I indeed played XIV 1.0
I was there at the launch, which was famously disastrous - even the CEO of Square admitted that the game had 'damaged the Final Fantasy brand', and Square's executives are famously hard-headed. They basically launched the game with no content! The only stuff to do before the cap was grind on monsters or do Levequests, which were the same five or so missions repeated ad nauseum. Even reaching the cap was made extremely difficult by the deeply unpopular fatigue system, which meant that after a certain amount of playtime you couldn't gain EXP on the class you were using. Square claimed it was to encourage multiple-class play, but instead it just annoyed everyone.
Roughly three months after launch, they removed the original leadership on the team and replaced them - the most notable change being Hiromichi Tanaka stepping down in favour of Naoki Yoshida. Yoshida's new team did their best with the tools they had, but the story goes that after two months with him at the helm they had decided to remake the game because 1.0 was unsustainable in the long-term (it really was a barely functional game at launch - no mounts, no easy way to search for items on the marketplace, a very limited selection of enemies, literally no quests, limited endgame and a UI so abysmally laggy that you could practically fly to Tokyo in the time it took to sell inventory items). They really did try their best - pretty much fixing a good chunk of that in the subsequent patches - but the original design was never up to scratch and they realized that. Since then, they've had a team adding new content to 1.0 (which has been significant - lots of bosses, quality raid content, new dungeons, new quests, new weapons, mounts and even a Job System) and another developing A Realm Reborn, which really is a sequel to the original game in many ways. Still, even in 1.0, Yoshida took what was there and made it both playable and enjoyable - no masterpiece, but I enjoyed my latter days with 1.0 very much, and after the state of the launch game that was no mean feat.
They've literally burned 1.0 with fire now. The large and expansive but extremely repetitive areas are out and replaced with a WoW or FFXI-style map with smaller but more diverse areas. The old engine is gone, and it and the servers are replaced with new, ground-up and purpose built ones. Or so they promise, but Yoshida had genuinely delivered on all of his promises so far with the community - him and his team have listened and been very open and communicative, so we're all anticipated ARR as a result. It's more exciting than the original launch! It is online-only, though, and it requires a subscription fee.
"Our world cannot be viewed through the glasses of common sense" - Masato Arai.
JRPG/Japanese Culture blog: http://shrinetoamaterasu.blogspot.com/