Warrior of Light in Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail

FFXIV Dawntrail Benchmark updated with further graphic improvements after player feedback

Our characters need to be vacation-ready for Dawntrail!

With Final Fantasy XIV's Dawntrail now only a month away, one of the biggest remaining concerns has been the status of the graphic update, given that the first Dawntrail Benchmark fell short and left players feeling worried. However, director Yoshi-P has brought an update on what to expect from the new Benchmark, and it sounds like good news all around.

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Per an announcement released today on The Lodestone, Yoshi-P goes into full detail about all of the changes that have been made, as well as an update to the release date for the Benchmark itself. While initially planned for release today, due to a variety of unavoidable circumstances, the updated Benchmark will now be released on Monday, June 3.

Once it's out, players can expect to see these major changes to the Benchmark's character creator:

  • Aetherial Background gets a second lighting option - This particular background has always been tricky for players to use due to the excess of blue light against skin tones, hair colors, etc. However, the Benchmark will allow players to toggle to a 'Lighting 2' option to see their characters in normal lighting.
  • 'Time of Day' lighting option added to all backgrounds - A newly added clock icon next to the background selector will allow players to adjust the type of lighting they want to see, according to the time of day.
  • Vignette Effect removed from Character Creator - The noticeable vignette "haze" over the entire character creation screen has been removed to improve the visual accuracy of character looks, though at the slight expense of menu clarity.
  • Better Pupil Highlights & Lip Gloss - One of the biggest points of contention in player feedback, character pupils will now have properly enhanced and updated lighting processes to give them full dimension. The initial Benchmark had a "weakened" version of this feature.
  • Improvements to Facial Impressions - Another focal point of criticism in the initial Benchmark was the overall look of facial features such as skin texture, eye wrinkles, and smile lines. Those features have since been fully redrawn and mapped to reflect a more accurate look on characters' faces.
  • Correction of Low-Resolution Sections of Hair - Lack of time before the initial Benchmark led to patches of hair on characters remaining in low resolution. However, that has now been corrected for every hairstyle.
  • Self-Shadowing Optimizations - Further lighting adjustments have been made in regard to how shadows are cast across a character's face, particularly by hair and other prominent facial features.
  • Further Environment Lighting Adjustments - Improvements to scenes and positions where characters are backlit or shadowed, providing a more three-dimensional appearance to prevent them from looking "flat" against dark foregrounds and backgrounds.

As noted in the announcement, all of these improvements and updates should be reflected not only in the new Benchmark but Dawntrail itself. This is especially important since we'll have two colorful new jobs to try out in the expansion.

Yoshi-P has assured that his team will continue to further refine and polish every aspect of the game's first major graphic update up to the last day before Dawntrail's release.

Changes to Fantasias in FFXIV Dawntrail and beyond

In tandem with the game's graphic overhaul, Yoshi-P also confirmed that all players will get to claim a free Fantasia via an unnamed 7.0 quest, allowing them to adjust their character's look if they're not happy with it after the graphic updates.

In addition, going forward with Dawntrail, Fantasias will have a newly added feature where players will have up to 60 minutes of in-game time to "try out" their character's new look before it becomes permanent. Considering that Fantasias normally cost USD 9.99/each (plus new taxes), this will be a very liberating and welcomed update for those who want to make dramatic changes to their character.

Be sure to check out all of our guides and news for Final Fantasy XIV at Pro Game Guides, such as the Mountain Dew Collab event rewards - How to get the Mountain Zu mount.

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Stephanie Watel
Stephanie Watel is a freelance writer for Pro Game Guides. Stephanie has been with the site for a few months, and in the games media industry for about a year. Stephanie typically covers the latest news and a variety of gaming guides for the site, and loves gardening and being the bird lady of the neighborhood. She has a BA in Writing from Pace University in NY.

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FFXIV Dawntrail Benchmark updated with further graphic improvements after player feedback

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