The final question did throw me for a loop, kinda negating the entire survey.
If the point of the survey was to gather information and/or gauge player opinions, then having a cryptic question does not negate any that came prior.
They want to know what people want most, and they want to see how "attached" people are to the world as it currently exists; it doesn't negate anything, it gives SE a vague idea of whether, as a whole, people find things in a state worth preserving or whether, in general, they wouldn't mind a change in battle mechanics, stat distribution, etc.
In theory I still stand by my statement as a measure of my own feelings. I think the weight of the question in itself carries and manages the tone of the entire survey. Without the question it would have been a totally different survey.
But you're right. I shouldn't have used 'negate.' It doesn't negate the entire survey in content, just the questions like: "What would you like to see implemented first?"
If I want more guildleves to be implemented first, but then SE decides to change the guildleve system, what would be the point of answering that question?
I think they had the right idea, but forgot to add what should've been the natural choice for the next question:
What would be considered a drastic change to the game?
(or rephrased "What changes would make you want to leave the game?" or "Is there anything in the game we should consider sacred/untouchable?")
I mean adding an Auction House is a drastic change and so is changing the xp/sp distribution. Heck even something "small" such as actually spelling out the effects of the foods will have a drastic effect on the gameplay and economy. Nevermind if they tried to change the graphics or added jump/swim/mounts/skymounts and the effect that would have.
Let's be honest. They're not going to change the plot (except to add to it, hopefully make it more epic). They're not going to change the discipline system (I don't hear a lot of complaints about it, of course adjustments for balance as needed). The most drastic thing they would change would be the guildleve system (and I think even if they did, it would be more along the lines of turning more npcs into leve/material givers) or allowing user generated add-ons (obviously a mixed bag there).
BTW, I think this survey is a simply Yoshida being cautious, yet following his own keywords.
Fun: He's not trying to base this game off his impression of fun (the apparent flaw of his predecessor), instead he is creating a consensus among those dedicated enough to stay with the game in some form. This is his goal. That FFXIV is fun.
Live: It's not enough that characters fight and craft all day. If people feel their characters "live" in the world, that's how they get more attached. That means having characters being more part of the story and not only doing things, but having a reason to do them besides xp/sp.
Reboot: Think of it more like a tv/movie reboot, not a computer. The secret of a sucessful reboot is to maintain the right combination of core elements to keep the atmosphere while taking the product in a different direction. For successful reboots I refer you to Batman, Marvel Ultimate Universe (from which the current movies spring), Dr Who, and Battlestar Galactica to name a few. Now I realize on the other side of the coin I realize the potential for such flops as House of Wax remake, (IMHO) any Power Rangers season that did not include the originals or Tommy, the live action TMNT series, or the Voltron with the cars. But my point is, given the delicacy of the situation, i highly doubt they are going to focus time on things people are not complaining about.
Rebuild: This one is all about the trust and image of the Final Fantasy brand. When building a custom home. You get the floor plans approved before you build. I didn't see how long they were giving to complete the survey, but I'm personally expection a return of some sort in the next two weeks.