It's not the same. Abyssea destroyed it.
See here is the major problem with FFXI and how terribly it was designed. It created a polarization among the player base. Abyssea for many is hailed as an absolutely great addition to the game, and it had revitilized the game for many. Yet still there is another camp that feels that the game was absolutely destroied for it.
If FFXI was created with the conventions it had now, the entire player stucture of the game would have developed differently and Abyssea would not have been at all received as a culture shock.
Btw, Abyssea did not kill the game's content. The rise of the level cap did. People were so used to sidegrades that when the power cap actually rose, most of the game's existing content became obsolete.
Yoshi has pretty much made the 'theme park' idea of FFXIV clear. Social elements of the game will likely be event related, rather than grind related. Hopefully this means development will keep the player base more unified in the general opinion/constructs of the game. But it's a tall order to fill.
To each their own, I never said it was a requirement for everyone. But there exists a myrriad of MMORPGs out there right now for those who wish to solo through a shallow leveling curve and the real game begins at levelcap. What's wrong with requesting an MMORPG that doesn't adhere to that design philosophy for those of us who don't enjoy it?
Truthfully? The sales rates do. FFXI was a niche game through and through, and you're asking an already ham-stringed game to appeal solely to that niche. I'm sorry but that's a flawed approach.
That's not to say that your desires should not be filled in some manner, but your philosophy is both a dated one and a minority.
It's a matter of expectations. I never went into FFXI expecting to solo, I knew that was a social game orientated at group-base player development. Solo play was limited to other actions, upon which I also found enjoyable.
But a MMORPG does not always have to include a soloable leveling curve, that's just the current trend. The aspects of multiplayer online can be sprinkled throughout the game wherever the developers like.
I personally like them to be along a lengthy leveling curve, not an endgame dungeon-based gear grind. The end result is that after X amount of hours your character is Y more developed. In FFXI that was levels, in WoW/Lotro/SWTOR/etc that was item strength. It just comes down to personal preference.
I could agree to a more lenghty gaming curve, but the game would have to be surrounded around that aspect to a degree, and that's again, a very tall order to fill.
To accomplish what you're seeking:
1. There would have to be low-level content throughout entire curve.
2. There would have to be a reason for higher level players to return to this curve to help lower level players and a MEANS of which to do so. (at all stages)
3. The inevitable power-creep would have to be at a SUBSTANTIAL crawl to prevent this curve from choking-out lower level players from higher level content due to disinterest in lower power items and events having higher power requirements.
In the short term (meaning at releace of 2.0) that's simply not happening - as it would take a substantial overhaul of the entire system, again, for it to opperate.
This could happen, however, for post 50 content - though I've a few ideas for either case.
Level Sync: is one, if we want to cap content to keep content replayable without destroying the feel of the content, and having sync to keep the content itself accessable to higher players.
Consumable Rewards: Namely Battle or Event unique meteria, potions, usable abilities (I.E. Primal Summoning.) This will give a reason to go back and challenge these things after completion. (Being 7/7 Primal Weapons won't mean the end of that battle for players if they could Summon Garuda AND receive a Meteria of Gales out of it.)
For Storyline quests: adjustable difficulties - for those interested purely in getting through the grind or experiencing the story (that they can then revisit at higher difficulties for the desired loot. Think Arc Angels vs Divine Might, or the storyline Primal fights vs the Hard Version fights.)
And of course Achievements (Complete x main story quests on hard!)
This would help keep content throughout the levels engaging and desiring, which would then make a higher leveling curve healthier.
However, I will reiderate that the system of grinding levels should be kept group optional
. Not everyone has the ease of accessibility to their own countries prime times, or a desire to submit every aspect of their game to everyone else's scruples and expectations. Edited, May 11th 2012 2:06pm by Hyrist Edited, May 11th 2012 2:26pm by Hyrist