Prepare to take flight, for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight will take you to the skies amongst dragons.
After a long stay in the Shadowlands, Azeroth’s champions have come home. We saw the Jailer defeated, saved our faction leaders, and are finally returning to the land of the living. Azeroth is healing, and she is calling to the dragons that served as her protectors in the past once more. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm saw the aspects lose their power as the age of dragons came to an end. However, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight will usher in a new age for Azeroth’s draconic masters. In addition, of course, with a new expansion comes a league of new features for all players to enjoy.
The Dragon Isles
Blizzard has announced the next installation of the Warcraft saga! Dragonflight will be picking up shortly after Azeroth’s heroes have returned. The dragon aspects have been called upon once again, this time to defend their ancestral home: the Dragon Isles. Players will be journeying to this new zone to lend a hand, but this time without their faction’s militaries. They will accompany the Explorer’s League and the Reliquary on an expedition into this new land after ten thousand years of dormancy.
The last time the Dragon Isles thrived was before the Sundering that shattered the continent of Kalimdor. The dragons had to leave their homelands to Titan Watchers as the magic of this empire drained away. Now the elements are reawakening, and the Beacon of Tyrhold that hid the Isles for millenniums has been re-lit. Players will have a front-row seat as the dragons come to re-establish their kingdom.
A Whole New World
When the time comes, a boat in both faction capitals will transport characters to this new exciting area. Five new zones, one themed for each dragonflight, will be waiting for Azeroth’s finest champions to rediscover them. The first zone to welcome newcomers to the Isles is the Waking Shores, home of the red and black dragonflights. Queen Alexstrasza herself will be the one to summon players while Wrathion struggles with the ruins of his diminished brethren.
After the Waking Shores, players will come to the grassy span of the Ohn’ahran Plains, home of the green dragonflight. Named for the Wild God Ohn’ahra, this zone is home to a mighty faction a of centaurs. Though the green dragonflight left ten thousand years ago, the centaurs remained and spent that time developing their civilization. The frozen Azure Span, home of the dwindling blue dragonflight, will be where players head next. As perhaps the largest Warcraft zone to date, this zone is a sight of forests, tundras, and icy mountains. Tuskarr villages line the coasts while gnolls and furbolgs roam the inward areas. In addition to all the land entails, players will be joining Kalecgos as he sets into the archives of Sindragosa.
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Thaldraszus is the shining seat of power of the Dragon Isles. It is here that the bronze dragonflight watches over the time ways. While the previous zones are primal and unkempt, Thaldraszus offers an immaculate sort of beauty for players to enjoy. Valdrakken, the central hub of the expansion, can be found here. Another magnificent sensation to be found in Thaldraszus is the ten-thousand-year-old Tyrhold, built by the Titan Keeper Tyr himself. Though the titan perished several millenniums ago, the dragons still revere him for his aid against Galakrond long ago. The Titan Keepers that remained on the Isles maintained Tyrhold even in the dragons’ absence.
The final zone players will journey to is the Forbidden Reach. Little is known about this zone other than Neltharion created it as training grounds for the perfect soldiers he fashioned. These soldiers are called the dracthyr, and players will see them awaken alongside the Dragon Isles.
The Perfect Soldier
The dracthyr will introduce another element of excitement to this expansion for several reasons. The first, and most significant, is that these humanoid dragonkins will be a playable race! These creatures will be similar to the worgen and will have both a dragonkin form and a humanoid visage. In combat dracthyr will be able to fly, though for how long isn’t clear, and dispatch spells from their jaws. The appearance for both forms will offer numerous customization options that include horns, skin tones, hair color, and scale patterns. The dracthyr start at level fifty-eight and, like demon hunters and death knights, begin in a unique new zone. Before they join the other adventurers of Azeroth. The dracthyr will also be able to choose between the Horde or Alliance as the pandarens do.
