It's been four years since I last played FFXIV. I've been using the two free weeks to get caught up and finish leveling things to the Heavensward max before I both upgrade my account and resub.
And there is some things I've noticed quickly that are welcome changes.
A ton of quality of life improvements (Some, not all. And keep in mind this is coming from someone who left in semi-early Heavensward!)
-Glamour Dresser/Glamour Plates removing the need to always carry around pieces or go back to the armoire all the time.
-Option to auto-gather multiple things (excellent for crystals or items you don't care about HQ of)
-Able to stack crafting materials in higher stacks
-More movable parts in the UI and a heck of a lot more customization (THANK YOU)
-Better UI elements to track specific class things.
And these are just the ones that stood out the most to me.
Additionally, the overhaul to how classes play... Combat feels much faster and a lot more smooth than it did way back. Even running older content, I feel like I have more to do than the hit a button, wait, wait, hit a button, wait, wait, repeat.
I now can weave in various instant-cast off GCD abilities, and that's awesome. Cause they're not necessarily needed, but it gives those of us who want more Actions Per Second that ability to do so. ^-^
The only thing that is bothering me some is the Mentor group.
When I played, it had just come out. My friends and I signed up to be Mentors cause we wanted to help. But I've sadly seen that most mentors (not all, and bless you few whom don't) will either run ahead and begin pulling for the tank, get uppity if someone doesn't know the fights, or won't explain something if someone asks a question.
I've had to answer questions for those who are lost on what is happening, or why they're dying on a fight.
I've literally told a mentor-healer to stop pulling or I WOULD let them tank, just cause I was getting back into the swing of tanking in this game. (This one at least listened and was actually happy that I did begin pulling faster when I saw the group could handle it. And we ended up having a good discussion at the end about how some tanks like to test their group first before pulling like madmen to make sure that the healers not OOMing every pull cause the tank pulled too much for dps to kill)
And I've begun the vote kick on toxic mentors who ./sigh and tell the tank "just f'n pull already" when I try to explain at least quick mechanics for new players. (And believe me, I do mean a quick explaination; ie: Garuda Hard - "Kill adds, get behind rocks when she jumps, and avoid tornado zones". Literally that short was too long to wait for me to type. ./eyeroll)
It's got me torn, cause I do like helping people. But if Mentors are seen as this toxic, horrible influence. I don't know if it'll be right for me to take up the crown as soon as I'm able again. (Essentially, as soon as I hit 80 on classes... as I already had 1400 of the 1500 commendations before leaving the game in 2016. And I've just passed the 1500 required now.)
A part of me wants to. And wants to put Mentors in their place. Teach them they took this gig to HELP. Not to be the reason people leave.
Ah well... I have time to think it over.
But all in all, I'm happy with where the game is now. And this is definitely the right time to be coming back.