Some folks do have an unhealthy obsession with the game, and I find it tends to manifest most in the private server community with the "classic" obsession. Some will go to great lengths to try and convince others their affliction is perfectly normal and that anyone who disagrees is just a scrub or some other token insult. Combine that with the number of players just looking to try out a "free" game and you wind up with a warped sense of self-importance and perceived superiority over retail.
There was probably a time where I was hooked, in a sense, but I was also never really afraid to be critical about the experience. Pragmatically, I often just viewed as a somewhat cost efficient form of fun since paying $15/mo usually got more mileage than dropping $50-60 for a new game. Not that I didn't get new stuff now and then, but by the time XI support largely dropped off late WotG, I wasn't exactly eager to buy new consoles for a single game or two, either. Nonetheless, I still kept track of things for a bit, hoping for improvements, reasons to come back, and so on, but they never really manifested. For me, SE proved they could make a more low-man friendly game with Abyssea, but their attempts to put that genie back in the bottle with content that came after just wasn't doing it for me. I just didn't have it in me anymore to suck up to strangers hoping they'd help out or jumping through nebulous hoops for them just to hope they'd return the favor. Knowing you could log in for a few hours and get nothing done, perhaps even losing progress, was just a big ol' red flag. Overall, I've just been the type where if I did fail, I wanted it to be because of my own shortcomings and not elements outside my control. The classic nuts love to argue that XI lost its social element, but from my perspective, it was a flawed system that eventually ran its inevitable course of alienation and exclusion. I could make an argument this contributed to its "loss" to WoW in MMO competition of olde, but that's a more nuanced topic.
What eye I've kept on the private scene has otherwise been disappointing, though perhaps my expectations differ. "Take what existed, but make it better..." should be the bare minimum, but what I've commonly seen are just bland nostalgia trips, people going out of their way to make things worse, or simply being helmed by individuals who should, by no means, ever hold a position of power over others. Some tried to hide behind the excuse of what could or couldn't be done, but I'd say a lack of willingness and/or ability played its part there, too. Tweaking some values in a database is a lot easier than creating new systems from scratch, after all. Still, I can't help but see all the gobs of missed opportunity in enhancing job identity, reworking ****** formulae, or even telling an original story.
With other MMOs that have come and gone, I can only really say XIV has enamored me largely due to the story. I don't really have an interest in the twitchy rotation spam style of play that comes along with it, but that unfortunately seems to be more of the MMO norm. Probably won't be much of a surprise to learn I'm not a fan of their interpretation of Red Mage, either, but I guess I should be glad Pink Mage isn't really a thing barring quick rez expectations. Even BLU got the short end of the stick as a limited job. Seeing people hype other games as the new hotness just to see something no one will be talking about a few months after launch has always remained a bit of an unfortunate gift of prophecy. Not because I want some new mega smash hit MMO, but rather, one willing to break the cycle of stagnation and not pander to the insatiable hardcores with their boring and unsustainable endgame demands that can frequently be distilled down to "harder" or "more grind" in the end. They love to point at casuals and blame them for ruining everything, not unlike how some would say Abyssea killed XI. With more gamers than ever these days, my take is more that incompetent leadership, not necessarily the coders, are what's ruining things by not acknowledging the majority or learning from the mistakes of past games. Seeing Diablo IV flop and flail has given me serious XIV 1.0 and Tanaka vibes. And it's not like players there didn't tell Blizzard to not do XYZ, but they did it all anyway because some vocal D2 fans wanted to chase that nostalgia lightning, too. It's just some of the things that "worked" 20+ years ago won't fly now. Players have learned. Players have other gaming options. The idea of people having "one game" to munch up their time is something a lot of people, a lot of so-called fans, need to let go of.
Violence good. Sexy bad. Yay America.