On April 19, 2022, Blizzard revealed World of Warcraft’s ninth expansion – Dragonflight. The Beta version launched on September, 1, and players’ reactions vary from skeptical to cautiously optimistic to excited “wow, do they actually care this time?” Well, let’s see what awaits you in this new adventure and what the hype is all about.
New Lands: the Dragon Isles
The map of Azeroth now includes the Dragon Isles, the ancestral home of dragonflights, located North of the Eastern Kingdoms and east of Northrend.
The Sundering left the Isles without magic, and they lay quiescent for ten thousand years. Now comes the time of their reawakening – and that’s where you, the player, enter the scene.
The Dragon Isles consist of four main zones where the majority of the action will take place:
- Waking Shores – the savage home of the red and black dragonflights full of unbridled elemental magic;
- Ohn’ahran Plains – the grass-covered domain of the green dragonflight and the Maruuk Centaur;
- Azure Span – icy and frosty lands of the blue dragonflight;
- Thaldraszus – a beautifully intact place full of caves and mountains, the residence of the Dragon Aspects, and the bronze dragonflight, who holds guard over the timeways.
In each of these areas, you will encounter world bosses. As of this day, the world boss loot has a placeholder value (280 item level), but it will very likely change.
Here are the bosses with their respective loot:
|Basrikron, The Shale Wing||Liskanoth, The Futurebane||Bazual, The Dreaded Flam||Strunraan, The Sky’s Misery|
The starting area for the new Dracthyr race and the Evoker class is the Forbidden Reach, an island off the coast of the Dragon Isles. The last zone, Valdrakken, serves as a city hub with a public library, gardens, and an Auction House.
Now, let’s elaborate on the Dracthyr and Evoker thing we just mentioned. You are not here for the geography, are you?
New Race and Class Combo: the Dracthyr Evoker
Dragonflight introduces WoW’s first race/class combo: Dracthyr Evoker.
Here’s what you need to know about it:
- The Dracthyr is a race of humanoid dragonkin. They can shapeshift and choose to be either a dragon or (a rather funky-looking) humanoid. The Draconic form, however, can’t be changed during combat. It will also allow you to fly through obstacles;
- The Dracthyr can choose their alignment and may join the Alliance or the Horde;
- However, when it comes to the choice of class, there are no options available – the Dracthyr can only be Evokers, and the Evoker class is also exclusive to the Dracthyr;
- Evokers start at level 58, immediately in the Dragonflight content;
- Evokers have two potential specializations: Devastation and Preservation. The name says it all – Devastation is about dealing ranged damage, while Preservation is healing-oriented;
- Evokers can use Mail armor.
If you want to get more information about this race and class just check our Dragonflight Evoker guide.
New casual Feature: Dragon Riding
Come on, who wouldn’t want to ride a dragon? In this expansion, you actually get to befriend and customize new Dragon Riding mounts.
There are a few types of Dragons you can use: a Drake, a Wyvern, a Proto-Dragon, and a Ptero-Dragon.
In case you don’t like the drakes as they come (rude), you have the ability to customize your mounts. For that, you will need a Rostrum of Transformation and special items to unlock different customization options. There are tons of these items, but the good news is, that they are practically everywhere. Presumably, there will be one Rostrum per Dragonflight zone, including Valdrakken.
Once you’ve found a Rostrum and collected the items, you can change almost everything and anything about your drake — horns, snout, tail, jaw, back, jewelry, sizes, and colors to your heart’s content.
Now, riding a dragon isn’t the same as your classical flying and does not replace it. In fact, you don’t really fly, you glide. This gliding is momentum-based, so you’ll need to learn how to balance momentum and gravity.
It’ll get easier as you level your Dragons and teach them how to fight against exhaustion and gravity, master momentum more effectively, move faster, etc. You will unlock a Dragonriding talent tree pretty early on in the game when you meet Lithragosa the Dragonriding trainer at the Skytop Observatory.
Dragon riding is available immediately after the start of the expansion, so you won’t have to reach the maximum level to do it.
