The real way to make FFXI more alive is to invest in an Abyssea v. 2. Create a story where there is some looming menace and make it massive by spreading it across 9-15 new/reskinned zones with some new and/or reskinned monsters and make the ultimate gear for each job have at least 2 head/body/hands/legs/feet pieces that are better than neo-Dyna, neo-Abjurations, neo-NI, and neo-Limbus (although that looks like a failure before it has even started). Then introduce it as an alternative, perhaps slightly faster way to get items to upgrade empyreans and maybe other weapons. Say 25 vs. 12 Heavy Metal Plates per 4 hours, since that is my current benchmark.
Making it F2P will not do anything. I can't even get friends to F2P and I'm giving them an alt account with a variety of leveled jobs and a variety of gear that I pay for. This isn't working despite me advocating for this game.
Edited, May 7th 2012 4:54pm by TheBarrister