Has the game completely changed from what it used to be at the 75 cap? I haven't played the game in quiet some time but I check up on the status of the changes online from time to time. So I have a handful of questions from a casual veteran player of the past.
I have never had the full amount of time in FFXI to devote to end game things of the past such as Sky, Sea and Dynamis, so I had always just been grouping for exp in the normal 6 man grind parties (which at the time was a tank, healer, refresher and 3 DD being the standard). From reading all the new changed it seems these type of groups have pretty much gone extinct and now all people want is a alliance of players with just a bunch of DD and a few healers. Is there no use for tanks anymore in the game is emnity pretty much a useless thing to have in a merit group? It seems now people will only go to Abyssea because the exp chains are unlimited now and no matter the size of the group it never diminishes, is that actually the new standard for the grouping system? There's no need to keep your time in kills higher to get chains?
I have also read of the introduction of field and grounds of valor books for the solo player which is a nice addition, but these books will let you grind on enemy's that are a way lower level then you as long as then con easy prey to get a massive amount of exp per completion of the book. This is great for people who don't have time to group but it also creates the problem of having your magic and weapons not skilled up to your current level which would result in have to find a skill up party in which to do so. Before you always kept up your skills in parties by fighting IT mobs consistently.
From what I can see Abyssea is the only thing that people will accept now from players, but in Abyssea have they created buffs you can give yourself that are so grossly overpowered you can basically solo IT without any fear of dying? I have seen that you get unlimited reraise a massive TP, HP and MP regain so resting is really irrelevant. But for the casual player who cant devote a lot of time to Abyssea to even obtain all these buffs are they only accepted into alliances now or do they have the threat of being kicked from a group because they aren't as powerful as everyone else?
I know grinding in MMO's is becoming a thing of the past, but in FFXI it was my favorite thing about it at the time. With leveling so fast you don't feel a accomplishment from getting that one of two levels a day. Getting all your new magic and WS in groups was a really exciting thing to achieve while leveling up. It seems the new player base of today is only interested in leveling super fast to get to end game and obtain gear. But for me personally who doesn't have the time to devote to end game getting that gear leveling up slower made me feel like I was achieving something great one level at a time.
I know times change and games change but FFXI is one I though that would never give in to the new way of things that people expect (the typical WoW clone way of getting exp super fast and being overpowered).
Thank you to anyone in advance for answers to any of the questions I have before deciding if returning to the game is worth a shot again. It seems all the changes are a lot to take in and it's basically a brand new game now.