World of Warcraft: Dragonflight

Reveal is here -

Cinematic -

  • World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is WoW’s next expansion

  • New Race - Dracthyr

  • New Class - Evoker

    • Dracthyr can only be Evokers and Evokers can only be Dracthyr
    • 2 Specializations - Healer and Ranged DPS
    • Hero Class - Starts at 58 with new starter zone
    • Wears Mail Armor
  • Dragonriding

    • Dragonriding is a new flight system being added in Dragonflight
    • You will level up this skill over time to get new animations and abilities
    • The system utilizes momentum, physics, and gravity
    • Dragonriding is limited to the Dragon Isles
    • Dragon customizations include snout, horns, tails, armor, and more
  • Talent Tree Revamp

    • As you level, you get a new spell or ability that makes you stronger
    • There is now a Class tree and a Spec tree
    • The Class tree offers class utility and the Spec tree offers things that help you to perform your role
    • You’ll be able to make your talent build, save it, name it, and load it up again later quickly
  • UI Overhaul

    • The team wanted to allow players to customize the new UI moving things around and adjusting them to fit their needs
    • Addons do a lot for player customization today, but not everyone uses addons
    • The new UI is a modern take on the old one, removing the clutter and giving the player more visibility for their gameplay.
    • The new minimap and health bars are larger and the action bars have less framing around them.
    • You’ll be able to save layouts by spec, so that the UI will automatically change as you change specs.
  • Profession System Revamp

    • The team wants professions to be part of your identity as a player and be fun and relevant across all levels of gameplay
    • The Crafting Order system is the first major update.
    • If you want to have something crafted and don’t have the right profession to do it yourself, you can use a Crafting Order.
    • Both Crafting and Gathering professions will now have stats.
    • Crafting specializations will be the biggest input of your ability to craft higher quality items.
  • The Dragon Isles

    • There are 4 leveling zones and 1 starter zone, and ducks are finally being introduced in the game.
    • The Forbidden Reach was fashioned by Neltharion the Earth-Warder to serve as a training ground for his ultimate soldiers, the Dracthyr.
    • In the aftermath of a terrible battle, the island has lain dormant and abandoned for ages–until the return of an ancient enemy causes the Dracthyr to stir.
  • New Storylines

    • The Dragon Isle are the broodlands for all dragonflights.
    • The Sundering during the War of the Ancients split the land and caused the magic of the Dragon Isles to go dormant, causing the dragons to leave the isles.
    • Much of the story will revolve around Wrathion learning to regain the power and respect of his flight. But is he the right leader to take over?
    • This is an opportunity for the dragons to regain their legacy as protectors, but the players must join them to help with the challenges of the Dragon Isles.
  • Cinematic Trailer and Press Kit

  • Dragonflight Beta Opt-In

The new talent trees look really interesting. Dragon riding seems like a stupid mini game.

I’m not a big fan of the dragon designs in wow but DF sure looks like it’s bringing a lot of new stuff in. New race/class looks pretty neat, plus UI changes, talent trees, etc, should be pretty cool.

Here’s a shot of the new talent tree. You get one tree for your class, then another for your spec. You can save your config and reload it when you want to switch.

Seriously…

“Your players have been leaving the game in droves. What are you going to do to bring them back in?”
“I know! I know! Bring back talent trees”

I mean… yeah.

Bring back in stuff from when the game was super popular.

So far, it’s one thing from “the old days” and while it’s from a more popular era it’s not why that era was popular.

What will be interesting to see is if they manage to avoid “the one true path” and are able to have an actual valid choice.

The crafting stuff does look good, though.

There is something to be said about talent trees though. They allow for a lot more customization (i.e. roleplaying) than the current system of 3 specializations. It is something that every expansion so far has created their own extra system on top of the class systems for this customizations. In legion it was the legendary weapons, BFA was many systems, but mostly azerite powers, and the Shadowlands has the soul-bindings at covenants.

They specifically mentioned that they wanted to go away from each expansion having completely novel power systems that don’t connect from expansion to expansion. Which I would like. It feels like every WoW xpac since WOD has just been, level to max, then figure out what my class is supposed to be. With the talent system you are drip fed, level by level, your build. Then at max level you already are all set up for raiding and gearing up.

The crafting change, especially the “work orders” sounds like an awesome addition, which will make it much easier to monetize your crafting abilities.

