I am quite excited to hear about this new coming release. FFXI just got kinda bored seeing how it has been 7yrs old - and counting!
In fact, the best times in FFXI was when I just started out - other NAs just started out too - and everyone knew nothing about it. ppl would randomly invite each other in the field and explore new areas together, not knowing/afraid of entering areas where you shouldn't really be - there was the excitement in that. The servers/towns were just more lively as you get new players coming in everyday and bustling with ppl.
The game environment just got more boring as you see the same old ppl everyday, mostly afk in the towns, and all new characters were either mules of gilsellers. things changed from excitement to annoying grinds after a few years. friends also started to leave the game and such.
I am eagerly waiting for the new release so I can experience the real "adventure" behind the MMORPG like I had when I stepped foot in vana'diel.