Beautiful Game. Don't listen to the haters.
I haven't played the game long but as someone who has played FF XI since its release, I can safely say this game is quite different then FF XI. It has similar mechanics here and there, but the entire job/class system is different not too mention a whole new battle system.
The game is stunning graphics wise, being you have a system that can run it on full settings.
The game is confusing at first, as you try doing things you were used to doing in FFXI, you realize that you can't do that anymore, or it may be done differently. Take for instance, you used to be able to "CHECK" an enemy to give you an idea on how tough it is, but as far as I have notice, that option seems to be absent from FF XIV. I didn't check that hard so I am sure it is there somewhere.
The biggest change is the battle system. Everything was auto-mated in FFXI aside from weapon skills, spells, and abilities, but normal attacks were automatic. In FF XIV you have a new stamina bar and every attack has to be initiated. Something very different to get used too.
The job/class sytem has been completely changed as well. In FFXI you could go into your Mog House and change your job and subjob whenever you wanted. In FF XIV your job/class/hobby is based on whatever you have equipped. If I equip a bow, my class becomes Archer. You also have 2 separate levels in FF XIV. You have your PHYSICAL LEVEL which I can only assume will never change, and you have your class level which will change depending on your current class is.
The fact is, this game is a whole new game quite different then FF XI, and it is a whole new learning experience. It sucks leaving FF XI, after being there for so long, but it is time for a new world and a new game.
After a lot more time with the game, I can't say my feelings haven't changed much on the game. This game is for the most part is built around and for the casual gamer. Everything in this game such as Quest cooldowns, Anima recharge, and Guardion favor recharge all takes a lot of time to help prevent any group of people from playing the game constantly and getting so far ahead of everyone else that they can drive the economy down.
The fact is, this game isn't for everyone, and it is obvious by how many negative reviews it is getting. These people need to get off their WoW high horse and realize that this game does what it can to not be WoW. If I wanted to, I could go out and buy WoW right now and within a week, I could have a capped character. So where is the fun in that? Because the games doesn't limit you I can be rushed through everything without really experiencing the game fully. FF XIV is not played like that and people need to realize that.
Yes I understand the interface is not the best, the lack of Auction Houses is a big deal right now, but people need to realize that they pushed this game out before it was ready. It was stupid yes but people just need to deal with it. I don't know what else to say, but plain and simple: This is not an MMO for everyone. If you want to play WoW then go play WoW.