Lol. FFXIII and XIII-2 were the most "Final Fantasy" game to come out in a long time. It's EXACTLY like the older games with the lack of an overworld.
Also, there's nothing unique about 2.0 anymore. Every recent interview thus far has been basically stating this will be an mmo you've likely played at least 30 times in the past 7 years. The only difference will be it will be an extremely pretty game with FF themes...so why play that when you can go to say www.aeriagames.com or www.worldofwarcraft.com and get the same kind of MMO? They ORIGINALLY were making XIV 2.0 different, but eh, now it's clear they just want to get onto the generic train and hope to make a ton of money being exactly the same.
For example, Tera is only around in NA/EU because it's newly released and it has a different battle system. In Korea and Japan? It's failed for all intents and purposes but unlike XIV 2.0, it's doing something slightly different, even if it's just the battle system. XIV 2.0 is doing it's best to mimic every generic MMO out there and slap on FF themes. It worked with XI (Everquest + FFIII) but it won't work now because people want DIFFERENT MMOs these days, not the same **** thing.
This, was summerized by :
If you broke MMOs down to their basic components, things like the story, battle system ect.; XIV wouldn't really stand out against the rest.
And for once, I prefer Filth's description.
Now, to be fair, we don't have the whole picture. There are concepts talked about coming in 2.0 that are not the same as other MMOs out there, or are being alluded to being different.
The Primal system for one, where you can claim and defeat a primal and have your Company summon it for aid as a sort of a pocket world boss pet. That's not been done to my knowledge.
Then there's the vague mentions and praises of the new Battle Regime system, which could wind up being entirely unique on its own right. (I believe even Yoshi cites it as something unique to FFXIV.)
But primarily, I'm not sure it's a matter of how similar or different the nuts and bolts are. Final Fantasy, typically, also sells itself on the world and story, something they haven't got quite right in the opinions of many recently, but still, it's something the fans have not forgotten.
So what's unique in the world of MMO's, the game will be seeped in Final Fantasy references and lore. The story may likely be up to par with the quality players remember of the series (enthralling.) And the combat mechanics will be familiar, yet differing enough to fit within Final Fantasy's concepts of Jobs (You can have many of them to a character rather than one per.)
In terms of what makes it unique in the world of Final Fantasy? It's a high graphical quality, MMO version of Final Fantasy IX's concept - a game that references its series tropes and icons and brings about a feeling of nostalgia while retaining its own identity.
That is, if 2.0 can deliver on at least some of its promises.