Is this how they’re branding “bring back flying”? 'Cause dragon mounts were absolutely a thing I had back in the day.

It apparently mimics the system in the latest GW2 expansion extremely closely. I wouldn’t know, only being like like 40 in GW2 and not having played in several months.

I am just looking for something to keep me interested other than raids and dungeons. If they accomplish that, I’ll be happy. I haven’t even logged into WoW for many months now and this is the first time that’s every happened since I started playing the game.

Not much detail yet on the dragon riding, but it appears to be a fundamental change to the flight mechanics, that levels as you level up.

Skills like dives, barrel rolls, etc. It could be really cool, it is much more flight physic-y based from what they have shown.

Also, Dragon mounts will be fully customizable, they showed off quite a few variations in what type of drake you can ride.

It looks fun, especially going with themes of exploration that it had in earlier expansions.

Crafting stuff has me excited, even though I know it’s going to be a rough market to keep up with.

Today was just a high level overview, but it looks solid, and there’s investment in the future with that UI work.

They specifically said it’s not flying. It’s a pod-racing mini game.

Looks like Dragonlance

OMG I didn’t even mention this. What a great idea. The UI has basically been unchanged in its most base form since 2004. The little snippets of UI and customization they showed look very promising.

Some more tidbits.

  • The dragonflights are not covenants. They are separate factions that have no player power attached to them.

  • The Dragon Isles are large and so Dragon Riding was added to allow a unique and easier way to navigate this world designed for dragons.

  • Flying hasn’t changed much in 17 years, and Dragon Riding was added to provide a modern take on it that involves physics and momentum and is available early into the expansion that grows over time.

  • As you level up your Dragon-riding you will be able to reach certain locations and do things you couldn’t do with normal flying.

  • They wanted to create a sense of aspiration for unlocking areas you can see but couldn’t reach with simple flying.

So dragon riding is not a pod-racing mini-game…? Still unclear to my why I would do swoops and barrel rolls when I just want to reach that rare before it dies.

More Dragon Riding -

  • Dragonriding isn’t intended to reduce the function or amount of regular mounts - Dragon Isles will still feature a lot of new mounts for players to collect.

  • Dragonriding doesn’t fully replace regular mounts, it’s mostly for covering long distances or accessing hard to reach areas, while just running around will still use the broader collection of normal mounts.

  • Upgrades earned over time will help you reach higher up places or quickly return to town.

So they’re to replace Flight Masters?

From the description, it basically sounds like Gliding from Guild Wars 2.

With flying in WoW, you basically move like a drone: You can fly in any direction, hover at any height…you can basically go anywhere. Based on the description, Dragonriding would be a completely different skillset based on speed and momentum. So if you want to fly to a hilltop far away, first you have to climb high enough, gain enough speed, and then see how long you can maintain that flight before running out of energy and gliding to the ground. I would assume that you build up skills over time, so maybe you can launch higher at the start, glide longer, build up more energy from barrel rolls, things like that.

Not the most exciting element, but I think the one I’m most interested to see their implementation of are the crafting changes. In order for them to make an interesting work order system, they must be adding quality into crafting, which I think they confirmed in one of the videos. Will it be somewhat random chance at improved quality, or will it be skill-based, or a mixture of both? And what effect will it have on the crafted item?

Other than a few months in Shadowlands, I haven’t played the last few expansions, but I’m assuming crafted gear is still mostly ignored, except for maybe getting you a bit of a leg up once you reach the level cap. So will it now compete with dungeon/raid gear? And how about non-gear professions like enchanting, alchemy, or cooking? Since most group content is balanced around the assumption you’ll have the best of those professions, can they make those affected by quality? Or will it be such a narrow range of difference that it won’t matter, which goes back to quality being inconsequential.

I’m also interested to see more about Evoker, but I really hope every spell animation isn’t some sort of burped up effect.

After they nuked jewelcrafting and inscription in WoD, and limited the amount of crafted gear a character could equip, I gave up all crafting. My characters had well over a million gold at one point in LK or Cat, and they basically took away my “game,” as well as the cool stuff my gold let me buy. That left me pretty alientated, don’t know that I will be giving this new stuff any of my energy versus LK Classic.

The way shadowlands is implemented, the legendary pieces require a crafted part to be made. That is about the only thing you can create with crafting worth keeping.