While I'm sure nobody around here cares, I'll go ahead and post it, because what happening here is similar to what happened at the last Vana'Fest in some ways, and hey, it might make a cool story!
Recently on the test server, a ROM9 folder was added (First ROM folder added since ASA added a ROM8 folder back in 2009, the Abyssea expansions used the original ROM folder). This didn't garner much attention until 3 or 4 updates later and someone actually bothered taking a look at it.
Inside? New areas.
Needless to say some of the more hardcore playerbase is going crazy over this revelation and they're all but convinced that (at least a mini) expansion will be coming along, possibly visiting one of the unknown lands hinted/teased at numerous times throughout FFXI's history (Bets are mostly on Far South because of the jungles or Far West because the architecture really doens't seem to fit with Mithran culture well, although those are obviously placeholder models. It'd also be easier for them to make a Far West expansion because frankly there isn't much info about that land other than some Halloween events based around it and an order of Dragoons). Given FFXI's recent tendency towards UI cleanups and the PS2 hard-drive expansion, it's possible this might be a rather large one, though this of course is speculation.
At the moment though, SE doesn't seem to have any registered names that would coincide with such an announcement. However, last time they coined the Abyssea names mere days before the Vana'Fest, and this time the Vana'Fest is only 6 days away. It seems unlikely they would put so much work into a decade-old MMORPG, yet it's known that a few months ago they were hiring programmers for FFXI. Is it possible this is what they were put to work on?
I'm actually quite curious.