I know there was a topic already created specifically asking about the verdict of the new jobs, but I was curious as to everyone's take on the expansion and the past update as a whole. I know some people here and there have mentioned bits and pieces of what they liked and disliked about it, but I figured we can have just one topic to cover all of it. So feel free to talk about zones, quests, jobs, etc.
As a whole, I think this expansion starting out is very solid. It's a good deal more interactive than Wings of the Goddess, with people needing to assignments in order to have direct impacts on what the whole server unlocks in terms of weapons, armor, etc. It's not like Campaign where you could do a few things, then just leave it for a good while and not do anything. It takes a fair amount of cooperation amongst everyone on the server to make progress in the proper coalitions to unlock new things, which I find a lot more interesting of a concept.
The zones are nice and varied, giving us a wide range of areas that, while they may feel familiar, are also quite foreign to us. It's been a long time since I've been in a zone that's truly allowed me to get lost running through it, but I went into the Cirdas Caverns a couple nights ago without a map and just ran around completely lost for a good 15 minutes. Some people may not like such things, but I honestly found it quite refreshing, since we've not had new zones quite like that in a long time. Combine that with having zones full of enemies that can once again potentially kill us quick, and it gives a nice sense of nostalgia.
The quests so far have been pretty enjoyable. Not too difficult (outside of that stupid Demolition KI), but still taking some time and running around. With the bayld rewards and how good/necessary bayld bought items are, most all of them are worth doing. It's a good way to make them pertinent to do and not just busy work.
The jobs...I don't know about Geomancer since I haven't unlocked or leveled yet, but I really enjoy Rune Fencer. It's still a really new, young job and I'm certain it'll see many changes in the near future to adjust and balance it out, but as it stands I find it a lot of fun. I can't wait for Naakuals to be unlocked in order for tanking in "end game" situations to come up again for them. It'll be interesting to see how well they fare in those situations.
While I wish there were a few more tracks, I enjoy most all the music available so far. I really, really enjoy the theme for areas like Ceizak, and I've found the Reive tune rather catchy, though a bit out of place for FFXI.
All in all, I think this is probably the more solid expansion release for the game. Far more enjoyable than Wings of the Goddess, and personally more enjoyable than Chains of Promathia. It'll be interesting to see if it can keep this pace (if not improve on it) as more content for it comes out.