But am I the only that notices and thinks perhaps XIV's elitism is just a little over the top? Make one mistake? Kicked, First time doing? Sorry only want experienced. Trying to work on getting a relic? See shouts saying only accepting people with relic. (Which makes you wonder why they wanna farm primals anyways lol) While nothing will really change this it's really really turning me off to even wanna play. It frankly makes Rift and WoW seem downright friendly lol.
No you're not the only one. I'm level 50 but didn't rush. I'm up to HM Titan for my relic and I've stopped to gear up a bit before trying it (working on AK drops and Darklight). We have a really mixed group. Some have rushed ahead and are very focused/want to be the best. Others are levelling slowly and getting up there but also enjoying a range of other classes and crafting. I'm somewhere in the middle.
What I do think you're seeing is that the hardcore crowd are pretty much at the end of what they're prepared to do. Not everyone wants to level multiple classes or craft so they've had time to focus on pimping themselves out and moving on. There's probably a bunch of people who are going to get burntout/bored and move on.
I don't think DF helps that culture either. I think it's a good thing to have but equally there's less comeback if you're a born-again douchebag. I've really enjoyed levelling, the majority of dungeons and crafting but I'm not enormously enjoying the CM spam and the idiots I've encountered at 50. Way I figure it though is some will move on.
It does sound like your FC isn't a great match for you. 8 man runs make things easier I guess but perhaps you need to find a bigger, more inclusive group? I have to say though, you do spend a lot more time on your own in this game than you did in XI.