Blizzard has detailed World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Dragonflight, which will take adventurers on a journey to the long-lost Dragon Islands, and introduce a new playable hybrid of race class and flyable dragons along the way. Additionally, the developer has confirmed that 2008’s Wrath of the Lich King expansion will be coming to World of Warcraft Classic later this year.
First up is Dragonflight, which provides access to the dragons’ long-hidden ancestral home, the Dragon Isles, newly awakened after a time of calamity for Azeroth. This new region – described as lush and pristine, brimming with elemental energy – will incorporate everything from icy wastes and magma zones to lush forests and vibrant coastlines across its four standard zones (bringing new dungeons and raids) and a new starting area.
The Dragon Isles starting area is home to the Dracthyr Evokers, a new playable race class hybrid that will begin its WoW journey at level 58 and can align with Horde or Alliance. Evokers will have two customizable forms – their dragon avatars used in battle, as well as humanoid forms deployed when interacting with the inhabitants of Azeroth – and, depending on the class specializations players choose, can focus on damage or healing.
Visitors to the Dragon Islands can also acquire a customizable dragon as a companion, introducing a new skill-based flight system. The latter is designed to be “much more exciting” than previous mounts, and can be upgraded to increase flight speed and distance.
Along with new core Dragonflight features, Blizzard is also promising improvements for some of the existing World of Warcraft mechanics, including overhauls to the game’s talent system, improved professions (with new tools, including players, new profession gear, and an all-new specialization system), plus an updated UI.
There is no launch window for Dragonflight yet, but Blizzard says it will hold an opt-in alpha before release. In the meantime, you can get a deeper look at the expansion’s additions through various in-depth development videos on the WoW YouTube channel.
Alongside the official unveiling of Dragonflight, Blizzard also confirmed that World of Warcraft Classic will see a re-release of the WoW 2008 expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, later this year. Along with its original content, which included the likes of new Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord zones, Blizzard is introducing an upgraded version of the Barber Shop, achievements, a level 70 boost for those who haven’t played the Burning Crusade Classic, and personal arena ratings for PvP players. One thing that won’t resurface, however, is the Dungeon Finder feature originally seen in patch 3.3.5, with Blizzard citing the community’s emphasis on “the importance of social connections” as the reason for its absence.
Dragonflight and WoW Classic’s Lich King expansion are, of course, the latest in a string of revelations from Activision in recent months – including its Overwatch 2 beta imminenta new Mobile Warcraft experienceand a new one Survival game developed by Blizzard – as the company tries to put the past nine months of shocking allegations in its corporate culture behind it.
Next to a California State Trial filing last July, which described Activision Blizzard as “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women,” almost immediately sending the publisher into crisis, CEO Bobby Kotick became the subject of a damning report claiming he had known about sexual misconduct at the company “for years”. Most recently, the parents of a former Activision Blizzard employee who took his own life during a company retirement in 2017 launched a lawsuit suing the publisher for wrongful death, alleging the suicide was the result of sexual harassment by co-workers.
Last month, a U.S. district court judge said he was ‘ready to approve’ Activision Blizzard’s $18 million settlement of a separate sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equality Commission. job opportunities last year, despite objections other parties, but events took a dramatic turn earlier this month when the Governor of California was accused of interference to support Activision Blizzard in the state discrimination and harassment lawsuit that sparked the publisher’s woes.
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