What I'm really having a hard time with right now are things that bother me that have nothing to do with an expedited release. I'm coming across too many things that make me say, "That's supposed to be fun?" There's just too much in the game right now that should have never made it out of the planning meeting.
Out of curiosity, what would those be? (no sarcasm intended, I'm jut curious).
A lot of the quest designs (not leves, class/mission quests) are just bad from a flow point of view. As in...really bad. I kind of wish someone could get it through to SE that spending half an hour running for a 2 minute quest scene does not make for an entertaining game. I just ran into a particular quest last night that sent me to one of the villages in Coerthas and when I get there I'm treated to a one minute cutscene and then told via NPC linkpearl to bring something to someone at a nearby location. Only it didn't tell me what I needed to bring until I was already in Coerthas, so for having not gone and read a guide/walkthrough regarding the quest prior to attempting it, I would have had to spend an extra 40 minutes or so running back and forth from Coerthas <-> Gridania for this stuff. As it was it only cost me 13 anima to get it all done the "fast" way. Yippee.
I came across another quest a while ago where, after talking to an NPC, I received my instructions to run off to the three corners of nowhere and perform the quest requirements only I didn't realize that after getting the instructions from the NPC and being fairly clear on what it was I had to do, I had to talk to the NPC a second time in order for them to mark my destinations on the map and without those markings, the quest wouldn't properly activate and I'd be unable to complete it.
These are things that are conscious design choices, not rush-rush git 'er dun omissions.
The crafting system has been a persistent irritation to me ever since I started pushing towards rank 20 with DoH classes. Prior to that, everyone gets the softened version and then when you start getting towards rank 20+ recipes the full force of SE's mind boggling game design beats you about the head and chest. And because it's random, sometimes you get the good streaks where you feel you're having some fun (albeit extraordinarily repetitious fun) and then BAM! Moon phase changes or the RNG simply takes a dump all over you for several synths in a row. The game has been shut down via red 'X' more than once on account of this stuff and it's just **** poor design.
SE can have their stories and have their quirky mini-games and restrict the "good" stuff via low HQ rates and do all that crap they think they need to do as long as they focus their attention on the core mechanics of the game being fun. That's all they need to do. That's all I'm asking them to do. Keep the base mechanics fun. But they don't. As far as crafting goes, the "real" DoH game starts at rank 20+ and it's at that point you realize that SE has thrown in all of these headaches and annoyances and then put a rather substantial grind ahead of you via ranks and guild marks just to clear the crap out of the way. Backwards. To me, the ideal is to tune it so that it's deep and challenging but you're given the tools to overcome those challenges and not just watch helplessly as the thunderstorm that just appeared over your half-cast ingot rapes your face. And then as you progress through the grind...if SE were smart...it would just get better and better. You'd look forward to Brand of Face-raping Thunderstorm not because it takes away a substantial irritant but because it includes an animation of you ************* the thunderstorm with the Rage of the Lalafels and turning it into a small bonus of lightning shards upon completion of the synth. Something like that. "I'm looking forward to this because it's just **** cool" as opposed to "I'm looking forward to this because what's going on now eats ****".
Can Yoshida wrap his head around that? I'm getting tired of waiting to find out. And I don't like to be that persistently negative guy here or in game. I don't like to spew vitriolic bile all over my LS mates every time the game starts to get under my skin. It doesn't help me and it sure as **** doesn't enrich their experience. And if it comes to a point where I'm logging in and all I feel like doing is ******** about stuff, that's my queue to give myself and the decent folks around me a break and just stop playing. And unlike FFXI days, if I "take a break" now, I won't be coming back. There are too many other cool things on the horizon and even if those wind up a disappointment, there are other games I could go back to if I really felt the MMO itch that don't involve FFXIV.
And that's the tragedy. In development, I was one of SE's biggest critics. Through beta and into official service I've tried to be objective. I don't want to see this game get shut down like APB whether I end up playing it long-term or not. But three months in playing a broken game is a long, long time in the MMO world. If Tanaka was still in charge, I'd be gone by now.