After the internet swarmed with leaks this morning and earlier in the month, but as of 12:00pm EST today, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is official.
Alexstrasza narrates the cinematic, “The world has been sundered. It cries out in pain. We must come to its air. We entrust our ancestral home to you, the Watchers. Let the land slumber, hidden, even from our own eyes. You will feel our return in the waking of the land. Then you must light the Beacon of the Tyrhold, lest the path home be lost to us…forever.”
Stone figures awake, overlooking the water as life begins to bloom on this volcanic rock. Entering the volcano, we can see long-lost mechanisms, working away. Struggling to light the beacon, the Watcher succeeds. As he falls to what we think is certain death, the dragons arrive to save the day. “The world is healing, but her fate is yet uncertain. Together we shall be Azeroth’s protectors once again. Here, the new age of dragons shall begin.” Alexstrasza says.
Game Director and VP of World of Warcraft, Ion Hazzikostas explains what we have just seen, “The awakening of the dragon isles, the return of the dragons, the dawn of a new age. We’ve seen Wrathion searching for his father’s legacy, searching for the Dragon Isles. There’s a reason he hasn’t been able to find them, until now.” The lighting of the beacon has removed the concealment on the Dragon Isles and beckoned the dragons back. With a new level cap of 70, players have some work to do.
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight – The Dragon Isles, Dracthyr & Evokers
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight’s The Dragon Isles will consist of five zones—four levelling zones and a , “the roiling Waking Shores; the vast Ohn’ahran Plains; the stark Azure Span; and ancient, majestic Thaldraszus,” plus a new starting area. The new area is lush and colourful with the greenery and lava.
Dracthyr is the brand-new playable race, dragons in a humanoid form. Since dragon-like abilities are unlike any other classes in World of Warcraft, Dracthyr also have their very own class, the Evokers (the leaks were partially right!).
“Dracthyr can only be Evokers, Evokers can only be Dracthyr,” explains Hazzikostas. Evokers combine magic specifially with the “unique physical gifts” from the Dracthyr class, like taking flight, wing buffets and magical abilities. Dracthyr’s take on either Ranged DPS or Healer roles, and wear mail armour—watch out Hunters and Shamans. Dracthyr’s will also begin at level 58 as a hero class, with their own starting zone, like Demon Hunters.
Here is a quick summary of the new additions in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight:
- The lush and primal Dragon Isles are the setting for the latest expansion, the original home and origin place of dragonkind. The Dragon Isles have come to life after 10,000 years of dormancy, and the dragon aspects have returned home to reclaim their rightful kingdom. This includes the once destructive black dragonflight, who are reckoning with their violent past in the wake of Deathwing’s cataclysmic actions.
- With an increased max level of 70, players will level through four new zones that make up the Dragon Isles: the roiling Waking Shores; the vast Ohn’ahran Plains; the stark Azure Span; and ancient, majestic Thaldraszus.
- The expansion features the new mail wearing Dracthyr race, who can pledge themselves to the Horde or Alliance, as a solely dedicated Evoker class. The Evoker class has two specializations that mix magics of the dragonflights. Their ranged damage dealer specialization, Devastation, draws on explosive red and focused blue magic, while their healer specialization, Perseveration, utilizes rejuvenating green and time-twisting bronze magic.
- A new spell type exclusive for the Dracthyr, Empower, enables them to charge other spells for a greater effect. Empower can be paired with a strafing Deep Breath flight attack, which spews fire in a direct line beneath the Dracthyr. They can also knock foes back a short distance with a leafy Wing Buffet spell.
- Like the Death Knight and Demon Hunter classes before them, the Dracthyr will start at a higher level, level 58.
- The expansion features an overhaul of the Heads-Up Display (HUD) User Interface (UI), talents, and professions.
- Dragonriding, an all-new method of aerial movement, allows players to take to the skies of the Dragon Isles atop a Dragon Isles Drake, which they will befriend in each of the four new zones during the levelling experience. Customization options for the drakes open up as players progress, collecting more appearance options and unlocking new abilities that will enable them to fly farther, longer and faster.
Images of Dracthyr class concept art:
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight – System Updates:
Taking from fans complaints, the game has decided not to leave behind player’s current characters, completely revamping WOW’s core systems. Players can expect changes to the progression systems, talent systems, professions and even the UI. Hazzikostas acknowledged that there was a change in the talents in Mists of Pandaria, and they are looking forward to getting back to the way things were.