Ok so I know the game isn't actually in beta as I was in that, along with the alpha testing too. I firmly believe they are holding back a lot of stuff for the PS3 release because they don't want PC players to be to far ahead come it's release and also to put it all in then so they can bill it as a relaunch to try and turn the negative press around. If they launch on the PS3 and an expansion for the PC and say look we have added X amount of new classes, these new zones, airship's, chocobo's, new battle system and much, much more they will be much more likely to garner interest in the game than to keep releasing bit's of content here and there.
Besides if you have got an R50 character you can see the game is so obviously soft capped at R50, the story doesn't start to get really good until the current final mission which is R46 but the R52 mission has already been found in the .DAT files. Also you only have to look at armor to see this as well, currently the some of the best R50 gear is made from Iron, we still have Steel, Dark Steel, Mythril and so on to go yet. There are Grade 10 fishing spots which have been discovered, even in the zones we have now there are some parts you can not go with getting 1 shotted at R50. Some people say that levelling now is too fast, yes it might be if the final cap is R50 but when you start thinking the final cap could be R99/100 we are only at the half way point and when you need 1,000,000 SP to the next rank it seems to be about right.
It does feel as though they have crudely taken content out of the game at the last minute. Things like the hamlets that serve no purpose, landmarks that have no interaction, chocobo's to tease us, airship landing pad's in zones, a whole city we can not access, guild buildings for classes not yet in the game. I even found a town/camp a few days ago south of Drybone on the way to Broken Water hidden in a cave that is not on any of the maps. It's full of NPC's that don't say much and if you keep going through the cave you get to a large locked wooden door.
So back to the title of the thread, is the game in beta, are we just testing out the mechanics to allow SE to fine tune the game before they try to pull off a relaunch with the PS3 release? I think this may be the case and as such I think SE will only be putting in as little content as they have to in order to keep us occupied while saving as much as possible for the PS3 release.
Now watch Yoshi P. disprove everything I just said by putting in a huge patch on Monday with loads of content :P