The current game does need more, and more is promised, the Welcome back I don't think is geared towards people necessarily subscribing (the lifetime pricing implies otherwise), but rather, a pre-beta experience for people who got tossed by the initial release.
The problem with this is that everyone currently playing(maybe not all of them, but the vast majority) are spending time doing things that people who are eligible for the welcome back campaign can't do. The demographic you're speaking about are players who aren't high enough level to participate in additions made months ago, much less things like Ifrit/Moogle/Garuda. Yes this is all new content for them, but most who play now have moved on from this stuff to bigger and better.
I for one don't want XI reincarnate.
I agree, but obvious answer is obvious if you ask yourself... "Would SE have been better off making FFXI-2?"
I really don't get why people beef leveling up in this game. It's really not at all hard anymore, and there's plenty to do should you choose to pursue it. What's the complaint about? Can anyone name a game where they enjoy the journey from 1 to cap as an example?
It's not so much the difficulty as it is the journey. The 'side quests' are fragmented and leve quests don't have any progression to them. It may be a personal preference, but zones seem so much cleaner when there is a clear progression to them.
Clear a few beginner quests > gain a few levels and new abilities to learn and practice > final quest in that area advances the main story(or just concludes a chapter in that specific area) that then leads you to another area with higher level mobs, more quests, ect.
This might seem like hand-holding and it is to an extent, but it's honestly the best way to have quest chains and give your game a sense of progression. Your actions should have consequences and effect the world you play in. For that to happen, quest progression needs to be somewhat linear; at least to enough of a degree that you can progress a story or build up to an event that has some sort of meaning.
I can't honestly sit here and say I enjoyed any game's leveling process from start to finish. What I can say is that the parts of leveling in any game that were most enjoyable to me personally were those that included character progression as well as story progression. The SJ quest in XI is a good example and I'll expand on that in a bit. If I am able to clear quests that present a story all while gaining experience points, learning and experimenting with new abilities and being able to explore new areas along the way, it clicks. It just feels right.
Not sure if you all played XI, but imagine if you could have progressed through the start of the game solely by completing missions. You complete Rank 1 for your nation and come out pretty close to level 10. By the time you complete Rank 2 you are level 20. Rank 3 missions bring you up to level 25 for your final encounter with the 2-3 dragon BC. Now also imagine that these missions take you through viable camps on the way to attaining those levels. You're gaining exp, you're exploring new areas, you're matched to mobs around your level and you're progressing the main storyline. This is how it should be done at least at the beginning.
Give players the option to explore or to focus only on storyline, exp, farming ect. after that initial introduction. This basically gets players familiar with the game, introduces them to the basics, opens up the story and introduces them to group play and alternate methods of leveling all at the same time.