The Shadowlands story slowly comes to an end. With the united forces of all four covenants, Maw Walkers finally defeated Jailer and his allies. But what comes next? What’s the next “even bigger threat” to the universe pulling its strings, orchestrating another great scheme?

Apparently… we don’t know.
And it’s great to have some kind of break from solving universe-size problems. And although there is no big villain (yet), heroes of the Horde and the Alliance will have plenty of things to do. The expansion brings a lot of exciting new stuff as well as revisiting old systems such as mounts, talents, professions. Let’s dive into a short review of the most interesting things we’ve seen so far.

Talent Trees

Talents got a complete revamp and now resembles something between the Classic Trees and Soulbind conduit system.

You will have two talent trees at once - one for your class and one for your current specialization. Skill points of those trees are independent of each other (you can’t get more points for your class Talent Tree by sacrificing your specialization skill points).

Talents are divided into three categories:

  1. Squares - active abilities.
  2. Circles - passive abilities of any kind, mostly resemble conduits from Shadowlands.
  3. Hexagons - you choose the ability from two possible options.

You will be able to change talents the same way you’re now, no more gold fees or daily charges. There is also a new way to quickly save and loadouts for your talents so you can switch between your raid/mythic/old content talents in a blink of an eye.

Overall it’s a very healthy change to the current talent system as it provides more flexibility. There’s no doubt there will be “BiS” options from the guides all over the Internet, but nevertheless it should increase flexibility of many classes which is now mostly stuck to only one option in their talent list.

Dragonriding

One of the most exciting things in World of Warcraft for me is flying. The moment you complete all requirements and soar high up in the sky feels incredible, you can reach your destination a lot faster, you can find some hidden treasures around the map and the view of the whole location from the highest points is truly breathtaking.


This time around we’ll get a brand new way to fly across the Dragon Isles - almost from the start!

Somewhere during the first two zones you get your own personal dragon. Together you will conquer the highest mountains of the Dragon Isles.

But wait, there’s more! Unlike standard flying - your dragon can use special skills and get acceleration from certain maneuvers. Climb the closest mountain, fly down to the ground to get enough speed and spread wings to fly forward. All this accompanied with a set of new animations and effects.

This dragon is highly customizable and can have one of four base models - basic dragon, proto-drake, ptero-drake and wyvern-drake.

The best part about dragonriding is that all upgrades are account-wide, so you don’t have to relearn them for every new character you decide to play. This is also true for all the cosmetics you earned.

New Race-Class combo

Dracthyrs are the newest playable race of humanoid dragons, they were created during Neltharion experiments. They come along with a new class - Evoker. Due to the unique theme of both race and class - Dracthyrs can only be Evokers and Evokers are only available to Dracthyrs. Here’s also some interesting notes on the race and class from what we know so far:

  • Evoker is a heroic class and it starts at level 58 with a unique questline which eventually leads newborn Dracthyrs to the main area of Dragon Isles.
  • Dracthyrs can choose to side with both Alliance and Horde.
  • Evokers have a unique mechanic of charging the spell - the longer you press the button - the stronger the effect will be.
  • Dracthyrs can use Dragon Riding on the Dragon Isles zone. It will function as a Demon Hunter Glide ability in all other zones.
  • Evoker can be equipped with mail armor and it’s a ranged caster class.

Profession Revamp

Crafting system in World of Warcraft was almost the same for its lifespan. You get the ingredients - your character rubs his hands together and you get the item. Occasionally you would also get some extra copies of the item depending on the current expansion.

Dragonflight introduces massive improvement of that system, learning from successes and mistakes of all previous iterations.

Professions get a brand new UI interface which is now bigger and shows some curious new stats such as “resourcefulness” and “inspiration”. The resulting item properties will depend on the skill of the crafter. There is also a finishing ingredient which presumably adds a special effect to the item, similar to the optional reagents in Zereth Mortis.

Second part of the profession revamp is crafting orders. That’s right, now you can get your own materials, set the price and put a request on the market for a skillful craftsman to fulfill it. And yes, you can get personal items from certain professions without learning one.

In one of the interviews with game developers they also mentioned a possible return of the archaeology system, but they want to get a new approach to it and add more fun to the current mini-game.

In addition to all of the above - players will be able to use a new gear for gathering and crafting which would fill new slots in the crafting menu so you don’t have to carry all that stuff around. Is it possible that we could also transmog it all? It’s very promising that it is but we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out.

New Models

Dragon Isles are populated by various denizen species and it’s a great opportunity for developers to bring the quality of some older models up to the modern standards.

The main attraction of course are dragons - we’ve seen both Kalecgos and Alextstrasza are getting new models for both their humanoid and dragon forms and more will come for sure.

Gnolls are finally getting some love they deserved. Players will encounter different tribes of gnolls across the Azure Span zone including some typical brown mane gnolls, but also some snow gnolls (Snolls). There are also sorcerer gnolls with some kind of necromancery/drust/rot magic type… thingy… we got a promise we’ll find out more about them later.

There are also a lot of Tuskarrs and Centaurs around the certain regions of the Dragon Isles we’re gonna interact with, developers are aiming to expand the culture of both races which means new high-res models, new mounts to obtain and more.

Alt-friendly systems

Altoholics can sigh with relief as many things you completed on your main character will be account-wide. This includes new traits and appearances for your personal dragon, non-linear approach to the leveling campaign and much more.

Though it didn’t stop most people before - this is surely good news for all players who want to maintain at least three characters at the same time.

Conclusion

Shadowlands wasn’t perfect, not a single expansion was, but I liked it for the most part and sincerely hope that Dragonflight will learn from the mistakes Shadowlands made. The information we got so far looks very promising so all we need is some patience while Blizzard polishes the game.

That’s all for today, Dragonflight is far from the release state so we can expect more news about it after 9.2.5. release.

Don’t hesitate to stop by and say hello in the online chat ;)

Sincerely, Jerry