I understand in test realm you wanting to encourage us to test the side quests for various bugs but why not increase the amount of XP given so we can lvl to at least 69 and a half. I mean, a side quest or 2 is fine if we have too (though I personally would prefer not too) but the fact that we only get to around lvl 68 and a half (for those who are new to the game and quest a new char around 75% through 68) you still have to do almost EVERY Florenza side quest to get to 70. Players like me who waited 3 years for this are probably fine for the first time, like I have no problem doing it on my first go it's fine but the fact that I have every class maxed and that I have to do it 3 times over the 2 accounts is going to get old and I know players will hate this later on with future updates leaving Florenza for whatever the beginning of Arc 2 is under levelled.... I mean that really is going to get frustrating.
My point is, maybe increase the final countdown quest to a HUGE amount of XP like you did with the gold. I'm talking from 3k-8k XP (Practically an entire lvl) or maybe chuck around 5k XP split between some of the main story line quests because as it stands now it's going to get frustrating for players with all 65 chars trying to do it multiple times. It's an unwelcome grind that can be avoided by simply bumping up the XP which I talked about back on the test realm thread initially so it's not anything not brought up already and IMO should've been taken into account before it was given to live.
You dont want to do sides just because they are sides? What would you have done if they just made 2x the content, with more quests on the main story line, then they wouldn't be "sides". What's the difference when it comes down to the end result? I found the side quests fun, and pretty quick and easy for anyone with "some" experience playing.
Frankly, I hated having more quests AFTER I was maxed out, made doing them seem a waste of time. Id rather it be as close as possible, without too much "extra".
Note: This was one of the shortest content updates ever. With enough XP if the side quests are done. Its already been noted that the main content was short, and that side quests were short and few. Hardly a "grind" as some other areas/quests have been.
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I think the lack of quests is the issue. Our main storyline is definitely rushed, so it must have been hard for Kingsisle to put like 5000 XP for a "Talke to this person and defeat a mob" type quest. The only suggestion I have for Kingsisle is tweaking the amount of XP gradually throughout Valencia Part 2.