Final Fantasy XIV fans across the globe were hoping to see a treasure trove of new details about the upcoming Dawntrail expansion at last weekend’s JP Fanfest event in Tokyo, and head developer Naoki Yoshida did not disappoint whatsoever.
Ahead of the still-projected release of this Summer, “Yoshi-P” presented a much broader and thankfully more detailed vision of what players can expect during their brand new adventure to the gigantic western continent of Tural and beyond. From new jobs, to the long-awaited reveal of female Hrothgars, to even more new areas, dungeons, raids, and more. Here is our list of the biggest takeaways for FFXIV’s Dawntrail from JP Fanfest.
Exact Release Date Still TBA
Yoshi-P opened up the keynote with steadfast assurance to everyone that Final Fantasy XIV‘s Dawntrail is still slated for a Summer release, and that their ongoing development schedule is going very well. That said, he admitted that because they want to keep things on track as much as humanly possible, he especially doesn’t want a repeat of Endwalker’s regrettable delay and is opting to wait until they’re absolutely certain when the date will be.
He finished by saying that the release date, and subsequently all information regarding expansion pre-orders, will be presented in a future Producer’s Live Letter on YouTube in the coming months.
Pictomancer Rounds Out New Jobs For Dawntrail
Arguably the biggest reveal of the entire keynote was Dawntrail’s second new job, which turned out to be Pictomancer. A bright and cheery magical ranged DPS equipped with a painter’s palette and a staff-sized brush, players will get to wield this class from the very beginning of the Dawntrail expansion. Yoshi-P indicated that Pictomancer will start at Level 80, and that the job questline will begin in Gridania, an area that hasn’t seen a new job debut there in quite some time.
Pictomancer will function somewhere essentially between Black Mage and Red Mage, as a DPS with the ability to provide important buffs to the party. However, Yoshi-P pointed out that it will not have a Revive ability of any kind, so that stays uniquely with Red Mage and Summoner.
More than anything, it’s a relief to see that Krile finally found her niche among the Scions, and if the expanded trailer is anything to go by, she looks happier than ever.
Female Hrothgars Revealed With Wuk Lamat Joining the Scions
Yoshi-P treated fans at the start of the keynote with an expanded version of the trailer for Dawntrail, which showcased not only Krile as Pictomancer, but the long-awaited reveal of female Hrothgars in the form of an important new character named Wuk Lamat (seen above in the header). The daughter of the current ruler in Tural, she’s the main contender for the throne in the game’s new story saga, and Yoshi-P describes her as a “powerful” character that will have quite a presence throughout our adventure.
Near the very end of the keynote, we also got a full reveal trailer for the female Hrothgar race in-game. Needless to say, fans everywhere so far are incredibly impressed and excited to pop open a Fantasia to try out the new look. While we don’t know for sure yet, they look to be nearly as tall as Vieras, and certainly leaner and more nimble than their stockier male counterparts. Their gesture animations look well-tuned, and the variations in their clans (as seen above) are all unique.
Without a doubt, we expect to see mobs of female Hrothgars running all over Tural from the get-go.
Solution Nine & Heritage Found Areas Starkly Contrast Tural
It goes without saying that when Yoshi-P presented new concept art, screenshots, and even footage of two more areas called Solution Nine and Heritage Found, fans in the global audience felt a mixture of utter shock and fascination. It’s an understatement to say that, just aesthetically, these places are the polar opposite of Tural’s tropical landscapes. These will, in fact, be fully explorable new areas for players, as evidenced by the aetherytes, with who knows how much content and lore wrapped in with them.
While Solution Nine (seen above) is about as futuristic as it gets, Heritage Found was revealed as essentially the undercity, located directly beneath. Covered in a perpetual fog of lightning magicks and shadowed by the city above, Heritage Found looks to be more steampunk in nature, and likely where the less fortunate reside. While some fans are screaming ‘Cyberpunk’ vibes, if this isn’t a reference in some way to FF7’s Midgar, I’ll have to eat both my shoes.
Nonetheless, Yoshi-P was very careful not to reveal any spoilers regarding these areas, hence why no NPCs or inner locations were seen. However, when a couple of new dungeons were showcased later in the keynote as well, we could see that at least one will take place here.
Beastmaster is the New Limited Job For Dawntrail
While Pictomancer undoubtedly stole the show with its reveal as the second new main job for Dawntrail, people were still anxious to know what the next Limited Job would be. It turned out to be none other than Beastmaster, an iconic job in the Final Fantasy franchise that many players have been pleading to have put in XIV. Given the structure of combat in the game, it probably does make the most sense to have Beastmaster in a limited capacity, and there’s no doubt that people will be scrambling to try out it out in droves. It’s good to see Blue Mage finally have a companion in its corner, and frankly we’re relieved it’s not Green Mage.
Yoshi-P didn’t have any further details to share yet about Beastmaster, particularly since it won’t debut until the second half of 7.X, but hopefully we’ll get at least a few more details leading up to Dawntrail’s release.
New Lifestyle Content Such as Cosmic Exploration & New Field Operations
So-called ‘Lifestyle Content’ has progressively become a big part of XIV’s culture over the past few years, and Yoshi-P and his team are ambitiously looking to expand it further in Dawntrail. He kicked it off by revealing a entirely new type of side content called ‘Cosmic Exploration’, which in his words will take players far beyond Tural to “several different planets”.
As you wrap your brain around that, he also indicated that while this particular content can be done solo if you wish, it is still best performed alongside groups of players in order to make true progress. This certainly gives echoes of the Ishgardian Restoration in The Firmament, as he also noted that “with each update the star you’re working on will change”.
