Wisdom of Nym: The unspoken but expected features of Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail

Trying to find a hammer.

There are a number of features that we know are coming with Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail. Sure, we can all have some fun speculating about what the exact combination of jobs is going to be, but we know that it’s going to be two jobs and we know what roles they are. Just because there are details we won’t know until October and then January doesn’t really mean there are any question marks there, and while we might not know all of the zone names, we can be pretty darn confident that there will be six main zones and two cities.

But there are also a number of features that not only have not yet been announced but haven’t even yet been teased, yet a lot of people are still expecting them just the same. So today I wanted to take a look at some of these additions, things that people think are en route just by the nature of the expansion but have yet to be even strongly hinted at.


Lady Hrothgar

When Shadowbringers first came out, it seems like Yoshida and the development staff really believed that releasing lady Viera and male Hrothgar would make everyone happy and there would be no need for any further races. This strikes me as an astonishingly silly position, and at the time I even said that it was kind of ridiculous for the team to unlearn a lesson they had already learned with the launch of 2.0 and the inclusion of both genders for races and clans previously missing them. Obviously, fan feedback was overwhelming, and we got male viera first, which made someone happy at least.

Now, everyone is expecting that the other shoe is going to drop and lady Hrothgar are on deck. We didn’t have so much as a whisper about them at the first fan festival, of course, but that in and of itself isn’t shocking; Viera weren’t revealed until the second festival ahead of Shadowbringers. So what are the odds that this is coming?

Personally, I feel like the odds are still pretty high; we have the first job and second job on deck for the next two festivals, but it would broadly track that the next festival in October gets a race reveal and something else surprising comes with the Japanese festival (often a firm release date). I’ve seen people argue that the big reveal of the racial profiles updated in the wake of the graphical improvements would have been a perfect time to reveal them, but despite the contentions of certain Typhoid Mary cosplayers in the community, the goal is clearly to ensure that each new festival gets some big reveals.

I wouldn’t reserve a name just yet, but I would bet good money we’ll see them before the release of the expansion. That’s my gut feeling.

Carry that water.


Ever since the ability to swim was added to FFXIV, people have been endlessly eager to add Drownball to the game. And as someone who spent a lot of time “playing” that minigame (read: swimming behind the goal with Tidus and then abusing Jecht Shot for easy wins), I can totally understand it. So what are the odds that this is coming to FFXIV at long last, with the expansion even feeling like a Final Fantasy X homage based on its art colors?

Well… I’d say mixed. Some people will doubtlessly point out that Yoshida said he was not bringing Blitzball to the Gold Saucer, but that’s not what he said; he said that he was not bringing it to the Gold Saucer during the 6.x series. That’s different. But even so, Blitzball is fundamentally a team sport, and that’s not really something that the structure of the Gold Saucer is set up to accommodate for players.

That doesn’t mean that, for example, you couldn’t have players going around and recruiting team members from the many NPCs across the game, akin to how there are random people in the world right now you can challenge to Triple Triad. But it might involve a whole mess of coding, and you’d have to account for the fact that other players might recruit the same players as you. And you’d need NPC teams, too, to fill things out. It’d be quite the lift.

Having said all that, it’s obvious that there is the critical mass of people who want Blitzball in the game. But I’d give its inclusion a solid fifty-fifty chance. It wouldn’t surprise me if they decided this was what the game needed, but it’d be kind of weird just the same, and it doesn’t really have the same sort of pull as various other series minigame staples that require less explanation and scaffolding.


Major class revamps

A new expansion has meant that at least one class is getting a major revamp every time. In Shadowbringers it was Machinist, in Endwalker it was Monk and Summoner, and in Dawntrail it will be… who? Dragoon has been flagged as a job that needs a little more love than it currently gets, Machinist is still in low demand as a ranged DPS, Paladin received some big changes but some people still want it to get more revisions, and the list goes on.

The hard part to be sure of here is that while every job is getting a pass, some of them are handled primarily via new abilities getting added toward the level cap. It’s kind of fine if Machinist doesn’t offer much to a Savage group at level 90 when the cap is 100, after all; it’s going to be judged on those merits. So it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going to be changed by going back and altering things and how much is going to be revised in fundamental flow.

Looking at the various jobs as a whole, I think Dragoon has had a lot of elements simplified so that it doesn’t feel like a house of cards stacked up, but the result is still that it takes a long time for its primary functions to come to light and it’s really hard to get your flow back if you drop mid-fight as a Dragoon. Paladin is going to need something more to distinguish it beyond its current traits, and I would actually argue that Bard is a bit jumbled at the moment even though it’s not hurting like Machinist is.

We’re definitely going to see at least one job get a major redesign, and I can’t imagine it’s going to be anyone we’ve seen recently. I would agree that Dragoon seems pretty likely, but beyond that it’s hard to be sure. Getting another melee DPS means that field has gotten quite competitive at this point, so it’ll be interesting to see how all six options distinguish themselves.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, I’m going to talk about Eureka Orthos, content paths, and how Island Sanctuary isn’t taking the resources you think it is. Should be a laugh riot. Hey, we’ve still got another week until the actual anniversary, we had to talk about it some time.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.
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