These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Final Fantasy XI
Alt-itis: An interesting case, since you can change class and start over from level 1 without creating a new character.
Big Name Fan: Fred Perry is known to play - and even writes and draws "Level UP!", a web-comic starring his Mithra red mage (as well as some more adult fare starring the same character, generally titled "Level Down").
Broken Base: For most players, "Red Mage" and "sensible update" cannot possibly exist in the same sentence. For completely opposing reasons, however. Also, opinions are rabidly split over meleeburns.
Actually, Square-Enix seems to have hit on a way to keep Red Mages happy while not pissing off the entire rest of the playerbase, if a recent update is any indication. They gave Red Mages new toys to play with that are useful, but don't actually make the job any more powerful than it already is.
There's also the gradual raising of the level cap from 75 to 99, after years of the best gear at 75 being the best in the game - for some, it means the game becomes more soloable or less people are required to get things done, for others it means their hard earned gear will soon amount to nothing compared to the new stuff. Either way, there will be grind.
Canon Sue: Shantotto appears to qualify - consider that during an Aht Urhgan mission she, a Black Mage, can pretty much tank a major boss, and during that fight rack up damage numbers from the lower level elemental spells which would be impossible for players. When you do have a chance to fight her, The Battle Didn't Count.
Contested Sequel: Lots of Fan Dumb regarding this early on, from Japanese beta testers complaining that the game was "too western" to westerners declaring it "not a FF" and begging for "Final Fantasy XI Offline".
Ensemble Darkhorse: Shantotto. Square seems to have taken notice of this, and included her as the de facto representative for this game in crossovers.
It should be noted that while these are possible, they require maximum skill and several hours of not leaving the game for any reason whatsoever, as well as expensive healing items. It's more for E-peen than anything else.
For most of the game's run, Ninja had a special place in the Stop Having Fun Guys arsenal — Ninjas at 37 get a Game Breaker ability (Blink) that allows them to ignore any and all incoming damage. It was considered mandatory for the longest time to take Ninja as your subjob if you were melee, simply because of how broken the Blink spell was - instead of healing better, faster, or using tactics, everyone simply had to blink away the damage. In addition, you had to get the Blink spell (which cost a lot of money) and spend money on the Blink spell component (which you used up every single time you cast it), all of which required — yes, more Level Grinding.
Goddamned Bats: Many areas of the game just toss your normally-used detection-prevention spells out the window. We won't even go into the evil incarnate that are imps.
Literal, to low level players trying to cross the Valkurm Dunes map to reach their exp party, the Sand Bats in that tunnel. Impossible to avoid and aggressive to any player low level enough that they HAVE to take that route (as opposed to higher levels and travel spells.)
Internet Backdraft: Windower, and whether it's legal or not. And, within the Windower community, whether advanced mods such as AP Radar are going too far.
Most Annoying Sound: Haste Samba. And Boost. Which you will hear Every. 15. Seconds. And Bard songs.
Also the spell Ice Spikes, a defensive spell that causes ice-type damage any time the buffed target is hit, and every time it activates (as in everytime the target is hit) it sounds like someone is loudly breaking glass. Particularly annoying when its on an enemy, and you're entire party sounds like its emulating a bull in a china shop by meleeing it.
Never Live It Down: Pandemonium Warden made headlines when a group stubbornly sat for eighteen hours while fighting it (Which the game STRONGLY suggests against, hell, you gotta click past the warning every time you enter the game, not even Warcraft does that). The boss has been killed relatively quickly (that is to say, with a bit of time left on the two hour timer) multiple times since it was nerfed, but journalists (and this very wiki) continue to report on the evil online game that makes you sit at the computer until you're physically sick. (See Marathon Boss above.) A general rule of thumb nowadays is that no boss sticks around for more then two hours. After that, the critter despawns, but if it takes you that long to kill the guy, your not doing it right (Underleveled, bad strategy, half the alliance being made up of bots.)
Nightmare Fuel: The Gusgen Mine has the ghosts of faceless children going through repeated motions, and their faint crying and moans in the background — it freaks out pretty much everyone the first time they go down there. Something horrible happened there, but it has never been explained.
"Stop Having Fun" Guys: Due to the way job/subjob combinations work, there are only a few that are considered "correct," and anyone who does not conform to the "right way" to play is just asking for a "Stop Having Fun Guy" to go off on them. Meleeburns, for example, are heavily slanted towards piercing damage such as Dragoons, the "correct" way to melee in the endgame is either a Dragoon or Samurai, subbing the other class — or Warrior. Having underleveled subjobs or gear is also considered unacceptable, even though it can take months to farm the money required for at-level gear. The game is basically designed for the SHFG mentality. While the norms aren't too ridiculous, Lord have mercy if you don't follow them, much to the resentment of many players. One popular endgame-oriented forum, has 15 fifty-page threads devoted to nothing but "gimped" players (to varying degrees).
Part of it is the sheer amount of Level Grinding — both for EXP and for Money / Items. When it takes literally months to do certain things in game, having any slowdowns can become very frustrating.
Having said that, subjobs can be an indication of incompetence: For example, a Paladin / Blackmage thinking they can be a direct damage specialist, or a Warrior / Ninja before the subjob grants abilities that are worthwhile.
The game is (was?) Nintendo Hard so when people suggest you go to a certain area to farm certain enemies it's pretty much accepted that doing so is the easiest and least risky way of gaining experience.
That One Boss: Depends on who you ask, but everybody has a horror story about at least one Chains of Promathia boss, most aggravatingly the 45-minute airship fight where dying to any one of three stages of the fight meant you needed to fight all three again, but not before reacquiring special items needed to win. The Pandemonium Wardendeserved this title once, on account of literally beating a linkshell into submission courtesy of a nineteen hour fight that ended when the leaders started realizing people were sacrificing their actual health and called it off. Due to the negative press, they nerfed both it and the similarly maddening Absolute Virtue while also going to the extreme Anti-Poop Socking measure of a two-hour time limit on both fights.
If the developers are to be trusted, the fight was always intended to take less than two hours and the nineteen-hour group was doing it wrong.
Interviews have revealed that Absolute Virtue was never meant to be beaten, and that he was supposed to be the risk for killing the last boss of the Sea region. After players figured out how to kill him through exploits, they made him a guaranteed pop and gave him a loot table which he did not have the first time he was killed.
The Scrappy: Naja Salaheem. Ooooh, Naja Salaheem. Prishe is a combination of this and Canon Sue, but still has a rather large fanbase. Hmm, wonder why.
Win Back the Crowd: To say that Abyssea has re-energized an aging game is quite the understatement. The number of people on-line at any given time has not been this high in years.