The first 6 months of the game have been synonym of disappointment and pessimism among the player base.
But 6 months, an earthquake and a 1 week service suspension later, SE seems to have the sympathy of its player base back.
-They have suspended service to save power due to the emergency state in Japan
-They have donated over 1M USD
-YoshiP has written a letter that gives us a feeling of both dedication toward the game and personal struggles from the team's perspective
-They hinted that they may make donations possible via the billing system from their online games and it seems that many people are enthusiastic with it
In short, it seems that gamers from all around the world are especially affected by the disaster in Japan due to the tie they have with the country via the FF series.
Now, to my point: When the servers go back in service, we will have probably a minor and a major patch back to back + the addition of the public company system, just at the time where many people may have realized that they actually enjoy the game more than they thought since not being able to play it for a while.
Mix the general feeling of sympathy, the excitement of starting to play again and the timing (6 months after launch, initial planned date for the PS3 release), and SE has the potential to ride its player base on a new wave of enthusiasm.
Now, when the servers are up again, they need to provide steady and satisfying improvements on a very tight schedule in order to surf this wave as long as possible, and we may very well refer to the FFXIV pre and post earthquake