I keep seeing people posting that PL kills party play, but still no reason as to why it does. PL doesn't make party play any less of an option than it is now.
With solo, one trades convenience for exp/hour.
With parties, one trades exp/hour for convenience.
With PLs, one gets unparalleled exp/hour and doesn't even face the minor inconveniences associated with solo.
Seems balanced to me. >_>
Really, though, I think that it comes down to the opinion that one should not be able to excel at an MMORPG by almost not even playing it. Not only are PLs remarkably out of place when considering the notion of balance (see above), they gradually become a superior alternative the longer they're allowed to persist. Just like the Colibri that populated FFXI's merit parties for so long, making use of a PL in FFXIV will become the norm by virtue of the fact that you'd be wasting a huge amount of your time, by comparison, by not doing it. The major difference between the two examples, however, is that the former involves a group of people playing together and the latter involves a group of people leeching.
That fact that there are more difficult and even more monotonous ways to level does not make those other ways "alternatives," it makes them inferiors. At this point, powerleveling is FFXIV's Colibri; parties are FFXIV's fifteen-level-above-cap Basilisks; and soloing... well, soloing is like FFXIV's equivalent of fighting groups of "too weak to be worthwhile" for the ones that eventually respawn as "easy prey."
We can think of a strange line. Everybody is waiting in this line, with its mysterious goals at the front, and then a few people start to step out of line and simply walk
to the front. At first, some people question this, but gradually more and more people realize that there's no rule saying that anyone
needs to wait in that line - you can just go right to the front if you wish! Well if that's the case, if it's totally fine to do this, then I'd be an idiot to continue to wait in that line. In fact, that line may as well not exist anymore if I, and everyone else, can get to the front much more quickly and without any repercussions through a much easier method.
I liked where you were going earlier when you said that SE needs to make parties actually engaging, but I think we both know that many individuals will just consider skipping engaging parties one more cost to the extremely efficient leveling that a powerlevel provides. Edited, Dec 13th 2011 11:37pm by KaneKitty