Hiya Annwen...like the name choice. I know what ya mean about FFXI, and the 'fantastical" style of graphics in other MMOs...they can hold for a month here and there too, but never long. There just isn't any life I feel in them...its all rush rush rush, who cares about the NPCs and their personal stories, must have best armor overnight or I'm a noob...etc Anyway...
Glad to have you interested in us, and if you join us someday that'd be great, however I don't think SE does the annual return to Vana'diel anymore. Pretty sure that was canceled back when they started the free trials and you can resurrect an old account at anytime through a similar online application, calling them, or even contact them via live POL chat.
Depending on how attached to your old account; you are also welcome to start anew on our server as well and we'll help you through the critical moments and gathering items required to proceed.
Well I'll get ya upgraded to a member here, and there are a ton of threads to read through to learn more about us; per each member as well as an Linkshell until you decided what to do ~ talk with ya later!