When an MMO is set up that way, it's IMPOSSIBLE for someone with a compulsive collector mentality to enjoy everything
That's funny. I did just that in XI. The only thing I set out to get and didn't was Mjolnir and (although disappointed) I wasn't surprised that I fell short here.
And this is where you lose me. The system you hate so much here is pretty much exactly the BCNM, KSNM, or ISNM system from FFXI, but with apparently better drop rates. You get points by doing your regular gaming activities, and every now and then you can spend those points to access a special NM fight that might drop squat or might give you something nice.
I mean, it could take a long time to get 99 Kindred Seals, and the drop rates for KS99 items could be just terrible. But... you liked that? But, you don't like the leve NM system? You found it enjoyable to do Dynamis for three hours twice a week to get a nice item every few months, but it's unreasonably grindy for you to just go about your regular business and occasionally do an easy fight to get a nice item every few months?
Most of your perspective I can understand, even you don't seem to see "casual" the way I do, but on this one you've just lost me.
If people were so happy with the way things were set up in FFXI, they'd still be playing FFXI. Maybe they grew to dislike FFXI like I did. Maybe they were just eager for a change. For whatever reason, they're playing FFXIV and unless they're functionally retarded, they're aware that FFXIV was marketed from the beginning to be casual friendly. That means accessible. It doesn't mean easy. It doesn't mean everything is handed to you. It means you don't have to jump through hoops just to take part in the content.
That's it. That's all it means. Why are all these "hardcore" neophytes in this thread not mentioning a ******* thing about challenge? I mean real challenge, not time-sink, no-life, "See how being a shut-in makes me better than you?" challenge. I'm talking about an encounter that doesn't involve everyone and their dog reporting in on the night the "content" is released saying they cleared it with no wipes, no issues, just no loot. How challenging can it be if we haven't seen a single person talking about how their group wiped to it twice and almost ran out of time before they got it down? It sounds to me like people are showing up and one-shotting these NMs. But then the basement dwellers creep out and they're all like, "WOO!! No guaranteed drops! OMFG GO SE THAT'S THE CHALLENGE I WANT TO SEE!!"
If gated faceroll content is what constitutes hardcore, fill yer boots. FFXIV's thriving population can afford to alienate even more people with niche appeal, amirite?