Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Hands-On with Dragoon

6 Jun 2024

We were very generously invited to experience a preview build of Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail as part of the North American Media Tour last month. During our time in-game, we had a chance to play with, and pore over any changes to, the jobs we already know and love. We’re excited to see those changes go into effect when Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail releases on July 2nd!

You can see all of the Dragoon changes, along with our thoughts below. Additionally, you can view the upcoming changes on our wiki by clicking on the Dawntrail tab on the Dragoon Job page.

You can also find more coverage of the Dawntrail Media Tour here.

This article is based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail, and content in the final version is subject to change.

Dragoons! Welcome to what is in store for you. Now I know you were a little nervous about what might change, but never fear- You dodged that dreaded “big rework” mentioned back in the Endwalker patch cycle. Ease of use is definitely the theme of the changes, but I don’t believe they’ve sanded off too much.

First up for changed abilities is your new Spineshatter Dive replacement and gap closer, Winged Glide. Now, yes this is not a Jump exactly, more like a lance charge with some cool effects. I get that some will lament the loss, but at least it doesn’t do damage so you can feel better about using it when you need it, not when buffs are up for a small amount of extra damage. If you need some support, Dark Knights and Gunbreakers are probably in their feelings too. Another loss is the entire Dragon Sight system, that’s right- No more managing your targeting macros! But yeah, no more damage buff or extra positional ignoring- True North-like effect. Don’t worry, the personal part of the damage buff will still show up in your burst window in another way, we’ll get to that.

You’ll also immediately notice that Wheeling Thrust and Fang and Claw have both been adjusted- they both are now just combo actions used after Chaotic Spring and Heaven’s Thrust respectively. Codifying them as the fourth step in either combo while removing the interaction they had with each other to become the fifth step of the combo. That duty now belongs to Drakesbane your new final GCD weaponskill of both combos. Now once you use either Wheeling Thrust or Fang and Claw those buttons will morph into Drakesbane for you to use. This leads to both combos having a keypress sequence of 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 (either one) – 4 (Drakesbane with the same button). While this reduces the unique button count of your combo, it does make it impossible to screw up. Drakesbane also has no positional requirement so you can just stay where you are once you get to that fourth step.

Jump and Mirage Dive have also changed with their interaction being easier to understand. Mirage Dive will still be an oGCD follow up to Jump/High Jump, but that is all it does now. The interaction with your Dragon Gauge has been completely removed in favor of streamlining how you gain your Life of the Dragon effect. In Dawntrail, Geirskogul has been altered and is now a 60 second cooldown. This is because it will now just grant you Life of the Dragon for 20 seconds and a 15% damage buff. Oh, that’s where the Dragon Sight damage went. On top of that, Geirskogul itself will grant you three stacks of Nastrond Ready for the same duration. Just to summarize, just hit Geirskogul on cooldown, and weave three Nastronds in while doing the rest of the GCDs of your burst window. Which will be just about as busy as it was in Endwalker.

Now, let’s talk about the brand-new additions. First up at level 92 you learn Rise of the Dragon a new oGCD follow up to Dragonfire Dive which hits just as hard. You can only use this while under the effect of Dragon’s Flight, a 30 second buff that is granted by Dragonfire Dive at this level. This seems to mean that you could hold off on using this oGCD if you wanted to weave something else in that spot, but I doubt that makes much sense. One addition note here is that Rise of the Dragon deals unaspected damage, probably because there is no element that really represents throwing a Dragon at your enemy. At level 96 you’ll be given an upgrade for both second GCDs of your combo strings. Vorpal Thrust becomes Lance Barrage and Disembowel becomes Spiral Blow, which retains the Power Surge buff. This amounts to a potency buff and a shiny new animation for both, but not much change to what you were already doing. Before we get into your new capstone ability, we must touch on some Defensive cooldown changes. All the Melee jobs share upgrades to Second Wind and Feint. That’s a healing potency buff for the former, and a duration buff from 10 to 15 seconds for the latter. That’s it. Will the damage output of content require these buffs to survive? We won’t know until we get there.

Finally, your capstone ability Starcross is learned at Level 100. This is an oGCD follow up to Stardiver (get the name now?) powered by a new buff that it will grant- Starcross Ready. You’ll have it for 30 seconds so you can seemingly move this follow up around in your burst as well. It also hits like a truck, with a potency higher than Stardiver itself. We saw this ability used in the Job Action trailer and it has an amazing animation that will make it feel great to use. Though, with everything we’ve talked about so far, you can see that the loss of Spineshatter Dive oGCDs from your burst window were just made up by this and the Dragonfire Dive follow up. You’ll be just as busy it seems.

This was a longer one, but that’s everything in store for you in Dawntrail. While the developers said that Dragoon didn’t receive a big rework- You can see that this is at least a moderate one. But I do understand why they communicated it that way as honestly, it doesn’t change too much on the low end. I do wonder what the optimal burst window will look like now though.

Heavensbound Attire