Final Fantasy XIV publisher Square Enix and developer Creative Business Unit III revealed the MMO’s next expansion, Dawntrail, during Day 1 of Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2023.
Square Enix revealed this 7.0 expansion that acts as a new beginning for Final Fantasy XIV with a new cinematic trailer. After the trailer, director Naoki Yoshida took to the main stage to host a keynote presentation, and it was during this that we learned a lot about the Dawntrail expansion, which will hit the game sometime in summer 2024. Let’s break it all down.
Everything You Need To Know About Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail
The logo below was created by famed Final Fantasy series illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, and it prominently uses the color gold, the theme color for the expansion. Yoshida explained during the keynote presentation on July 28 that the team wanted to “bring the very best summer vacation a hero could possibly have” to the Warriors of Light (the players). Without spoiling the events of 2021’s Endwalker expansion – read Game Informer’s Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker review here – Yoshida says Dawntrail represents a significant shift from the previous expansion. Where Endwalker was dark, with the end of the universe on the line, Dawntrail is brighter and seemingly lighter in tone.
“It’s a new beginning of Final Fantasy XIV [and] the theme is a journey of discovery,” he said. “As you know, the arc we’ve been on from 1.0 to Endwalker about Hydaelyn and Zodiark has concluded. So you can think of this as our first step into a new story for Final Fantasy XIV.”
As for what brings the Warriors of Light to this New World, a slide during the keynote presentation reads, “Warriors of Light will receive a very special guest. Winds of opportunity bring a visitor from the new world, seeking the Warrior of Light’s aid in a rite of succession to determine Tural’s next ruler.
“Alongside Alphinaud, Alisaie, and Erenville, the warrior of light embarks upon a journey across the Indigo Deep. Should rumor be true, the contest may lead them to the fabled gates of a city of gold. Little do they know that it will also see the scions divided, teasing that players will soon discover who are their allies and who are their rivals in this contest”
Yoshida also shed some light on a few of the new locations we’ll be visiting in Dawntrail. Let’s break each down.
Yok Tural is the tropical New World location seen in the Dawntrail trailer. It’s west of Eorzea and home to many cities that live alongside nature, meaning you won’t see much industrialization compared to other places in Final Fantasy XIV. In Yok Tural, the Warriors of Light will discover new characters, allies, enemies, gear, and plenty more.
Tuliyollal is the new major city of the Dawntrail expansion, located in Yok Tural. It’s described as “the sea of the federal nation-state governing Tural” and located in the northern reaches of the land. The nation’s ruler is Gulool Ja Ja, a two-headed Mamool Ja. The aforementioned contest is being held by Mamool Ja to determine who will succeed him. This city prioritizes living with nature so it’s not very industrialized.
Urqopacha is a very mountainous region of Yok Tural. It’s home to “peoples both exceedingly large and unusually small in nature.” You’ll see their settlements throughout the region’s mountains. A slide during the keynote read, “Over a thousand years ago, long before the Tuliyollal came to be, Urqopacha was the proud heart of the Giant’s Empire, which spanned the entirety of Yok Tural. While their descendants live on in the region, only ruins remain of the Empire’s glorious days.”
Yak Tel is a thick forest region of Yok Tural, accessible from Tuliyollal via “dirigible flight over the southeastern mountains.” A slide during the keynote presentation read, “So dense is its foliage that the forest floor sees little sunlight; home to the primary settlements of Tural’s Hrothgar and Mamool Ja, and replete with stunning cenotes harboring cerulean ponds and springs.”
Alongside new details about Yok Tural, Yoshida also detailed a ton of new additions coming to the game, presumably as part of the 7.0 Dawntrail expansion update. Here’s what he mentioned:
- The level cap will be increased from Level 90 to Level 100
- Two new jobs: One melee DPS job and one ranged magical DPS (Yoshida didn’t reveal the job titles)
- New dungeons
- New gear and recipes for crafters and gatherers
- New variant dungeons
- New Alliance Raid
- New 8-Player Raid
- New Ultimate Raid
- The Pelupelu, a new race of people living in Yok Tural
- PvP update: Yoshida says the team will continue to update Final Fantasy XIV PvP throughout Dawntrail’s patches
- Blue Mage update
- “Inconceivably further Hildibrand adventures”
- New plans for Deep Dungeons
- Gold Saucer update
- Eyeglasses will be added to the game as equippable gear alongside Headgear (although Yoshida says they won’t be treated as gear in terms of inventory and won’t take up space in your armory chest)
- Two dyes per gear piece
- Furnishing limit increase (planned for a post-7.0 patch however)
- Whiteboard-like “Strategy Board” for planning duties, raid strategies, and more
- Happening as part of Patch 6.5X – Free trial extended: it will include Stormblood now, the expansion after Heavensward
- Final Fantasy XIV Xbox Series X/S version announced
Yoshida also discussed the previously announced graphical updates Creative Business Unit III is working on for Final Fantasy XIV, showcasing various changes in a few videos. He says the team is emphasizing “screen-wide aesthetic appeal” versus changes to individual characters, which is why the update will affect near everything in the game, including shadows, materials, characters, UI, and more.
It will also include “higher-resolution textures and shadows.” Yoshida says the team is working on these graphical updates in piecemeal, meaning you shouldn’t expect everything to be updated visually at once. He says what you see in 7.0 will be a good representation of visual changes to come.
And that’s everything we learned about Dawntrail during Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2023 Day 1.
For more, watch the Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail trailer here and then read about the Xbox Series X/S version of Final Fantasy XIV launching in spring of 2024.
What are you most excited about in Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Game Informer Everything You Need To Know About Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail