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FFXIV: A Comprehensive Barebones Guide Before Dawntrail Expansion Begins

Posted: May 16, 2024

Hello fellow adventurers. In this guide, I want to give you an overview of what it’s like during an expansion release, specifically for casual players, by looking back at my personal experience with previous expansions. I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIV since 1.0. So I’ve seen quite a few versions of the expansion and feel pretty confident about what to expect.

Additionally, I wanted to show off a tiny detail that people may have missed before that adds to the charm of each expansion update. There is no maximum uptime and readiness check, perfect time management and fastest upgrade experience. Just a look at the next two months, from one casual player to another.

From now on, I will go through it in chronological order until the release of Dawntrail. Before we start, I still want to remind you that if you want to have a comfortable gaming experience after entering the new expansion, it is a wise choice to purchase FFXIV Gil in advance.

Will Dawntrail Conduct A Media Tour?

First, let’s start with the media tour. By the way, all times and dates are from a European perspective.

The media tour will be held from May 15th to May 30th. This is an exclusive event for media, where invited media guests and influencers will get the first look at new abilities, trailers, and test job changes through a limited run of play, usually the first dungeon of an expansion.

Additionally, they will have the opportunity for exclusive interviews. All of this will be done in secret, and you won’t hear much about it until the embargo is lifted.

FFXIV: A Comprehensive Barebones Guide Before Dawntrail Expansion Begins


During this media tour, there will also be a letter from the producer live on May 16th. In this demo, we regular players will also see at least a job action trailer, some job changes, and possibly a new start screen for Dawntrail.

The second letter from producer live is scheduled to be sent out on Friday, June 14th. This will probably feature a release trailer.

The launch trailer is a story-focused video showcasing actual footage from the game. It will contain a lot of spoilers that many people may want to avoid, so they don’t know what to expect in the next expansion.

In the trailers, you’ll see and hear things that are completely taken out of context, and there are often a lot of red herrings.


The next big thing on the list is Early Access starting on Friday, June 28th and the associated major maintenance.

Every expansion release to date has been subject to 48 hours of maintenance, and this release also has one scheduled for maintenance. But there is a chance it can be extended to 72 hours.

This is because not only did we get a big software update, but the data center also got a physical update with the implementation of a new EU DC called Shadow. Obviously, preparations are already underway, but these times could still change.

On Lodestone, you’ll get actual maintenance times for your region and the usual patch notes. While these patch notes will be quite lengthy this time around, please note that some notes may contain spoilers, such as quest names, potential bosses and screenshots of cut scenes.

Typically, around half of the downtime, updates to the new launcher client and the game itself can be downloaded and installed by opening your usual launcher.

As a reminder, you must be logged in to get game updates. Simply opening the launcher will only update the launcher itself, so be sure to log in ahead of time and get game updates.

Early Access

The official release date is Tuesday, July 2, but most players will need to pay some additional fees to get into Early Access on Friday, June 28.

During this period, the logging queue will be very long. So be prepared to wait, maybe even up to an hour, for the line to finally clear up.

Frequent errors and queue crashes were common on Early Access launch day. Once you successfully enter the game, there is always the possibility of disconnection. So please be patient.

Also note that there is usually an auto-disconnect feature active that automatically logs you out if you haven’t moved for 30 minutes to avoid wasting time.

Because of new graphics updates, loading times may increase and overall frame rate and performance may decrease significantly. There will definitely be a detailed guide to the new graphics settings on Lodestone. Take the time to study them beforehand and it is recommended to set them up to your liking before jumping into MSQ.


The new main scenario quest will probably begin in Ojika Tsunjika in Old Sharlayan, where the previous quest ended.

Also, this small entrance hall can be very crowded. Check which button on your keyboard or controller is set to target the nearest NPC. By the way, please don’t stand on top of any quest NPCs so people can target them more easily.

It is important to note that one thing that can be activated to reduce the load on the server and clients is so-called instance. In the past, all new regions would have a maximum of three instances when the expansion launched. You can use command /instance to check the instance your character is currently on.

To switch to a different instance, you can go to Aetheryte in the area and select the instance you want to go to. Alternatively, if you have access to the zone border, you can exit and return to get a prompt asking which instance you want to access.

This comes in handy if you’re playing with a group of people, as party members may appear in different instances, even if you travel and teleport together.

Each extension update brings new job actions and abilities. Additionally, some may change and be updated or replaced. Please check your hotbars and the functionality there, and read the tooltip carefully to see if any changes have been made. You will read all the information about job changes on Lodestone in advance.

To unlock the latest area of flying, you may need to collect Aether Currents again. With Endwalker, Aether Compass, a device that helps you locate them, changes from a key item to a collection entry.

Once you complete all available main scenario quests in an area, the mount’s speed on land will increase. However, SDS Fenrir Mount allows you to drive faster on land in no time. If you plan on moving forward as quickly as possible, you may want to consider purchasing a store-exclusive mount before the expansion releases.

As for flying, possibly using Bicolor Gemstones or other new currencies to purchase additional riding maps will also increase flying speed.

As for inventory and items, make sure you have some form of food ready for the 3% XP bonus, as well as enough free space for all the loot and items that will drop.

Easter Egg

There may be a slight variation at the end, some even call it Easter Egg.

The extension may update images of Roulette of Duty Finder. For example, graphics of Expert Roulette and the highest level dungeon Roulette will always feature newly added jobs and races.

In Endwalker, this is Sage, Reaper and Male Viera. So in Dawntrail, expect to see Viper, Pictomancer and a Female Hrothgar appear in these images.

Now the last and most important thing is to have fun and take your time. You can only experience this new story chapter for the first time once. So you can explore new worlds at your own pace. Have a nice day!


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