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight will also present a new hero class called the evoker. Unlike previous hero classes, the evoker is exclusive to the dracthyr. Evokers will be the third mail wearer to join the lineup and players will have two specializations to choose from. Devastation, the damage-dealing specialization, is a long range caster based on the red and blue dragonflights. Preservation is the specialization; players who select this specialization will be utilizing power from the bronze and green dragon flights. Melee does not currently feature as a specialization, but there is potential later in the expansion to make use of the black dragonflight for such. The evoker will be available a few weeks before Patch 10.0 (as the demon hunters were during Legion) so that players can enjoy the class before they dive into the riveting world of Dragonflight.
Of course, an expansion is never complete without a swarm of new mounts. With World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, players will actually be able to design their own dragon mount. Characters will be introduced to this mount and a new flight system associated with it early in the expansion. The new dragon mount will be highly customizable. It will offer players four base models and a variety of cosmetic options to choose from. Spikes, armors, horns, and, most importantly of all, snouts customization will be a few of the many surprises to come. The mount itself is exciting enough, but another fascinating prospect for this mount is the flight system accompanying its arrival.
Dragon riding will be a whole new way to soar through the skies of Azeroth. This fresh style of flight will be physics-based, requiring momentum and effort to achieve greater heights and faster speeds. Due to the dragon-riding is heavily based on movement, idle flying will not be a luxury for players. This unique style of flight will, however, be available from the start. Its initial skill will be limited, but progression will unlock greater flying capabilities throughout the expansion. All other mounts players possess will be reduced to ground mounts while in the Dragon Isles. However, Blizzard is looking into merging this new system to other areas of the game in the hopefully near future.
Blizzard has not forgotten other playable classes in this upcoming expansion. Something all players can look forward to (be they druids, paladins, or hunters) is an entirely updated talent system. The current talent system has been in play since Mists of Pandaria. While it’s certainly functional, many have found it lacking in both nuance and customization in comparison to the previous system. Many found the previous system from the original World of Warcraft to be flawed as well, however, feeling that it suffered from a clunky interface and talent bloat.
This fresh talent tree seems to combine the best of both, offering a streamlined user interface (UI) while also giving more control of and individuality for a player’s class and specialization. The talent tree is divided into two, with one side focused on class-specific utility spells and the other on spec-specific spells. As it is in current content, players will gain access to their talents when they reach level ten. Players will receive one point for every level, and the points will alternate between the class and specialization trees. At the current max level of sixty, these points would add up to a total of fifty-one points: twenty-six points towards class and twenty-five points for your specialization.
A Proper Professional
A revamped talent tree is only one of the many things for players to look forward to. It’s no secret that professions have suffered through recent expansions with little to or even no updates to their gameplay. With Dragonflight, however, players will be seeing a massive overhaul in both function and form. The game will offer a collection of profession-based gear that will include unique appearances for the blacksmith, alchemist, and other crafters. This gear will apply specialized stats to the player’s respective professions, allowing them to make higher quality products as a result.
A new work order system is also being implemented that will allow players to put out a specific order for an item that can then be crafted by another player. For example, a character without access to leatherworking will be able to place an order for a pair of mail pants. Players place an order, offering a sum of gold and some or all of the crafting materials necessary to fulfill the order. A leatherworker of appropriate skill can accept the order and craft the item in question, and each player will leave the exchange having gained something. Repeating crafters may even have the chance to make a name for themselves among the in-game community. The designers are including a new crafting station in Valdrakken, one for each of the crafting professions. Other professions, like Archaeology, aren’t expecting changes in the foreseeable future.
Dragonflight, A New Beginning
The excitement surrounding World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is just beginning, and there is already so much in store for players. Blizzard haven’t announced a release date yet, but most players hope it will be soon. As more information is released, so too shall more be written about it. Now is the time to enjoy the last little bit in the Shadowlands, and start preparing characters for their next big adventure.
I’m a Wonder Woman fanatic -married to my Superman- with a mild addiction to tea and World of Warcraft. One day I hope to write a book that history recognizes as a classic; it will most likely involve dragons.