Like you, I used to grind the heck out games but just don't have time (or the interest anymore) to do that now. XD It's been a VEEEERY long time since I've played a game I enjoyed enough to have that feeling. Tales of Zestiria, being on my recent list. @u@
I can understand the idea of skipping content for an MMO like World of Warcraft where higher level players are VERY discouraged to go back to older content to play with newer players and friends; not only that, but doesn't have a clear, over arching story with characters and plot points that are really that important to the later story in the expansions. It seems that a lot of references to older content in the later parts are more like nods and cameos. The expansions I've played seem to be able to stand on their own rather well. -though, granted we hadn't passed all of Warlords of Draenor or ever got to Legion. '_'
(not only that, but you are so super strong so fast, it makes world content reaaaaaaalllyyyyy boring for a loooooooong time from starting fresh)
People say that it's okay for FF14 to do the content skip service because it worked for other MMO's like WoW, but just because it works fine there, it doesn't mean it fits FF14. FF14's a HEAVILY story driven game; Heavensward, for instance, jumps right into the thick of things, continuing directly from ARR. It's almost like starting to watch a dramatic TV series from the middle. '_'
I understand though the decisions on the corporate side in wanting it to be more accessible to new players, but I feel that skipping so much content in FF14 works against the possibility of players developing an emotional connection and attachment to the world and characters. '_' I know that people play games for many different personal reasons, but I think that for people who play FF14 and jump to the end content with the goal of playing with friends, might be in for a superficial experience. They might have a great time, but I think perception-wise, it will be more of something to casually multi-play like Hearthstone or Super Mario Run, not to say those are bad games, but I feel that people will need to be touched emotionally in order for the games to mean something more. I'm also not saying that an emotional response cannot be achieved through simply game play alone, it absolutely can! -especially with hard won victories with friends, but the journey and seeing the world, the plot unfold, the characters interact and grow, and your avatar come to life, it can add so much more. You can't jump to the end of a traditional FF game on your first "play through" and expect the experience to feel meaningful. '_'
As to cheating, I used to do it for fun and experiment. I'd never do it on a serious first-time play through or attempt at a game. =) Though I admit using the 30 lives code for Contra on the nes, because... that's... a lot of mastery to gain. @_@ I used gameshark to start a new game of Breath of Fire 2 to replace Ryu with Nina, just so I can have a girl hero. XD Though she'd turn into Ryu if she was ever knocked out in battle. '_'