One of the most awful “features” of Final Fantasy XI is that if you unsubscribe for three months (or something similar, I forgot the details) your characters are gone and even your account is disabled permanently. So if you ever decide to come back you’ll need to buy a brand new box+expansions and restart from zero.
Now they are about to launch a comeback campaign. They’ll re-enable old and deleted accounts for free (starting from the 14 April) and even restore old, deleted characters on demand.
The details aren’t actually so clear but it seems that you have up to 30 days of “free” play with your restored characters, then you’ll have to pay the normal fee if you decide to keep playing.
Now I wonder. If Squaresoft actually has all the backups of the characters, why they do not use this directly as a permanent feature? Why they decide to delete characters and account in the first place if they keep backups anyway? Just to be unpopular and prevent old players to come back when they choose so?