Over a year to get to this point is quickly? Considering most MMOs only last 4-5 years I'd say not.
Please list all the pay to play MMO's that lasted only 4-5 years. Free to play is an entirely different story and category. http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/show/all/sCol/monthlyFee/sOrder/desc
So yeah, most of those games on the pay list are still running...
@ THE OP
The game is definitely worth checking out again! They are really starting to make a come back and some great changes have been made, are being made, and will in the future be made. They are adding more content, be it a little slower than most MMO's but hey its easier to add content to a game when you're building it rather than fix a broken one and add content. Jobs are coming in the next couple months, they are redesigning all the zones, possibly new classes in the next few months / patches (Arcanist and Musketeer), they're adding new quests pretty much with every patch. There is quite a few things to do right now, maybe not all of them are 'amazing' and some people call them lame but it's different. Ever since the latest patch, I've been playing quite a bit more and neglecting other games I've recently bought. I can certainly see this game turning into something great and lasting for a while.
My opinion and game rating as of now:
UI 7 / 10 - still a bit clunky, they seemed to improve response time a bit more in the latest patch but nothing amazingly noticeable. They are adding 'saving' action bars so you don't have to reset your abilities when you change classes which will be amazing! Finally added UI lock... thank goodness. They streamlined some things like selling items and crafting. It's on it's way to being pretty good. Also heard that they are completely re-doing the UI for pc players!
Sound 9 / 10 - They added new music for the Grand Company event thing that's going on, I like it 100x more than the original soundtracks for the cities. Overall there is some good music in here. Also they finally added the ability to control the ambient sounds like wind, rain, etc.... that is awesome.
Graphics 10 / 10 - Seriously what can you say? PC requirements for max settings might be steep but its worth it to see the amount of detail they put in the game.
Controls 9 / 10 - I don't really have a problem with the controls other than maybe the targeting is a bit clunky still. It's not horrible but it could use a little tweaking here and there, especially when using TAB. Even the mouse-click sometimes will target myself instead of the mob infront of me. Not a huge issue though.
Combat 9 / 10 - They have adjusted this in the recent patch, so everything has been scaled down. You take less damage, you do less damage, fights last 30-45 seconds, you can chain exp, mobs link, group dynamics are becoming more important especially in end-game like the Strongholds they put in. Once jobs arrive it should be pretty awesome. There is still a little delay from when you press your abilities to when you actually see the visual of them going off. They also made it so you can pull your weapon out very quickly (and if you haven't been on in a while you no longer stop.. to pull it out)!
Content 7 / 10 - The more the better! So far... a lot of different types of quests (Grand Company, leve, side-quest, class quests) I think there is like 134 in total. They added airships, chocobos, Grand Company full initiation, Ifrit fight, beastment camps, beastmen strongholds, 2 instanced raids (Darkhold and Toto-rak), an open world dungeon (Shop), carvan escort, materia system, re-vamped crafting recipes. I think I covered most of it but they could use about 2x as much for it to be considered enough.
Generic overall rating: I'd say with everything from the latest patch this game is a 7.5 moving towards an 8, possibly already there. It's keeping my attention. Somethings need work and there are a lot of things that "we are planning to do this in the future" or "we will talk about this and see what we can do" so I'm happy if I see SE come through on there commitments and keep improving the game. I think it's moving in a good direction for both casual and more hardcore people to both enjoy.
The end. Edited, Oct 12th 2011 9:06am by RemVye