World of Warcraft: Dragonflight

I just finished watching the release announcement for the new World of Warcraft expansion, Dragonflight. I have to say I’m very hopeful for this one. This seems to be the first expansion in a very long time where Blizzard legitimately seems to have listened to the fans and took the fans’ suggestions to heart.

New Zones

In true World of Warcraft fashion, there will be a total of five new zones in the Dragon Isles to explore. Each will be tied to the dragonflights, and your character will help the dragon aspects fight an emerging evil threatening Azeroth. There will even be a city of the dragon aspects, which was built by the Titans. Both the Horde and Alliance will have equal access to the zones and city, and presumably the city will be a sanctuary, much like Dalaran and Shattrath were in prior expansions to cut down on in-city fighting, except in designated areas.

New Race/Class

Perhaps one new twist coming to the game is a race, call the Dracthyr, which is also it’s own exclusive class, the Evoker class. A Hero class, much like the Death Knight, it’s a ranged class that uses spells from all five dragon aspects to either damage or heal, depending on which spec you go with. You can also customize both your human and dragon forms from any of the five dragon aspects. This is something that, I’m hoping, is something that will bring a lot of great improvements to the game.

Other Game Changes

Some of the other game changes that were announced this morning were that the talent system was returning to the talent tree system, after much pushback from players. Based on what I saw they updated it so that not only can you update a base tree, but one for a spec, and also be able to switch between specs seamlessly, so that you can change between PvE, PvP, and Mythic specs without having to go to a capital city to do so.

Another big change will be to the profession system. In addition to having to do the traditional gathering of materials and crafting in order to advance as every player has had to do since the beginning of World of Warcraft, a new feature allows you to commission a piece of armor, weapon, etc., from a friend, a guildmate, or even a stranger, provide them the mats and a modest fee for their troubles, and they can craft the item for you. That way, you don’t have to go through the trouble of learning an entire profession just to craft a single item you wanted from that profession, then switch back to the one your character you had. Players can also, as they advance in their profession, have an increasing chance of producing higher level items so that they can use, sell, or do whatever they need to do.

The biggest change is an entirely new feature called Dragonriding. You start off with your own dragon, and you can train with the dragon, doing more and more advanced tricks as you progress, allowing you to do more advance tricks, fly faster, and do more. You can even customize the dragon, add armor to it, etc. Initial videos of dragonriding look promising as I saw the character doing nosedives down the edge of a raving, barrel rolls, loops, and so on, as well as some nice customizations, all of which bodes quite well.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the initial look into World of Warcraft: Dragonflight looks quite promising, and I’m very hopeful that this is the first expansion where Blizzard is releasing, in that they are truly listening to the fans. I’m hoping this will bring back a lot of old school fans of the game, as well as a inject a lot of new blood into the game. I also hope this trend of Blizzard actively listening to the fans and adjusting accordingly is something that continues with updates to the game, since some of the most recent updates to Shadowlands, which I mentioned in a prior post, seemed to be a case of too little too late for that expansion, and came much too late to do much good to resuscitate that one.

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