The weapon delay for FFXIV's auto attack could be faster than the system in FFXI.
Like it or not, auto attack will be implemented in Final Fantasy XIV.
In a post on the Lodestone Web site, FFXIV battle lead Akihiko Matsui said auto attack is necessary to "create more interesting and strategy rich battles as well as solve the tediousness of having to spam a button." Auto attack was a cornerstone element of the battle system in Final Fantasy XI, but Matsui said the FFXIV development team is considering a faster attack delay than adventurers experienced in Vana'diel.
"The objective here is not to lower the battle difficulty," Matsui wrote in his post. "The main objective here, when thinking about battles rich in strategy, pce and exhilaration, is instead of having to time regular attacks, we will be preparing situations that require proper timing of abilities, magic, and weapon skills."
Check out Matsui's post in reply no. 194 of this thread on the Official Square Enix FFXIV forum.
Discuss this in the ZAM forum.
Matsui also says players won't be able to auto attack their way to victory. Opponents of auto attack often criticize the feature as a crutch players lean on when fighting weak monsters, turning their attention elsewhere rather than focusing on the game. Proponents of auto attack are quick to point out that players can’t rely so heavily on auto attack when fighting stronger, challenging monsters.
Although the notion of adding auto attack has fueled debate on the ZAM forums and elsewhere, the second Final Fantasy XIV Players' Poll showed that spamming actions was one of the biggest problems with the current battle system. The poll results, released in early March, showed that 19.1 percent of players disapproved of the button-mashing nature of the current battle system. Topping the list of issues was the lack of class uniqueness (which garnered 21.9 percent of the vote). The third-most common problem was the lack of effect from attributes (15.8 percent).
The Players' Poll definitely showed that spamming actions is an issue, but the question remains whether auto attack will be accepted by the majority of players -- something that isn't directly addressed in the poll results. However, with so many Eorzeans having experience in FFXI, it seems likely that players won't need too much time to acclimate to the inclusion of auto attack.