World of Warcraft: Dragonflight adds comfort back to a war-torn world

World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Dragonflight, aims to ease up on the throttle and offer an experience that’s less cataclysmic and more comfortable. It’s been 18 years since the first time. World of WarcraftThe game is now in some wild places. DragonflightIt is a correction in the direction of the comfortable.

The “third place” is a sociological phrase for the spot we go most when we’re not at work or home. Whether it’s a relaxation station or a social hub, a third place should be Chill. Many players have been playing over the years. World of WarcraftIt was also their third location. Players have been drawn into endless stories and exciting adventures in recent expansions. We’ve traveled to the undersea kingdoms of a tyrant Naga queen, gone to fix the realms of death, and even checked out a mind-warpingly alien cosmic cradle of creation. Dragonflight will add on new adventures, but we’ll also have time to enjoy simpler pleasures — making it an ideal third place.

“It was like a homecoming to create the land itself,” says Tina Wang, associate art director at Blizzard, in a call with Polygon. “There’s a sense of majesty; we wanted to create a sense of undiscovered wilderness.” Players will be using their new dragon-riding to see all of the Dragon Isles from above, but they’ll be spending some time smelling the metaphorical roses. “We created these pockets, thinking of them as the seats of power for the various Dragonflights, and where we put them depended on their decisions and what made sense with what cultures they were associated with.”

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight - Alextrasza, the Aspect of the Red Dragonflight, stands in a stone room in her dragon form. She is a large red dragon bedecked in heavy gold accessories over her horns.

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Despite the flaws in past expansions the content that launched new quests and zones has been very well received. It seems like DragonflightThis tradition will be continued. Factions from all walks of the Dragon Isles will vie for control over these territories. Players will be able to meet centaur tribes while levelling up. It’s a huge step down in stakes after ShadowlandsAnd it is most welcome.

You will continue to find the same types of quests like killing enemies and collecting hides. Maximal-level activities in the endgame are where there is most of the deescalation. They ask players to make new friendships and hang out with their faction friends. Instead of holding off the end of the world, we’ll be fishing with walrus friends or hunting with new allies.

“It was a huge team effort to create these spaces in zones that are enormous by World of Warcraft standards,” says Jake Miller, senior game director on World of Warcraft “As the player makes their way through the zones, they unlock new abilities for their drakes, as well as new drakes in each zone. So if the protodrake doesn’t quite fit your jam, the velocity drake might — that’s my favorite, he’s got a big toothy grin.”

They will be spending a lot of time riding a dragon, which can be customized and upgraded with the help of the many glyphs scattered around the Isles. There are tons of open spaces, towers, peaks and ancient architecture in the Isles.

World of Warcraft - a player’s dragon companion, in the process of being customzied. This dragon is a toothy horned beast with heavy claws and wings folded at its side.

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

“Learning from the recent, previous expansions and seeing what we could do, we knew the first-blush impression [on dragon-riding] would be super important,” says Miller. “So we sought to create something that was really fun, engaging, and felt fast early. Locomotion and exploration gives players a non-time-locked, completely player-driven way to progress.”

Valdrakken, social capital and hub for the city of DragonflightIt is, however, very different from its predecessors. Azeroth: The BattleThere were two capital cities for each faction. Shadowlands’ Oribos was more of an interdimensional airport than a proper home. It is expected that players will spend much of their time in Valdrakken trading and learning about other professions. The Dragonflights made this easy for us mortals.

All of this seems like it’ll make DragonflightIt is a more comfortable place to be than in previous expansions. Blizzard will need to build this foundation over the expansion’s subsequent patches and ensure that this status quo reset doesn’t immediately rocket up to galaxy-ending threats. But ironically, players seem excited for a game that’s less onAll the time.

Fans have always considered Azeroth a third spot throughout history. A recent fan comic anthology, InterludeThis video shows the stories of Warcraft champions in repose during post-apocalypse.Shadowlands time skip. DragonflightIt seems more peaceful and gentler than it used to be, but there are still new conflicts to resolve, and new lands to discover.

DragonflightWindows PC version will launch on Nov. 28,

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