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By the way, if anyone who's currently in the Alpha test could post a link to my LiveJournal on the official FFXIV forums, I would greatly appreciate it. I didn't get invited to the Alpha myself, and I would really like for SE to see my suggestions. Thanks ;)
With action bars, any icons you select can really only do one thing. And that's activate the ability or item you have in the action bar. In FFXI, the macro system let you do all types of things, including changing entire sets of gear, creating 'custom' emotes, triggering multiple abilities and actions and allowing specific and precise targeting beyond just "<t>". For FFXI, the Macro system was far better then a simple hotbar with ability icons because you could do so much more with it.
It's certainly not a case of "what's better", it's a case of what works best for which game. Hotbars would have sucked for FFXI, but in XIV they're a bit more plausible since we have less to do. Though the more advanced targeting syntax will probably be missed, as it was always nice to have things like /assist playername or to be able to specifically target a player or select mob. And personally, I prefer custom input text titles over simple icons because in a second I will always know what that text labeled button does, but with Icons I have to roll over it to see what it is.
"I have a forebrain, my ability to abstract thoughts allow for all kinds of things" - Red Mage 8-Bit theater
The fact that you only saw the macro slots in FFXI when you wanted to was nice but it had big problems. The action bar will be a good change but I think an improved macro bar would have done fine as well.
One glaringly huge problem I see with the action bar, from what I understand and have seen in the videos, is that you're limited to 10 items that you have to swap around (it's more like a materia bar in a sense). Of course, I may be wrong here, I've just assumed equipped skills automatically go into your bar in the order you have placed them.
From: TaintedSeraphim | #001 Finally got around to writing up a second comparison entry on my new LiveJournal page.
Your writing is terrible, and the subject is completely worthless. No one cares about comparing FFXI to WoW these days. That happened in 2005. Also, we get it, you hate FFXI. You also never really made anything resembling progress in FFXI yet played it forever because you're a terrible player.
Also, I really lol'd: The game even forced you to specify exactly what kind of target you wanted to use the ability on. It couldn't be smart and recognize automatically that "Stonga," an offensive Area-of-Effect attack, should be used against enemies, specifically, the enemy you're currently targeting. No, you had to specifically spell it out with the letter "t" (for target) sandwiched between greater-than and less-than brackets.
If you're using <t> for Stonega -- not Stonga -- you're doing it wrong.