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‘FFXIV: Dawntrail’ Is Bringing Massive Changes to Jobs



With Final Fantasy XIV’s Dawntrail just over a month away, Square Enix has shared some of the big changes coming with the expansion, this time focusing on a wide array of modifications being made to every single job. In a lengthy segment, director Naoki Yoshida walked through the laundry list of changes, with a few jobs, like Monk, getting the most sweeping alterations. More than anything these changes seem to suggest a growing feeling in my mind, that Dawntrail is meant as a sort of “restart” for the beloved MMO, a fresh jumping-off point to attract new players.

There are far too many job changes to cover in one article, but we’ll hit some of the bigger ones to help paint the picture. If you want to see everything, you can watch the entire segment in the Live Letter video, with the job adjustments taking place from 1:38:00 to roughly 4:35:00. Like we said, there’s a ton of info, and even thorough looks at the new jobs Viper and Pictomancer. Square Enix also released a 20-minute Job Actions trailer, showing off the new level-100 actions being added with the expansion.

The Monk is by far going to be the job with the biggest changes, as the whole rotation is basically being altered. The job will no longer center around maintaining a buff or doing damage over time. Instead, doing actions in a certain order will increase the next action’s potency. Yoshida says while the essence of the job will remain largely the same, new UI elements will be introduced and the changes are mostly to alleviate uncertainty about what to do when a rotation is interrupted, whether by an enemy or trying to dodge something.

On the Tank front, Dark Knight is getting the most changes, with an emphasis on streamlining the burst phase and setting the groundwork for making the job more unique in 8.0. To do this, the job’s number of inputs during the burst phase is being reduced, with Blood Weapon upgrading into Delirium and the effects of Blood Weapon being added. A new action is also being added for use after Living Shadow.

Finally, in terms of healers, Astrologian is the one looking the most remarkably different. The big change here is the card mechanic, which will no longer draw a random buff. Now you’ll simultaneously draw cards with offensive, defensive, and curative effects, and you’ll be able to pic the one that works best based on the situation. You can draw four cards every 60 seconds. To go along with this new style, Astrodynce is being completely removed, but a new trail will increase the number of stacks for Essential Dignity.

Every single job has changes like these, with some integrally altering jobs, and some only providing minor alterations. On top of these job-specific ones, some changes are being made to role actions at large. For example, Healers will have Swiftcast’s recast reduced to 40 seconds in the level 90 range, DPS will have the potency of Second Wind boosted in the level 90 range, and Tanks will have their 30% damage reduction buffs boosted across the board in the level 90 range.

Pictomancer looks like one of the most unique new jobs in a while, focusing on buffing the party with a host of colorful painterly abilities.

Square Enix

In general, Yoshida says all of the job changes have been made with the goal of “improving ease of use,” and that seems indicative of a lot of what’s happening with Dawntrail. You could argue that a lot of these tweaks are homogenizing the job system in FFXIV, and to a degree that’s true, but it might not necessarily be a bad thing.

Dawntrail is clearly intended to be a new foundation for the MMO, between the massive graphical update, brand new area and story, and now these job changes. Endwalker served as a finale to a decade of FFXIV, and now the development team wants to create a foundation they can build upon for the next ten years.

The development team is taking steps to simplify each job, with new settings providing an option for one-button combos.

Square Enix

Huge, sweeping job changes aren’t going to please everyone — they never will. But the impetus behind these changes specifically feels like making the game easier to learn for newcomers, especially those who want to start with Dawntrail and not get bogged down by a decade of expansions and story. FFXIV is a phenomenal MMO, but getting into it isn’t easy. If you really want to “catch up” there are hundreds of hours of story quests to sift through, nearly two dozen jobs to choose from, a wealth of crafting options, Alliance Raids, and more.

That’s a seismic amount of content, but creating a new baseline starting point with Dawntrail can help the MMO attract a new set of players, drawn in by the attraction of everything “new.” It may not be the most popular move with existing players, but ultimately, it’s all to set up years of more iteration and improvement, and that’s a smart move.

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail launches on July 2 for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

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