My character has 2 eyes. Why can she not tell me WHAT the hell I am actually LOOKING at? Gathering is like trying to hit a pinata during a birthday party: You can't see what you're aiming for and you get vague (at best) feedback on how to hit it. The problem is though, since you cannot see what is IN the pinata and no one tells you, you have NO IDEA if you even want it. Add to this you don't actually have the fun of swinging the bat and connecting with the pinata... plus I am no longer 10 years or under and thus pinata hitting has lost its charm in general.
Now, add to the fact that I have to do this for several hours and I still am not guaranteed to find even one item that I actually want, you get a boring mess of a gathering system.
Fishing is so special it gets its own section. Not only do we have the idiocy of the gathering system as mentioned above, but now we have 3 more goodies: WAITING, "nothing bites..." and "the fish got away!"
Waiting: Really S-E? You take the single most BORING part of fishing in real life and subject us to it? W-H-Y?!
Nothing Bites...: I will tell you what bites. This fishing system. THAT is what bites. Unless you plan on adding an NPC like there was in FFXI giving us insight on what baits to use for what fish in what areas, then LOOSEN the restrictions on the store bought bait. I don't want to be required to have psychic powers just to go fishing in a game.
Hooking the fish: Instant failure before you even GET to the minitort... errr... "minigame". What a BRILLIANT idea. It's ideas like this that make FFXIV the steallar game with rave reviews it currently is. Well done! (I seriously hope you detect the sarcasm.)
Oh what a joy of a system.... not. What we have here is a game of chance. You know, like other popular games of chance: Slot Machines, Coin Flipping, Dice Rolling... This does NOT a good crafting system make. Crafting should be based on SKILL. That is why you gave us CHOICES to make during the synthesis, right? Oh... I forgot... unless we choose standard synthesis, we are almost guaranteed a fail. And when we choose Standard Synth, we still fail randomly and with impunity on items 5, 10, 15 levels BELOW us when we can breeze through stuff 5, 6, 7 levels ABOVE us. Why do I have to have a random chance to succeed or fail which is then modified by a randomly determined orb color which is then given a random chance to produce an instability which has a random chance of going away that I can do nothing about...? It seems like you WANT us to have control over our synth, but you have so much randomness going on that it totally rips control out of our hands and puts it in the Random Number Generator's.
So I am a level 8 fisher... doing a lvl 10 guildleve. I'm out minding my own business running to my guildleve location when I see an angler sitting there waiting for me. Surely this wonderful mob isn't aggressive? Wrong... OK, so it's aggressive. I can change into a lvl 10 DoM/DoW and kill it right? Sure... IF it were level 10... It turns out that the lovely angler is level 20. Seriously, SE, by your OWN gaming standards, I should be at Camp TRANQUIL at level 20. NOT CAMP EMERALD MOSS.
Cactaurs... really? OK... so of course I know that they can use 1000 needles. It's they're signature move, after all. SO WHY THE HELL ARE YOU PUTTING THEM IN LOW LEVEL GUILDLEVES FOR THOSE WITH LESS THAN 1000 HPS TO GET 1 SHOTTED?! And to rub salt into our wounds, you LOWER the amount of HP vitality gives and don't compensate DoM classes for the HPs we lose from vitality. My lvl 20 Conjurer has 630 HP with a VIT score almost as high as my intelligence. I dare not lower it any for fear I will have WORSE defense and even LESS HP than I have now. In contrast, my lvl 17 WEAVER has over 800 HP. Umm... yeah...
Guildmarks... I have done enough leve quests at Camp Horizon to get both my Thaumaturge and Conjurer to lvl 20. I have yet to see one guildleve offer me Conjurer points and I have had at least 10 offer me Thaumaturge points. I have no other DoM/DoW classes above level 1, so why am I not seeing any Conjurer marks here?
Same goes with DoL and DoH guildmarks... Hell, DoH can't even tell if they're going to GET marks.
You seem so wrapped up in asking yourselves: "Does it function?" and "Can it be exploited by bots and/or RMT?" rather than the most important question for ANY part of a game: "Is it fun?"