The November update’s dropped, and there’s quite a few changes that have happened. On the UI side, there’s now things like an icon showing chats in your active LS (otherwise you might forget which LS /l will go to, since you can have eight LSes but only one that you can talk to at a time — no /l1 sort of commands), rank and level bars in the main view (instead of just numbers visible only when the menu is up), new views for attributes and gear, and auto-sort for inventory. Retainers are now also able to wear gear they’re selling, both to help differentiate different retainers with the same model (there’s only a few models for each race/clan/gender) as well as to show potential buyers what the gear actually looks like.
There’s also new mob types (mites, three different varieties), changed mob distribution (in general more mobs running around), and a big change is that SP is now constant rather that awarded for random actions (so a given mob and level will have a certain XP and SP value to give). So instead of killing mobs as slowly as possible to let SP accrue, now the goal is to kill as quickly as possible since there’s no benefit to letting mobs live.
Unfortunately, one downside to the new SP system is that it seems like the SP isn’t based on the highest-rank party member (or is, but the dropoff in awards is too low to matter) and participation isn’t required to get SP, and so there are people out there running “AFK PL” parties where people will just /follow (or lock-on and auto-run since there’s no /follow in XIV) a higher-level around (often an R50) who kills mobs quickly while the other people (who are basically AFK) rack up SP at seemingly-obscene rates. In XI this wouldn’t work because if nothing else the level difference would destroy what little XP was being awarded, but here it seems like that’s not the case. I’m hoping that this issue gets fixed rather soon, because it’s a huge exploit and ends up affecting those who are trying to party legitimately in a particular area (since the R50 will be clearing a huge area of mobs that several normal parties would’ve been able to coexist in). If nothing else, it allows RMTs to build up characters quickly and since RMT seems to be SE’s main focus (rather than necessarily the player base).
Speaking of partying, I had my first “real” party last night (other than the duos with Nym). We tried doing crabs near Bloodshore, but one of those R50 PL parties was destroying everything in the area and didn’t leave anything for the couple of normal parties trying to skill. Eventually we ended up in Cassiopeia Hollow running around one of the lakes destroying cassiopeia and sea puks for around 50 SP each (for around 5-15 seconds per fight, unlike the 100 SP crab we fought down there for several minutes). It was basically the XIV equivalent of a TP burn, worked out nicely with getting some obscene amount of XP/SP (legitimately). I didn’t make note of where exactly I’d started, but I got over 11K SP on my R19 MRD and over 28K XP in lvl 25. If I didn’t have to take off because it’s was late and I was feeling sick, I probably could’ve hit R20 (possibly even lvl 26 though that was about 15K off). Good times. ^^