Does SE have a history with XI of not following through with updates that they've announced? I can't remember it really happening, not that I always paid attention to the parts that didn't affect my gameplay.
No, SE's history is more insidious than that. In FFXI they responded to player feedback with vague, evasive answers but firmly stated they would address the issue in the patch at X time of the year. Patch comes, the 'issue' is 'addressed' with changes that are incomprehensible and completely useless and SE claims moral victory because they fixed it and shove the issue to the bottom of their priority list where it stays there for the next 3+ years.
Perfect example is Summoner. They stated summoner would be receiving new summons that would be 'very large' in size (at the time summoner had been without any love for almost 4 years and it was kind of annoying to have our summons be just slightly taller than elvaans and less effective than a taru with a raging hangover) and would 'greatly impact', 'improve' the summoner's role in parties and solo.
2 years later SE gives SMN 2 avatars which can only be called using your 2-hour ability, are in the game world for 30 seconds and their attacks and buffs are /random effect and accuracy.
Then we see many other so called 'fixes' such as the melee DD's not being able to take on powerful mobs without significant support (which was an issue while IN a party and it was an issue of accuracy only..this was hammered into SE telling them that even with all possible buffs in the game some mobs were extremely hard to hit with melee and were almost completely immune to magic damage). SE's 'fix': give melees massive increase in damage output (not accuracy) which utterly screwed up the entire game mechanics and made parties turn from being balanced support/damage/debuff roles to purely 5X melee DD's + 1 healer. No other party setup was valid after that patch and it started the spiraling death of FFXI party play.
there are many more examples of SE doing really retarded things to solve the simplest of problems.
I dont want this game to fail but I fear that SE no longer has the capability to process or understand what gaming is about. They write great storylines put great art in their games but gameplay design? They lost that some time ago. The constant string of flopped and failed games since squaresoft staff left them is proof enough of that.