Honestly Tenchi, I am just dying to play it more. The gameplay is fast paced for an mmo and more active. Even running from overwhelming odds (adamantoises in my training zones much?)is less a battle of luck and more controlled by the player. Having played XI for as long as I did, this game has such a level of player control that any lingering feeling I had for XI is gone. It's not Dragon's Dogma or Mass Effect, but I have control of what I do to a much broader degree, enough so that enemies that are normally too strong to go shot for shot with can now be effectively fought and dodged. I control my fights now, and that's a big sell point for me.
I also like the crafting. It's simple but rewarding, and addictive. A little less controllable as sometimes those odds of success just say fuck you and you blow up 3 times in a row, but you have options to improve your odds and lessen that window of failure. It's also much faster and materials don't cost an arm, leg, and chocobo, allowing anyone to work on making progress.
Seriously, everything in FFXI is done better in XIV. I'm ecstatic to be in this beta and experiencing even the unfinished version of this game. Squeenix, they fucked up a lot of stuff before this, and they will drop the ball on more to come for sure, but this has renewed my faith in them.