Here's the reason I hated XIII, the reason I stopped XIV, and the only way I'll come back to XIV:
13 and 14 never really felt like "Final Fantasy" titles to me; they felt like games that had a few hints to me of Final Fantasys past, but they ultimately felt like "An RPG/MMORPG that had the name "Final Fantasy" slapped on it to sell it"
Diablo 2 is fun. Tabletop Dungeons and Dragons is fun. Diablo 2 takes a few ideas from the D&D setting, even. However, if you take a Diablo 2 disk, put in in a box, and slap "Dungeons and Dragons" on it, that does not a D&D game make. And if you pick it up EXPECTING a D&D game, you're probably going to be disappointed, depending on exactly what you're looking for. You might end up realizing that despite the fact that it wasn't what you thought it was, it's still fun. You might realize that it's nowhere near what you thought and isn't fun at all.
What's what XIV (and XIII) were to me. I preordered both and eagerly anticipated both, and in both cases, I felt like what I got wasn't what I paid for, what I waited for, or what I wanted. It felt like I had bought Lost Boys and got Twilight, like I had bought 300 and got Epic Movie.
My whole point is not to say that I think XIV (or XIII) is a terrible game or that it is without hope; just that I'm clearly not alone in my feeling that most of us didn't get what we had expected, and whether you went on to like the game anyway or whether you gave up and quit depends largely on the person. I'm sure there were people who liked Twilight and Epic Movie, but I wasn't one of them.
The thing about "What makes a 'Final Fantasy' game a 'Final Fantasy' game?" is vastly open to interpretation. Ask 5 people what makes a FF game a FF game and you'll get at least 7 answers. For some people, it's clear-cut: Cid, Chocobos, Airships... for others, it's more vague: The story, the world, the characters... For me, I can't even put my finger on it. To quote the Oracle from The Matrix: "It's like being in love; no one can tell you you're in love; you just know." That's how I feel; no one can tell me what makes a game a FF title; I just know. In this case, I didn't get that feeling at all. From about a week into the closed beta, I was already feeling like I was only playing the game because I felt obligated to. I felt like I wasn't excited about the game; I was excited about hoping it would get better. I wasn't thrilled with what the game WAS, I was thrilled with the IDEA of what the game COULD BE. I remember discussing this in one thread when someone asked the question: "How can SE give you what you want if YOU don't even know what it is you want?" And it's a valid question. I really couldn't put my finger on what the game was missing; I just knew it wasn't there.
I know FFXIV has gotten a lot better. I wouldn't rule out coming back to Eorzea and giving it another go; I've never uninstalled the game from my system, although I'm sure I'd need to download updates. However, the ultimate question is "Does it have that 'IT' factor that makes it a 'Final Fantasy' title?" And based on the fact that the playerbase still seems just as torn on whether they like it or not, I don't think it has come far enough that I'm willing to come back yet.
Here's my litmus test: I'm willing to come back to FFXIV when they start charging for it. Once they are confident enough in their product that they think people will pay for it, I'm willing to come back and test them on their confidence.
Until then, if they don't think people will pay for it, if they aren't confident even advertising the game, then it must not be ready. You don't call people in for dinner when the food hasn't been cooked yet. I'll wait for SE to call me to dinner, and then I'll see if the food tastes better. I hope that it does, I really do... but I'm not willing to stand in the kitchen and wait for the noddles to boil when I could be off doing something else that I enjoy.
Semi-related sidenote: FFXI Abyssea collection went up for sale today. $20 buys you all expansions, all 3 addons, all 3 abysseas, and a **** hat. I'm not suggesting anyone give up on XIV, but if you're burned out on XIV, consider XI while you wait for XIV to improve.
Mikhalia: and FWIW, my posts are 95% helpful, informative, or funny.
Mikhalia: only 5% or less of my posts are utter crap.
Tyapex: 393 posts of utter crap...
Mikhalia: Sounds about right.