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Debating whether or not I should buy this. If anyone here has some experience with the game, could you please offer some insight?
If you don't buy the latest version(which probably isn't available) you'll be downloading updates for 1-5 hours.
From then on, it's your basic MMORPG, except it's an amazingly well-done one. The graphics are over par, as are the music and sounds. The plot is optional. There are quite a few ways to interact with other players, although most of it will include teaming up to whack away at a monster. They incorporated PvP as a sort of "conquest" system, where you basically get a license, find a team and duke it out in an area. In fact, a lot of standard MMO features were revamped for this game. Square did a lot of work to carry the load for some of the most mundane roleplaying issues, like trying to sell old stuff: they have an Auction House, where you can basically buy/sell any item in the world. There's a lot to do here-- it would be impossible for you to do absolutely everything while still trying to keep a regular leveling-up rate.
As far as quests go, well... you can't really expect them to be as diverse as humanly possible, can you? But they are. Honestly, 80% of them include quests like "talk to this guy, go kill that, collect the drop, give it back to him", with slight variations. The ones which may have nothing to do with that formula aren't very exciting on their own. Honestly, it is possible not to do any of these quests and still have fun with the game-- but Square was pretty generous with the rewards.
There are enough complexities to keep you busy. Spend enough time fighting, and you'll learn the combat system-- which relies on timing and special skills. Unless you pick a particular job, you end up concentrating on a lot more than doing the most damage possible. Learning all the different ways to earn money is fun too, when you get into it. Honestly, check out a site like http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/ if you want the ENTIRE rundown on the game.
If you're looking for a classic MMO, this is probably your best bet. If you're looking for something revolutionary, you might want to save your money until the online genre evolves a bit.
P.S. Try to get on the Garuda server if you can. There should be information somewhere there or on gamefaqs.com on how to keep loading a new character until you get the server you want. I'll help you out with a LinkShell(another name for a guild) and some quests and such.