I keep thinking SE must have known that this was going to happen and that they know what they are doing.
I understand your optimism and applaud it... But at least for me - I kind of lost faith that SE 'knows what they are doing' about a year ago. If anything, this has me even more worried, because this means the people at the top, the ones who could give a @#%^ about artistic license and creativity, are finally saying, "show us what kind of numbers this can bring in."
If this falls short of expectations which I have no doubt it will, we might be looking at a cash shop in XIV's future.
I think ultimately they just made a decision to push forward with 2.0. Once that decision was made, they quit caring about the existing player base entirely. They decided to charge because $1.00 is better than $0.00 in cash flow.
They knew people would leave. They knew people would stay.
They knew people would defend it. They knew people would deride it.
From there perspective, the less people maxing out their characters during this period is probably better for version 2.0 when it hits. If people want to continue to max out their chars and collect gil, then they can pay for the luxury. Since the audience is somewhere south of 50K players or less, even if they lose them all for this period of time, they've lost nothing financially, and they figure at last 50% will return and try 2.0 and maybe sub because people are fickle, and so are their memories.
It's just a ***** you business decision made by a corporation.
I'm cool with that, but I won't pay to play their game. Not like it is. And I don't have any faith in them to pull out some amazing game a year from now. They have no track record that shows any ability to do such a thing.
It's all just really disappointing. I do hope more people decide not to pay, as nothing will speak to them more clearly then that. Paying for that game in its current state just reinforces the idea that its passable to them. Raise the bar folks.