The Future of Warcraft Announcements -- Dragonflight

The Trailer was gorgeous, as always. The team puts so much amazing effort into the cinematics and I am dying to thumb through it frame by frame for some aspects because I love animation like that. I can already spy some really nice little details that were in the cinematic which I absolutely love.

The zones look nice, the UI update looks good, and everything here seems to be a step in the right direction.

The dragon-riding looks amazing. It reminds me of how great the flying is in the film series How to Train Your Dragon and I’m stoked to experience it.

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I’m overly intrigued about the new talent tree system. Having the same three specs to choose from since Mists of Pandaria per row is fine, but I miss that extra layer of customization that’s been missing.

I really like the fact that the Devs listened to feedback and didn’t throw all of their cards on a new borrowed power system like the last three expansions. I think that borrowed powers have a place in World of Warcraft and if done properly, can be good. With that said, it’s time to shift focus back on having our talents and abilities impacted as a whole and not just temporarily as we see with borrowed power systems.

I know there will probably always be the, “best optimal” talent tree to utilize when it comes to end-game content, that’ll probably never change. As a player that highly invests time in outdoor content, soloing content, I’m all for having more customization options for when my choices only impact me and what I’m doing at the time. There’s a time and place for min/maxing, but I’m a light end-game player. I mainly do LFR, dungeons, outdoor activities, collecting mounts, mogs, pets, so this will add more options for someone like me as well as people that enjoy trying out new combinations for their end-game priorities.

I’m also intrigued about the new Dracthyr race and Evoker class. Whether it be ranged combat with the new Devastation DPS spec or the Preservation healing spec, I can’t wait to try it all out!

I may be in the minority here, but it’s quite refreshing to see the focal point being on a new ranged hero class instead of melee for a 4th time in a row, as we saw in Death Knights, Monks and then Demon Hunters.

I love the order systems for professions, if I can be honest, that sounds sooooo cool! Professions have been overlooked for a LONG time now. It sounds like they are offering more progression to it, more variety, quality in the gear you can create based on the quality of resources and other factors. Sounds very cool.

I will admit that I was a little disappointed that player housing wasn’t mentioned, it’s always been a feature I’ve wanted since I started playing. I know others are mixed on this idea, but it still is something I hope to see explored upon in the years to come. Keep it in the back of your minds, PLEASE!

Oh… and Ducks? WE HAVE DUCKS!!! Best expansion ever for that alone.

Can’t wait to hear more in the upcoming months.

Cheers.

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I have to admit that I’m also a little hesitant about embracing Dragonflight altogether from the getgo, because there wasn’t really anything mentioned about what sort of gameplay we can be expecting to go through in max level. Dragon riding is awesome, but what else can we really expect? There’ll be dungeons, raids, pvp as per usual, but most expansions has had something else to lure you in with.

So far, most of the announcements have focused very much on changes of the foundation of WoW; the UI, talents, a new flying system, the story and lore… but are we still going to be doing regular ol’ world quests and daily quests in max level? We were slightly teased about the Bronze dragonflight’s presence in one of the zones, is there a sort of minigame hidden in there, something Torghast-adjacent perhaps?

If we’re going to stick to the old formula, I hope it means that we’re just going to get more content. Instead of 8 dungeons, maybe there’s 12. Maybe the story campaign is four times as long as Shadowlands’ (it oughta be). Maybe this is all still a bit in development and it simply wasn’t ready to be announced. And maybe that’s for the best, right now, the idea of a ripcord seems very distant to me, and that is probably a good thing.

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I am pretty excited about returning to Azeroth and learning more about the dragon flights. So far, based off of the trailer, there doesn’t seem to be an over encompassing “big bad” and is allowing us to be just adventurers again. I think that will be refreshing, as we’ve been dealing with one cosmic entity after another for quiet some time now.

Personally I like when it gets mixed up between expansions - going from an adventure sort of setting into a grander cosmic threat.

I’m not yet sold on the new talent system, but I’m eager to learn more about it and get a chance to play around with it. One of the things that personally made me fall in love with the game again was how tuned in you were to classes and their specialization during Legion. I feel like that’s been lost over the past couple of expansions, and I’m worried that it will become even more removed with the new talent system. I hope that’s not the case - that specializations retain their key identity and the new talent system only serves to augment that.

