I really want to know where all these people have been testing end-game combat. I truly do, because I'm very interested if they're right when they say it's slow, stale, and boring. Soloing a level 50 mob isn't really awe-inspiring, in any game, but serious people don't take that as an example of end game content seriously. I want to hear from the guys who blew through the high level dungeons and entry level raids to see if it still feels the same way. Intricate fights that require some forethought, communication, and skill, not the level 50 Aldegoat Nanny huffing around up a hill.
I keep hearing about how slowly abilities are given out, and I keep thinking to other MMO's where the only time I get abilities at a faster pace is when they are so situational I don't touch them until the end game anyway. The rate I gained abilities in the Beta, by time played, was as quick as I gained abilities in any other game, with the difference being that level 50 in one job isn't the end of your leveling experience. There's another, what, 16x50 levels to be gained before you've finished, to gain abilities from other jobs and classes that make your main class better? By level 35 in the Beta, I had plenty to keep me occupied, and more when I started 2nd, 3rd, and 4th jobs. I didn't have the unnecessary situational bloat though that I suppose makes people feel like they have more to do. I've never been of mind that an empty hotkey slot is bad if the thing I could put there is an ability I'll never touch. I do get coming from another MMO where you have one or several max level characters it feels empty and abilities are slow, but I find it hard to believe even at level 35 with multiple jobs it's really that severe and barren.
I don't get what people are comparing it to, I suppose. I can't think of any MMO that is fast-paced, intricate, and intense at level 10. I've played a lot, and they all start slowly as you learn the game and pick up towards the middle to end, except GW2. That one didn't really change. Things got bigger, but you were doing the same crap you were at level 1. I guess if you're comparing XIV to God of War it's slow and uninspired, but MMO to MMO, it's on par with most others at minimum.