- Cannot play in a window without cheat programs
This is true.
- Cannot easily resubscribe
This is usually true. Now and then, however, Square-Enix runs promotions that let you buy a new account and recover your old characters. They are running one right now, as a matter of fact.
- Stupid billing system (if you subscribe the 30 April you will be billed again the 1 May)
Um… no. Well, yes and no. Square bills on the 1st of the month. In your trial month, you will be prorated, so the first 30 days are still free. It is certainly true, however, that if you buy a content ID for an extra character on the last day of the month, you’ve mostly wasted a dollar, because the next billing period will ding you another dollar on the 1st.
Yes, including delevelling.
- Slow travel system (it takes ages to move between the zones and in the cities)
There is a quest in each of the major cities that gives you fast zone access by linking the mog houses in the various residential areas. There are “warping Tarus” in Windurst to help you get around. It is certainly true that travel between the cities is time consuming until you’ve progressed somewhat. Chocobo license at level 20, airship pass at rank 5. Outpost teleports available at various levels, capping out at the exotic zones around level 65. When I was starting out, I liked that travel was hard. The world felt very large, and I felt a great feeling of accomplishment after completing a journey of any significant length.
- Unusable, counterintuitive quest system
It doesn’t lead you around by the hand like WoW does, but I would hardly call it unusable.
Ummm… no. Beastmasters, while feeling some pain from a recent nerf, can still solo all the way to 75. Some other jobs are soloable as well, with patience. I agree that this is not a solo-friendly game in general.
If you played FFXI in the early days, you may be interested to know that the weaker mobs are worth more XP than they used to be. This makes soloing a viable proposition for longer… but you will want a group eventually.
I recently soloed DRG/WHM all the way to 18, and never visited Valkurm once.
Would you care to elaborate?
- Terribly restrictive group requirements
There are HUGE flaws that undermine this game. For me most of these are impassable barriers. For example I started in the TaruTaru capital and it was simly impossible to get a group past 10 because the “default” zone where everyone else is (Valkrum) is many zones away. So it would take me a lot of time and probably many deaths to arrive there.
Well, that’s your fault for following the cookie cutter progression. At 10, you really should be in Tahrongi Canyon. You don’t even need a full party to level there. From there, the Maze, and then Buburimu. If you really want to go to Valkurm, you can bust your hump to reach the ferry at Mhaura, but it is a crying shame that more people don’t use the opportunities available to them on the Windurst side of the ocean.
If your point is that FFXI isn’t WoW, OK, point taken. FFXI is a hardcore MMOG, parts of it suck, parts are very grindy, but despite all that, some parts are good and others are downright excellent. I have had some of the most satisfying moments in my gaming experience in FFXI. I think it’s a good game, but it requires a major time investment and it won’t suit everybody’s tastes.