Dawntrail marks a new beginning for Final Fantasy 14, which has left producer Naoki Yoshida wondering if he should just let everyone skip all the other expansions.
Final Fantasy 14 is obviously a massive game (its genre tells us as much), and with the next expansion in the series, Dawntrail, being the first that will start a new story arc, it would make sense if new players just wanted to skip straight to it. In a new interview with Famitsu (translations by aitaikimochi), Yoshida, otherwise known as Yoshi-P, spoke on the possibility of introducing systems that let players more easily skip expansions in order to catch up to the newest one.
According to Yoshi-P, the Final Fantasy 14 team has prepared some new in-game features that will let you read lore and background of the characters and world up to the end of Endwalker, or patch 6.0. If you did decide to skip all of that, you would have to play from patch 6.1, leading you up to Dawntrail, which will be patch 7.0.
While the team might be preparing those features, Yoshi-P recommends newcomers to actually play through all the expansions, comparing it to a long running TV show, and how you don't just start at season six. Yoshi-P and the team also aren't entirely sure whether they want to implement these features or not yet, so you might have to stick to lore compilations from YouTubers.
It is actually already possible to skip main story quests by paying a small fee (nothing's ever free in this world or in Hydaelyn), but there's nothing in place that catches you up on the main story beats.
We'll have to wait and see if these features are added, but one thing is for sure: Final Fantasy 14 is finally coming to Xbox Series X/S next spring, after players have been waiting for a good number of years.