Singing Plants And Grape Chandeliers Are the Strange Highlights of Dawntrail’s Patch Notes

Dawntrail isn’t just about the new cat girls.

screenshot from Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail
Square Enix

Dawntrail, Final Fantasy XIV’s beach vacation expansion, is nearly here. Ahead of its early access period this weekend, Square Enix shared a hefty set of preliminary patch notes to show players what they have to look forward to in the upcoming DLC. There’s a lot to dig through, whether you’re just looking to complete the new story quests or working on the game’s hardest grind — buying a house — but some of the most interesting changes fall somewhere between the unexpected and the downright weird.

The patch notes start with big but already revealed updates like the addition of Solution Nine, an entire city that looks like it’s built inside a tacky night club. We also have the new Jobs, Viper and Pictomancer, and the debut of female Hrothgar as a playable race (congrats, furries). Then there are the important but less noticeable changes to the interface, in-game currencies, and other game systems.

Female Hrothgar are one of the most anticipated additions to Dawntrail.

Square Enix

It was actually a member of Dawntrail’s development team that made me realize it would be worth poring over the patch notes for more esoteric additions. Composer Masayoshi Soken pointed out on social media that the expansion’s soundtrack will include genres never heard in Final Fantasy XIV before, along with a screenshot of one of the strangest lines I’ve ever seen in a game’s patch notes: “Sound effects will now play when touching certain plants.” I didn’t know that was something I needed from the game, but now I won’t be able to keep my grubby little paws off every plant I see, just in case they make a particularly pleasant sound.

Nothing else in the patch notes hits the perfect combination of perplexing and intriguing like the musical plants, but a few new items being added in the expansion are just as welcome. Winners from past furniture design contests are being added, including a chandelier that commemorates Endwalker’s square grapes, which became a favorite community meme before being patched to be more grape-shaped. Some of the most adorable minions, a gray cat and a manatee, also appear in the patch notes, along with an incredible llama mount and a sombrero for your chocobo.

Cutest expansion ever.

Square Enix

While they might be less flashy, some of the most welcome parts of the patch notes fall into what I’m calling the “why did it take so long to add this?” category. One of the very last notes indicates that you can now send Retainers to gather items through the Venture system using the FFXIV Companion App, rather than needing to login to the game just to give them their chores.

Some of FFXIV’s most annoying quests could also be less of a pain soon. During quests where you need to follow NPCs while staying out of sight, a new visual indicator will now show you when you would be in their line of sight if they turn around, and another shows how far you need to stay away to avoid automatically failing the quest. Journal entries for quests that involve crafting or using certain emotes will now include icons that let you immediately craft or emote, saving you a few pointless clicks (which do add up, given how many quests there are in the game).

Sure, new Jobs are cool, but just listen to these plants.

Square Enix

Another change could affect nearly every quest in the game, but will be most effective when dealing with new Dawntrail missions. Normally, the launch of a new expansion means fighting massive crowds around quest-giving NPCs as everyone tries to get their attention at once. Now, players will have the option to hide all nearby players in a small ring around these NPCs so they can actually see and interact with them without feeling like they’re battling Black Friday crowds to buy a cheap TV.

Obviously, new Jobs and quest lines are the stars of Dawntrail, but it’s good to see Square Enix isn’t neglecting long-needed fixes, quality of life improvements, and the all-important accumulation of cute pets. Musical plants might not be a reason to play the expansion on their own, but I’m still looking forward to smelling (and hearing) the roses in Dawntrail nonetheless.

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail launches on July 2, with early access beginning June 28.

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