I have to admit, I'm disappointed in this game. Honestly, I bought a $2300 computer just to play this game.
I have serious doubts that they can turn this game around, simply because of the very essence of the game, which is so crafting concentric. I know some people love the crafting aspect, but to me, in it's current form, it's incredibly tedious, repetitive, boring. While they have taken strides to improve the crafting routine, there is just nothing fun about pounding out 350 yew half masks for R43 carpenter, and I have 7 levels, 623,000 SP remaining to get to R50). To complicate this, there is no economic incentive for this, as gil is essentially worthless. So, aside from being able to make the items you want/need, or repair your own armor/weapons, what's the driving force? Also, they really need to take some of the random aspect from the crafting code out. I swear yew half masks were just as miserable to make @ R42 as they were @ R35. Constant fails, more than every other synth going unstable, using every ability I have just to make these, more often than not.
I bet if they took a player poll between battle and crafting, 75-85% of players would chose battle over craft. Hopefully, we'll see. Unless SE addresses this soon, they should prepare for massive server consolidation. All the mechanical fixes, UI improvements, screen cosmetics, and yes, even content don't amount to much other than lipstick on the proverbial pig.
The other main ingredient severely lacking is the social aspect. Other than a quick party up for behest, and a "See you again." ten minutes later, or a few nice people I've met that helped me with an item synth or repair, I've made zero friends in this game, unlike ffxi where I had literally hundreds of friends. No mail or message capability, no LS messages, no LS sacks (my LS is comprised of primarily ffxi friends, who, essentially have all quit. In the meantime, we can't even pearl new members. They say they're coming back, we'll see.)
I'm truly saddened when I run thru the empty streets of Gridania or LL, or I see a brand new player just beginning this game. Little does he know.
All that said, how many of you were around for the introduction of ffxi? I don't mean the U.S. release either - the true JP introduction. I doubt many. I can only imagine that game had major issues, as well. I don't ever recall SE being particularly sensitive to players' input. I'm very impressed with Yoshi and his team, and the receptiveness and openess they have demonstrated. Don't count this team out. I'm not. I believe they'll get it right in the long haul. In the meantime, I'm not knocking myself out playing this game. A few leves, a little crafting and some logging. When I've had enough, I log out.