Patch 1.17 was originally prepared for release to coincide with another real-world event, but due to the earthquake and the temporary shutdown, the team is splitting the patch into two installments. The update will go live in time for an Easter-themed event, with the patch's contents slightly reduced and necessitating a delay before 1.17a releases.
But there's more than just holiday events to look forward to. While he doesn't provide details, Yoshida specifies that these two patches will start laying the groundwork for the game's dungeon and raid content, with more information forthcoming in the very near future. Final Fantasy XIV is only just back online, but it seems to be streaming right along at full speed once more.