World of Warcraft: Dragonflight reviewed on PC by Leana Hafer.
Dragonflight reignites the sense of wonder and exploration that originally drew me to World of Warcraft, for about the first 30 or 40 hours. Beyond that, it definitely starts to feel a bit threadbare. Dragon riding is fun as hell, and I love the design of the new zones. But this expansion’s back-to-basics approach is very much a double-edged sword. I won’t burn out as fast because there aren’t a million things to do every day just to keep up like there were in Shadowlands. But at the same time, I don’t feel like there’s enough to do that’s genuinely interesting once I’ve cleared all the very well-written side quests. An excellent new crafting system is gated behind mind-numbing amounts of mindless grinding for resources, in addition to weekly caps, which feels like a double jeopardy situation. I like Dragonflight, but I fell out of love with it not long after hitting max level. I really hope Blizzard looks at this as a rebuilding year for WoW, and doesn’t hesitate to iterate on some of the inventive ideas in Shadowlands that were maybe only a step or two away from being great.
Most recent World of Warcraft expansions Have started with a tightly scripted Story heavy and somewhat bothersome On-real scenario in contrast Dragonflight seems to remember that this Is an MMORPG and I should be deciding What kind of Adventures I want to go on Right off the boat onto the expansive Beautiful Dragon Isles will be met with Only minimal hand-holding and four huge Exciting new zones to explore but at the Same time dragonflight feels like a step Backwards from the experimental though Not always successful Spirit of Shadowlands Thank you There's no denying that the new zones Are downright gorgeous the contrast Between volcanic wastelands and verdant River valleys in the waking Shores is a Breathtaking introduction to the Expansion and these locales feature some Of the best side quest writing I've ever Seen in wow one of my favorite quests Involved just sitting and listening to a Red dragon shape-shifted into a humble Dwarf talk about all of his regrets and The pain of being banished from his Homeland for ten thousand years Another one I loved involves traveling Slowly on foot with a centaur Clan to Their sacred meeting grounds complete With a pit stop for a hunting Competition these kinds of heartfelt
Memorable moments really are World of Warcraft at its absolute best They seem to be here to lovingly Bonk You over the head and remind you to take Your time simply exist in this beautiful World for a moment unfortunately these Handcrafted experiences will dry up After a week or two and you'll be Repeating the same route daily quests Over and over waiting for the next patch To drop So it's hard to give them too much Credit wow has generally done a very Good job in most expansions making the Journey to max level memorable and Exciting and if that's all it needed to Be dragonflight would hit it out of the Park But as a living MMO wow consistently Struggles to maintain that level of Engagement for me in the weeks and Months to come and dragonflight is Really not an exception Power Where this expansion really does try to Spread its wings figuratively and Literally is in the design of the new Drac Theory voker class and I have to Admit they're pretty freaking cool Having a racial soar ability and some Signature dragon-themed attacks like Deep breath let you do stuff like this World of Warcraft the game where you hit Wolves with a stick at the same time
Both the damage dealing Devastation and Healing focused preservation specs Suffer from having too many Niche use Combat abilities and can feel very Chaotic and disorienting to play Especially compared to Wow's Last Hero Class the delightfully straightforward Demon Hunter evokers are just a bit over Designed where the track fear can glide However the new dragon riding system Allows all of your characters to soar Zooming over the landscape at up to Three times the speed of Wow's Traditional flying mounts I feel like I Can't ever go back to that old system it Feels incredible when you're soaring Banking and Diving around with a Palpable sense of momentum and Physicality that wow normally Lacks Dragon riding challenge courses with Cosmetic rewards for the best times have Easily been some of my favorite parts of This expansion though I found it was a Bit too easy to get gold on all of them Leaving me with little reason to go back I'm not a huge fan of how these dragons Control on a mouse and keyboard either Though they seem to be begging for Controller support which has long been Rumored but never actually manifested The main story so far hasn't exactly Wowed me as much as the side quests if You didn't follow all of the out of game Lore leading up to dragonflight you
Might be a bit confused about why you're Even here in the first place There is some tension between the major Good guys but it brings kind of hollow Right now the new bad guys the Primal Dragons and their humanoid primalist Minions haven't made an impression as Especially complex or interesting Villains either wash away the stain of Order you ain't do dungeons and raid are Relatively straightforward and Unmemorable with the standout being the Nocu defensive in which you use your Dragon riding skills to soar around and Intervene in a battle that takes up a Huge instanced portion of the onaar in Plane Zone these instances seem to have Been designed to avoid the problem of Pickup groups insisting on wacky routes That skip most of the trash fights by Exploiting the level geometry which was A big issue in shadowlands But overall these dungeons are just kind Of On the bright side the new Mythic plus Season is bringing back four Legacy Dungeons from Mists of Pandaria keeping Things fresh by letting us revisit some Of the best content from Wow's 18-year History such a no-brainer and I really Hope they keep it up Crafting system Ably the best has ever been in Wow's History with varying qualities of
Materials and different results for Finished products based on your skill Level and progression choices When I make myself a pair of tier 5 Leather pants I know every stat on these Bad boys is as high as it can be because My leather working skill is so much Higher than the recipe calls for because I specialized into leather pants Specifically and because I chose only The finest bare asses in their Manufacture Problem is it's still very grindy Dragonflight has tried to respect our Time more by giving us fewer daily Chores to do with even standard daily Quests resetting once or twice a week Instead of every 24 hours But for Crafters you're still expected To farm the same Overworld monsters for Dozens of hours just to make one piece Of Epic gear on top of the fact that the New spark of Ingenuity item only lets You make one per week anyway This would be the perfect place to plug In something like shadowlands Mall zone Or randomized solo dungeons in the Spirit of torgast Why do I need to put on a podcast and Zone out to get all these materials when I could be doing something fun instead Dragonflight reignites the sense of Wonder and exploration that originally Drew me to World of Warcraft for about
The first 30 or 40 hours beyond that it Definitely starts to feel a bit Threadbare Dragon riding is fun as hell And I love the design of the new zones But this expansions Back to Basics Approach is very much a double-edged Sword I won't burn out as fast probably Because there aren't a million things to Do every day just to feel like I'm Keeping up with the Curve like in Shadowlands but at the same time I don't Feel like there's enough to do that's Genuinely interesting once I've cleared All the very well written side quests An excellent new crafting system is Gated behind mind-numbing amounts of Mindless grinding for resources in Addition to weekly caps which feels like A double jeopardy situation I like Dragonflight but I fell out of love with It not long after hitting max level I really hope blizzard looks at this as A rebuilding year for a while and Doesn't hesitate in the future to Iterate on some of the inventive ideas In shadowlands that were maybe only a Step or two away of being actually great For my more in-depth thoughts on Dragonflight and its raid check out my Full review on ign.com or watch this Breakdown on the specifics of dragon Riding and for everything else stick With IGN
The new age of dragons shall begin