Final Fantasy 14’s director says the Dawntrail expansion will be a ‘second rebirth’ similar to A Realm Reborn

Way before I sunk hundreds of hours into Final Fantasy 14, I watched it die and eventually return with A Realm Reborn in 2013. The major rework of FF14’s entire world was a critical moment for the MMO that shaped the next 11 years of the game. The most recent expansion, Endwalker, was still tying up loose ends that originated in that rebuilt foundation.

The MMO’s director Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida told Famitsu in a recent interview (translated via Aitaikimochi and RPG Site) that he and the team approached development on this year’s expansion, Dawntrail, like a “second rebirth” to the game: A Realm Reborn but without the apocalyptic destruction.

Yoshida described this new era as less a function of the narrative and more that the team has vastly improved their skills at making the game. He says Dawntrail will be “three or four times more solid” than what came before and that it will mark a shift in the game’s direction going forward.

While it’s true that Dawntrail will introduce the sort of things you’d expect with a new expansion—new jobs, a new playable race, and a whole new location to explore—it will also come with fundamental changes like a significant graphical update to character models and even more detailed ways to dye your gear. Dawntrail is clearly targeting the parts of the game that keep players logging in every day, regardless of their progress in the story.

This time there probably won’t be a planet-sized dragon showing up to barbecue Eorzea before Dawntrail’s release, and there may not be another explosion in popularity like in 2021 either. The hope, however, is that Dawntrail breaks a cycle that has started to wear on long-time players and give them ambitious things to play with that they’ve not seen before. If the new painter class and the big new catgirls are any indication of what’s coming, Dawntrail might actually feel like the setup for another full decade of FF14.

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