May 27, 2024

Final Fantasy 14’s next expansion, Dawntrail, will be “the very best summer vacation”


The next expansion in Final Fantasy 14 will be Dawntrail and it’s out summer next year.


At today’s Fan Festival in Las Vegas, producer and director Naoki Yoshida took to the stage to share the news.


Alongside the new expansion, Yoshida’s keynote also announced new Jobs, details of the 7.0 graphical update, an extension of the free trial, and the news that Final Fantasy 14 will be available next year on Xbox consoles.


Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail trailer.


Dawntrail will follow Endwalker, which was so popular on release the game was taken down from sale.


The new expansion was revealed with a brand new trailer featuring a whole host of returning characters and a tropical, sea-faring setting seemingly inspired by South America.


Indeed, Yoshida described it as “the very best summer vacation” for Warriors of Light and quite the change from Endwalker.


The setting is seemingly influenced by Final Fantasy 10 with its vibrant, tropical locations. What else from that game might be referenced?


At the very least, Dawntrail will feature a new Allied Tribe: the Pelupelu. These diminutive characters with bird-like masks are taken directly from Final Fantasy 10; they travel on alpacas and are traders in coffee, tea, and mezcal.


The tropical vibe is mirrored by the new logo, designed as ever by Yoshitaka Amano, with Yoshida stating the theme colour of Dawntrail is gold.


Narratively this is the next big story arc for Final Fantasy 14 after Endwalker ended the previous 10 years, with the central theme of a journey of discovery. So what can we expect?

Dawntrail’s story and setting


Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail will take place in a new continent across the western sea called Tural, known as the new world.


The impetus of the story is a contest for the Tural throne. The player’s Warrior of Light will be joined by familiar faces from across previous expansions, although the story will see them divided into two opposing groups. What is the truth of the city of gold?


At his keynote, Yoshida showed off some of the environments players will visit.


The main new hub city will be Tuliyollal, in the Yok Tural region – it’s the city in the expansion’s logo. It’s a market town with people who prioritise living with nature. Yoshida promised it will feature plenty of diversity.




Tuliyollal distant

The city of Tuliyollal. | Image credit: Square Enix


Another area in the same region, Urqopacha, features bright rainbow fields clearly inspired by Peru. This area was the proud centre of a giant race that’s now left in ruin. Yak T’el is another new area dense with foliage.


Urqopacha in Dawntrail
The area of Urqopacha. | Image credit: Square Enix

New Jobs


As expected, Dawntrail will increase the level cap to 100 and will include two new Jobs, as with previous expansions.


Although not named, both Jobs will be DPS: one melee and one caster. Teasing the audience, Yoshida removed his jacket to show a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirt as a hint of what we can expect. The Final Fantasy 10 inspiration perhaps hints at a Blitzball player Job, but could we instead have dual weapon or bo staff wielders? What else could the turtles be teasing?


A new update to the Gold Saucer is on the way too. Yoshida said this wouldn’t be Blitzball, much to the audience’s sadness, but this was later confirmed to be a Fall Guys crossover.


Endwalker introduced the Island Sanctuary life sim mode. Dawntrail will feature its own similar content, although this was not shown.


There will also be new duties, including one boss shown: a legendary bird called Valigarmanda, an esper from Final Fantasy 6.


Valigarmanda boss in Dawntrail
The Valigarmanda boss. | Image credit: Square Enix


Dawntrail will also include a whole host of expected additions, including:

  • Fates, hunts, treasure hunts, quest-synced sidequests
  • New gear and recipes
  • New variant dungeons, Alliance Raids, 8-player raid content, and Ultimate raids
  • Updates to the PvP mode
  • Blue mage update
  • More Hildibrand adventures
  • New plans for deep dungeons

The 7.0 graphical update


Dawntrail, will include plenty of system updates, including the game’s first big graphical upgrade. The tropical environments of Tural and the use of vibrant colours seems tailored towards showing off the visual improvements.


Yoshida stressed the team is keen to maintain the appeal of the graphics, but with higher resolution textures, better lighting and shadows, and more detailed environments.


Side by side, the upgrade is a noticeable improvement with a more detailed and clean look, particularly with regards to the hair, eyes, and skin of characters.


Jungle area in Dawntrail


Dawntrail jungle area

The jungle environments are far more detailed than before. | Image credit: Square Enix

Environments will feature more objects and vastly increased plant density. No more low poly grapes!


Both gear sets and NPCs will be upgraded gradually, starting with 7.0 and early content before working through.


The system update will also allow players to dye more of their gear; eyeglasses will be separately equipable; and the furnishing limit for houses will be increased. A strategy board will also be introduced, allowing players to collaboratively discuss positioning for duties.


Outside of system updates, the duty support system will be expanded so players can experience the game solo – more NPC characters will join too. The game’s perennially memed free trial will also expand to include Heavensward, up to level 70.


Lastly, Phil Spencer took to the stage with Yoshida to announce that Final Fantasy 14 is heading to Xbox consoles next year.

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