I wrote in my poll response that they should look at required or at least highly beneficial party quests during the 1-50 grind, this would likely conjure up memories of the FFXI sub-job quest, which it should.
You soloed till 14-16 maybe then you "NEEDED" a party or friends to help you with the sub-job quest. I don't mind people grinding 95% of the way to 50, but some party experience is needed or we'll have a bunch of 50s running around who can't even play their characters.
They should add some new abilities at the lower levels and make them only achievable through light party quests, they shouldn't be absolutely required but they should be enough of an incentive to speed up solo exp and then we'll get some more communal players hopefully
The new level 30 job quests are a step in this direction, although far from being a requirement. But those quests have an issue of inconsistency as well - I can't speak for all, but I know that the mobs you face in a few of the unlock quests are completely out of scope for a level 30 quest, being just about impossible for a party of level 30s to complete and in fact more in tune with level 35+ parties. I don't necessarily have an issue with this, aside from a minor annoyance at being able to unlock the quest at 30 but needing high level help to complete it at that level.
Perhaps its just a matter of time. You could certainly level 25+ in FFXI without a subjob, however social norms in that game all but dictated the use of subjobs in parties. Perhaps we'll see here that regular classes are welcome in 30+ parties but jobs are preferred and become the norm.
Edit: it also gives this game a bit of a 'level inflation' appearance in regard to FFXI comparables, which we really shouldn't do I completely understand. If we simply multiply accomplishments and notable milestones in FFXI (pre-abyssea) by 2, we get the FFXIV comparables on a strangely reliable enough basis.
FFXI (pre-abyssea): solo exp optimal until 10-12, parties begin at 12+
FFXIV: solo exp optimal until 20-24, parties *should* return a more favorable exp rate however a lack of a sizable playerbase in this range usually means parties are hard to find.
FFXI (pre-abyssea): subjobs unlock at 18.
FFXIV: jobs unlock at 30 but some (all?) require a group of 35+ to complete.
FFXI (pre-abyssea): advance jobs unlock at 30
FFXIV: no advance jobs yet
Grant this was all just for fun and please take it with a huge dose of salt please. FFXIV is not
FFXI and we really should refrain from one-to-one comparisons, although I simply find it helps to break things down to situations we're more familiar with. Edited, Mar 13th 2012 1:44pm by Whales