In addition, he assured that another Field Operations-style area (like Eureka and the Bozjan Southern Front) will debut in Dawntrail, though it’s not certain when exactly in 7.X that will be. However, that will definitely be to the delight of many, as that type of content was sorely missed in Endwalker.
As far as Island Sanctuary, there was no mention whatsoever of updates to that portion of Lifestyle Content in the keynote, but to our recollection, Yoshi-P and his team have previously said that it will continue in the future. It may simply take more of a back seat in order for them to focus other content for now.
First New Graphic Update For Dawntrail Launch
Another huge topic of the keynote was obviously the first of many monumental graphic updates coming to the game. Starting with Dawntrail’s launch, all playable races in the game will see overall makeovers to their looks (see female Au’ra above) from their hair down to their default race outfits. Yoshi-P took time to show the before-and-after for each race and gender, and this on its own will up the hype for Dawntrail even further, with players anxious to see how their characters will look after the update.
Yoshi-P even noted that they likely will be providing players with a free Fantasia, in case they don’t like how their current character looks after the update. Whether that’s through pre-order bonuses or simply part of a smaller patch update we’re not sure, so bear that in mind. It’d also be a great opportunity for folks to try out female Hrothgar in Character Creator. Of course you can always use your Retainers for that as well.
More graphic-related updates will come down the line throughout Dawntrail and beyond, as Yoshi-P mentioned that it will affect everything from open-world areas to in-game clothing. On that note, the two-dye option is coming as well, which will allow players to dye one piece of armor/clothing two different colors. The glamour game is about to entire a whole new area, suffice to say.
New Alliance Raid Collaboration With FFXI
One of the most highly-anticipated types of battle content in XIV is Alliance Raids. Typically there are multiple series featured throughout each expansion, and the first one for Dawntrail has been revealed. It will be a collaboration with none other than FFXI, Square Enix’s other big MMO title that’s still running 21 years later, with its own devoted fanbase.
The title of this particular Alliance Raid series will be ‘Echoes of Vana’diel’, and Yoshi-P featured a glimpse via concept art of the Shadow Lord, who is the main antagonist of the story in FFXI. We can only imagine that he’ll be featured as the final boss of one of the three raids in the series, and that epic composer Masayoshi Soken will be providing some epic glow-ups of music tracks from the original game. From the Ivalician arc to the Nier collaboration in Shadowbringers, Alliance Raids have seldom ever disappointed, and we’re sure this one will be one of the best yet.
New 8-Man Raid ‘The Arcadion’
On the heels of the Vana’diel Alliance Raid arc, Yoshi-P also revealed the new 8-Man raid arc for Dawntrail as well. Called ‘The Arcadion’, we’re undoubtedly sure this is taking place smack in the middle of the hyper-futuristic Solution Nine world. The provided concept art (as seen above) showed off a very vibrant, eclectic-looking arena that audiences understandably thought looked like a giant GPU. We can’t help but feel the same way, and are dying to know what types of fights this entails, and especially the gear sets.
Yoshi-P didn’t provide further content details to avoid spoilers, but he did say that both Normal and Savage tiers of The Arcadion will arrive “about one month after the launch of 7.0”.
New Ultimate Raid ‘Rewritten Memories’
As if that weren’t enough raid content for players to dive into, Yoshi-P actually revealed the next Ultimate Raid that will premiere in Dawntrail as well. Called ‘Futures Rewritten (Ultimate)’, it is set to revisit the FF8-influenced Eden arc from Shadowbringers, with Gaia and Ryne undoubtedly at the forefront. We can only hope that we won’t have to deal with a certain ‘Light Rampant’ mechanic this time around, but given the sheer difficulty of Ultimates, perhaps that should be the least of our worries.
Yoshi-P announced that Futures Rewritten (Ultimate) will be released with Patch 7.1, meaning sometime in the Fall.
Additional Content Updates Throughout Dawntrail
In addition to all of the major announcements provided during the keynote, Yoshi-P made sure to also mention that updates for plenty of existing content will continue through Dawntrail as well. While it’s likely not limited to these, they for sure include:
- Blue Mage update – Likely a level increase, more spells for the spellbook, and extension to the questline with new gear.
- Inconceivably Further Hildibrand Adventures – As long as he’s been around, Hildibrand evidently isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and his unique mix of mystery and slapstick comedy will continue in more quests. We did also just get relic weapons courtesy of Godbert Manderville in Radz-at-Han, so their legacy very much lives on in XIV.
- New Deep Dungeons – While Endwalker’s Eureka Orthos wasn’t quite as well-received as its predecessors, Deep Dungeons remain a very popular type of content in the game, and there are more to come in Dawntrail. We imagine one will be Tural-themed for sure.
- Gold Saucer update – There’s any number of things this could mean, from new GATEs to new prizes, new games, and perhaps even a new area in the Gold Saucer itself. We’ll simply have to wait and see in later Live Letters on that.
- PVP update – This likely means further updates to Crystal Conflict, perhaps a new Frontline arena, new gear sets, and more.
- New Variant Dungeons – While some feel they are a tad limiting, the player feedback on the Variant Dungeon series has been mostly positive, so they are due to continue with it. After the introduction of the Sil’dihn Subterrane, Mount Rokkon, and Aloalo Island, we’ll likely see a handful of new Variant dungeons and their Criterion counterparts throughout 7.X.
That concludes our look at the biggest takeaways for FFXIV’s Dawntrail from JP Fanfest. Let us know what you’re most excited to see in the upcoming expansion, or what you hope to see that wasn’t necessarily mentioned in the keynote.
Be sure to check out all of our other guides for Final Fantasy XIV, such as the story behind Pictomancer.
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