Ok, first off, don't kill me... if you don't agree, please state why. I'd really like to hear from you folks how you feel about this. This is just my opionion, which doesn't mean much because quite often I'm full of ****.
I enjoyed the new areas compared to the last ones. I had a great time traveling through Eorzea! I've been thinking though.. SE claimed that in order to make the zones more interesting and "add landmarks", they needed to go back to the zone system they had in FFXI. I thought "ok cool, as long as the areas improve!". . but then I had a thought as I was traversing through the landscape of ARR; it's no more unique or filled with landmarks than other successful MMOs.
I know a lot of you hate World of Warcraft! Some of you even hate Rift! And a small group of you probably hate anything that isn't FFXI! I get it, I really do. FFXI was my first MMO too and it was a beautiful game that gave me memories no game could ever match. However, the need to go back to zones really feels like a cop-out to me at this point. Azeroth is a huge open world with beautiful landscapes and many, many towns and landmarks. You always know where you are just by seeing familiar vistas or monuments. Yet there are no zones. Same with Rift, no zones.
I think I took that SE jargon and ate it right up because I was so desperate for this game to survive. It's too late to turn back, the switch was made. Eorzea will never have an open world, and I'll just have to accept that. The reasoning behind it however, I will not accept at this time in history. There was no reason they were forced to destroy the open world to add flavor to the game. It was a really bad decision in my opinion.
And even with all the zones, we're still constantly plagued with invisible walls and no ability to swim through a creek or wade into the ocean and go for a dive. I'm not sure why SE made these decisions. Time constraints perhaps? Most likely. I know any development team in it's right mind would not choose to deprive their game of features implemented in MMOs almost 10 years ago.
This isn't a hate thread. I'm not trying to be a negative nanny goat. I just think it needs to be said that although SE has improved this game quite a bit, they've still come to some very silly conclusions that will baffle quite a few potential players.