As a player who wants to see FFXIV succeed in the longrun, I wanted to offer a bit of advice, given the stuttered launch of the game.
With the upcoming addition of classic FF jobs to the game, I believe that the production team has a golden opportunity to salvage FFXIV and bring players back to the game. Up to this point, the reality of the situation has been that the changes to the game have been too small and too slow in coming to bring players such as myself back. I haven't logged onto the game since before the battle system upgrades, and while I'm interested to see how the game is playing these days, I'm afraid that the most beautifully crafted battle-system in the MMO world isn't enough of a draw to get me back on the server.
One thing that I know would draw me, and a lot of players, to give FFXIV a second chance would be the implementation of Jobs. That being said, the producers need to tread very carefully here.
I recently went back to FFXI after a two year hiatus, and like many players I'm underwhelmed by the recent changes. While Abyssea has undoubtedly breathed new life into the game, it has come at the cost of nearly 10 years worth of content that is now obselete. Not just "it's there if you want it" obselete, but "there's no point" obselete.
I'm not the only one who feels this way, and I'm sure other players coming back to FFXI would jump at the chance to try FFXIV, with the updated graphics and the new Armory System, if we could play our favorite jobs as well. I know that if the producers put Ninja into FFXIV, I would fire the game back up to check it out. I know if they put Beastmaster in, my girlfriend might move to FFXIV and leave FFXI in the dust.
One thing FFXIV has been lacking is the pride people in FFXI took in their jobs. Hitting 75 in a job (before the level increase) meant that a player had invested time, energy and passion into leveling that job. People leveled jobs like Beastmaster, Dragoon, Puppetmaster, Black Mage, Ranger, etc. even in times when these jobs were not desired, because the jobs struck a chord with those players and heightened their enjoyment of the game. Honestly, I never really saw that in FFXIV; what I saw were players leveling classes to get certain abilities.
I like the class system, honestly. I like the customization it allows. However, I think that the addition of jobs will add more than just nostalgia for FFXI players looking to recapture something of the old game, but also a chance for players to really connect to the new game and invest themselves emotionally in their characters and progress through the game.
But again, the developers have to tread carefully here. Adding only a few jobs at first might be alright, but they should plan on incorporating many of the FFXI jobs if they really want to bring XI players over. Changing things a bit is certainly OK, but try to make improvements, rather than the lateral shifts that we've seen from the Tanaka era of FFXIV. Hard decisions would have to be made, such as whether to keep certain aspects of jobs, change them or scap them (for example, if Ninja is implemented, should they give them Utsusemi/Copy Image? If so should it automatically block attacks or only have a chance? Would XI players respond well to a changed Utsusemi? Would it alter XIV's mechanics too much?).
Just some thoughts, but the most important thing I wanted to say is that focusing on the Job system may be the saving grace of a struggling game.