The gamers I'm complaining about want to run around in UBERLEETZ GEARZ but they don't want it to be hard to achieve said gear.
Before I get started, I loved your post, with a rate up and everything.
I think the issue is really about what constitutes "hard." Or put another way, what is the difficult challenge you have to overcome for the reward you seek?
If you're a physics student, it's being able to solve difficult problems in physics to get the high grade. Others who fail to solve these problems will not be so rewarded.
If you're were a classic FFXI player, it was the ability to spend a lot of time playing the game, or being available for the opportune moment to improve your chances for success (e.g. waking up at 3 a.m. to possibly kill an HNM which may
be claimed by someone else, may
not even appear, may
kill you even if you claim it, and may
not drop the treasure you were hoping for--but even if it did--the treasure may
go to someone else in your group who also wants it).
For some people, that's the sort of difficulty they like. And for awhile, I played along with this concept wholeheartedly. But, now that I'm older, I'm not so sure of its entertainment value. It would be one thing if after mastering FFXI for 3 years you had gained skills like advanced calculus, firearms proficiency, a love of gardening, and the ability to play Mozart on the piano. But it's mostly just a social game where you have to work with others over the internet towards a goal through the use of well-timed button presses and which ultimately ends up being "just for fun." And this is great, but only in small doses, not as something you do to the detriment of everything else. So, now that I look at it with a little more wisdom, the time wasting aspect seems more harmful to me than just a fun difficulty to overcome.
Now I prefer my games to be "hard" in different ways. One that presents a problem that must be overcome not with enormous patience or a willingness to be available 24 hours a day, but by wits and cooperation. I think the social aspect is better served not by putting its players through a grueling pace, but rather challenges that need a bit of thought and teamwork.
So that said, I'm interested in seeing how FFXIV turns out. I won't pin all my hopes and dreams on it. If it's a style that doesn't interest me, I simply won't play; there's no need for me to take it out on SE, or the fans, or whatever. But I do hope it's not all about just giving things away, or making you wait a really long time before it gives things away. There really needs to be more to it than just the time spent in and of itself.