Square Enix’s Creative Business Unit III and producer Naoki Yoshida kicked off their latest Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival Keynote with an announcement trailer for the game’s fifth expansion, Dawntrail, set to release in Summer 2024. The trailer featured much of the game’s main cast, including Erenville from Endwalker.
Producer Yoshida described the story as “the best summer vacation you could ever have,” with the teaser:
“As hope’s light dawns once more, a hero looks to new horizons…
“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…”
The expansion theme is “A Journey of Discovery,” with the setting being heavily inspired by Incan and Mayan folklore and the story of El Dorado.
“Alongside Alphinaud, Alisaie and Erenville, Dawntrail will begin with a voyage across the Indigo Deep. A visitor from the New World seeks your aid in a rite of succession to determine the land’s next ruler, with rumours that events could even lead to the fabled gates of a city of gold…”
The game’s level cap is increasing from 90 to 100, breaking the series tradition of maxing character level out at 99. The expansion will add two new jobs as the previous ones did, but no further details were given outside of both being DPS-based, one being a melee class and the other being a magic class.
The first new Beast Tribe of the expansion was also shared, the “diminutive” Pelupelu. It is currently unknown whether this is the combat, gathering, or crafting tribe.
One of the new bosses was revealed to be Valigarmanda, previously seen in Final Fantasy VI. Though we don’t yet know what dungeon it will appear in (or whether it will be a standalone fight), new concept art was revealed with the announcement.
New Duty Support options were teased, including more characters and options for new content outside of the main Scions of the Seventh Dawn party members that generally accompany the player in the current single-player supported content. “Expansive New Lifestyle Content” was also announced and noted to be similar to the Island Sanctuary feature that debuted during Endwalker.
The branching “variant dungeons” introduced during the 6.x patch cycle will return in Dawntrail, along with a new 24-player Alliance Raid series and 8-player Raid series with details to come, and a new Ultimate-tier raid. The “Ultimate” content is generally seen as the most difficult in the entire game.
Additional Player-Vs-Player content was announced, with more details to come, as well as new maps for the existing Crystalline Conflict and Frontline modes.
Finally, the Blue Mage limited job will get an update with a level cap increase, another Hildibrand quest line is on the way, the team has plans for more Deep Dungeon content, and the Gold Saucer feature will receive an update. (Yoshida noted that it is specifically not a Blitzball minigame, referencing a frequently-requested feature to integrate the minigame from Final Fantasy X.)
This time, the new expansion in Dawntrail will take us across the western seas to a land named Tural. Tural is less developed than most countries we have visited, but this doesn’t mean it is uninhabited. The land is ruled by a two-headed Mamool Ja named Gulool Ja Ja.
The expansion will focus on a contest for the rights to his throne inside the major city of Tuliyollal. This contest will consist of finding the fabled City of Gold, which will see the Scions racing across Tural in search of it.
This will include Urqopacha, a mountainous region home to some of the largest and smallest races in Tural. This area was once the home of the ancient Giant capital that now lies in ruin; clues for the City of Gold could be hiding in the area’s ruins.
Yak T’el is the third area shown off for the new expansion, divided into high-level and low-level areas. This area is heavily forested, with the floor hardly seeing any sunlight; the significant characteristics of the site are its springs and underground wells that help keep the foliage alive in the forest.
Player customization will also receive significant overhauls. Notably, players will be able to apply two dyes to all armor pieces, but this implementation will arrive in ways for each gear type. Additionally, eyeglasses are finally being added and will be equippable alongside headgear.
Lastly, fans can anticipate a Furnishing Limit increase at some point in the 7.0 patch cycle, but details regarding the extent of this collective expansion were not yet shared.
The new expansion for Final Fantasy XIV will also bring about the first graphical update for the game. This won’t be a simple upgrade to character models but into the environment, lighting, and texture details of the entire world of Eorzea.
This will make the game’s overall presentation and lead to a much better player experience as the update happens. Further, this will vastly improve the look of an area beyond the texture fidelity and can already be seen in screenshots from the showcase earlier.
The significant updates for character models will include better eyes and screen textures, making characters more expressive and less blurry. For example, the Hrothgar, a fully beastlike race, will have more defined fur throughout their face and body, making them appear slightly more realistic.
Hair will also be more realistic and not clump as it has been since the original launch. NPC characters will also receive these updates. However, this will be in waves as the team updates each model individually.
So there will be instances of an updated character being around a non-updated NPC. Armor will also be affected in waves as there is too much armor to update at once, starting with Dawntrail and moving up from A Realm Reborn content until all armor has been brought up to date.
A listed summary of what you need to know from the PlayStation Blog is quoted below:
- Journey to the New World, Tural, and its capital, Tuliyollal
- Explore new areas, including the mountainous Urqopacha and the forest of Yak T’el
- New Allied Tribes, including the diminutive Pelupelu who wear distinctive masks and inhabit Urqopacha
- Level Cap increase from 90 to 100
- Multiple New Jobs
- Core Battle Content, including FATEs, Hunts, Treasure Hunts, and Sidequests
- New Dungeons
- New Threats, including Valigarmanda
- Duty Support Update
- New Gear and Recipes
- Expansive New Lifestyle Content
- New Variant Dungeons, Alliance Raid, 8-Player Raid and Ultimate Raid
- PvP Update
- Ongoing Content Updates, including a Blue Mage Update, Inconceivably Further Hildibrand Adventures, New Plans for Deep Dungeons, and a Gold Saucer Update
Square Enix also announced an official Final Fantasy XIV collaboration with Fall Guys, an extended free trial to include the Stormblood expansion and that Final Fantasy XIV will launch for Xbox Series X|S in Spring 2024.
The Xbox Series X version will feature 4K support and faster loading. Plus, there will also be an open beta for patch 6.5.
You can view official screenshots and artwork for Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail via our gallery below:
You can view the official teaser trailer for Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail below:
Final Fantasy XIV is currently available via PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. Patch 6.4, “The Dark Throne,” launched in May 2023.
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