So I finally tackled all 5 new quests and ran around the new open area a bit. Keep in mind, since there was no character wipe (really?), I was using a Level 20 Barbarian with virtually no points in any Epic Destiny. The character on live has since been TR'd.
Because all I had was a level 20, I ran these on Epic Casual, thus they were 2 levels higher than my character, so they should feel about an even challenge for my character if not a bit on the hard side. They are way too easy. The only time I had to shrine was to reset clickies. (I was using hirelings, but they never ran out of mana)
I have to give props to the art department and level designers again. I thought all these quests (except maybe for the Inn one) were well laid out and looked great. This continues the good looking quests that have been going on since just before MoTU. While the maps are generally small, the fact that they are nearly all non-linear is nice. In that aspect they remind me a bit more of a traditional pnp dungeon. They could actually use a few more trap and some optional boss fights... you know a sense of danger, not a ride at Disney World.
Did I mention how mind numbing easy they were? I know Turbine wants all to be victorious but yeesh.
The open area is a nice distraction, again looks good, but xp is low... about on par with the Vale as I've seen. The encounters are more your standard Kill X Boss, type but I haven't tried to see all that is out there yet.
The mob variety was a little stale. Yes we needed a break from Drow, but it was bandit, wizard who summons shadow and more bandits. Look a Red named Bandit/Wizard! complete. Some more variety in mob types would be nice, although seeing a lot of Half-Orcs was a good change.
I did like the changes to the Glabrezu, its a much more active fight now, especially compared to the current quest on live in the Demon Web. I bet on Epic Elite, those spikes in the end quest fight will hurt as they seem to reverse gravity quite a bit, while much more actively attacking.
Obviously since its on Lama, I don't expect a ton of changes before live. XP seemed to be about the same as current eveningstar/underdark/demon web epics, so I'm certainly looking for some more variety as I level my characters, but these quests need to be beefed up a bit.
So as you work on Update 17 and beyond, please find a way to put some challenge into the epic levels and no, adding a ton more hp to the mobs is not making quests harder.