So the latest FFXIV patch, numbered 1.19, has had some interesting fallout.
Combat being harder is the first one people commented on soon after the patch went live, obviously because that's the easiest to start testing. It is much harder, and XP rather sucks fighting mobs your own level. I'm not horribly shocked though that solo grinding took a bit of a hit though, as I expected the game to be shifting towards a more group friendly XP camp style, with solo hunting being a viable side option. I doubt this is really going to change anywhere in the near future, but I have been wrong before.
The crafting changes are one that even I am trying to still come to grips with. SE made some DRASTIC changes to the crafting, which of course meant that crafters really started to dig in with their prices. When people first logged in you had your old equipment now labelled as 'Dated blah', and most of that had new versions which usually had lower prerequisites and better stats. Here is the problem I have with this though. Why make a 'Dated' version at all? Why not simply update all the currently existing gear to the right level and stats? After all, it all reads from the same database.
The new biggest talk of the town for the 1.19 patch is the issue of powerleveling. More or less you can party with anyone higher level then you, put them on follow, and let them kill their own mobs for free, and much higher then normal XP. This netted some folks 1-50 in a days worth of hunting, although those cases were rare. of course you immediately started to see PL groups forming and whatnot in town. The player population seems torn as to if this is a good or a bad thing. SE came out recently though and said they were going to make some changes to how PLing currently works, and agreed this wasn't what they had in mind. I honestly saw this coming from a ways away, and wondered how it even managed to get to the live version of the game. So many better options, and there just is no way no one at SE didn't think players wouldn't figure out the PL thing within a weeks time.
Overall I still think this 1.19 patch was good for the game, but generally FFXIV is still rather lacking unless you have a good linkshell. Problem with the game still lacking in so many aspects is the simple fact that it's aging, and soon will be forgotten almost completely under the veil of GW2, Tera, and SWtOR among the few big name MMOs looming on the near horizon. SE really needs to pick up the pace in their patches if they want FFXIV to have a fighting chance.