According to Yoshida, the experience we have had so far in Beta Phase 3 was just a big tutorial that shows players the mechanics of both solo and party play. It has been said before that even the dungeons from 15-35 (those we were able to try) are designed to show players the basics of partying as well as basic dungeon gameplay. Not to mention that quests from 1-15 are just part of a big tutorial.
That being said, I think that the experience taken from Phase 3 is not enough to determine the final gameplay outcome. It could be said though that the game does have a really long tutorial, and thus, an easy gameplay. However, "easy" is relative, since there are players that have long MMORPG experience and most of them found this last beta phase rather easy. On the other hand, new players found some quests and fights really hard, and some have said they are "impossible" to accomplish.
So, in other words, if you alreaady havd MMORPG experience, the first levels of this game perhaps wont be as challenging as you might think. However, note this is only for the 35 first levels, and everything from 35-50 is just speculation and will only be determined after release. If this is your first MMORPG, I think the difficuly is ok.
The game really holds your hand when you first start. I was disappointed that even though I bumped into lv50 mobs trying to find Grindania(sp) all I had to do was hit Flee and I got away easily at lv10. The game doesn't shine(get harder) until you group with players and do dungeons. The challenge is a total joke until then and the simplistic control scheme doesn't help that perception. I found crafting to be fun though and the group events were equally appealing. If you're one of those people that wants to solo stuff, this game will bore you to tears though.
If you expect to have a challenging experience with "field mobs," this is not your game. It has been said that the core of the game fights are not the fiends found in the fields or outside cities, but those from dungeones and instanced battles. So yes, that is why you are supposed to Flee at lv 10 from lv 50 mobs. Moreover, I found this game to be really "soloable" compared to others (FFXI player talking here). Edited, Jul 29th 2013 4:06pm by PavetlXIV