World of Warcraft: Dragonflight will add playable and rideable dragons

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World of Warcraft: Dragonflight returns the MMO to its origins, welcoming back dragons (in playable and rideable forms) and Classic-style talent trees, and adding a new set of zones to explore. The expansion doesn’t have a release date, but will enter alpha soon, according to Blizzard’s announcement stream.

Where does it take place?

Dragonflight is set on the Dragon Isles, a location that’s been essentially a myth for most of WoW’s history, hidden away in game files and occasionally mentioned in dialogue as the game aged. You’ll dig into the history of the ancient dragonflights and their kingdom, learn what has happened to them over the last 10,000 years, and try to make alliances with them to combat new threats.

WoW recently implemented a feature to let the game’s two opposing factions—Horde and Alliance—to play together in the same group. Dragonflight builds on that partnership with a focus on both sides working together to explore the Dragon Isles, but will still include excuses to PvP with other players. Story-wise, the Horde and Alliance have sent an expedition of scientists and settlers to explore the land, which doesn’t sound particularly optimistic for whoever has been living there for thousands of years.

What is the new playable race and class?

The Dracthyr are the new playable race, and they come with a new Evoker class. The Dracthyr race are bipedal dragons with customizable horns, jewelry, and scales that affects both their dragon and human forms. They can cast magical ranged spells to heal allies and damage foes, and are the only race that can be created as the new Evoker class.

Evokers, which are classified as one of the game’s ‘hero classes’, will begin with a choice between Horde and Alliance and then start at level 58 in a unique starting zone. Evokers combine various types of Dragon magic and specialize in two of them to fit with a damage- or healing-based specialization.

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So, you can be a dragon, but you can also ride dragons. Early in the expansion, you’ll have the ability to train a pet dragon and use one as a mount to fly through the leveling process and beyond. It’s the first time flying has been available this early, which suggests the new environments are a lot more vertical than previous areas. You’ll be able to customize both your pet and your mount with different colors of scales and horns, and you’ll be able to increase their speed as you progress through the story.

Blizzard said it has put a lot of effort into refining the game’s oldest systems, like talent trees, professions, and the user interface. Talents will become trees again with several options to put points into at once, letting you turn your character into a more traditional hybrid class—a trait that was much more common in the older versions of the game. As in the current game, you can swap your talents around frequently either by changing individual points or using presets.

Professions are getting an overhaul too. Crafting Orders allow you to craft items without having the profession yourself. You put together all the materials needed for the item and then have an NPC or another player make it. It’s the first time crafted items that are bound to you can be made by someone else.

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