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I checked out the free weekend to see what's changed and I'll share a few of my experiences with you fine folks.
Firstly, I noticed they have not changed the beginning experience at all. You are still forced to do the same 2+ hours worth of running back and forth clicking on nonsense zero difficulty quest targets. This is highly irritating. During this time you discover one of the major flaws of this games design which is zoning. Every 4 minutes you will be looking at a black screen with letters. This is extremely irritating and a throw back to playstation 1 days and Final Fantasy 7. We are living in 2014 now. This may be a direct result of intending the game be played on consoles. I refuse to give a pass to bad repetitive game design simply to make the console crowd feel less inferior.
Secondly, I'd like to say a word about skills. The skills in this game are annoyingly generic. Compared to GW2 skills which are detailed and distinct and artistic these skills and actions are punctuated by generic bursts of exaggerated light. All of them. This is not entertaining after you realize you're going to be looking at it every time you are forced to spam the same skills over and over.
Next I'd like to take a moment and call attention to the overall graphics. I hear talk about how great the graphics are in this game but it is far from reality. They've taken photos of real materials and pasted them over every surface. This may seem an intelligent thing to do but it's very repetitive and has no artistic style whatsoever. It gives an initial impression of realistic textures but fades quickly into being overused and a lazy way to cover a lot of model area as quickly as possible. You'll be looking at the same repeated bland world textures and semi-seamless textures for most of your first 2 days and beyond. You'll be greeted by many other examples of lazy development such as copy and pasted trees, rocks and formations which have somehow been strewn across the landscape sometimes in a row. Armor textures are not as sharp as they should be. When your camera is pulled out they look pretty good but zooming in will reveal some horrendously ugly defects which destroy the immersion of detail. I'm also highly irritated they have the same character designs from release. Every character in this game looks like a prepubescent teenager. Everything is this game has an impressively thick glaze of femininity. There's no balance.
I'd also like to mention the incredibly bad running mechanics. This is the biggest game killer for me. There is no immersion whatsoever when your character doesn't feel rooted to the world you are running in. Your character will literally slide. You will not feel like your character is firmly planted on ground. Your character glides across the surface at an even z axis without so much as a hint of following a contour based on the ground of which you are running. Running up stairs is an action of gliding across the ground watching your legs move underneath a fixed point of your body and then sliding at an angle across the top of the stairs as if there are no stairs. For 90% of your time you will not be fooled by their poor running illusion.
The game has great cut scenes as expected from final fantasy games. This is the highlight of the entire game. The game also has top notch enemy designs. It's to bad enemies are all camped out in mass spawns just hanging out looking stupid with no point. This sort of design does not earn a game a 8/10 rating. The first 2 days experiences alone and the fact that immersion is non existent in this game demand a score closer to 3/10. If you have to force yourself through swamp pits and quicksand and months of pathetic gameplay to reach a soft candy center of contentment you are not doing it right. You are wasting your money. 8/10 MMO games are fun and entertaining from beginning to end. This game is not even close.
I have more niggles as to why this game is dramatically overrated in 2014 but this will do for now.