Blizzard revealed in a developer livestream on Tuesday that the next chapter for the World of Warcraft (WoW) will return the MMO to its origins with the return of dragons in playable and rideable forms. The new expansion titled dragon flight introduces a playable race and an exploration to the Dragon Islands.
(Photo by World of Warcraft/Screenshot YouTube Channel)
Dragonflight centers on the return of the Dragon Aspects, the magical guardians of Aezeroth who disappeared after what happened 12 years ago in the Cataclysm expansion. The game lets players venture into the mysterious and magical Dragon Islands and explore five zones, each inspired by the five dragon aspects.
The new expansion also includes a brand new race called the Dracthyr Evokers, which features draconian humanoids with varied healing and damage powers, similar to the Worgen from Wrath of the Lich Kingand related to the Dragon Aspects will participate in a race.
However, the only difference between the Worgen and Dracthyr is that the latter can only be the Evoker class, and at the same time they have less general customizations for a more focused moveset.
These Dracthyrs can also instantly turn into humans, they can use their wings “to scare people away, [they’re able to] breathe fire from their mouths, [they’re able to] hitting people with their tails back,” said the games’ lead designer, Brian Holinka, as reported by Polygon.
WoW also lets its users play as the dragon or the rider of the dragons.
Another special feature recently implemented by the game is the choice to allow the two opposing factions, Horde and Alliance, to play together in one group. WoW’s Dragon Flight let the players build on that alliance as they work together to travel across the Dragon Islands.
According to the story of the game, the Horde and Alliance both sent an expedition of scientists and settlers to explore the islands. Hence, the alliance is justified in terms of story, but there will still be limitations in terms of PVP with other players.
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A return to a talent system
Blizzard said they were especially hands-on in refining the game’s oldest systems, especially returning to a talent system similar to the earlier versions of WoW. The talents will have the ability to use points at once, while turning into trees and allowing characters to become a more traditional hybrid class – a trait.
Unlike the current game, players can only frequently switch talents by using presets or changing individual points.
During the live stream, game director Ion Hazikostas opened up about the issues and complaints about the game since the release of Shadowlands in 2020. Feedback from the community ultimately served as the basis for the game’s team to re-examine the fundamentals of Wow, such as the “character investments and mains versus alts” and the “appropriate role of friction” in their systems.
There is still no official release date for Dragonflight, but Blizzard is currently receiving beta test submissions for the expansion. They also said that the Wrath of the Lich King will be included in the World of Warcraft Classic which will be free to current users later in 2022.
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Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla
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