The team behind World of Warcraft: Dragonflight has pledged to release six new content patches coming in 2023, which will see new quests, zones, raids, as well as the introduction of trading posts.
Dragonflight brought with it a range of new features, from new zones and quests to the noble art of dragonriding. However, developer Blizzard Entertainment knows it has a way to go to elevate the expansion to the prestige level of 2016’s Legion. In an official announcement, Blizzard says it intends to “nurture” Azeroth’s “living world” in 2023 by dropping six new content patches as part of a structured system of updates.
As well as “new zones, raids, and seasonal rewards,” we can expect the introduction of new Trading Posts where players can earn cosmetic rewards by completing monthly quests. There is also a new quest campaign in the works, set in the Forbidden Reach, which will give us an origin story for Dragonflight’s new dragon-humanoid hybrid race, the Dracthyr.
“We know that the merit of an expansion hinges on the sustained quality of its entire arc,” Blizzard Entertainment Executive Producer Holly Longdale wrote in the announcement. “We've been mindful of the duty we owe our players to nurture this living world and, frankly, the need to do better than we have at times in the recent past.”
Christmas all year
World of Warcraft has been running since 2004, so it’s natural that it has needed to evolve over the last 18 years. Dragonflight, the game’s latest expansion, launched in November 2022, bringing with it the opportunity to finally visit the Dragon Isles, go dragonriding, play as the new Dracthyr race, and enjoy a brand new class: the Evoker.
Of the six patches Dragonflight will receive in 2023, only two are slated to be major updates. These will include the raids and new zones mentioned earlier in Blizzard’s announcement, but that doesn’t mean the other four updates will be all fluff, no filler.
In between these major content drops, Londgale shares plans for “new narrative chapters and cinematics that can serve as epilogues or as prologues to the next major step in the adventure.” This means we can expect a greater emphasis on world-building going forward.
The first update, 10.0.5, is scheduled to go live in early 2023, bringing with it Trading Posts. As well as choosing from a selection of cosmetic rewards, players will be able to apply Poor or Low-quality items as transmog appearances – that means you can replace your shiny armor with something more low-key and understated if you’re looking for a more down-to-earth look.
Soon after this patch launches, its successor, 10.0.7, will go live in the Public Test Realm (PTR) and will feature a new quest set in the Forbidden Reach which is set to provide some historical texture and backstory to the Dracthyr race. New questlines for Human and Orc Heritage Armor will also be added to the PTR in the upcoming beta.
The latter half of 2023 will see two more content drops. “We don't want there to be any specific formula for the size or shape of these updates,” says Longdale, “But the goal is simply more Warcraft: more story, more content, more rewards, more events, more tech improvements, with less downtime between them.”
Though Longdale’s announcement does not mention the class system outright, she shares the team’s desire to “respond to feedback and change or add elements based on what we're hearing is most needed by our players.” Hopefully, this means we may see Dracthyr players being able to access more than just the Evoker class in the future. After all, it doesn’t do much justice to playing as a dragon right now.
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Jasmine is a freelance writer and podcaster based in the UK. Whether it's a Sims 4 lore deep-dive or a guide to securing kills in Dead By Daylight, her work is featured on TheGamer as well as the door of her mother's fridge. When she's not aggressively championing the Oxford comma on Twitter, you can find her scoping out the local music scene or buying gaudy Halloween decorations all year round.