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Dragonflight

A deep dive into all of World of Warcraft: Dragonflight's new content and changes

Entertainment Timothy “Timaugustin” Augustin

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

We’re diving into all the new content and changes coming with World of Warcraft’s latest expansion: Dragonflight. 

World of Warcraft’s next expansion takes players back to Azeroth, where some changes have taken place since they were away exploring the Shadowlands. Titled Dragonflight, this expansion is set in the newly reborn Dragon Isles, a place that once formed the center of the dragons’ kingdom in ancient Azeroth. After multiple calamities left the land drained of most of its magic, the dragons were forced to abandon their home. 

Thousands of years have passed since the Dragon Isles were emptied, but this place is somehow churning with elemental energy once again. Dragons are being called back home to re-establish their kingdom, but the Isles have changed much since they were gone, and old threats have begun to awaken. To reclaim their legacy, the dragons will have to turn to the heroes of Azeroth - one of whom happens to be you - and make this land their home again. 

That’s the premise behind Dragonflight, offering players a true Azerothian adventure on the Isles as well as plenty of new content and gameplay updates to keep them occupied. Here’s all the new stuff you can look forward to in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight:

 

New playable race-and-class

Dragonflight introduces Warcraft players to an interesting new playable race, which also doubles as a class: the dracthyr Evoker. Evokers can transform into a dragon and wield the magic of all five dragonflights, which gives them a unique style of spell casting. They have two distinct specialisations based on these magic types, allowing Evoker players to either focus on dealing high damage or better healing. Evokers also have access to a new type of spell called Empower. With Empower, you can power up a spell by holding down a button on your keyboard. Powering up a spell for longer could increase its damage or number of targets. 

Evokers start at Level 58 with their own starting zone, and will be able to align with either Horde or Alliance at character creation. They have both a dragon form and a humanoid form, and you’ll have plenty of customisation options to make either form look as similar or different as you’d like. 

 

Take to the skies

The new expansion will also let players soar through the skies above the Dragon Isles by using a skill called Dragonriding. Every player will be given their own drake mount to partner up with, plus a bunch of new options to customise your mount’s snout, horns, tails, armour and more. Blizzard promises ‘millions of possible combinations’ to make your drake your own, and you’ll get four of these mounts over the course of the expansion. 

This won’t be like any kind of flying you’ve done in Warcraft before - there is an actual skill system in place to level up Dragonriding and hone your flying abilities over time. You’ll learn new maneuvers and presumably engage in aerial combat, as Blizzard warns that inexperienced players will be knocked out of the sky by the Dragon Isles’ dangerous new inhabitants. You’ll need to hunt down ancient glyphs to improve your Dragonriding skill at max level, at which point you can chase down additional challenges scattered across the Isles to get more customisation options for your drake mounts. 

 

HUD, UI and Talent updates

World of Warcraft is a pretty ancient game (sorry, but it did launch in 2004!), and eventhough its developers have pushed multiple updates to its HUD and UI - both are due for another update. And they’re getting one! Dragonflight will introduce a more customisable UI layout, allowing players to move specific icons around their screen depending on their preferences. A bit of decluttering is also happening with the basic UI, allowing you to see more gameplay and less icons scattered around your screen. 

The minimap and health bar are now bigger, and the gryphons and wyverns on the action bar have been updated. Players can move around HUD elements as they like, but they can also individually save, edit, copy and rename them individually. With these changes, Blizzard is trying to bring all the convenience of Warcraft HUD/UI add-ons to the base game, so players don’t have to take extra steps to 'fix' them. 

The Talent system is also getting a refresh to give players more options. Instead of having players receive specific spells and skills as they level up, they will now have more choice in specialising their abilities. To accomplish this, the new update will introduce two skill trees. One tree focuses on class utility and the other focuses on specialisation, boiling down to what role the player serves in combat. 

Like any skill tree, you’ll get points to spend in both trees and thus progress your character with more build variety than ever before. Blizzard says that players will get combinations of spells and abilities that might not have existed in the game prior to this update thanks to the new trees. Across all of these updates, the common theme is that Dragonflight is doubling down on player choice. 

 

Professions are getting a makeover

You know what else is getting an update with Dragonflight? Professions! Soon, you’ll get access to something called Crafting Orders. This lets players request for an item to be crafted by other players if they're unable to do so. You’re basically putting up a job posting, which involves looking through recipes and adding some (or all) of the required reagents. If you have a friend who can craft something for you, great - just hand them the order. Otherwise, you’ll have to talk to an NPC and send the order out to the public. 

This system also makes crafted Soulbound items a lot easier to get, since you don’t need the profession for someone to craft it for you. Crafted items and reagents are now separated into different tiers of quality, with higher tiers generally being better to use. To craft higher-quality items, you’ll have to take a look at crafting specialisations. 

Specialisation points can be picked up throughout gameplay simply by exploring and interacting with the world. You can then spend those points into crafting better items, depending on your profession of choice. The new city hub of Valdrakken will have crafting tables for all professions, making it a pretty great place to pass around Crafting Orders.

Crafters can also find new types of gear tied to their profession, which will be automatically put to use when you’re doing things like tapping a mining node. Just like all other kinds of gear, they’ll have special stats to help you out. With Crafting Orders, crafters can now set up their own self-operated business of sorts, building high-quality items that other players need. It’s a nice little bit of roleplaying for those interested in these professions. 

 

And who knows what else?

Aside from the above additions, Dragonflight brings all the usual stuff we’ve come to expect from a new Warcraft expansion. A new raid is coming, wherein players will travel into the ancient prison of the Primal Incarnates before their power can be unleashed against the Dragon Aspects. There will also be new dungeons, such as Neltharus - the stronghold of the black dragonflight. You’ll also be able to explore new chambers in Uldaman and defend the Life Pools of the red dragonflight. Dungeons galore!

Dragonflight also raises the player level cap to 70, after Shadowlands squished player levels down to 50. New talents await, and there’s plenty to do in the Dragon Isles. All in all, this expansion should please returning players who want more customisation and choice in their talents and professions, but it remains to be seen if flying dragons will prove much more thrilling than fighting the Jailer. Dragonflight currently has no firm release date, but you can register for a beta via its website here. 

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Timothy “Timaugustin” Augustin
Tim loves movies, TV shows and videogames almost too much. Almost.

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