Thought I make a thread for anyone that plays.
What is FFXIV?
Click the link to explore the world of Final Fantasy 14 and its inhabitants.
Your are Hydaelyn's chosen warrior of light and adventurer. With the threat of darkness always present you fight to protect the people of Eorzea.
Game Summery: (borrowed from u/greg_flixmann from reddit)
FFXIV's GCD is 2.5 seconds. This means that the time between your actions in FFXIV is a LOT longer, especially at lower levels. At higher levels, however, the goal is to cram your off-GCD abilities in-between the GCD abilities to maximize your DPS as much as possible. This leads to much more predictable sequences of abilities (aside from some procs in some classes), with a ton of button presses that overwhelmingly need to go off in a particular order. That said - you will not feel this until at least level 50, and most likely not much until you're max level. Don't worry if you're a bit underwhelmed by your low level rotation, as it gets better.
HEALERS - You will be DPSing. A lot. At higher levels, you'll be DPSing more than you'll be healing.
TANKS - You will be DPSing. A lot. At higher levels, you will minimize your time spent in your tanking stance at all.
If you want difficult content focused on your role, FFXIV may not be the game for you, as all classes are primarily focused on maximizing their damage in difficult content. Tanking and healing actions are overwhelmingly scripted and predictable. If this isn't you thing, bail now!
FFXIV has what is called the MSQ, or Main Story Quest, that we all experience separately as the same theoretical character, the Warrior of Light. None of are stories are different.
Side questing to level is basically not a thing in FFXIV unless you're a masochist. If you're doing quests that aren't part of the MSQ, you're leveling very inefficiently. That said, there are a number of recurring sidequests that are fun stories that you'll want to experience, but none of these are challenging and are much more plot-focused, meaning you do not have to do them while you level (most of them don't even give you XP).
There's no direct analog to your class in FFXIV. There are similarities - Summoner is a pet-based, DoT class that sounds like a Warlock from WoW at first. But the actual gameplay is nothing like it, nor is any of the lore even remotely the same.
All jobs in this game are viable at all levels of content. That is 100% true across all content, but that isn't to say certain jobs won't be under or over performing, as the developers are still human beings.
Every job in this game currently plays differently from one another, and you can be each job on one character, so try them all and pick the one you like. Seriously! Pick what you like to play! There's no catch.
Getting to Endgame
Okay. So I have some bad news on this one. FFXIV is a game where the developers want you to experience the expansions as originally as intended (with the slight exception of the speed with which you level).
Unfortunately, because the game was designed in certain ways back in the day, those design choices, as limiting as they are, are 100% still present and you 100% have to deal with them. If you want to experience the story from the beginning, you will spend a VERY long time doing the Main Story Quest from the original rerelease (A Realm Reborn). The MSQ starting at level 50 takes a very, very long time and if you actually want to experience the story, you will have to do it. You will likely greatly outlevel the content as a result. But you'll have to do it. Sorry.
Endgame and Gearing
The best part about FFXIV, is that the gear progression at endgame is very much predictable without any titanforging, lootboxing, or much in the way of RNG at all. The worst part about this all of the downsides that come with that, including a general lack of instant catch-ups.
You will have to grind once you get to max level, even to get into content that is now old, but from the current expansion. It will be a while before you can play with your friends who have been playing the whole time, unless they're nice and want to buy you crafted gear (much more relevance/impact in this game, on the plus side!)
The RNG that does exist is minimal, and rarely gives people more than a few weeks of advantage.
The next expansion was announced at FanFest 2018!
Trailer - https://youtu.be/WxBYy1uzSqI
Blue Mage / New Class - https://youtu.be/jMJ3oGF2SJM