Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Reveals Pictomancer, Further Details
Square Enix held its latest keynote presentation for Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail, opening this weekend’s Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest held in the Tokyo Dome. During the presentation Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida, with translations from English Localisation Lead Kate Cwynar, revealed the second new job being added in the expansion, as well as a new race option, a new city, and more. A release date was not revealed, but Square Enix reiterated Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail is still set to launch in summer 2024 on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.
The presentation began with the reveal of the full five-minute official trailer for Dawntrail, the fifth expansion for the MMORPG, which teased some of the details shown in the presentation. The headlining reveal is the second new Job promised in the expansion, which joins the previously-revealed Viper. The second new Job is a ranged DPS role, Pictomancer, a concept that debuted with Relm in Final Fantasy VI. The Pictomancer uses the medium of mixed aether to summon things from the imagination using a specialised brush. Like other new jobs, it will not have any class requirement, though players will need to own Dawntrail and have at least one job at level 80 to unlock it at Gridania.
In Final Fantasy XIV, Pictomancer’s creations include not only creatures, but also weapons and landscapes. While its creations take time, the Pictomancer has its own set of instant-cast abilities and spells, and it can also provide buffs to the party in addition to attacking. While not designed to be a fully support-focused Job, it is not as directly attack-focused as Jobs such as Black Mage.
The next part of the presentation featured a recap of the previously announced story premise of the expansion and its new location of Tural, with a few extra details. Taking place after the events of Endwalker, Dawntrail is set in the “new world” of Tural, a continent on the other side of the ocean known as the Indigo Deep. It sees Warrior of Light’s help requested for Tural’s contested rite of succession.
Newly revealed is the requestor of the Scions’ services, a female Hrothgar who is the daughter of one Tural’s current leaders. She will make her debut in the upcoming Patch 6.55, which will release on January 16, 2024. It will feature the final part of the main scenario content to transition between Endwalker and Dawntrail alongside other content. Square Enix is planning on having a 24-hour maintenance period around the release of the Patch 6.55 update.
Previous FanFest’s have covered part of Tural in Yok Tural, which is the southern part of the continent, but players will cover the full breadth of the continent in their new adventure. Tural’s capital and the new player hub city of Tuliyollal is located at the end of a massive bridge between the north or southern sections of the continent. The story is set to have a two-part structure, with reveals that will change the story significantly.
New areas revealed in this presentation began with Solution Nine. This is a futuristic metropolis that is vastly different to everything shown in Tural previously. To prevent spoiling story details, no specific details about the city were revealed, but it will act as a major town for players and has been built by a completely different civilisation to that which inhabits Tuliyollal. Another new area is called Heritage Found that features a steam-powered train and very contrasting structures. It is a region that is overflowing with lightning energy, where thunderclouds blot out the sun.
The presentation revisited some of gameplay additions including a level cap increase, rising from the Endwalker’s 90 up to 100, while all current jobs will obtain new skills. There will be more F.A.T.E.s, hunts, treasure hunts, and level-synced side quests, plus numerous new dungeons. The presentation showed a few more of the new dungeons coming in Dawntrail, plus a few new enemies including a very muscular Cactuar. Again, the Duty Support system, which lets players complete dungeons with AI-controlled NPCs instead of other players, will be updated to support for all main story dungeons in Dawntrail. New gear and recipes will form part of the game’s graphical update.
For new content reveals at launch and in post-launch updates, Dawntrail will include expansive new “lifestyle” content akin to Endwalker’s Island Sanctuary. The new content is titled Cosmic Exploration and takes players to various different planets. It will be playable solo but is intended for players to join together to progress. Meanwhile, the new Alliance Raid, Echoes of Vana’diel, will be a crossover series with Final Fantasy XI. Further details were not revealed, but a new piece of concept art was shown featuring Final Fantasy XI antagonist the Shadow Lord. It will begin with the post-launch Patch 7.1 update.
In addition, the expansion’s new eight-player Raid is titled the Arcadion, which features an apparent neon-filled futuristic stage, and will feature a fully original story. It will come in both Normal and Savage difficulty forms, beginning a month after the launch of Dawntrail. Finally, the new Ultimate Raid will be Futures Rewritten (Ultimate), based on the Eden Raid series from Shadowbringers. Other post-launch additions will include a Blue Mage Limited Job update, Inconceivably Further Hildibrand Adventures, new Deep Dungeon plans, a Gold Saucer update, a PvP update, and new Variant Dungeons. Dawntrail will also include new Field Operations content, similar to Eureka and Bozja. These will all be detailed at a later date. A second Limited Job, joining Blue Mage, had been previously confirmed as being part of the Patch 7.X update series, and this was revealed as Beastmaster. This will be available for dedicated solo play, and it parties with other Limited Jobs.
Naoki Yoshida demonstrated some of the game’s ongoing graphics update and revisited the updated PC system requirements, also stated the Xbox Series X|S open beta will begin in February 2024 ahead of a planned spring 2024 release. It is currently planned to begin around February 21, 2024, but full timing will be confirmed at a later date. Meanwhile, the crossover questline with Final Fantasy XVI — titled “The Path Infernal” — is planned to release in early April 2024. It will see players fighting alongside Clive Rosfield and is designed to not spoil the story of Final Fantasy XVI.
He then finally revealed the final new playable race option for players being added in Dawntrail. Teased with the new main character in the trailer, players will be able to play as female Hrothgar. In terms of the in-game lore surrounding them, the Hrothgar of Tural call Yak T’el home and are known as the Xbr’aal. Females are said to be relatively few, and are often predisposed for leadership roles.
Screenshots and Art
Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Full Trailer
New Areas Walkthrough
Solution Nine Walkthrough
Female Hrothgar Trailer
Full FanFest Day 1 Livestream