Final Fantasy XIV producer/director talks Dawntrail content goals, updated PC requirements

During a PAX East panel yesterday, Final Fantasy XIV director and producer reflected on the ten years that has elapsed since A Realm Reborn‘s launch in 2013 and remarked upon the upcoming Dawntrail expansion, set to release on July 2, 2024. Here, we learned more about how the team intends to approach development not only for Dawntrail, but the years ahead.

In highlighting each expansion, Yoshida touched on the major changes that came to the game as well as the challenges the team encountered as they continued to build and evolve the game to its current iteration.

For A Realm Reborn, the rebuilt version of the game that was made after the poor reception of the game’s original 2010 release. During launch there was extreme congestion that caused servers to be unable to accommodate players ability to log in and play. This situation played out again for the recent Endwalker expansion, and in an effort to mitigate this, the team has been working on renting servers and allowing players to migrate to less populated servers to be able to play – so that players are not stuck in queues for hours with thousands of players in a virtual line to get in.

In this era, the team remarked that they built challenging content with rewarding end-game gear, although the former was sparse compared to the current output. Yoshida playfully remarked that Titan’s Landslide ability, which needed a quick reaction from the player to avoid KO, might have cost them about 300,000 players.

In Heavensward (2015), which saw the introduction of flying mounts and the team’s first ever Fan Festival, the team took feedback from players engaging with raids and built two difficulty modes off of them: “Normal” and “Savage”. However, they then got feedback that the Savage mode difficulty was too hard, and made adjustments to jobs accordingly. Yoshida notes that they learned a lot in this era.

In Stormblood (2017), the team further adjusted the difficulty of duties based on the feedback they received, as well as making adjustments to job skill rotations. This expansion saw a greater diversity in the types of content released, such as the introduction of multiplayer field-based exploration missions – or what the team now calls “Field Operations” and Doman Mahjong. This includes the Forbidden Land, Eureka. Yoshida noted that back in those days, during Live Letter broadcasts, players would respond “zzz” in chat when they would talk about this content – but it seems the sentiment has changed over time. He went on to say that because the team took on those challenges, those risks, they were able to bring a wider variety of content to the game.

In Shadowbringers (2019), the team focused on the story and its RPG aspects, blending together the narrative and combat segments closer together – Yoshida credits this for the game growing more and more. With player counts rising higher and higher, they noticed a lot of people were joining the game with little MMO experience or were hesitant to group with others. So, for the Endwalker (2021) expansion, the team worked on improving the solo player experience with features such as Duty Support and content like Variant Dungeons. The expansion also marked the end of the current story ark, in what they dub “the first grand finale in our story.”

In Dawntrail, and the years ahead, the team wants the game to evolve further as a MMORPG. While the post-Endwalker patches made preparations to welcome casual or solo-oriented players, now the team wants to focus on new goals. They want to refine the multiplayer gameplay, such as more large scale duties where a lot of players are working together – content such as the field operations in Eureka and Bozja are in development. Yoshida notes that different players put value in different types of content and they want to build more multiplayer and large-scale content. This doesn’t mean solo content is on ice, Variant Dungeons will still see updates in the Dawntrail patch series.

The team also wants to deliver “a more fulfilling gaming experience”. Yoshida notes that he agrees with feedback that the game has become a bit predictable and mundane, and that they want to spice it up a bit. The goal isn’t to much to crank up the difficulty and stress, but to introduce new and exciting types of types of battle mechanics that will engage you. Yoshida wants the team to take on new challenges and take some risks – even if it involves making mistakes and having to apologize to players – they want the game to be exciting.

For Dawntrail, the game will see an increased level cap to 100, and while they’re not looking to rock the boat by adjusting the levelling curve and action acquisiton, they will be focusing on the content itself to deliver the excitement they mentioned. Beyond this expansion, however, Yoshida notes that the team is considering a long-term plan, where they’re mulling that question. “Do we increase the level cap to 110?” “Do we reset the level cap to 50?”

The team also wants to improve the rewards they offer to players for clearing challenges in-game. Rewards such as mounts, minions, and so on. Yoshida notes that by Patch 7.3, they want to have 1.5 times the level of rewards that currently are on offer in the game. He feels that since players are contributing with their subscription and they want to give back with offering more in-game rewards.

In the run-up to the Dawntrail expansion, the team will be holding a media tour in early May for press and influencers, and there will be a new Letter from the Producer Live that will feature more on the graphics upgrade including video footage.

Additionally, Yoshida noted that they’ve had to adjust the minimum requirements for Final Fantasy XIV due to several factors including the upcoming graphics update and reported issues with the minimum recommended CPU as well as its discontinuation.

Revised Dawntrail Windows PC System Requirements

About the Author

Tony Garsow Tony joined Nova Crystallis in 2015, and has spent more than a decade writing in the Final Fantasy community. He also contributes to the Nova Crystallis Twitch and YouTube channels, where you can watch select gameplay highlights, previews, and streams.