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First Look at the Dragonflight Expansion

Updated: Aug 5

The rumors about the new World of Warcraft expansion have been around for the past few months, but until now players could only fantasize about it. However, finally, all WoW fans have the opportunity to take a first look at the upcoming World of Warcraft Dragonflight expansion. Read on to learn more about all the new exciting things developers have prepared for us in the new chapter of World of Warcraft history.


Cinematic


The Story Continues

The new expansion’s story will take place in the mysterious Dragon Isles. They are the ancient broodlands of Dragons, full of elemental magic and prehistoric miracles. For now, it is hard to say what new friends and enemies we will face there, but one thing is for sure: if the Dragon Isles watchers have summoned the dragon-kind back, there is a good reason for that.

For now, we have no exact information about the main story of the Dragonflight expansion, and how it will (or will not) be related to events taking place in Shadowlands. But we are sure the developers will reveal more in the future.

New Zones

Traditionally, there will be five new zones in Dragon Isles, four of which will be new leveling zones and one will be a starter zone for a new playable race (which we will talk about later in this article).

The new expansion’s events will take place in Azeroth, so the new locations’ overall visual style will be less unearthly than the Shadowlands landscape, which is good news for many players. However, judging by shots from the cinematic and available screenshots some unique features will certainly be present. But let us discuss the new zones in more detail:

Waking Shores

Waking Shore is where the Horde and Alliance combined expedition will set foot in the Dragon Isles. This location is a birthplace of the Black dragonflight, where ancient elemental powers are swarming out from underground and twisted half-giants Djaradin are lurking beneath the tall pillars of stone. Djaradin are an ancient enemy of all dragonflights, capable of unleashing bursts of magma on their foes, or tearing them apart with their bare hands. They have now awakened from the slumber and are ready to set havoc and chaos around them.

Ohn’ahran Planes

After the Waking Shores, players will continue their leveling in the Ohn’ahran Planes. Despite the name, this location consists of two different landscapes: vast green planes, which are a home for a united centaur clan, that spent thousands of years in isolation, mastering their war skills and developing their culture, and shadowy groves, that give shelter for the members of Green dragonflight. Players will have to earn the trust of the centaurs and help the Green Dragons to maintain peace in this ancient place.

Azure Span

This location is strongly reminiscent of one of players’ favorite Northrend locations: Grizzly Hills. In the Azure Span, player will find beautiful forests that are full of furious gnolls, and a cold tundra vastness inhabited by tuskarr tribes. Yes, those cute walrus-people we have met in Northrend. Deeper into the zone and further up the mountains, players will meet icy landscapes with chill rivers and frozen waterfalls. Developers claimed that Azure Span is going to be one of the biggest zones in the game.

Azure Span is also a point of interest for Blue dragonflight, because of the Sindragosa’s Archives that are located here. While completing the zone’s story-quests players will help Kalecgos unfold the mysteries of this arcane place.

Thaldraszus

This land is a jewel in the crown of dragons’ civilization. While other Dragon Isles zones are full of ancient ruins, that are only a feeble reminder of Dragon Isles’ former glory, in Thaldraszus the dragons’ architecture is perfectly intact despite countless years of desolation. Maybe it is because of the Bronze dragonflight, the dragons of time, presence.

Also, the main city and players’ hub of the expansion, the city of Valdrakken, is located in Thaldraszus. Here, players will find everything they need to comfortably play, along with some cool features of every dragonflight, like the Blue dragons’ public library, or the Red dragons beautiful garden.

Dracthyr Envokers

The traditions of adding new playable races to the game is already many years-old. The Dragonflight expansion is also adding a new race to World of Warcraft, but this time it is completely different.

So, behold the Dracthyr. This is a humanoid race of half dragons, created thousands of years ago by Neltharion himself, before he was driven insane by the Old Gods, in an attempt to breed ideal warriors. While the Dragons Isles slumbered, the Dracthyr also slept, but they have awakened along with their ancient homeland and are ready to offer their service to the Horde or Alliance.

Much like Worgens, introduced with the Cataclysm expansion, Dracthyr have two forms: their humanoid form and dragon form, which they use in combat. What really differentiates them from the other races is that Dracthyr have no choice when it comes to class. Drathyr can only be Envokers, and Envokers can only be Dracthyr.

So, what is this class all about?

When Neltharion created the Dracthyr, he used the essence of all the dragonflights, giving them the ability to control all kinds of unique dragons’ magic. Dracthyr Envokers can use this ability to destroy their enemies or heal and empower their allies. Consequently, the Envoker class has two specializations:

  • Devastation: This is a range damage dealer, who mainly uses Red and Blue dragons’ magic. The rotation of this spec consists of powerful dragon breath attacks and concentrated spells.

  • Preservation: This is a healer, who uses Green and Bronze dragons’ magic to heal their allies or even turn time backwards to close allies’ wounds as if they have never been inflicted.

As half dragons, Dracthyr, in their dragon form, can use their wings to glide over the battlefield or knock their enemies back, and their claws to deal with those foolish enough to get too close.

