It’s time for more reveals for the Final Fantasy XIV fans in the audience as the London Fan Festival has begun, and that means learning more about the content due to arrive in the game when Dawntrail launches next summer. And as has been tradition for most of the expansions, the second festival brought with it the first of two new jobs for the expansion, a number of new previews, and several other reveals for the future.
Of course, it would be easy to tune out during the initial reveal of the extended teaser trailer simply because it started out very similar to the original trailer with just a bit of extended Estinien footage. But the extended teaser does include the new job in it… if that weren’t further compounded by producer and director Naoki Yoshida coming out on stage in full cosplay for the new job. Despite his own statement that he’s just turned 50 and is getting too old for cosplay, the tradition of him cosplaying as the new job remains intact.
While I summarized the Las Vegas keynote beat-by-beat, for this particular keynote I’m just going to summarize the major beats and revelations, since a fair portion of the presentation covered things that we had already learned from Las Vegas (which is normal) or simply didn’t convey new information beyond trailers. So let’s dive right into that with another trailer.
New job: Viper
Despite the speculation that has been flying about the new job being Corsair, this is a new job that’s original to the series for FFXIV, although many of the guesses were right on the money. The Viper is a new dual-wielding DPS job that uses paired swords and uses the same Scouting gear that Ninja does, but instead of Ninja’s specialized type of spellcasting, Viper is much more of a job about agility and skill.
As shown in both trailers as well by Yoshida’s own cosplay on stage, the Viper can employ both paired swords in both hands or join the two swords together into a bladed staff, with the dual-wielding used for quick strikes while combining the weapons is used for dealing mighty blows. It’s linked to Turali hunters and you can even channel the memories of hunters to imbue yourself with additional power.
Like other new jobs, there is no required class to unlock Viper; you just need at least one job at level 80 along with Dawntrail registered to your account, with the job quests starting in Ul’dah. We’ve also been told that the job is technically demanding with abilities executed between weaponskills; it’s uncertain of whether it’s meant to lean more toward the high-DPS threshold, but it seems likely that it’s going to be less support-focused than Ninja.
First and foremost, we got video footage of how Yak T’el and Urqopacha will look in-game, as shown above. (This also shows how the Viper weapons are holstered, perhaps not surprisingly.) But there were other new places shown off in screenshot form, starting with Kozama’uka, a tropical region south of Tuliyollal.
Kozama’uka is a jungle area that comes at the convergence of myriad rivers and stream flowing from the crags to the west. We’re told that it’s a two-level area, but the screenshots were all from the lower area where the streams converge into rivers through spectacular waterfalls. We also learned that this region is home to many peoples, which dovetails nicely with the new allied tribe unveiled: the Moblins, a returning element from Final Fantasy XI. Sharing a common ancestor with Goblins, these people are gatherers rather than crafters, finding all sorts of strange things and welcoming skilled crafters into their midst to turn what they’ve gathered into useful items.
The other area shown off, Shaalomi, had one prominent feature that was hidden very specifically in concept art because it would be a spoiler. What is visible is that this is an arid region in central Tural, replete with ceruleum deposits and settled by foreign people looking to harvest the valuable resource. It looks like nothing so much as an Old West frontier town, complete with a railroad running into it.
We were also teased with several dungeon screenshots, including a barge going down a river and at least one particularly technological-looking dungeon. The details have yet to be known, but the tease of a new enemy called the Eliminator with a “maybe mechanical, maybe alive” look to it raises question about what, exactly, awaits within Tural.
The alliance raid series was revealed, and while we learned nothing beyond the name, that should give a good idea of what it will include alone: Echoes of Vana’diel. It’s also a celebration of FFXI after more than 20 years, and you can probably imagine that the Moblins will tie into the raid. (That was not stated by Yoshida, for the record; that is speculation.)
Players were also promised expansive new lifestyle content akin to Ishgard Restoration and Island Sanctuary. No details were given yet, as Yoshida said it just isn’t ready yet, but he did state that it will be more based around cooperation than the very solo-focused Island Sanctuary.
Aside from the other major content we knew was coming in the 7.x series (more Hildibrand, PvP updates, a new Deep Dungeon, and Variant/Criterion dungeons) we had a new piece of content revealed… a new limited job! We weren’t told what it would be just yet, but it will be somewhere in the latter portion of the 7.x series, and there will be more to reveal soon. Yoshida asked the audience what they thought it would be, but gave no particular hints beyond singling out Beastmaster and Puppetmaster (both jobs he had mentioned before). He also mentioned that it will be separate from party play in a manner similar to Blue Mage, which is… an odd statement considering how much party play is the current Blue Mage content cycle, but likely it means something similar to the Masked Carnivale.
Crossovers and testing
Last but not least, we got some confirmation on testing dates and collaborations. The beta test for the game on Xbox will run from mid-January 2024 through February, and the game will also be running a cloud data center stress test November 21st through the 27th. Players who log on to the stress test will be given a number of items upon character creation to speed through play, although any characters created on those realms will be temporary and will be deleted at the end of the test.
But that’s just testing. You aren’t here to test things; you’re here to fall off of things with the Fall Guys collaboration coming to the Gold Saucer on October 31st. This will feature a variety of courses inspired by Fall Guys and with similar mechanics given a distinctly FFXIV flair, with rewards including pets and a themed outfit. It’s also important to note that these courses will be available intermittently, on for a period of time and then turned off once again; be prepared to not have it available at all times.
And, of course, the awaited collaboration between FFXIV and Final Fantasy XVI has finally been announced with the blessing of FFXVI’s producer, meaning that the newer game’s Ifrit will be arriving as a battle against the Warrior of Light and Clive. The event includes a Torgal mount and pet along with Clive’s signature gear, and Yoshida promised that the event should include interesting lore for veterans of the newer game without spoiling things for those still waiting for the PC version.
As for more information about Dawntrail? We’ll have to wait until the third and final fan festival in Japan taking place on January 7th, 2024. Please look forward to it.