I just returned also (month+). It seems that there is a vice vs. virtue PVP thing going on. I'm not a PvPer so I will leave that there. Also, maybe related, is that their are new monster loot that is artifact-level quality. Just high attributes. That really kills weps/armor crafting. I think it has something to do with the vice vs. virtue situation, but it is all over the non-participants. Just has really skewed crafting.
There is a new continent/land called Eodon. Can't just recall in just anywhere, but can get to select sites. Guilds have them. I just haven't become involved with it as of yet.
I have been dealing with a house and macros for each character. Things don't seem to be just mouse-driven like the old days. Everything is quicker in combat since multiple skills are best used. I get the impression that specialized weapons and armor are need for each monster type. I miss the days when a Vanquishing Katana just did it all.
It is a busy world. Get into a guild that hunts a lot. I am learning a lot since I left years ago. Glad that my peeps have good training and my bank was full of deeds.
Welcome back to both of you. There have been a ton of changes to the game and it can be overwhelming at first. I would suggest finding a good, active guild that suits your playstyles. I know that there is a guild dedicated to new and returning players called the Cool (or Kool?) Kids that usually hangs out in New Haven. UWF is still around and still hunts nightly. Duke Hammerfist was recruiting for Aphelion not too long ago on these forums. The cost of scrolling and suiting up characters can be expensive and getting in with a group that hunts frequently gives the best chance at getting a drop that is either 1) useful or 2) can be sold to buy something useful.
If either of you need help with some basic stuff (LRC suit, starter gear, other odds and ends) please feel free to PM me. I have a pretty big stock of random stuff gear and scroll wise and would be happy to help.