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Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Just Hinted That Players Will Go On An Anime-Style Tournament Arc

The expansion’s official website also shared exciting details on field operations

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A man dual wields blades and slices through the air
Image: Square Enix

There’s just over a month left until Dawntrail, the next expansion for Square Enix’s hit MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, releases in early access. Yet we still don’t know too much about the next chapter of the game, beyond it being a kind of summer vacation for players. That mystery is intentional, as the story is a big draw for players and Square Enix doesn’t want to spoil the fun. However, that hasn’t stopped the developer from giving us a few hints on some activities and experiences players will be able to enjoy in Dawntrail outside of the main story questline.

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The official site for the Dawntrail expansion went live on May 30, and it contains some new information on the expansion’s raid series and field operations. We already knew that the Echoes of Vana’diel, the large-scale alliance raid series for Dawntrail, would be an homage to Final Fantasy XI, but we now have information on the regular eight-person raid. Called The Arcadion, it looks like it might be bringing us a dose of anime.

A colorful futuristic city called The Arcadion shines in neon lights
Image: Square Enix

“Here at the Arcadion, you’ll find a grand spectacle unlike any other,” reads a new blurb on the website. “The realm’s greatest fighters pit fist against fist and magick against magick, putting their lives on the line as crowds howl and clamor, each clash more visceral than the last. Step into the arena if you dare, and either rise to become champion, or fall forever in ignominy.” This is a long way of saying that the raid series will be a tournament arc in which players get to beat the crap out of cool enemies in an almost gladiatorial sport. It sounds like silly fun and gives the developers an excuse to basically throw whatever they want at us. That levity sounds in line with Dawntrail’s vacation vibes and is a welcome reprieve from the pretty lore-heavy and emotional raids we got in the last two expansions.


The other big reveal from the website is the Shades’ Triangle field operations. Just like in Shadowbringers’ Bozjan Southern Front, it appears like Shades’ Triangle will be a large-scale instanced location with its own massive quest line and big battles requiring cooperation amongst big groups of players. Based on the description, it sounds like this will be a Bermuda Triangle-like location. “Even the most dauntless of sailors would sooner abandon ship than steer into Shades’ Triangle,” the blurb reads. “Be not fooled by the lush and fertile island you spy on the horizon─men and vessels alike have been lost to its allure, never to be seen again. Yes, the wisest choice is to dismiss it as mere illusion. But of course, there are inevitably those who cannot resist the call of adventure.” I’ll be curious to see if these field operations somehow incorporate ships, as we’ve seen a lot of those in trailers and it would fit the tropical vibe of the expansion. In any case, it’s sure to be a great place to level the new Pictomancer and Viper jobs quickly.

There are a couple of smaller tidbits on the website, as well, including a short description of Beastmaster, the new limited job, as well as previously shown dungeons in the expansion. I’m fascinated to learn more about the new Ultimate raid, Futures Rewritten, as it will add to and build on my personal favorite raid series from the game so far, ShadowbringersEden series. In any case, it looks like there will be plenty of new experiences to dig into when Dawntrail releases this summer.