Much to my own surprise, I find myself back on these forums. Spending several years in real endgame somehow dragged me away from the outside-of-linkshell community aspects, and now I'm just relaxing and doing fun stuff like storyline, I'm attracted back here like a moth to the flame. And a lot of the posts I'm seeing here are either I'm Back type or from lower level players. Perhaps the ZAM forum could have a lively niche as the non-endgame place to be, like the old Ogaming forum that ZAM bought out all those years back. (I used to be a mod on Ogaming back in the day.)
Socially, that's largely how the place has historically been, but other sites would be more colorful in describing such in a typically derogatory manner (Barrister actually demonstrating a flavor of this above). Bonus points for frequent posters there being frequent posters here typically adopting selective amnesia of their own contributions or lack thereof. On its own, FFXI isn't a terribly newbie friendly game and there's a lot of competition out there nowadays. With basically no advertising out there, I suspect truly new players wind up hearing about the game through negative feedback from grizzled vets or those who got chased off for whatever reason. This is also why I'm pretty critical about SE needing to get good, new stuff out ASAP as unhappy players can lead to a volatile, unwelcoming community even without the negative elements internet anonymity tends to breed.
Even though I haven't had my sub up since the beginning of the year, I still don't mind hooking newbies up with info and am at the very least keeping my eyes peeled for new stuff that may coax me back. Even in context of limited releases since, I at least know where to look to either point a person there or relay data if a question can be exactly answered. While I'm of the mind I wouldn't suggest FFXI to truly new players these days, those that do choose to tough it out deserve the same kindnesses I'd received, spontaneous or no. And I think some vets forget the game is different now than it was in 2006 or so and simply climbing to 99 as a catch-all suggestion isn't going to automagically happen without help.