The alpha for the latest expansion of World of Warcraft, Dragonflight has been generally enthusiastically received by the fanbase. Even the alpha in itself was a new direction for Blizzard, as they elected to have alphas for individual sections of the expansion’s new continent, allowing for greater data collection and to streamline the revision process, and so far, it seems to already be reaping rewards.
Some of the biggest buzz around the new expansion alpha is, of course, the Dracthyr Evokers, the race that is also a class. Oh, and did I forget to mention? They can fly as a racial ability, with an entirely new flight system that’s being tested in the alpha for both the Dracthyr and the new drake mounts. And they also have an incredibly high amount of customization. Double that actually, as they also have a humanoid form in addition to their lizard form. Obviously, these lizard have got a lot going on under the hood. So much under the hood in fact, that players using a Dracthyr Evoker will need to get used to some aesthetic changes, as the lizardy form of the Dracthyr doesn’t support most types of armor models, and doesn’t allow for any display of weaponry. As of the current alpha build, the Dracthyr evoker has two trees they can invest in, one with a focus on ranged damage, and one that’s more focused on healing. Either tree you invest in will allow you to test out the new spell empowerment system, where you can trade in higher cast times in exchange for an enhanced cast when complete, so both branch investments can lead to a flexible, mobile, and powerful caster.
But while the Dracthyr are our introduction to this new continent, they’re far from the only thing to find in the Dragon Isles. Blizzard has currently moved to their second alpha test, meaning the player base has now seen glimpses of two of the five areas that make up this newest expansion’s continent. We have seen Thaldraszus, a city of such verticality that it could only be the Dragonflight's seat of power, as who else but a group of winged individuals could even build it? The Ohn’ahran Plains are the second and so far final area that players have access to within the Dragonflight Alpha. The plains are the home of the Green Dragonflight, as well as the first area where players have the opportunity to come across Centaurs, a welcome new addition to Azeroth’s NPC races.
Even without the remaining 3 alpha areas, there is so much to experience in World of Warcraft’s Dragonflight. Though almost everything in these alphas comes with the asterisk that they could change, after all, there are still 3 rounds of alphas before we even get to the beta versions of the expansion, but so far, every change that has been made in the alpha, or between the two alpha phases has been met with appreciation from the fan base, so this upcoming expansion might be just what World of Warcraft needs to remind the MMO world who they are. But until then, we’ll all just have to preoccupy ourselves with the new Dragonflight system.