MMOs these days can't afford to bore the **** out of their players for the first <x> weeks you play. They have to grab people and hold them because there will always be a point where the grind starts to add up, the "new" content starts to trail off, and people will just leave if they don't have that initial gameplay experience to hold them. Flashy cutscenes and pretty scenery isn't going to hold people. And when those great CGI cutscenes are over and you throw people into the world with a horrible UI and a clunky combat system, they aren't going to stay.
My husband is one of those people. He isn't much of a gamer, so for him to want to play, this game needs to keep his interest. There is only so much grinding that he can do between the 4-6 levels worth of story line to keep him wanting to come back. He's board out of his mind because of the lack of things to do.
Also having a lack of an AH that he was familiar with from XI seems to rub him the wrong way, not having a decent enough party search feature doesn't work for him, HE HATES THE UI LAG WITH A PASSION! I am sure there is more that irks his nerves but I usually cut him off after that because I've already read it all over the boards before XD
I just started Dragon Age 2 and I STILL havn't left on my deep roads expeditions of ACT I. I'm a week and a half into it, playing it roughly 1-2 hours a day. I know DA is an offline game, but as far as grabbing a player and having them immersed, I think DAO and DA2 has done a great job doing so from the moment you click "start". You don't feel like you are grinding in level because you are too busy actually having fun, enjoying content and enjoying the story, and side stories of your companions. In XIV, you start, get through the first 20 levels and then grind grind grind, oh look story line. Maybe do some GC quests here, a bit more grinding there, oh look more story...BEHEST! Hurry up and join behest cause we need fast grind points...."grind". You feeeeellll it :/ Offline games these days you don't even feel the grind like you did with FFX, and even in FFX the grind was't as bad as XI pre-aby or no where near as bad as XIV. In XI at least there were other things to do, the same can't be said for FFXIV :/. It's just grind...with the occasional NM hunt to break up the monotoney.
I also trialed Rift for a week. I didn't get far, but from what I played it seems fun. Very fun. Just duoing with my husband. Doing random jobs that actually served a purpose for w/e side you chose. It seemed more fun than FFXIV :/ and what is sad is that Rift just came out what half a year ago? *sigh* And it still kept me more interested in playing than FFXIV does after a year of being released. It didn't feel like I was grinding.
Online game or no, gaming today seems to have moved away from that "grind" feel and actually make the grind apart of the story and side quests to make it more enjoyable. If XIV wants to keep growing and eventually become a successful P2P, from the perspective of my husband, who is not much of an avid gamer, maybe they should think about the structure of the games they create. Because tbh, a remade version of FFX, doesn't sound appealing to me, FFXIII-2 does not sound appealing to me. The expansion to DA2 sounds more appealing to me, Dark Souls sounds more appealing to me...