It makes sense that their quests are boring when you think about what a "quest" will generally be in a Final Fantasy game. You either go from A to B, talk to people, or kill things. The rest of almost all Final Fantasy gameplay is story and combat (barring one time things like minigames or quick timey stuff and puzzles which are never more than 1% of a final fantasy game,) so having to stretch that out over hundreds of hours seems like the worst possible scenario for a specifically 'final fantasy' style game.
What little I recall of FFXI involved being in a group in a desert and staying in one single place so a guy could pull one monster at a time safely for hours (sub job mission perhaps?) I don't remember much of the early questing in that game so perhaps there it was a different story but it seems like they made the gameplay the thing that made the game take hours of your time, not going back and forth ticking boxes in quest logs like it seems you do in FFXIV.
those digital foundry dudes who do the frame by frame multiplatform game graphics comparisons will get to the heart of whatever differences there are before you even get your hands on a console so I'm sure whatever truth there is will be out there before long.
There's a very early massive chalice screenshot been released today and it looks and sounds to me like the game is going to be Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics mixed together and ohmygod I cannot wait for this game.