Blizzard launched pre-orders for World Of Warcraft: Dragonflight this week, and in the small print on the Battle.net store page is a note stating that the MMO’s next expansion “will be available on or before December 31, 2022.” That simultaneously confirms that Dragonflight’s release window is this year, and also threatens Blizzard’s staff with the potential for a pretty crappy New Year’s Eve.
Let’s assume that the language is just oddly pedantic and what it really means is: Dragonflight is aiming for release in 2022.
As mentioned when first revealed, Dragonflight lifts World Of Warcraft’s level cap to 70 and introduces four new zones of the Dragon Isles. It also adds the first ever race/class combo, the Dracthyr Evoker, and completely overhauls several ancient World Of Warcraf systems. That includes a new Talent system and a new profession system, including “player-driven work orders, new profession equipment”, and “an all-new specialization system.” You can read more about its additions on the World Of Warcraft blog – although as always, I recommend you wait until a game is out rather than pre-ordering it.
I’ve no idea how people feel about World Of Warcraft at this point, as the industry narrative has swung so far in Final Fantasy XIV’s favour as the ‘winner’ of the MMO genre. What enthusiasm I do see for World Of Warcraft seems to focus on WoW Classic, which will soon receive – or re-receive – a revised Wrath Of The Lich King expansion.
That said, Christos Reid thought that WoW’s last expansion, Shadowlands, made the game interesting again when he wrote about it for us in 2020. Not least because it had quickfire onboarding that got straight to the meaty story stuff without a lot of off-putting preamble. Hopefully Dragonflight does the same when it launches before the end of this year.
Blizzard Entertainment parent company Activision Blizzard remain the subject of several lawsuits concerning workplace misconduct, and are also in the process of being bought by Microsoft.