I doubt many FFXI vets really think 14 will be as magical as their first mmo (ffxi). You can still enjoy new mmos but it will never ever be the same as your first mmo, you will never recapture the magic.
My first few weeks on FFXI were amazing, I mean utterly amazing and I was completely lost in this amazing world. South gustaberg was awe inspiring, later finding north gustaberg which gave me great and long lasting enjoyment to explore. Finding a tunnel area filled with quadravs which genuinly felt like finding somethign hidden and special, or the first trip to Valc dunes. I've played lots of MMOs with much more detailed and wonderful worlds than FFXI and it's still just not the same, you become jaded and see the game as just that, you know how it all works and it's just not special or awe inspiring anymore. You can enjoy the games but you treat them as you treated your last mmo when you were grinding levels or gear. it's not an experience it's just carrying off where you left off in another world. You see amazing things in new mmos and you look at them and comment how great it all looks, then carry on grinding quests or mobs. Your first mmo you get lost in the world and it's not about just grinding to cap or getting gear, you never really get that feeling again.
Your first mmo is like your first love, the first time you have ice cream, the first day of school or college or whatever. You will never have that first time feeling again, so if you're expecting that you are going to be dissapointed.
Hmm not necessarily. Stepping into XI was an amazing experience, that's true, but when I stepped into Ragnarok Online it was also that same amazing experience from the atmospheric music to the cute anime isometric-psuedo 3D design,2 years laters I discovered Maplestory with my cousin and stepping into it was also an amazing experience due to the fact it was a side scrolling MMORPG, something you never seen before. It was fun, cute and also had some pretty amazing music in places Of course you had to spend money so for the full experience, so I never played it for too long however that "one time amazing feeling" works quite differently for MMORPGs. So while I get what you're saying, it's not fully true that people were basically jaded after already having an amazing experience...it's more:
"Well I stepped into WoW, did my ****, now I'm moving on....hey this MMO looks cool.."
"Well I stepped into Rift, the game felt just like WoW so I couldn't really get into it because I've already burnt myself out on WoW...hey this MMO looks cool!"
"Well I stepped into Knight Online and it felt exacty the same even though it's older than Rift..hmmm..let's try..."
"Well I stepped into Space Cowboy and yet, it still feels exactly the same..even though I'm flying a ship and driving a tank...lets keep looking.."
"Guild Wars 2 **** yea! Now this is what I'm talking about! -1 month later- well I'm bored as **** now, this feels pretty routine and not even interesting routine..lets try"
"SWTOR..Star Wars by Bioware, how can they **** this up? Feels exactly the same as WoW with worse PvP..lovely.."
When you look at it like that, then you look at FFXIV, logically you'd assume to get that amazing feel you got from XI because XI was an amazingly designed FF game in an MMORPG setting. It wasn't a perfect game, but you think Final Fantasy
Online, you'll jet everything right back to XI not because it may or may not have been your first MMORPG, but because it was an actually well designed and great
MMORPG by Squaresoft/Enix that stayed true to the Final Fantasy name and you obviously wanted to feel that with FFXIV. You get jaded quickly when you play numerous MMORPGs that all feel and play the same, but you still get that "amazing feeling" when you step into MMORPGs that try to do more than just fit the mold to make money.