Just a forewarning, this will be a long post and will use MMO comparisons. TLDR found at the bottom.
Before I start in I want to point out that this game was not ready for release, and passed hands, which equals major trouble not only for any games, but especially for MMOs. Ontop of that I do want to say, time and time again, while doing quests and exploring areas, this game has the potential that you rarely see.
The game right now, is in a redevelopment phase and because of that, many things talked about to come will either have been held off or stopped. This has caused a large schism within the playerbase. A large problem was people coming into the game without reading up on the armory system and not understanding a class is not a role (I won't get into this, its heavily debated and will detract from the post, but I will admit it needs work which it will be getting) which lead to disappointments.
Thank the Gods, fatigue is going, active > passive we can walk through, autoattack to focus on things that matter, item space increase, the list goes on of things that are cosntantly being improved on. Great work Yoshida. Your biggest task now will be making content for casual and hardcore players.
Casual and Hardcore
Both sides bring with them the importance of their input as they will both be valued customers. MMO players have a history of playing games such as Ragnarok, WoW, FFXI, and EQ. With their history comes a vast array of expectations.
In the end Yoshida and Co. will need just that, a vast array of content for players to run the gauntlet of many walks in life. High school kids, highschool kids that think clans are cool, college students, normal adults, parents, and even grandparents; each with their own set of time constraints or.... unconstraint. Unfortunately, constant streams of opinions flood in "When will this game become more casual friendly" and "When will you start appealing to the hardcore players" These are actual phrases I've heard multiple times that conflict eachother and yet somehow coexist.
Now I'm not going to start a WoW vs FFXI vs EQ debate, its been done to death, but if you know the content each offers you can see why problems arise, there are hugely different expectations that players have for developers to present to players.
So what do we have now? An exp system though leves that is very casual friendly, you have a 36 hour window to take care of them before a reset and aspect that refreshes over time for bonus exp. The normal go camp/grind for exp system in this game is rather lackluster and camps are skewn and few. I hope this can be worked on, while at the same time smaller groups can compete for exp by handling leves.
As for content, I know many people love short events that have payout. But I also know players that love content that takes 100+ minutes and is a real grind for the payout. They will need to address both types of content and make the gears for easier stuff worthwhile while still not imposing on the ultra hard to get gear. Whether it be a short 1 hour event or spending time with friends in an endgame area building a pop set, the rewards will need to be detailed according to effort but not shun the players that chose not the hardest. Which will pose a difficult problem.
HQ system needs work. Lawd.
MORE VOICEACTING PLEASE (yes I know it slows down the game but its really impressive when done well)
Honestly class quests and the main questline are pretty well done, though feel short. I love choice of npc diction. The story is pretty engaging. Miner for example was a GREAT story
I hope they abuse the shit out of the Echo. If done correctly we could visit the past 6 umbral eras for a total of 6 different storylines with new good guys and bad guys.
As for side quests, theyre a bit bland, but that goes for any mmo.
Our world Eorzea
Currently there is a problem with our world map being copypastad all over the place. This is going to be worked on and I say good for you. Otherwise there are about 4 regions (other half of island limsa is on, dravania next to Ishgard, the Islands South east of limsa and to the east of thanalan) and 2 towns (Ishgard and Sharlayan) on the Eorzean map You cant get to. This leads to future content/adventure.
Coerthas and Mor Dhona are beautiful and the music fits them perfectly. I'm actually creeped out in Mor Dhona.
my personal hopes
Player company system with many many player aspects for all walks of life.
Multiple types of player transit from airships to chocobos. Lots of customizability. Regions of land that need chocobos and airships.
For the last comparison I'd like to hope our first expansion will be as amazing as FFXIs first expansion. I'm using XI as a comparison because its the same company. For those who were not around let me list some stuff that changed. 3 new jobs, new areas, new level caps, it fixed summoner (before smn only had elementals), second half of city missions, new mission line featuring a new threat that actually spanned two expansions (well thought out story),
If SE were to do a repeat and again do all of the above, I would absolutely be swayed.
game has potential and shows me that in many ways. If SE keeps their action up by swiftly making additions to both gameplay and content we could have a real winner on our hands. Their biggest problem will be dealing with casual and hardcore expectations.