Blizzard have announced the next World of Warcraft expansion, Dragonflight. No release date has been given yet but the Beta sign ups are live on the official site. The new expansion will take place on the Dragon Isles which will contain five new zones: The Waking Shores, Ohn’ahran Plains, The Azure Span,  Thaldraszus, Forbidden Reach. Also announced is a new Class and Race combination the Dracthyr Evoker. The Dracthyr will have two forms human and dragon which they will be able to switch between, similar to the Worgan race. While to begin with, the race will be locked to the new Evoker class, there are indications that more classes may be made available at a later date. Also confirmed are new customisable mounts and new riding skills.

The last expansion, Shadowlands, wasn’t particularly popular, but this new expansion does sound more promising. There seems to be no mention of any more borrowed power systems and, in fact, announcements have been made of sweeping reforms to HUD and talent systems, including the reintroduction of talent trees, which players have been long requesting. Crafting and professions are also being revamped.

Blizzard have promised this new expansion will be a return to World of Warcraft’s roots and the announcements, so far, seem to back that intention. However, it remains to be seen how committed Blizzard is to this new vision. Over the last few expansions, the development team have been pretty determined to cling on to the increasingly unpopular borrowed power systems which have been in use since Legion. They continued to cling to them, even following a slew of bad feedback during the Shadowlands Beta test which led to a massive player count drop throughout the current expansion.

Announced New Expansion Features:

New Continent – The Dragon Isles

New Race and Class – Dracthyr Evokers

New Customisable Mounts

New Flight Mechanics – Learnable Special Moves

Level Cap Raise – To 70

Revamped HUD Interface

New Talent System

Revamped Profession and Crafting System

New Raid & Dungeons

Ultimately, despite the promising announcements, it’s too early to say if the next expansion will prove to be the return to form many players are hoping for. The borrowed power system was not the only reason Shadowlands proved unpopular, but also its repetitive and grindy levelling experience, fragmented continent, and its poor storyline and NPC characterisation. However, I am hopeful that this time Blizzard might just be taking the right path. For more details on the new expansion you can click here to go to the Dragonflight’s official website which also has a link to the beta sign ups. I’ll keep you posted on any further announcements.