I've seen a lot of topics with both speculation and hopeful wishing stating that xxx person would like yyy feature found in zzz game. Here's my outlook on this:
I DON'T want another clone of every other MMO that I've ever seen. It seems that *with only a couple of exceptions* every MMO that comes out is a reskinning of another MMO that was already on the market. Most of them I refer to as WoW clones. Nearly everything put into the game seems to follow the same formula as its "original" counterpart.
I tried out the Aion Online beta yesterday. I'll say, it's pretty. The game runs smoothly, and even for a beginner, it's easy to jump in, get started, and have fun. As far as the game play experience, however, it's the same exact feeling I got when I played WoW.
As far as WoW goes, I enjoyed the game, but the game play felt really detached. I felt like I was playing a game rather than escaping into another world. When I play FFXI, it's the opposite. FFXI feels more like an extension of myself rather than just a game. I'll admit that most of that feeling comes from the control scheme of the game. I'm much more comfortable with a keyboard alone than with anything else. I absolutely loathe the use of a mouse for controlling any games other than RTS and FPS type games. Controller, I can use and be ok, but it still gives me that detached feeling if I do.
I don't want FFXIV *has anyone made the FFHIV joke yet? lolz FFAIDS* to give you some new quest each level that basically says "Go kill this mob and bring me x# of this quest item for yyy# of EXP and a bit of gil." The questing system in FFXI could have used a bit of work itself, but I felt that it was more involved than the superficial quests that no one thinks about. Some of my favorite quests involved the fellowship quests. They had real story behind them that unfolded as you achieved the goals. It felt like what you were doing actually had some meaning.
I don't want FFXIV to put everyone on similar grounds regardless of what gear they are wearing. I want to be proud of the hard work I've put into my character. The best way I can think of to do so, is for there to be a noticeable performance difference between myself and the run-of-the-mill player. In FFXI, that is usually achieved by proper gear swaps with the right gear. People have their opinions of gear swapping. Mine is this: If it's what's necessary to maximize myself, then I'll do it. If it's not necessary *as in they find a way around it* then whatever is necessary, I'll do it. *the debate on gear swaps needs to stay in the other thread that's devoted to it.*
I don't want a world that makes you feel like some kind of outsider or tourist. Most MMOs have such a superficial feel to them that even the home nations make it seem as though you're just some tourist passing through. FFXI, however, makes you really feel like a citizen of the nation you choose.