I’m level 34 on my marauder, further than I’ve ever been before. I also joined my first Grand Company, and unlocked mounts! I feel like experience is so fast I’m probably forgetting how certain systems work (retainers, leves, fates, wth is the golden saucer for and is it still relevant) BUT I am certainly having fun. I also make sure to do my daily roulette which tends to grant me two levels or so…
I am not sure why I never stuck with the game before, but I’m glad I am now!
And I forgot to say — The Golden Saucer is fluff, pure fluff, and nothing but fluff. It’s all it’s ever been and all it ever will be. That said, the cosmetic rewards you can get there can be quite lovely, but it can also be a grind if you go at it hard.
My 1st time in FFXIV didn’t “stick” either — I didn’t make it out of my free month, though I ended up subbing and trying again less than a month later. Then it hooked me and I played most days up in to the Stormblood expansion until I got “everything to 70.” I did “maintenance mode” for a couple of months then took a break until Shadowbringers released. And now I’m back with a vengeance :D
I recently started a new Viera and got it to level 71 in just a few weeks, so XP does seem to be a lot faster now — and that wasn’t even on a preferred server, so your new character wit hthe extra boosts… it’s gotta be even faster for you.