One thing that I didn’t see in the trailer and wasn’t mentioned in the video at all were Cloud Serpents. Through out the game they seem to be referred to as dragonkin, but we have very very little details on their lore, origin, or really anything at all. I’m hoping that they make an appearance on the dragon isles. I was also a bit disheartened there was not a cloud serpent option for our new mounts.

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I hope these ducks don’t have teeth. Murder ducks (geese) are terrifying.

All of these notes above were pretty much most of my general feelings about what I saw so now I don’t have to go list them all out myself :slight_smile:

The thing that wasn’t touched on, mostly because it’s just too early to have anything to present at this stage I’m sure, are the player power systems.

The Concept looks fantastic, the art team killed it again, dragons!, soooo much good! I am genuinely excited. All of this will get people buying the game and playing on day one. All good things!

From here is where WoW expansions have met their grisly fate for the last several years however.

Please don’t implement a slew of multi layered, time consuming, chore inducing wow homework that makes me hate my WoW life!!!

“The new talent system was a way to address the constant new systems without adding new systems every expansion” - famous last words… don’t let this be the one that slowly erodes away as the development progresses.

I do NOT want to have to jump through 5 layers of gated player power on every single alt just to un-gimp them and make them functional on the most basic level. If the game is FUN people will stay and keep playing. If you create a miserable slog of an experience people will throw their hands up in disgust for the very last time. For me personally you have my word on that and I suspect I’m not alone in that sentiment.

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The first half of the video was not my favorite but i liked the 2nd half very much the flight with the dragon and the look from above was really breath taking.

Flying from start one man I am hyped i was never a fan of explore everything first then you can fly and it would be akward in an expansion with dragons if you could not fly.

I also like that professions will get more love then they had past expansions and hopefully will be more important.

The talent tre is something I and sure a lot of others wanted back for a long time so I am really looking forward to see it.

I love the dragon theme and i love that it’s going more into the fantasy direction as it was the last two expansions for me.

Dragon race and first ever ranged hero class is awesome :slight_smile:

I actually do have some more thoughts about the Dragon-Riding mechanic. It looks great but I’m super curious, will we be able to ride our dragons outside of the Dragon Isles? In the future will we have this mechanic going forward for future expansions? If you are putting all this effort into creating this new, fun movement system it’s going to feel pretty bad when that gets ripped away come the end of the expansion.

And I do have some questions regarding leveling. We’re going up to 70, does that mean Chromie Time will go up to 60? Will we see an experience reduction for the 50-60 levels? How do you see new players coming into the game going forward? Will they have Shadowlands revamped to a 10-60 experience such as BFA was 10-50, or are you going to have them partially finish BFA and Shadowlands before they ever get an opportunity to play the new stuff and find themselves left behind and lost with the story, leaving us sort of back at square one with the issues that you wanted to fix previously.

For 60-70, will we have the main guided campaign to go through the first time, is everyone going to start in the same zone, or will it be different zones and choices for players on where to start? Are you going to have a ‘Threads of Fate’ Style of leveling for alts, or is it the quest zones every time?

Edit: As per the Blizzplanet Interview, it seems like most of my questions in my last two paragraphs of questions have been answered! I am honestly not sure Battle For Azeroth is the correct expansion for new players to continue to level through. Not only is it a bit incomplete as you do not get the full experience, but you are also dealing with some rather lore-intensive territory. The story is a lot more confusing as it relies on past knowledge.

Not to mention BFA dungeons really are not welcoming to newcomers. I say this as a veteran who has seen new players enter dungeons and then they get confused by people doing speedrunning tactics or they get left behind, or worst yet they get some verbal abuse by someone who lacks any ounce of patience for a newer player as they just want to run through the dungeon with zero issues. They tend to be more mechanically intensive and mobs tend to be less spaced out in a number of them compared to older style dungeons.

Personally, I think you should pick Cataclysm for them to level though. It has thematic and lore relevance tying into the expansion, the classic dungeons are simpler and more forgiving with mobs and mechanics. The zones are largely self-contained stories so there are fewer hanging plot threads in a new player’s mind.

Also, excited Chromie Time will go up to 60!

Another thing to mention. This has nothing to do with the game design. However, it’d be nice if there was a place either on the news tab or in the forums that round up each of these interviews and provides links to them. The various text and video interviews you do provide a ton of insight that is overlooked until a third-party site cobbles them all together to get a clearer picture. It’d be good for the player base to have an easy place to access them without needing to rely on such fan sites.

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After taking a few more days to digest my thoughts on the announcement and the interviews & content that has followed, there are a few thoughts I’d like to convey.

