World of Warcraft Dragonflight Expansion Announcement Recap

On 4/19/2022, Blizzard officially announced their upcoming Dragonflight expansion for their hit MMORPG, World of Warcraft. While we have speculated in the past about what this latest update to the game could consist of, we have finally found out what is in store for us.

Before the major details were dropped, credit was given to the community council which helped Blizzard make most of the changes that have affected the game currently as well as the Dragonflight expansion. Season of Mastery and cross-faction play are both concepts that Blizzard is also working on as they want players to take pride in their faction. Wrath of the Lich King Classic was also announced with a few changes, specifically the removal of group finder.

Additionally, current Shadowlands raids are also getting some changes as a real sendoff to the expansion which I am sure many others are awaiting.

Dragonflight was christened with their traditional, jaw-dropping cinematic. We are going back to Azeroth with a high-fantasy setting revolving around the five Dragonflights in their ancestral home of the Dragon Isles. Consisting of five new zones, four of which are leveling, and one is a new starter for the new race, the Dracthyr. Professions and talents are getting a revamp as well, bringing a sense of depth back to the game.

The Dragon Isles’ leveling zones are Waking Shores, Ohn’ahran Plains, Azure Span, and Thaldraszus. Each one is tied to a specific flight and offer a wide range of themes and biomes that are closely related to each respective dragon type (sans the Black Dragonflight after the whole Deathwing situation). You also have a variety of enemies rearing their heads in each zone, including gnolls to centaurs, and more.

A new Dracthyr Evoker race/class combo is the next “hero class” for World of Warcraft, allowing players to design and customize their own humanoid dragon. You can design both dragon and humanoid forms as they transform (like the Worgan race). They start in the 5th zone at level 58, and you can choose to join the Alliance or the Horde.

Dracthyr also get two specializations with the damage-dealing Devastation and healing Preservation specs. This hero class is designed to encapsulate the essence of the dragons, using a prismatic damage effect that is filled with a litany of vibrant colors making this race and class combo truly unique.

A new talent system has been designed, allowing players to really invest in their characters more. You get a class tree that focuses on the whole class and a specialization tree for your spec. You can save and load your loadouts for different scenarios whether you are raiding, leveling, or doing Mythic+ content.

Dragonriding is a new method of aerial movement, allowing players to befriend, level up, and customize their own personal dragon mount. As you adventure through the Dragon Isles, you gain more customization options so you can change scales, horns, armor, and more! Dragonriding itself is a physics- and momentum-based concept allowing you to dive bomb, gain air, and do barrel rolls. Whether we can use this in the rest of Azeroth has yet to be mentioned.

An overhaul to the profession system enables you to really dive deep into your crafting role. Player-driven work orders allow players to easily find crafters to make items for them. You search for recipes, insert your reagents, and other players who are skilled in that profession can build it for you. You can also limit who gets to fulfill that order whether it be someone in your guild or publicly.

There happens to be additional gear and items that you can use to help enhance your crafting abilities. Outfits and items allow you to get better items. A specialization system has also been applied to this, although the depth of it has yet to be fully announced.

Finally, a new customizable UI was revealed, displaying how players are now able to adjust how they want their user interface to look. A trimmed-down action bar and map area put the action front and center while enlarged health bars makes information easier to read (ideal for healers) without the need for addons.

We currently do not have a date for Dragonflight, but alpha and beta testing will be starting soon. Please check out the slideshow below for more images.

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By Steve Esposito

Steve Esposito is a dedicated content creator with a focus on his love for technology, video games, and the very industry that oversees it all. He also takes part in organizing the Long Island Retro and Tabletop Gaming Expo as well as a Dungeons and Dragons podcast: Copper Piece. You can find him on twitter @AgitatedStove

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