Imagine a Final Fantasy XI without chocobo or airship.
The dev team has already said they're coming. They just haven't been implemented yet. I fully expect them to be here before the PS3 release.
It's disappointing that they're not implemented yet, but I doubt that will be a problem for the OP, since he won't be playing until PS3 release.
Imagine Final Fantasy XI with 5 areas.
Well, this is just silly.
Leaving aside the 3 city-states (which are "areas" themselves), there are La Noscea, Thanalan, the Black Shroud, Coerthas, and Mor Dhona. Each of those zones is huge compared to anything in FFXI. Mclaren apparently considers them one area because there are no load screens between the areas. That's generally considered a good thing.
But the truth is that each zone contains several "areas." For example, here's a map of Thanalan
. See how the single "zone" of Thanalan is actually divided into Central, Eastern, Western, Northern, and Southern areas? Those are actually different areas. Each of those smaller areas has caves and crevices within the area, interior and exterior areas, and hills and cliffs that form higher and lower areas. See the blocky dark areas around Nophica's Wells in Western Thanalan? Those are mesas, and they're hollow, so you can run inside them and fight mobs in there. See the dark splotches around Footfalls in Western Thanalan? That aetheryte, and all those dark splotches, are actually an entire area that's below the ground level. And see the dot on the Eastern edge of Western Thanalan saying "to Copperbell Mines"? That's an entrance to additional area. Thanalan has (at least) two of those: Nanawa Mines and Copperbell Mines.
All of the five zones have several "areas" within the zones. So it's not just 5 areas. It's 5 zones, containing dozens of areas.
Imagine Final Fantasy XI with areas that are copy and pasted from start to finish after 30minutes of walking.
I realize this is a pretty common complaint. But I have to admit, I never noticed the copy pasting until I saw videos pointing it out. It still doesn't bother me. There's plenty of variety in the areas. And typically, the things that are copied and pasted are details within the areas: rocks, trees, bushes, torches, etc.
Considering that you're coming from FFXI, I think you'll find the environments to be a significant upgrade. The vistas and views are really pretty. For example, here's a screen shot taken of Coerthas from in the game
. Here's another shot of a group of players out in Thanalan
. If that's not good enough, then I doubt that you're going to be impressed by any MMO.
Imagine Final Fantasy XI without Goblins, Quadavs and Ogres. Now imagine switching them for Squirrels, Black Rabbits and Coblyns (A Snipper with a funny face).
No goblins or ogres? Seriously? Have you played FFXIV?
I wonder what that thing was that killed me. I mean, it was called a Headrip Ogre
, but I guess that must not be an actual ogre. I wonder what drops these Ogre Horns
. Must be a squirrel?
And no goblins? Someone better tell Zam they need to delete these entries from their mob wikis: goblin thug, goblin freesword, goblin butcher, goblin bouncer, goblin mugger, goblin headman, goblin braggadocio
. I wonder what mob drops this broken goblin scimitar
or this goblin mask
. Maybe a rabbit? And I feel like one of the NMs is supposed to be a goblin
. It sure looked like one. But I guess that can't be true.
Imagine FFXI with Bogy being so small that you find it cute instead of scary if you ever met it in Valkrum Dunes.
You'll be happy to know that, a couple months ago, the devs increased mob sizes. Bogies are big now. Very big. Bigger than my character, which is a tall Highlander Hyur.
Obviously, no amount of talking is going to get Mclaren to come running back to the game. Just like some people love Rift, and others don't like it, some people are just not going to like FFXIV. And that's fine. There's plenty to criticize right now. I don't know anyone who's totally satisfied with every aspect of FFXIV. The most common complaint I hear is about the lack of content. I think that's a valid criticism. But I do know a lot of people are still having fun.
So no, I don't think FFXIV is really that bad. The criticisms you hear often relate to the game back in October. This game has already changed significantly, and it will probably change a lot more before it's released on the PS3. The devs have been talking about some major changes: to job abilities, class balancing, adding new content, (possibly) getting rid of physical levels and stat point allocation, and reworking maps.
So the truth is that I'm not sure what the game will be like in 6 months. I suspect that even the dev team isn't sure what changes are in store, since they seem to still be figuring out what they're going to change.
I'm hopeful that the game will be better before then. I like what they've got now, I just want more of it.