous bonus to them. People have been giving them the benefit of the doubt for a long while now.
Expectations certainly play a role in any emotional response. Expectations are one of the primary variables that affect our emotions, and high expectations can definitely lead to disappointment. But this is not a simple case of disappointment due to unrealistic expectations that players built up in their own minds. This was a case of SE building up a lot of hype for the game, and delivering very little of what was promised. SE has admitted this numerous times now.
The fact is, just because the two games lack content doesn't mean they're remotely similar. I would probably play and enjoy LEGO Universe, because I'll wager that the quality of the content is pretty good. I've played games that I fully beat in 10 hours and loved. I emphasize: quality over quantity. XIV is lacking in both.
I guess it would seem like I'm spinning it that way. Of course not everyone falls under my the description I put out, nor is FFXIV a solid game. It still seems like a large majority of the playerbase who stop at nothing to disparage the game are the same type who 4 months ago thought the game was a god send.
I have not played LEGO Universe, so could you tell us... what is the difference? Is it the same as any MMO, where you craft, fight, and grind levels? Or can you also build buildings, change the world, and play in a basic sandbox environment (a la Minecraft)? Is it some strange amalgamation of the two? I'm not sure what to expect - if it is like any other MMO, I'd imagine the high reviews are just from a low sampling pool.
I apologize I haven't described the game much:
You cannot build anything in world minus two exceptions:
-The "Assembler" classes can build generic turrets (think Engineer in TF2).
-At certain points there are quick builds (broken bridges, none Assembler turrets, walls, platforms) to build. These are done much the same way as the franchise lego games take care of building, you hold shift and your minifigure quickly stacks the pieces until they suddenly become an object.
When you want to build your own creations you must go to your "Brick Yard". These are instanced areas where you have a certain amount of land to work with to build whatever you can imagine. When entering the brickyards you are given a list of everybody's public yards with no way to discern what the creation is or if you want to go to it. The "best" brickyards (so far it seems best is classified by total in game expense of the bricks they used) yards are at the top of the list.
Outside of the brick yards the game is an MMO pure and simple. You have your social hub which is the city like zone without enemies filled with vendors and the like. Then you have 3 "content zones" Avant Gardens the tutorial zone, Gnarled Forest the pirate themed second level or sorts, and Forbidden Valley the Ninja themed final level. You also have Pet Cove which is a smaller zone filled with low level pets you can tame.
Crafting is not present aside from building your own creations. Battle is controlled by a 5 key hotbar at the bottom of the screen much like WoW's or FFXIV's. Chat box is sunk into the bottom left hand corner but is rarely ever used by players. Top right is the minimap, bottom right is the menu tabs.
Quests and missions follow the generic "Deliver This" "Kill Ten Rats" variety with a few non-notable exceptions. (The Ninja's only let ninja's through their gate, you have to find a secret path around their gate). There are dungeon's, one notable one containing four dragons you have to kill (actually quite difficult solo, I was surprised).
The storyline is decent and present but not quite up to FFXI standards.
All in all this game is an true blue MMO in the same vein as any other AAA MMO.
Now mind you, EQOA was my first MMO, maybe that has something to do with it, now as for me making my own content, sure i did to some extent, but there where camps of monsters, all across the world, if i wanted to do a dungeon at mid way lvl i could go to DFC and kill named mobs, they also had those quest where i think where at lvl 16+ where you could get gear according to your class, that had you run across all places in the world map etc etc, we even made a raid at lvl 35-46 to kill the named blue dragon in the artic area, where we able to down it ? Nope, but it was there at release for us to die trying to get it down(The nemy raid if you played during those times) and it was a blast, in FFXIV all you do is leavequest, craft, rince and repeat, and the communication interface was horrible at release, in EQOA i could group up as soon as i bough the game and log in for the first time, just the fact that we are comparing things that were done right in a game from the PS2 age and on the infancy of MMO comercialy, speaks legues.
EQOA came out after FFXI. Hardly the infancy of MMO's. When I played EQOA all there was too do was grind. I couldn't stand it. Move from camp to camp every couple of levels with my Human Ranger and just grind grind grin. I got pretty good by level 40 too but I couldn't bear it once FFXI came along. The class quests were good until what was it level 10? And then they became fewer and farther in between. And what was the storyline? We were in Norrath prior to EQ1's timeline. Where was the storyline quests? How were we progressing the history of Norrath? Why was the crafting so bloody useless? Edited, Nov 16th 2010 3:38pm by Wloire Edited, Nov 16th 2010 3:41pm by Wloire