This is one of those games that you just end up switching off the PC, curling into a corner rocking back and forth crying. Yes, it was this bad. My first impressions on this game back in 2010 during open beta was oh...my...god. It certainly looked more nicer than its predecessor FFXI and had some beautiful HD graphics, but it lagged like crazy and this was on a brand new computer specifically tailored to run high definition games at a very fast rate. My machine couldn't even handle this.
After the laggy video of me being thrown around a boat by a giant sea monster I attempted to move around and get used to my surroundings. I can forgive SE for its confusing maze of a map and the character slipping and sliding whilst running like I had wet soap stuck to the bottom of my feet, but I had no idea what I was doing and the constant lag was just annoying the hell out of me. I was so frustrated I couldn't even focus on what the NPCs were telling me and after a while all that talking was just driving me nuts, I wanted to get outside and fight something!
I don't remember how long it took to get my first quest, I think it was a levequest or something I can't remember, but I was finally outside staring at the lush forests looking for my first target. People were running by looking like the T1000 in mercury mode, their textures weren't even loading. I spotted what looked like my target in the distance and began firing my arrow at it. I had no idea if I hit it or not, it wasn't coming towards me, so I moved in closer. I did seem to be shooting but nothing was happening. Suddenly I got a message that I killed 1 of my targets, yet there it was hopping around in the distance. Several seconds later it warped to my feet dead. /facepalm
At some point in the game I decided to try my hand at crafting. In FFXI it wasn't overly too complicated. You just found a crystal, gathered some materials, looked online for a recipe and attempted to make it and it would either fail or work. In FFXIV however I was faced with fat blue windows with multiple selections which was to me massively over complicated.
I hated it basically, and even when SE removed the subscription whilst they tried to fix many of the issues I barely played it and immediately cancelled the account as soon as it stopped being free.
I would've said it's too late for SE to try to recover this dreadful mess of a game and that you should save yourself the pain and agony of this monstrosity,... but all may not be too late.
Recently EA released Simcity, an online version of a fairly decent simulation game that had all the fun taken out of it, half of it worked, and was an epic failure. The interest in a new MMO game quite clearly shows there's a need and desire for a new MMO, and word has been going around for a while that FFXIV has undergone some serious changes that have greatly improved the game and addressed many of the issues that had been around since the original beta. While there's not much detail that can be said about what is going on behind the woodwork (and also due to the NDA being applied to its closed beta testers) it's great news for FF and MMORPG fans and is quite possibly the best chance of a lifeline to bring this game back to life and back on the market again. As for what changes have been applied, well guess we'll have to wait and see when it's out on open beta.