Blizzard has brought excitement to the World of Warcraft (WoW) playerbase with the announcement of the newest expansion – Dragonflight. This is the latest expansion to WoW since Shadowlands in 2020 which disappointed and drove many players away from the game despite its pre-release hype. This time, Blizzard’s announcement sounded more promising for the future of the game. 

The Dragonflight expansion is expected to be released sometime in Q1 of 2023 and takes place in a new area called the Dragon Isles – this area includes four new zones. There are plans for major revamps to core features such as the UI, HUD, and Talent System. Players have grown heavily frustrated with the current game so are relieved to see that Blizzard is listening to the playerbase and working to improve the game.

Core Features of the Expansion

Surely the biggest addition to the game in the Dragonflight expansion is of course the dragons! Not only can players now take to the skies with dragonriding, but the first playable race/class combo in the game is being introduced – the Dracthyr. This is a humanoid drake native to the Dragon Isles that can shapeshift between its human and draconic forms. When players are using their dracthyr, they can play as the new Evoker class – an exclusive healing class that can also deal damage.

Flying will get a major revamp in Dragonflight as it has remained unchanged since it was first introduced into the game over a decade ago. Blizzard wants to make flying more physics-oriented and use a skill tree which allows players to upgrade their dragonriding skills and customise their drake. In the Dragonflight announcement, Blizzard showed that unique flight controls help gain momentum and speed when flying. Some skills and customisation options for the drake will be hidden throughout the game in secrets, achievements and PvE content. 

The Dragonflight expansion is taking place in a new land called The Dragon Isles. This will be made up of four new zones and a new starting zone for Dracthyr players – The Forbidden Reach. The new zones in the expansion are The Walking Shores, Ohn’ahran Plains, The Azure Span and Thaldraszus. The Walking Shores is the first zone players will enter in the expansion, and The Azure Span has been described by Blizzard as one of the biggest zones ever made in the game. The new city hub in the expansion is called Valdrakken and can be found in Thaldraszus.

Blizzard is introducing multiple revamps of existing features that players have wanted to see improved for some time. The revamp of the UI is what has got most of the playerbase excited for the new expansion. Blizzard aims to make the UI more modernised and has been inspired by some UI mods that players have used in the game. Players will be able to move UI elements around the screen and save HUD designs to their specific characters. 

The revamp of professions is to make them more in-depth. Professions have always been in WoW but have not been updated for a while. Updates made to professions are Crafting Orders, Quality ratings, Crafting specialisations and new gear. Crafting Orders allows players to request crafted items and materials they cannot make themselves. Crafting specialisations allows players to focus more stats and quests on specific roles and become more skilled in professions players choose. 

There has been a revamp of the Talent System which has been called for a lot by players. The new system looks to return to the tree-style system. This allows players to allocate points within their general class and spend points on their specialised professions. Players will be able to save and name their builds which they can switch between at any point, even during combat scenarios.

A host of new raids & dungeons will also be included in the Dragonflight expansion. Blizzard is planning to include up to four new dragonflight dungeons and four classic dungeons as part of the expansion release. More information about the dungeons and raids is expected to be announced soon. Those that have been announced are: 

  • Uldaman – revamped and making a return in Dragonflight 
  • Neltharus – known as the ancestral stronghold of the black dragonflight
  • Life Pools – a red dragonflight themed dungeon with little known information so far
  • Primal Incarnates raid

How Has the Playerbase Reacted to the Dragonflight Announcement?

World of Warcraft has gathered a large playerbase since its release back in 2004. Recently many loyal players have given up the game as Blizzard has not made changes to the gameplay that many players have been wanting for years. The past couple of expansions have disappointed players and not lived up to expectations. Over the past two years, WoW has averaged over 4 million players per month. This might seem like a lot but it is a large decrease in players compared to how many players the game used to average.

Blizzard has lost the trust of many of its playerbase so some are still sceptical about the Dragonflight expansion despite the hype around the announcement. Blizzard needs to regain the trust of its playerbase and this expansion being successful would go a long way in doing that. Many of the features announced in the expansion meet what players have been asking for. If the execution lives up to the hype unlike the last few WoW expansions, this could get many players back on the game.

How Would Player XP Be Used In This Situation?

Player XP is a tool that could be used by Blizzard to get more insight and accurate sentiment of the reaction from their community. There has been a clear split of opinion between WoW players about how successful they think the expansion will be and particularly around the new Dracthyr race. Player XP would be used in this situation to gather data from all of their internal and external data sources and perform sentiment analysis of millions of player comments and feedback. This includes sources such as social media, message boards, user reviews, Discord and more. 

This data would be hosted on our platform and show the constructive feedback from the players and the sentiment of their reactions to not just the game, but also specific topics inside the game which you can search for using the Topic Finder. This can be used to see what new features that were announced in the expansion have been reacted to the most positively & negatively.

We present this data in simple, easy to read graphs and charts that make it easy for a studio such as Blizzard to analyse the sentiment of their community and identify areas with negative sentiment that could be improved. We filter out unnecessary and unhelpful comments so that the client only sees the constructive comments that provide useful feedback on their game. Blizzard could compare their data sentiment with the industry average, competitor games, or even their previous expansions.

Thank you for reading our summary of the World of Warcraft: Dragonflight expansion. If you would like to learn more about how you can use Player XP, contact us via email or slack and visit the contact section of our website to set up a demo.