Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail gets Stormblood comparisons after a "mixed" start on Steam, as players hope the MMO's new post-launch content can also bring it home

Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail screenshot showing the Warrior of Light, a man with lengthy swept-back brown hair, blue eyes, and facial hair stubble, smiling slightly
(Image credit: Square Enix)

As Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail releases out of early access, longtime players of Square Enix's MMO are comparing the expansion to its predecessors and sharing their overall thoughts on the new DLC - which seem mixed so far.

Almost three years have passed since Endwalker's monumental release back in 2021. Final Fantasy 14's fifth expansion Dawntrail is finally here in full now, closing the book on 6.0 and opening the long-awaited follow-up in 7.0. Prior to today's big launch, Dawntrail was out in early access for four days - which means that players who pre-ordered the DLC have a lot to express via reviews already. With "mixed" feedback on Steam right now, though, it hasn't exactly all been positive.

Looking through reviews for Dawntrail on Valve's platform, it's clear that many fans leaving negative reviews feel that the story content leaves room for improvement. "Dawntrail suffers from bad writing all around," reads one. "It feels like it's written for children. It's somehow worse than ARR's writing, which is considered to be the weakest." Comparisons between the MMO's new expansion and its previous releases don't end at A Realm Reborn - other reviews mention Stormblood.

"I have the feeling it will follow in Stormblood's footsteps," a fan explains. "Pretty bad MSQ, great 7.x content, hopefully, and with all these critiques and feedback, maybe the writing can get an upgrade." Another player similarly cites the 2017 expansion and how it improved over time thanks to post-launch patches: "Hopefully post-MSQ can save it like Stormblood." Even within negative reviews, though, it seems that Final Fantasy 14 stans are maintaining hope for Dawntrail and what's still yet to come.

"They just fumbled the start," a fan writes, describing how "the end brings some interesting prospect for the future." There are plenty of positive Steam reviews, too - a good few people praise other aspects of the new content aside from its story: "This expansion has some of my favorite dungeons and fights mechanically and thematically." One player says that the "new world gives you a lot to explore and enjoy" while its dungeons and trials are "fantastic all around."

There's no telling just yet what post-7.0 patches have in store for the community, but they could very well be big. Yoshi-P himself says future Final Fantasy 14 updates will return some "more individuality" to the MMO's jobs, after all - but such adjustments aren't likely to arrive imminently. As for the game's story, I'm personally preparing myself for anything - whether it brings cheers or tears.

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Anna Koselke
Staff Writer

After spending years with her head in various fantastical realms' clouds, Anna studied English Literature and then Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, going on to specialize in narrative design and video game journalism as a writer. She has written for various publications since her postgraduate studies, including Dexerto, Fanbyte, GameSpot, IGN, PCGamesN, and more. When she's not frantically trying to form words into coherent sentences, she's probably daydreaming about becoming a fairy druid and befriending every animal or she's spending a thousand (more) hours traversing the Underdark in Baldur's Gate 3. If you spot her away from her PC, you'll always find Anna with a fantasy book, a handheld video game console of some sort, and a Tamagotchi or two on hand.