Sub based or f2p does not matter when it comes to the main factors that make FFXIV so amazing. Good management and Communication with the developers are two factors that are critical to FFXIV that could be easily adopted by any live service game. The things that Yoshi P have stated at GDC all those years ago are universal to live service games, not just sub based MMO's. Those principles are based on respecting their players.
Sub based and free to play actually greatly differ in their marketing strategies. Subscription-based is a relic of a bygone era that depends on monthly/annually/however they charge per year payment system that funnels money into the continued service of the game, with cash shops and non-expansion dlc often serving as side gigs. Often these games allow you to buy your way into the service and you are given certain features that may be expanded upon through the cash shop. This method heavily depends on a steady playerbase to thrive. Their ultimate goal is to attract new players to the game, which means a strong marketing team and a reputation (either positive or negative, it doesn't matter as long as it attracts curious folk) are a must to continually attract customers.
Free to play limits features from their general playerbase (the free players) under a paywall that is either a recurring sub or paying for time by the days/month/year. This style of game usually attempts to place emphasis on their cash shop (either gacha-oriented with certain rates to obtain very powerful characters, gear, etc., expansion slots, quality of life features) to funnel money into the continued service of the game. This method heavily depends on what the Internet likes to refer to as "whales," the big spenders that then funnel those highly desired items into the free economy. If there are no whales, then there must be many general spenders that throw a few bucks every here and there to thrive. Strong marketing (which I feel is lacking on the SoA side) is a must, otherwise you must then cater to your current playerbase for revenue.
Granted, communication is a general good idea and I feel that PSO2 does communicate... often... with its playerbase, although it could use some improvement in owning up to its faults rather than swipe them under the rug of a small font line in a maintenance log. This leads into management, which is hard to point blame since we do not know how much of a manhandle Sega of Japan has over Sega of America. A lot of this forum is under the assumption that SoA is doing all of this and never seems to think that perhaps SoJ may be the ones deciding or having a say on actions to be implemented in the global version, or even Microsoft for that matter.
Actually look through my post history sometime; though spare a bit of time because it is quite long. While censorship is definitely the most visible complaint I've had; I've made plenty of other complaints on different subjects. I've sent more feedback than just censorship complaints. I have even stated before that censorship is just one step in what I believe is needed: a unified service. Like that is the main reason why I am so critical of censorship, because it is an obstacle towards a unified service and equity between the Global and JP servers. Plus censorship is a waste of development time and money.
When I hear of talks of the censorship, I wonder if people remember FFXIV. The common complaint on the xiv forums is the severe lack of content during droughts because resources were placed elsewhere (fashion, Bozja, etc.) when they don't take into account that businesses have different departments. I believe a dev even said that certain departments keep themselves busy when they have finished all of their mandated work and that is where a lot of the cash shop items come from, but don't quote me on that. Point is, different departments have different responsibilities and obligations all of which depends on the company to tell them what to do. Nobody knows where the money goes or what the budget is, so you can't really argue that localization (or censorship as you call it) is a waste of money.