We have threads for the new major systems coming in, so I’ll try to let my thoughts on those stay there.

  • The PvP gearing changes discussed in the Bajheera interview with Brian Holinka are awesome. I think as long as acquisition is handled well, the system of a set PvP ilvl and upgradeable PvE ilvl is fantastic and I’m excited to play around with that.
  • The new talent system provides a chance for frequent balance tuning of over/under used slots and I hope that is taken advantage of both for PvE and PvP.
  • The idea of World PvP on the boats is really fun. Obviously purely opt in with war mode, I think this is a fantastic organic opportunity and I hope it ends up well.
  • I think that flying being limited to Dragon Training in the beginning of the expansion is good. Depending on how the system works, I hope that eventually our normal flying mounts will be able to take to the skies in Dragonflight, but if that is saved for a .1 or .2 patch, as long as we can fly normally with Dragon riding, I’m ok with that.
  • I urge the developers to listen to the feedback regarding M+ affixes both on the Council Forums and in other places. Some of these affixes have been around for 3 full expansions now, and Fortified/Tyrannical aren’t enjoyable anymore. I saw it suggested elsewhere and I would like to see the seasonal affix become the new +2 affix, and redesign an affix rotation for +10s and higher.
  • There has also been talk about loot changes, and while I believe someone said no Master Loot, but they’re looking into changing personal loot, I would urge any developer working on this to look at my thoughts here: Looking ahead to 10.0 - #13 by Letholas-veknilash
  • I hope there is a deterministic way to target M+ loot. I think the creation catalyst is a great way to finish tier sets, and I hope to see a similar system return in 10.0 (maybe available a few weeks earlier? :wink: )

That’s all for now, thanks for your time!

I am personally looking forward to going to the Dragon Isles! I saw the trailer for it and was impressed by what I saw.

I’m really glad that the Talent Tree system is making a return to the game. I’ve missed it since it was removed several expansions ago. I was a large fan of it when I started playing this game in Vanilla, And was really hoping it would return one day!

The only thing that concerns me is that flying in Dragon Isles will only allow you to use the dragon mounts you obtain there. I personally wish we could use our existing mounts there as well rather than just have them as “ground” mounts.

I suggest as a solution to this, That perhaps add a special questline players could do that would allow them to use their current flying mounts for flying around the Dragon Isles as well.

The new profession system looks interesting as well. I haven’t gone reading in-depth into it yet as I’ve been busy with work this week. But it does look interesting. I really hope that Archaeology makes a return in this expansion. I liked going around and collecting the various Pristine Artifacts to display to the world in previous expansions!

Other than this, I’m looking forward to this new expansion, And many people in my guild are as well. Even a lot of my friends that stopped playing a while ago are planning to return!

For me personally, I think this has been one of the best announcements for an expansion so far! I understand for an initial announcement it is an incredibly difficult balance of trying to present something more than, “Hey guys, here is the new expansion, where you get new friends, new enemies, new mounts, new raids, and new dungeons, but we don’t have anything to show yet” while at the same time avoiding, “Hey guys, here is all the new content, but unfortunately it is so developed that any suggestions will have to be squeezed into the next expansion.” So, I feel like you and your team did a great job in showcasing new content and the supporting framework for new content while also giving yourself time to consider feedback, thoughts, and ideas.

One thing I am so glad your team did not do is chain yourself down with releasing a release date. I am sure there are internal dates for projects, mini-projects, and trigger points for releasing Alpha and Beta (and their internal stages). However, I strongly believe genre of games like WoW are very vulnerable to low quality, rushed output. It is so much more difficult to recover from a poor experience of a product than a delayed product. So, while I am sure you have your internal and interdepartmental deadlines, at least you haven’t committed yourself to an announced deadline. I would encourage those announcements to be the result of where you are in production rather than where you would like based on assumptions that should not be made.

So, all that being said, I am excited to see how much your team is able to pack into Dragonflight!

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With the announcement of Dragonflight being available this year and Alpha testing still not underway I’m very sceptical about the quality of the next expansion.

Personally would much rather that Dragonflight is delayed until end of Winter 2022/2023 so that a full round of testing can be done rather than what is potentially a rushed round of testing.

Dragonflight needs to be a slam dunk success.

Issues from Shadowlands testing are still present in the game today and that was with a fairly normal length Alpha/Beta test cycle. Dragonflight hopes to introduce additional systems and multiple re-vamps. I really don’t see how it can be done in a compressed time window.

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