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One reason FFXI was so great was because of the people. A MMORPG with a great community isn't done by accident.
In my opinion the reason FFXI had such a good community was because the game promoted it. In the early days of FFXI if you were selfish, lazy, or inconsiderate you would have it alot harder than someone who was thoughtful, ambitious and easy to get along with. If you were going to run into beggars, thieves, trolls or the non-social solo type chances are you would find them in the starting areas. The Valkrum Dunes and the teamwork promoted there warded off alot of potential bad players. If you offended some people on Monday chances are that you won't find a party as easy on Tuesday. I could go on and on forever but you get my point.
Fast forward to the Abyssea age and the community is night and day. Nowadays any troll with half of a brain and poor grammar skills can not only survive in FFXI they can thrive, because the game promotes selfish solo type play instead of structured teamwork. The last time I played almost a year ago the people in Abyssea reminded me of Valkrum Dunes in the early days. Yelling, bickering, fighting, and acts of selfishness were more common there than anything I had seen in that game before.
That is what seperated early FFXI from all other MMO's imo. In order to succeed in this game you had to put on your work face and bring a positive attitude with you. None of that matters if you can do it by yourself.
I hope FFXIV 2.0 is challenging and based around teamwork like early FFXI was. It is essential for a great community.
Thanks for your time.