Final Fantasy 11 has a slightly unique take to leveling and gameplay. There are no visible quests to take, instead by talking to towns folk you eventually might pick up a quest or two. The game really isn’t about taking hundreds of quests but more about exploring the vast world fighting evils that dwell within. Combat is pretty simple, following a more turn based approach to the game (kind of like Final Fantasy 12’s combat system just without gambits). Early on you will basically be tasked with leveling up which can be done solo. The leveling system can be a bit grind-ish especially because when you die you lose experience! When I played you actually could lose a level! While experience lost isn’t much, it does hurt to lose a good half hour of grinding because of a mistake. This is the death penalty of FF11, not loss of stats, not a silly trip back to your body but a straight out theft of XP
Once you out level the beginner areas the game quickly starts becoming a party based system. This is where your link-shell(kind of like a guild) is going to come in handy. Mobs get very tough and eventually a party is mandatory for any progress in the game. There is no PvP in the game either, but more of a Community vs The World feeling. You see someone in trouble you run over to help simply because you know how painful it is to die and lose experience or even a level. It isn’t about you, but everyone. It is hard to explain honestly but the gameplay, as much of a grind as it felt at times, was some of the best I ever experienced.