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I'm a veteran MMO player. I've played pretty much every major MMO since Asheron's Call and EverQuest. I've got WoW, RIFT, SWTOR, GW2, TERA, and Wildstar currently on my hard drive, among others. I enjoy a mix of PvE and PvP as long as the PvP is balanced. I've also dabbled in RP. I've been on the fence about purchasing this game. I've heard that it's really good but I've never been a fan of either Final Fantasy or the anime art style in general. But if the game is good enough, I can get past the art style. It's just rare that I find an anime game good enough for that to happen. Knowing the kind of games I play and how I like to play them, how well does FFXIV stack up? Some big concerns of mine are:
1) Is it grindy like one of those typical Asian grinders like Lineage 2, etc?
2) How customizable are the classes? For example, can I be a DPS Paladin?
3) How balanced is the PvP? Are half the classes god mode and the other half worthless?
4) Is the PvE casual or hardcore? Can I log in for a few hours and feel like I've made meaningful progress or do I have to play for days on end to get anywhere?
5) Is there a flourishing roleplay community or is the game pretty much swarmed by Call of Duty kids with character names like "Wtfpwndlol"?
I've read a bunch of reviews but most of the well written ones are kinda dated. I'd like to gather the perspectives of players who have been active recently since the game has received some updates since it was relaunched. I don't want to waste my time and money so any feedback you can provide regarding my concerns and just the quality of the game in general would be most appreciated. Thanks!