Other features of the Envoker class:

  • Envoker is a Hero-class. This means you will start your leveling from level 58 and complete a unique starting campaign in the Dragon Isles, which will introduce you to this class abilities and unique features.

  • Envokers can wear Mail armor.

  • Envokers can use the brand-new Empowered Abilities. When using these spells you can hold down your keybind, which will increase the effectiveness of the spell. The developers claim this will help make your gameplay more dynamic and increase the immersiveness, but we will see.

For now, this is all the information about the new class we have, but we will keep an eye on the new class and let you know as more data is revealed.

Dragon Riding

Today the flying mounts in World of Warcraft seem so ordinary that it is hard to imagine this game without them. But we remember very well how exciting it was when flying mounts were first introduced in the Burning Crusade expansion. Nothing can be compared to that feeling when you finally buy your first winged beast for the overwhelming price of 5000 gold and start gliding above Shadowmoon Valley seeking enemy players to prey upon.

Now it seems that the developers have decided to bring back that feeling with the brand-new Dragon Riding system. There is not much information about it yet, but at first glance it seems fresh and interesting.

First off, now we have the concept of gravity and physics. If you glide down on your dragon, you will gain velocity, climbing up will slow you down – just like it is in the real world. There is also some aerobatics, like mid-air rolls, loops etc. It is hard to say how much fun it will bring to the actual gameplay or how it will affect things like open-world PVP and players’ farming routes, and only time will tell.

Also, there will be some kind of progression system, meaning you will have to actually learn how to ride your dragon, which is certainly a step towards the right direction, compared to pay-some-gold-to-gain-your-skill system.

And customization. Yes, a lot of it. You can change everything on your dragon: scales, horns, spikes, tales, wings. Hopefully this will help players to create truly unique mounts, instead of generic ones, which are the same for everyone. They should have added this long ago.

New Talents System

Another very important addition to our beloved game is the new talents system. Now, instead of the choice between three options upon certain levels we will have access to two huge talent trees for each specialization simultaneously:

  1. The Сlass Tree will be the same for whatever spec you are currently in. There, you can customize various utility bonuses, with some talents already unlocked after you choose your spec.

  2. The Spec Tree will contain spec-specific talents, much like it was before the current talent system.

The current World of Warcraft talents system was a very controversial decision when it was first introduced years ago. However, today, after so much time has passed, it became an essential part of the game for many players. That is why this new system will certainly feel like a breath of fresh air for the majority of players (and a huge nostalgia hit for the minority).

If properly balanced and tested, the new talents system will provide significantly more options for players to choose from, which may result in a huge variety of playable builds for every spec.

HUD Revamp

Well, this is something players have been waiting for many years. Finally, we will not have to install dozens of addons to have a completely customizable interface, where you can move things around in any way you want, change icons’ size, load and save HUD-settings, you name it. Now World of Warcraft will look like a modern MMORPG straight out of the box! Is that not great?


Speaking about addons: we do not think they will be completely useless after the Dragonflight release. However, they will be of less importance for sure. Addon-makers will have to be a bit more creative.

Are Professions Great Again?

Professions in World of Warcraft have been long overdue for a huge revamp. Seems like the developers also noticed that, so in the next expansion we will see a lot of changes for all crafters.

Interface

First, there will be a new profession interface, which seems like a pretty convenient thing to use. Also, each profession will have unique stats, like Resourcefulness and Inspiration for Alchemy. Apparently, these stats, along with the Crafting Skill and Finishing Reagents, will determine the Crafting Quality of the final product. That is already a huge step forward, but that is not all.

Crafting Orders

This new system allows players to create special Crafting Orders, to request other players to craft certain items. You can place all or part of the needed reagents into your Crafting Order, set the commission, and also decide whether your Crafting Order will be public (so anyone with required skills can take it), guild (obviously, for a members of your guild), or for a specific player. There will be a special NPC that acts like an Auction House for Crafting Orders, so players can spend their time searching for a craftsman or for a client.

Also note that in the Dragonflight expansion any players can wear crafted soulbound items, even if they do not have the profession skill.


Specializations

Yes, they are back! In the Dragonflight expansion each profession will have a set of specializations (like Armorsmithing for Blacksmiths), which will allow you to craft better items within your specialization. As stated by developers you can get Specialization Points, which are needed to progress in the specialization, by various ways like quests, items found in an open-world, interactions with certain NPCs, etc.


Professions Gear

Items that improve your professional skills are already present in the game, but in the new expansion, Professions Gear will add special stats that will make your crafting or gathering activities much more effective and profitable.

They will also auto-swap you current gear when you are working and will be placed in dedicated Professions Gear slots.


Conclusion

The Dragonflight expansion will not only add completely new mechanics to World of Warcraft, it also will bring back good old mechanics from a while ago. Hopefully, this will give World of Warcraft another chance to gain the popularity it once has. While we understand players’ concerns about the game’s future, after first look at what the Dragonflight expansion has to offer we have a mostly positive impression, so let us hope for the best.

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