New Factions and Reputation
On the Dragon Isles you will find four main factions:
- Dragonscale Expedition
- Maruuk Centaur
- Iskaara Tuskarr
- Valdrakken Accord.
Soon after finding them, you will also realize that… there is no reputation system. Yup. Instead, you will get Renown – like in Shadowlands, but better.
Unlike the Shadowlands’ notorious system, the new one will allow you to earn Renown for all four factions at the same time. This means you can progress at a much more pleasant pace through the factions’ Renown levels. The new Renown version will reward you far more often, too.
You will be able to farm Renown much like you did with reputation. Here is what you can do to farm Renown on the Dragon Isles (as of today):
- Complete daily quests (75 Reputation for the respective faction);
- Complete the weekly quest Making a Name (200 Reputation for all Dragon Isle factions);
- Complete events like Primalist Invasions or Centaur Hunts (no information about the reward yet).
You will need 1000 Reputation points to obtain one Renown level. Maximum Renown levels for each faction are:
- Dragonscale Expedition – a maximum of 25 (25000 Reputation);
- Maruuk Centaur – a maximum of 20 (20000 Reputation);
- Iskaara Tuskarr and the Valdrakken Accord – a maximum of 30 (30000 Reputation).
New Endgame Content
Dragonflight New Dungeons
Dragonflight introduces eight new dungeons and brings back four old ones from the previous expansions.
Here are the new dungeons you can expect to see in the new expansion. Please note that the list and the dungeon descriptions are not yet final and may change later.
|Dungeons that available in Normal during leveling||Max-level dungeons|
|Ruby Life Pools – a place that used to be home for the Red Dragonflight.||The Azure Vault – a place once designed by Sindragosa to keep magical artifacts is now left dangerously unprotected.|
|Brackenhide Hollow – the largest gnoll home in the Dragon Isles threatened to be destroyed by the seeping decay.||Neltharus – the stronghold of the Black Dragonflight beneath the Obsidian Citadel. Deserted by its former inhabitants, it has been claimed by the djaradin.|
|The Nokhud Offensive – the Nokhud have captured the ancient eagle spirit, Ohn’ahra, provoking the other Maruuk clans to rally against them.||Algeth’ar Academy – there’s little information about the dungeon as of today, but we will add the description once we know more.|
|Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr – a new chamber has been discovered unlocking a whole new wing to this ancient titan facility.||Halls of Infusion – there’s little information about the dungeon as of today, but we will add the description once we know more.|
These new dungeons will be available throughout the season on Normal, Heroic, and Mythic difficulty.
The old dungeons in this season are (available only in Mythic+ mode):
- Halls of Valor (Legion) – dungeon in eastern Stormheim where stands the Pillar of Creation – the Aegis of Aggramar;
- Court of Stars (Legion) – dungeon in the ancient city of Suramar, the home of the Nightborne;
- Shadowmoon Burial Grounds (Warlords of Draenor) – dungeon in Shadowmoon Valley within Anguish Fortress, the refuge to Ner’zhul and his followers;
- Temple of the Jade Serpent (Mists of Pandaria) – a Pandaren temple in the Jade Forest guarded by the Order of the Cloud Serpent.
Dragonflight New Raid
On top of that, a new raid is coming – Vault of the Incarnates. It will feature eight bosses with Raszageth the Storm-Eater as the final one.
In this raid, the item level gear system will be changed. There still are four difficulties with increasing ilvl as a reward for your trouble. However, now you will get higher ilvl within the same difficulty, depending on the boss you face:
- The first boss: lowest item level;
- Bosses 2 – 4: increases with 3 item level;
- Bosses 5 – 6: increases with 4 item level;
- Bosses 7 – 8: increases with 3 item level.
Class Tier Sets
Primalist Class tier sets are also expected in this raid. Apparently, they are inspired by both primary elements and the elemental proto-dragons. There are:
- Ice sets
- Fire sets
- Storm sets
- Earth sets
Specific set bonuses are yet to be discovered, but they are likely to unlock while wearing 2 and 4 set pieces.
