And more hogwash.
Look, I won't say instancing is the best in all circumstances, but let's look to the alternative of what XI's "engaging" endgame provided. Going out to Sky/Sea or camping HNMs basically introduced you to competition, botting, MPK, and server drama. I know the trolls love to espouse that the drama makes a community stronger, but my take on it is it's divisive and basically hedges players further apart when fact, fiction, and over-dramatization comes into play. XI wasn't a PvP game, yet it was wrought with pseudo-PvP via limited resources and the steps players would take to get an edge. XIV technically isn't different here, and to be honest, I hope PvP never becomes a priority for the game. But I can at least understand some people like challenges beyond your basic enemy AIs. As long as PvP is never a "must do" like Aion, Rift, or GW2, we'll be okay.
But more specific to the hogwash, there are phases of the relic quests where you must actually leave town. You don't get GC seals just sitting in the city, either. Maybe you want to buy the stat reset item or put together a gear set for an achievement or secondary/tertiary job. Given time, I'm sure we'll see some kind of merit system for overflow EXP, too, which will have people out grinding FATEs, too. As well, I've seen you claim XI's crafting system was superior based on the premise of difficulty to level and rare materials. I can assure you people could PL crafts in XI, too, and without the restriction of leves for bonus EXP. No, XI craft leveling involved finding the cheapest synth and spamming the **** of out of it. As well, many items were "worthless" because of the insistence that HNM or event gear beat crafted counterparts. Maybe you'd have an exception here and there, but a small handful of items does not a healthy economy make. Nevermind the sh*tfest of "public" gathering and there being nothing to it other than carrying a bunch of tools and wearing field gear for an arguably negligible effect.
Anyway, the launch FFXI the NA crowd got was actually the RotZ expansion, too, which means we also didn't go through some of the early growing pains of XI. True launch endgame was getting to 50, beating Shadowlord for R5, and then camping Roc, Simurgh, Serket, Lumberjack, and then maybe playing with the Sin Skulls in Eldieme. That sounds incredibly boring
to me, and that's with trying to distance myself from the actual knowledge of the game and those task difficulties. But in the interest of comparison, let's call completing XIV's main story to beating SL (though I'd argue more difficult). You could liken the Odin and Behemoth FATEs to the launch HNMs. Crafting is more robust. Gathering is fair. Leveling is handled more intelligently. There's a critical flaw in thinking forced grouping for EXP built community, and that's not everyone partied up with the intention of being your next best friend, even if you pushed aside the language barrier that happened in mixed-region parties. Both have seen and will see endgame groups arise and fall, so that's the other side of the community coin. You've played the "XI community is better than WoW community" card in other threads, too, when I'll say both are blessed with people who are awesome and people who suck. You're just running around with a pretty strong confirmation bias because the "suck" people are easier to "see" with spam shouts or rage quitting a dungeon. Frickin' **** if I didn't have some princess people in XI drop a group because we weren't getting X EXP an hour or didn't have some "tried and true" wiki party layout.
So, I'll just be curt. XIV isn't the problem despite its fixable flaws. It's you. Nothing you say here will make XI better. No twisting of interviews actually affirms your agenda. Confusing their plans for the mobile market with the console/PC market is just as inane. Tossing aside reviews you disagree with as if your opinion is any more legitimate is outright dumb. And oodles of wasted zone space still doesn't make a better game. Cling desperately to that "cycle" of launch retention all you want. Nobody's arguing that everyone who picks up the game will stick with it. What's rubbing people the wrong way is the claim everyone
is going to quit because... well, you think they're you. Mercifully, they're not. Edited, Sep 15th 2013 7:32am by Seriha