So yea, I posted on here last week about how Rift looked so much better than FFXIV and that I would play it while FFXIV hopefully got better and all that. Well, I played the 5 day Beta event in Rift and didn't really enjoy it very much at all.
Sure, they have the user interface figured out and everything works fine - including an AH. But its not my type of game (I really don't need the over-the-top roaring and yelling in the dialogue - and non stop flaming balls of fire bombaring every square inch of the world with my screen shaking and flashing while I try to read what the NPC is telling me). Also, the graphics suck (primarily the character models and animations).
I hadn't played FFXIV at all this year until the Rift beta ended. On Saturday I fired up FFXIV again and enjoyed the heck out of it. I can't quite put my finger on it, but SE just brings an mmo style to the table that isn't found in any other game.
Yes FFXIV currently lacks content, lacks a streamlined UI, lacks basic social features, and lacks basic market features. One thing they don't lack, however, is that Final Fantasy feel. That feeling that everytime you log on and do something, no mater how grindy it might be, you are working towards some greater, epic goal... even if I'm unsure what exactly that goal is - it keeps me wanting to log on and eek out just a little bit more before I call it a night.
FFXIV is right there. It's knocking on the door of being FFXI2 (which most of us want). I hope they get there. I think they will. Sine this game is eventually going to be a PS3 release, SE sort of gets a one-time do-over. For now, I'm staying in their corner cheering them on.