Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Announced
To kick off this weekend’s Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival being held in Las Vegas, Square Enix held a new keynote presentation for the MMORPG, during which director and producer Naoki Yoshida — with English translations from Kate Cwynar — announced the game’s fifth expansion. Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail is planned to launch in summer 2024. The expansion will release for the existing PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5, with the final announcement of the keynote revealing that Final Fantasy XIV will be releasing for Xbox Series X|S. The Xbox Series X|S version will release in spring 2024, with an open beta planned to take place alongside a minor post Patch 6.5 update. In addition to the details covered below, more information will be revealed at the London Fan Festival in October 2023.
Following the tribulations of Endwalker, Dawntrail is said to offer “the best summer vacation a hero can have”. Set in the “new world” of Tural, it sees Warrior of Light’s help requested for Tural’s contested rite of succession. Players join Alphinaud, Alisaie, and Erenville in a journey across the Indigo Deep that may lead them to a fabled city of gold. However, the contest will divide the Scions of the Seventh Dawn into two competing groups. The expansion’s theme is “a journey of discovery”, and players will learn what the contest that makes up the rite of succession actually entails, what can be found in Tural, and the truth behind the legendary city of gold.
Tural is a new continent to the west of Eorzea, on the other side of the ocean known as the Indigo Deep. Dawntrail’s new main hub city is Tuliyollal and is located in the northern reaches of an area called Yok Tural. Tuliyollal is shown in the silhouette of the expansion’s logo, and is a very diverse city. It is the seat of the federal nation state that governs Tural, with its current ruler being Gulool Ja Ja, a two-headed Mamool Ja. The content that drives the expansion’s plot is to determine his successor.
New field areas in the expansion include Urqopacha, a mountainous region in Yok Tural that is home to both large and small peoples. A thousand years ago, it was the heart of an empire of giants, which now only lives on as ruins. Yak T’el is another part of Yok Tural that is accessible from Tuliyollal via a dirigible over the southeastern mountains. It is a thick forest and divided into separate high-level and low-level areas. It is home to the main settlements of the Hrothgar and Mamool Ja in Tural.
The Pelupelu is a new Tribe that will be introduced to the game in Dawntrail, which series fans may recognise from Final Fantasy X. They are a diminutive people who are skilled traders that inhabit Urqopacha and are rarely seen without their distinctive masks. They are also renowned producers of tea, coffee, and mezcal.
As is usual for expansions, Dawntrail will features a level cap increase, rising from the 90 of Endwalker up to 100, while all current jobs will obtain new skills. There will also be two new jobs introduced with the expansion, the jobs were not revealed, though were confirmed to be one melee DPS and one ranged magical DPS. Dawntrail will also include new core battle content in similar manner to previous expansions, as well as new dungeons, though none of these were revealed. New threats to be found in Tural include various new bosses, including the legendary beast Valigarmanda.
The Duty Support system, which lets players complete dungeons with AI-controlled NPCs instead of other players, will get an update that adds support for all main story dungeons. There will also be some other additions, though as they are connected to the story of Dawntrail they were not revealed at this time. However, Naoki Yoshida confirmed a number of new characters will be available within it. There will be new “lifestyle” content, akin to the Island Sanctuary content included in Endwalker, with details to be revealed later. Dawntrail will also add new Variant Dungeons, a new Alliance Raid series, a new eight-player Raid series, and Ultimate Raids. PvP will also get updates that be detailed at a later date, while other ongoing content updates includes new Blue Mage content, Inconceivably Further Hildibrand Adventures, new Deep Dungeon plans, and a Gold Saucer update.
The keynote also previewed the first part of the game’s major graphical update. The update is designed to improve the screen-wide aesthetic appeal, including higher resolution textures and shadows plus improved material qualities, while retaining its overall look. Due to the extensive amount of gear and NPCs in the game, Naoki Yoshida stressed that not everything will be upgraded upon its initial launch and that some things will be updated at different times, with Dawntrail’s content prioritised first.
Other system updates include the game’s dye system. Players will be able to apply two different dyes to each gear piece where possible. Eyeglasses will also be made a new type of aesthetic-only gear that can be equipped alongside headpieces. A furnishing limit increase will be added in a post-release update. There will be some minor adjustments to the game’s required system and recommended system requirements for PC and Mac, but the game will still be fully supported on PlayStation 4. Finally, a strategy board will let players use a whiteboard-style UI to plan and discuss duties with party members.
Finally, there were some details about upcoming updates ahead of Dawntrail. The game’s free trial version will be expanded to include the content of the Stormblood expansion with the Patch 6.5 update. The game will be also be operating a crossover with Fall Guys, which will see characters and costumes from Final Fantasy XIV added to Fall Guys, and Fall Guys-style gameplay content added to the Gold Saucer with a minor post-Patch 6.5 update.