The Brown and black Belt quests were a great series of open world NMs, and included three of the first Mega-NMs (King Behemoth, Adamantiose, and was it Fafnir? I can never remember the third) introduced to the game.
None of them could be soloed, and while the Brown Belt NMs could be killed by 2-3 ppl, they still required a level of focus and skill (especially if you tried for them at level), and well, mobs like King Behemoth were insanely viscous, as I remember a time when someone MPKed every HNMLS on carbuncle for over an hour in a completely blood-bath of no control.
These were fun fights, that while, there are obvious concerns about RMT claims, I can't imagine any team of bots surviving a fight like those. And while bot claiming would still be an issue, there would still be a competitive edge.
Right now, there is nothing in 14 to be competitive about. Everything worth getting is incredibly rare, random chance of obtaining items that take more patience then skill.
Some good HNM Open World NMs with drops that people want would definitely go a long way towards changing that.
Think of how long people had been farming Kirin's drops, or went for the kill of king Arthro, or that stupid beetle Lumber Jack, or the Axe Beak. These mobs were never over-farmed (ok, in the very beginning), but they were still a fun fight, and I had helped people with them from time to time.
While Kirin was less of an Open World NM, it was controlled by first fighting Open World NMs, then moving to Kirin, in a chain that kept people killing for years.
And yes, while there were the Serkets, and the Cockatrice (forgot his name, right out in Saramounge, on the ledge), the Tonberry for the Fuma Katana, and a few others, where the competition was as high as the resale of the item, it still allowed for people to get their own, or people to profit off their time dedicated to getting it.
Without the ability to do something like that, there is less sense of reward. The game just is missing that need to get things.
I have been working on crafting my own sword, and it's probably a good thing, since I have spent less time working on getting my blacksmith up, than killing ifrit, and while I am only one level away from attempting my sword, I only have one ifrit drop, and it's a weapon I will most likely never use (but at least it means I never have to get/craft a weapon for that class/job).
I see the issue that Yoshi has with this, everyone claims that they don't want open-world NMs because they don't want botters to control their ability to get the item, but at the same time, people want something to aspire to, something to go into the game and do.
I enjoyed sitting for hours waiting for spawn windows to open so I could help my wife get her Smn thingy from the invisible Weapon mob.
I liked sitting out and camping my spelunker's hat (which I never got in the 3 years of camping that dang mob).
And when I quit the 11, people still hadn't solved the mystery of how to get the king apkallu thing to pop (or at least I couldn't find anyone who knew).
I think the Open World NM option creates competition, but, at the same time, it also gets people to band together for a common goal. It takes away the Linkshell elitism, as you can now have you and a couple friends go out and kill, rather than be bound by your linkshell schedule vs real-life schedule.
And mostly, it gives people something to do. The Emp hairpin, while one of the most annoying camps in all of 11, was one of the most rewarding items to get. It had a horribly random drop rate, and typically had 8-10 people camping it. If you could pull off a kill life was good, if you could get a drop, life was great.
You can create competition and a sense of accomplishment without having to sit mindlessly staring at a screen, spamming a macro, hoping to pull a mob that 10+ other people are trying to pull. I know the feeling you're talking about, and it's great, but the problems it creates vastly outweigh the benefits. The kind of problems it creates drive people to other games.
And for those who are saying that NM camping is some kind of post-end game content, to that I say just add more meaningful endgame content. I don't consider farming to be endgame content. It's farming. If you're that desperate for something to do, perhaps level another class, or play another game while you wait for more content. I will say that if all of these items are rare/ex or otherwise not saleable, then I have much less of a problem with open world NMs.
In the first two years of FFXI, I watched things like the Peacock Necklace go from 1,000,000 gil to 25,000,000 due to RMT and botting. I know SE took steps to correct this in later years, but by then, it was too late for a lot of us. It wrecked the economy and drove a lot of players away. At best, the idea of open world NMs is controversial amongst just the players in this thread. Hence, if the goal is still to salvage this game and bring in a broad enough player base to keep it alive, this idea should not be implemented anytime soon, if at all.
On the bright side for you would-be campers, if everything goes well and the FFXI masses flock to FFXIV, you could always play FFXI and have those mobs all to yourself. :D Edited, Mar 27th 2012 11:44am by StasisKorial