I really like the idea of racial differences in FFXIV. I think it would greatly increase uniqueness of the game and funness. The racial differences now, I think, should be taken out, unless more serious ones are implemented. Its just confusing having to explain to people that there are differences but they will never make a difference.
I have several reasons based on these assumptions:
-Currently, the racial differences are small enough to be negligable.
-Elitists do exist, and should be taken into consideration but not paramount. Elitists are srtictly endgame people. FFXIV is allgame content. Why reform for one component of the game?
-Any racial difference should not be small enough to be negligable but not large enough to prevent any race from being socially forbidden from being a class.
-FFXIV should not be, in any way, encouraged to include something for the sole reason that FFXI had it. However, FFXI is a game that is similar and can be included in examples and references of how racial differences effect an game's overall value. (Note: Combat in XIV is different than XI in general EXP parties. One difference is that mobs are usually killed a lot faster resulting in larger pulls or roaming parties.)
-FFXIV is in dire need of more subscribers, especially moreso now that payment will be required. More people are actively against racial differences than for. -One of the reasons WoW is popular is because of how much it includes what the people want, which may not always effect a game positively. (For example, people didn't like travelling to instances, wanted to play with people from other servers: Dungeon Finder, People wanted to make gear look different; Gear appearance changers, People wanted flying mounts in the 2 main continents; given, People wanted mounts at lower levels; mounts at 20, Etc.)
-FFXIV is not WoW. In WoW, unless specified otherwise before a raid starts (I'm ignoring pre-endgame content) the only thing that really mattered was apparent usefulness (a tank being able to keep life up and keep threat, a healers heal count, a damagers damage count). Even if a DPS died mid-fight for 60 seconds from unpreventable causes (his DPS would stay somewhat accurate) and had the most DPS, his overall damage may not be first, and someone else may recieve credit. In FFXI, there were "support" jobs. For example, the bard and scholar. A bard could not directly cause damage and was only effective in groups. The scholar could do both damage and heals, and therefore was less effective in both than a BLM or WHM. This isn't as true in XIV, but it is somewhat true and will be moreso in the future. From this, the fact that support jobs must be included in discussion is true.
If you don't agree with any of these, state which one in your argument.
In FFXI, I rolled a taru. I thought, hmm, I pretty much all I like to do is use magic classes and tarus are good at magic so I should be good with them. I obviously had severe stat differences with other classes like galkas. Naturally, I explored other jobs like paladin and such. I remember one experience I had tanking: They said a taru tank would never work (this was level 30 at Yhoator) but let me try it anyway. I had a large mana pool, and was able to keep myself full of mana for most of the fight. The extra heals gave me the enmity I would have otherwise lost as a different race as a paladin (and afterward one of them said I did better than most tanks could have). One example obviously isn't enough, but hypothetically, there are others. For expample, take a galka mage. Lotta life, low MP, MND and INT. However, there are benefits to that extra HP as a mage. He could nuke or heal as much as he wanted, when the mob attacked him he knew he was at his limit and could stop and let DD and tank regain relative enmity. He'd be attacked a few times, his extra life saving him from death. Using food could compensate for loss in mana. It may cost some G to keep up in common gameplay but that might be considered negligable, since other classes have to pay G for simple play anyway (For example, Ninja in FFXI and Archer in FFXIV). However, a taru that accidentally gained too much enmity would be 1-3 shotted from a formidable foe. Healing self would gain more enmity and therefore more damage from the mob. The idea of compensation in distribution of stats based on race justifying certain classes, of course, is not true for everything. A taru tank warrior, would have nothing to compensate with for lower VIT, except for maybe more dodge or something, but not significantly. Also, one train of thought might say that a taru and galka could do the same damage no matter what -as long as its reasonable- the racial stat differences are, seeing as how both are capped by the amount of enmity they can generate, given that stat-generated damage is counted in enmity.
This still leaves the fact that some people will not be satisfied at all with any form of play style for classes being socially excluded by race. For example, there are going to people who want to face tank with a taru with as much health as possible. They are going to not want to have to hide behind their extra magic, sustaining spells like Shock Spikes and Stoneskin, even though they may be a GLD, when tanking. However, such a playstyle as tanking as a little itti-bitti taru hiding behind health really isn't realistic. Nothing about an MMORPG is realistic, you say? Sure, but somethings are and I'd like to keep at least a resemblance of some. For example, I didn't like how in WoW you could simply summon a mammoth out of thin air. In FFXIV and FFXI you rent a chocobo from a stable or call one that picks you up where ever you are, concepts most people and I surely agree with. Somethings in games like FFXI and FFXIV there are at least somethings based on realism, like the airships and boats in XI, kept in check by gametime agendas, and VIT based on a race's sizes and lore. Not all people can be appeased. One person face tanking a boss as a taru like a galka would will please some people, but it will annoy people as well.
As to people believing racial aesthetic decisions should not effect gameplay. Generally, people who want to be a galka aren't going to want to be flimsy casters and people who are tarus generally aren't going to want to be tanks. Size does indeed usually come hand-in-hand with strength. All I have for now in this paragraph- more later.
Now, to people who talk about elitist groups excluding certain races as classes. There are so many options to compositions of groups in FFXIV. There are (will be) support classes to take into consideration. Both magic classes have the ability to heal and DD, respectively specialized. Therefore, they're both not complete respectively DD or heals, and can switch thereof during encounters. Having different races as different classes will have the same effect. This isn't WoW where all you need (generally) is types of DD and heals - in FFXIV/XI support, styles of play, and group benefits provided by classes are all factors. It would be difficult to simply say: Taru casters are the only acceptible casters. -Side note: one or two complaints from ignorant players about race/class combos should not warrant enough for someone to complain about social exclusions or accusations. Such is to be expected in online games.
To the idea of racial abilities based on the lore of race - A nice way to stop the bleating of the lore fiends, not enough to provoke the elitists. However, I resent this idea. It in no way represents the realism FFXIV represents (again, however slight that might be). It seems like what WoW is doing - whatever the majority of players want, decreasing the value of the game (obvious opinion). It is my belief that racial traits should be readily apparent.
-Just realized I used all XI terminology for races. For those who don't know:
Galka - Roagadyn
Taru - Lalafell