Group loot makes a comeback in this expansion. According to Blizzard, group loot will only be in raid content. However, Blizzard points out that group loot will be different from master loot and will not be distributed by one individual. Rather, it will be a “shared pool of loot, where you kill a raid boss, you work together with 15 or 20 or 30 people to do it, there are 5 items on the corpse [and] you can roll for those items, you can pass on them, you can trade them to your friends”, as Ion Hazzikostas explained in an interview.
The talent tree system is one of the things that got completely revamped in the new expansion. Now it is supposed to be more flexible and player-friendly, allowing the player not to irreversibly commit to their choices.
Blizzard decided to incorporate the systems of borrowed power (such as Artifact abilities from Legion) in these trees. Some of the talents will include legendary, conduit, soulbind effects, but they will not stack with any Shadowlands legendary or covenant abilities if they are already equipped.
- Two talent trees are now available: one for the class, the other for your current specialization;
- The new talent system starts at level 10, and, beginning from this level, you get a point for one of the trees, in turn, each time you level up;
- Some talents can only be unlocked if you’ve unlocked the previous one in the branch first;
- You now can save, share and import your builds;
- You can quickly load your saved builds and switch between them, should you need a different one for a raid or an arena;
- If you want to change a talent, you just click on it, so you won’t have to undo everything to tweak one little thing. You can do this at no cost.
Another thing undergoing massive changes in Dragonflight is the profession system
Here’s what’s coming:
- Crafting orders: if you don’t have the right specialization or profession to craft something, you can now request another player to do it for you. You can pick and choose players who will be able to see your order, send them notes and reagents;
- Recrafting orders: you can now recraft Dragonflight gear using special reagents and original reagents from the recipe. The chosen reagents and your skill will influence the quality of the new item;
- Crafting specializations: you get specialization points in different ways to then become better at your specialization and produce better, more powerful items;
- Crafting tables: you can find them at the Valdrakken hub and hang out with other crafters;
- Crafting Soulbound items: in Dragonflight you can have these by placing a crafting order, even if you can’t craft it yourself;
- Quality tier system: pretty straightforward – if you craft something with higher quality, the resulting item is better. For gear, it’s better effects or a higher level. For potions, it’s strong or additional effects. Overall, there are five levels of quality, but only three for ore and potions;
- Profession gear: special gear your character will switch to while doing something related to their profession. It doesn’t take up space in your bags and, presumably, will have stats to help you do better in your profession;
- Profession stats: you can now specialize in secondary crafting stats: Inspiration (x% chance to be inspired and this recipe with extra skill), Resourcefulness (x% chance to use fewer tradable reagents), Multicraft (x% chance to craft additional items but for stackable items only), and Crafting speed (crafting is x% faster).
New WoW UI
Developers finally got around to updating some of the UI, in particular, player portraits and loot windows. While some hardcore WoW fans mourn the loss of the old look, others will point out that the UI finally looks up-to-date — cleaner, clearer, and sleeker. The minimalistic trend seems to have wormed its way even here.
There are some other tweaks worth mentioning:
- Health bars and maps are now bigger;
- You can now customize all elements of the HUD and save, edit and copy new elements;
- Customizations can now be different depending on your specialization;
- The gryphon and the wyvern on the skill bars got a slightly different look.
Other Dragonflight Changes and Novelties
There are some other honorable mentions to this long list of changes.
- The level cap has been raised to 70;
- It’s been discovered that in build 45480 Blizzard added a massive experience nerf. You now require almost 60% less experience through levels 1 – 60;
- Developers added an option lots of players have been craving – you can now zone out NPCs in the tavern;
- A recently added neat little detail – a new Dockmaster NPC at the Stormwind Docks now has a bar indicating boat arrival time;
- A thing, we are sure, you’ve been secretly longing for… ducks! We are yet to find out if they are pets or mounts or just there to be cute. Whatever it may be, stay alert. Never underestimate the power of an angry duck.
Dragonflight System requirements
In Dragonflight, we’ll enjoy updated graphics, but it will cost increased system requirements.
|World of Warcraft Dragonflight minimum system requirements||World of Warcraft Dragonflight recommended system requirements|
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