The game goes live in August, I guess I'll just wait until then.
I wrote the below part of this post in April, but I couldn't share it until now:
FFXIV: This is the first weekend I actually played the beta (instead of dabbling at it while in WoW or outright forgetting about it), and I enjoyed it. It's like the good parts of FFXI, the good parts of WoW, and (parts? the good parts?) of Guild Wars2 put together into one game.
It's easy, which is so very not FFXI-ish. It's got those "active quests" (like GW2, I think?) where attacks just randomly happen and you can take part to make nice XP. It holds your hand like WoW does. It also "stacks" quests like WoW does, which is really handy (one quest to kill 7 of X mobs, while another quest wants you to kill 10 of those same X mobs, and what do you know! Another quest wants you to get a drop from killing that same X mob!).
I hit level 10 in archer, so I ran to the leatherworking guild (because what else would Thistle do?) ...only to find that (of course) there's something like the old G1/G2/G# system that FFXI had. No where near as hard/bad, but still a frustrating pause. The quests would have been easy as pie, but I have SERIOUS trouble with the game-maps and have a really hard time getting from one place to another. I spent an hour trying to get to where I needed for the second quest of G1, then had to log out and take a break. Of course once I got there, the quest was easy as heck.
So, finally finishing the G1 quests, I was able to open leatherworking. Would you believe it took me a good 15 minutes to figure out how the heck to synth? I googled, but of course there's little info out there right now. I finally found a video about crafting, loaded it up, glanced down at the bit of FFXIV window showing below that one, and spotted a button I hadn't seen before.
I can't say I like the crafting system. In FFXI, it was bad enough to have to hit one button for every synth, now we have to hit a button multiple times per synth? But we get XP for it, so I guess they don't want it to be too easy.
Rereading that post now, I can say I have fond memories of the beta testing. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was in one of my "I'm quitting WoW" periods, which means I was able to concentrate on FFXIV more than I otherwise would have. (That's also part of why I'm not very distressed at missing out on June beta, I have stuff I want to do in WoW.)
I'm unsure if I'll buy it in August or not. The graphics were amazing. I've been playing WoW for many years now and I still hate their graphics to death. I think the gameplay was better than WoW's, but WoW has RP. RP means more than most anything else. (Will FFXIV have RP? Who knows, but FFXI didn't.)