Been a long time since I posted on the XI forums... but this new expansion has piqued my interest and I'm considering coming back.
Not trying to troll here or stir something up, but I kinda wanted to gain a sense of what is expected from this new expansion in terms of story quality. The best part of XI for me was always the story, and I'm wondering whether or not you guys think it will be up to par with some of the previous expansions. A close second was the thrill of exploring and seeing new areas.
I quit XI about 4 years ago about 6 months before they released the final WOTG chapter after having played for 7 years. While I happened to enjoy that expansion overall (having watched the cutscenes for what I missed on YT) I agree with the criticisms that it was drawn out. Some aspects of the storyline felt sort of filler-y/boring too. The bottom line I guess was that I didn't enjoy it as much as the previous installments. While I thought that time travel was a neat concept, for a lot of the zones they didn't really look as I hoped... I mean, they were just slightly reskinned versions of their present forms (ex. create one tower, copy and paste it all over the map).
So overall how does everyone feel: will SoA be another protracted affair like WOTG, or are you expecting something more TOAU/COP in terms of story quality? I know that the development team has changed so I guess it's a question of whether or not this team can provide an FF quality story (because, correct me if I'm wrong, FFXI post abyssea has been more content rather than story focused). As for the map design... does it look like a bunch of reused assets or does it look/feel like something fresh and new? I'm not sure if I'm really conveying the feeling properly but... if I buy this expansion and I come back, is it going to feel as fun as that first time I walked into Miseraux? As exciting as that first boatride into Whitegate?
I realize that a lot of this is subjective but I trust the opinion of you loyalists. :P