part of the reason i started playing again was i wanted to see all the story material that they had added since original release. this was because, story was truly the reason i was sucked in with this game, ESO and SW-KoTR being the only two others that compared. yes, i like other things about this game... but, story was what truly held my attention and i think that was why when i was "done" and irl friends wanted to play else where i went there.
i came back, since there was more material coming out (update tonight... 24h downtime), and other releases prior to that had come out, that i wanted to see. little did i know... what an incredibly long path i was about to embark on... lol... (and with few complaints so far)
i started with a new character, to remind me of the story so far... and given that i had gone through the content with Foviel, gave me prior knowledge support for Maobih being more directed.
also, i must mention assistance of the youtuber MTQcapture's advice... and no... no... don't go look at MrHappys... ;-) and also there was a brit (?, will edit once i find a link to him) that was helpful. one minor stumble with amdapor. note that also could be a stumbling block for other things if its your first time through. sadly it looks like MTQ has stopped playing. so around the end of 2nd arc one will have to find other help.
that i did the epic weapon quest over again... still not sure why i did that again... i guess it was, well if i need to do these anyway for story line... why not. but, looking back on it... it was a small drop in the bucket of time... so it really was a uh... uh... fun... ;-) addition to things.
once i was done with the original main story, and had better equipment then the story and class (summoner) story was handing out. including additional side stepping into archer/thaumaturge/conjurer various for supporting abilities... that i was not be capped at 50 when i still had things to do... all these bonuses thanks to the newer content being out. in the end, the time spent was really not that long...
then, i hit the "first" "new" content... this is also known as the Seventh Astral Era main story. happy that i was FINALLY going to be able to walk across that bridge in the snow covered lands of Coerthas... and get away from that nasty large guy with the single eye and all his cronies that show up near there...
seriously... wow... was i so lacking understanding of the path before me at that point.
when you go into the inn and look at "The Unending Journey" book that has a quest log and cut scene history. once i completed the 2nd arc, it was well over double the number of entries that were in the original main story. this does not include all the additional things you needed to do to unlock further progress.
note, i am not complaining here. with very few complaints, i went though all that content. i am still a happy camper... no, not to be confused with MrHappy...
all this said, i would encourage anyone who, like me, left FFXIV once they finished the original content and got bored... if you liked the story content, there is now plenty more for you to do, and even more as of tomorrow.