Blizzard Entertainment has revealed the next expansion pack for its long-running MMORPG, World of Warcraft. Titled Dragonflight, it’ll unsurprisingly focus on the dragons of Azeroth.
New to the expansion will be the Dracthyr Evokers, a race/class combo character. They serve as both a ranged damage class, with the option to also act as a healer. They can be aligned with either the Horde or Alliance. Also new to the expansion is Dragonriding, a new, more effective form of aerial traversal.
In a press release, Blizzard stated that Dragonflight will bring ‘the most extensive updates to World of Warcraft’s talent and profession systems since the game first launched.’ The new maximum level cap will be 70 when the expansion launches in future. No specific release date was announced.
In addition to Dragonflight, Blizzard also announced that Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion for World of Warcraft released in 2008, will be coming to World of Warcraft Classic. It’ll be available later in 2022.
The announcement comes amidst ongoing lawsuits against Activision Blizzard regarding workplace toxicity and gender discrimination, as well as Microsoft’s US $68.7 billion acquisition of the company.
The World of Warcraft development team has had some key staff departures in the last year due to the lawsuit, with this having knock-on impacts for development of several games. The World of Warcraft community recently held virtual sit-ins as a show of solidarity with the staff who had been adversely affected by the company.
In the livestream hosted to reveal Dragonflight, the company was astute enough to put women and LGBTQI+-identifying staff members in the mix of presenters to spotlight their much-needed contributions to development.
How the tumultuous events of the past year will effect the final quality and reception of Dragonflight will be interesting to see.