I had a blast with the game for almost a year, but I am just going to wait for XIV at this point. Hard, tedious, and unforgiving , yes. But tons of fun, and a sense of accomplishment along the way. And it *gasp* forced interaction with other players. And *gasp* the journey to level cap was challenging, with tons of things to do. It was not the "solo grind to level cap and then maybe you will interact with others and have some fun" style game that WoW is.
But still.. for $5, it is tempting to mess around in the newbie areas for a bit to build anticipation for XIV. Make a Taru Taru monk and puch Yagudo's in the stomach.
Yeah it is fun until you delevel 3 times within 2 days even though it took roughly 2 or 3 (or longer depending on how many people passed on inviting a thief...) days to gain each of those levels in the first place.
I had an absolute joy playing it until then. I liked the combat, crafting, and overall feel to the game. I will agree and disagree with the forced interaction though. Now I don't mind partying up in MMOs and would have liked WoW to be a little more forced (I rarely partied for the first 30 levels... back before they decreased the xp to level). But FFXI was way too forced. The moment you pass roughly level 8 you never solo.... ever again (of course I never made it up to lvl 30 since I quit after what I talked about previously).
I will say that I have yet to play an MMO (or play one long enough) to get the sense of accomplishment that I did from FFXI. Anytime you gain some new feature, like the ability to take a sub-job or get your chocobo license, it really made you feel like you were making progress through the world. Other MMOs seem to only give you a sense of accomplishment way too late in the game or just don't feel as major when you do them.
I still won't suggest anyone to the game though. But if you do choose to then for the love of god play a white mage... you will never not be in a party.
I wish I could say that, but honestly I was severely addicted to it for at least three years. It was literally all I thought about every day and my sleep schedule dwindled to a few hours a day.
Now you don't have to be addicted to a game to think about it while you are not playing it. Anytime I take one of those scantron tests (the ones you fill out one of the 5 circles as your answer) I always (if I don't know the answer) try to make a design with an idea that it is, sadly, a sunken defense from Starcraft.
We used to take non graded tests on those and that was when I literally just made mazes with the hopes that zerg wouldn't get passed my sunken defense (of course I did still have to avoid walling off or they would have destroyed me).
That wasn't even a game I was ever madly addicted to, but I think far more about Starcraft than say... Counter-Strike (I was addicted to it awhile back), or Halo (same as Counter-Strike), or even NeverWinter Nights (Oh World of Haven... how I miss you).