Tag Archives: Dragonflight

World of Warcraft Dragonflight up for Pre-Order and Promising a Q4 2022 Release

Blizzard would like you to please give them some money now for their upcoming “all the dragon things we could come up with” World of Warcraft expansion Dragonflight.

Dragons are a thing

Announced back in April (on 4/20 no less) you can roll up the dragon race to play the dragon class on the dragon island where you will fly around on a dragon and do all the dragon things with your dragon pals while seeing all the dragons and dragons and dragons dragons dragons.

I swear, if Hemet Nesingwary isn’t out there asking you to collect dragon poop it will be a travesty, because Blizzard is going so deep on dragons that I’m starting to wonder if they’ll have a dragon colonoscopy quest for us.  We’re going all in, so why not go ALL the way in?

After the descent from “good” to “bleh” that was the Legion, Battle for Azeroth, Shadowlands expansion progression, I still need to be sold on this being more than a few gimmicks to get me to buy a box.

A more expensive box.

When I was looking at expansions and pricing and pre-orders back in late 2019, Blizzard was charging $40 for the base Shadowlands box, $60 for the Heroic option, and $80 for the Epic expansion ride.

But inflation is hitting in places beyond the gas pump, and Blizzard wants ten bucks more for each level now.

Dragonflight pre-order pricing

And then there is the physical collector’s edition box, which will set you back $130.

Once again, you don’t get a character boost with the base box, something we got the last time an expansion was $50.  You need to pony up another $20 for the boost… though given the price of one ala carte is $60, that might be a deal if you feel you need one.

There are also some in-game pre-order bonuses, but you will need to have the Shadowlands expansion it seems.  It is there in the fine print.  A chance to sell even more boxes, though at least they’re selling some of those at half price right now. (Though if you shell out the $90 for the Dragonflight Epic edition you get a $20 copy of Shadowlands if you didn’t own it already.  So I guess if you didn’t own Shadowlands and wanted a character boost it would be cheaper to buy the $90 virtual box.  But I don’t need either.)

I guess if you’re really into dragons, you’re probably all in.  But some of the things they’re bragging about are not all that impressive in the context of the game’s history.

Level 70? What, again you mean?

Meanwhile, the most interesting part of the announcement is in the fine print, as it

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight will be available on or before December 31, 2022.

I had written off a 2022 expansion launch for Dragonflight previously, just based on Blizzard history.  Announce an expansion and ship it in the SAME CALENDAR YEAR?  Unpossible!

But there it is, on the page, as immutable as any web content… which means they’ll change it the second they need to and maybe comp you a mount for your faith in pre-ordering if they do.  I wouldn’t bet money against that happening.

I guess the plan for 2022 is Diablo Immoral for Q2, Wrath of the Lich King Classic for Q3, and Dragonflight for Q4, with whatever Overwatch 2 really is somewhere in the middle, and however many Hearthstone expansions they can fit into a calendar year.  Oh, and Warcraft Arclight Rumble.  How could I forget that?

They have to keep up the product roll outs to make whatever metrics they promised Microsoft when they signed the deal to be acquired.  Remember that from back in January? It slips my mind some days, but all of this may soon be Microsoft’s problem.

I think I might wait until WoW is on the XBox Game Pass PC to come back to retail.  We shall see.

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The WoW Dragonflight Expansion has been Announced

Yesterday was the big announcement, the next World of Warcraft expansion, which will be Dragonflight, and I am not sure how I feel… except that I regret saying at one point in the distant past that dragons and dragon fights were special because, as a genre, fantasy MMORPGs have since worked pretty hard to make sure they really are not.

WoW Dragonflight

I am reluctant be be either effusive or dismissive, as both of those come with their own set of baggage and assumptions.

To be upbeat you have to assume that that Blizzard has latched on to the right plan this time, which is a bit tough in the face of Shadowlands.  Also, I have been really excited about past expansions that have been a bit of a bust.  I was amped up for both Cataclysm and Warlords of Draenor and both had their issues.

On the flip side, it is really easy to shit all over Dragonflight and Blizzard because they have been screwing up so reliably for the last couple of years so that, as I noted previously, it is tough for them to do anything that can’t be cast half measures or desperation or whatever.  And the one expansion I was quite dismissive of in the past, Mists of Pandaria, ended up being one of my favorites.

Basically, there is a lot of emotion tied up in anybody’s reaction, so I am trying to tread carefully because… well… I am not sure how much I care at the moment.  Clearly I am trending on the “feeling burned by Blizz” side of the equation, but I am mostly just not feeling any strong emotion either way on the expansion.  Take that as the guide to my reaction.

So what are they offering up with Dragonflight?

Some of it is the usual, new locations, new dungeons, new raids, and a rise in the level cap to 70 all sound familiar to anybody rolling into a new MMORPG expansion.  I guess the level cap answers one question I had previously… no, we will not be getting a level squish with every expansion.

Is that a good thing though?  I am not sure.  After I got a bunch of characters to level cap in Battle for Azeroth… which I’m pretty sure people thought sucked at times… I got exactly one character to level cap in Shadowlands before I got bored and wandered off.  So now I have one character ready to go for Dragonflight.  But maybe one will be enough again.

A new, available to both factions race, the Dracthyr, with a new class, Evoker, are something special.   Blizz literally poured new races on us with the allied race concept over the last couple of expansions, but we haven’t had anything really new since the demon hunter.

These guys, and the dragons, made me think of The Serpent’s Spine expansion for EverQuest back in 2006.  It was dragon themed with a dragon humanoid race.  But The Serpent’s Spine was also a pretty bold attempt to change how one might play EverQuest.  (It was 2006 and being able to quest to level cap in old Norrath was not a thing.) I am not sure Dragonflight is quite that sweeping in overview.

Dragon riding, a new form of flying mount travel, with some interesting dynamics, is also worth a peek.  Blizz says you’ll get a dragon to ride right away, so I guess they have decided which direction to roll this time in the flying mount plan… or have the?.  Do you get flying with your old mounts AND a dragon, or will there still be some achievement unlock for old mounts?  Or will dragons be so much better that you won’t care? (Update: Dragon flying only, old mounts be walking for now.)

Blizz is also pushing a redo of talents and crafting, which would be kind of neat if they hadn’t played that card so many times before.  Doesn’t EVERY expansion come with some sort of redo on talents?  I’ll wait for the jury verdict on those.

And then there is the new UI, which could be interesting.  But, once again, messing with the UI can cut both ways.  It could be a huge improvement… or it could just break every UI addon, and how many don’t have any active support now… for benefits that are not worth the cost.

So, yes, I am a bit cynical.  I’m certainly not running to opt in for the beta.  I’ve been too hyped up in the past to feel more than a bit tired with some of this.  Sometimes not buying into the immediate hype is a good thing though.  I’ll watch and see how things develop.  I have other games to play and there is no launch date in sight.  Plenty of time to get on board the hype train later.