I liked the grind in FFXI. Not because it was dull, but because it allowed you to challenge yourself and your party. It was open to allow that. It was annoying at times in order to get anything progressive done (missions/quests/farming/serious exp'ing) you needed at least a 2+ hour block of time, but I was used to it. It was a what I'd like to call a hardcore game, for players that were more serious. Casual gaming didn't become a thing in FFXI until the introduction of Fields of Valor tasks came around, but that also brought level sync'ing, which was a tremendous blessing. The thing that bothers me about FFXIV is how much emphasis they placed on being able to solo play. The party requirements in FFXI was what brought about community and challenge to the game. FFXIV was too boring and too easy.