SE has no interest in retaining this small base when they have the opportunity to reach more subscribers by changing the game.
Let's be clear. I understand that if this game doesn't get more subscribers, it will go offline. Obviously, given the fact I like the game, I don't want that to happen.
So, now that we have that out of the way, let's get down to brass tacks.
SE needs as many customers as possible, period. They can't afford to sacrifice ANYONE who is playing at this point. They need to get people to pick up the game, and they need to keep the people playing, playing. Anyone who thinks it is a winning business strategy to drive off people who have invested their time and money into this game, is out of their mind. They need to keep people playing.
Yes, they need to bring more people in, but ******* around with things that work will not do that. Polishing the existing content/mechanics while developing new engaging, fun content will bring people in and keep them playing. An in-game casino, tetra-master, chocobo breeding, player-made companies, player/linkshell housing, new jobs, new areas, new equipment, new NMs... these things will get people playing.
Anyone who thinks SE is going to keep this free-to-play for a year or more, is outta their mind. The fact is - if Yoshi-P keeps down this path, and keeps fiddling with what we have instead of giving us MORE... well the game is probably doomed.
I can see it now, they add in auto-attack, it breaks the combat system completely - people quit the game once and for all... and the servers go down.
Frankly if they can't even fix the basic crap we have, I don't have confidence in their ability to remake the whole game on a tight schedule unless they give up on content completely.