Dragonflight Exclusive Interview: Ion Hazzikostas talks about the future of WoW – World of Warcraft

Following the announcement of Dragonflight, WoW’s 9th expansion, I had the opportunity to speak to World of Warcraft Director Ion Hazzikostas. We were about ten people in the conference and I suggest you find the most important information about the new features that are coming in the Blizzard MMORPG.

Prepatch patch 10.0

  • Events will unfold during the pre-patch by Dragonflight. For two weeks, players can discover important events that will serve as an introduction to patch 10.0. This update serves as an introduction to Dragonflight.
  • The prepatch will suggest those Uldaman rework, an old World of Warcraft dungeon. Players will enjoy a level 60 version of the dungeon.
  • Patch 10.0 will arrive a few weeks before the expansion as usual. The new class Evoke will be playable like the Demon Hunter back then, as well as new features in the patch, before diving into Dragonflight content and new areas.

Flight and new territories

  • that New continent by Dragonflight is located in northeast of Azeroth.
  • That continent size of Dragonflight is hard to pinpoint, but it’s one of the largest continents Blizzard has offered players. What is striking is that it is very lively and offers breathtaking panoramas. It is a vibrant continent that is not lacking in life, as players can experience as they travel through the different areas.
  • that Flight Drakeback will be available on the expansion continent. You call your companion whenever you want and you can customize it. It’s possible this will be extended to all WoW content, but Blizzard will focus on Dragonflight first.

lore

  • Inevitably there will be great evil in enlargement. However, just like Mists of Pandaria, we’ll have to wait to find out who it is. We’ll begin by learning more about the dragonflight’s threats, just as we did with the Sha and Mogu on MoP. Eventually we will find out who the Dragonflight threat is. It will be necessary to explore, understand and wait for the world before knowing who the main threat of the expansion is. You have to understand how the story unfolds in order not to imagine a character coming out of nowhere.
  • Kadgar and Irion will be major characters in the expansion, as well as other recurring characters. Tyrande included.
  • Fans of the Lore of Azeroth will be delighted as they learn more about Galakrond, this gigantic proto-dragon, as well as the various aspects of why they are coming back to the fore. There were other dragons back then and you will learn more about their history and origins.
  • Your dractyr ultimately have to choose between the Horde and the Alliance. However, the choice is nothing like that of the pandaren in Mists of Pandaria, where the expansion offered a component truly dedicated to the rivalry between the two factions. In Dragonflight you have the choice between two expeditions to the new areas. Relations between the two factions have eased. It’s up to the player to choose which one to go with, but it’s mostly a practical consideration, more than a philosophical choice for the Dractyrs.
  • Something Small changes will take place in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. This affects the presence of certain NPCs as well as the development of the Forsaken, but the novelties will mainly focus on the new continent of the expansion.
  • Dragonflight will feature items familiar to some players, such as centaurs, gnolls, and tuskarr, but most importantly, it invites players to discover new mysteries. If you want to learn more about Galakrond, the primordial dragons, the giants, or the choices certain dragons had to make, then this expansion is for you.

raids

  • That Race to the top of the world at Mythical Founders Sepulcher took a little longer than Blizzard would have considered the ideal length. However, if the raid had been validated in less than a week, the community would have found that a disappointment as well. The ideal duration may be around 10-11 days, but balancing that is a real challenge for the best guilds in the world. Despite this, the raid is a success and many players have continued to play it since its release.

jobs

  • The changes made to trade or at interface are intended in particular to allow players to concentrate on what is important, namely what is happening in the middle of the screen. Players will have new ways to customize their experience and preferences in Dragonflight.
  • No overhaul of archeology planned for now. It’s something the developers would love to do, but they’re focusing on the core elements of Dragonflight, mostly gathering/crafting professions. We might have some new archeology stuff eventually, but not right away.

playing style

  • No Azerite system or Artifact Power is to be expected on Dragonflight. A progression system will of course be there, but the developers listened to player feedback based on what they experienced in Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands.
  • Your legendary items Shadowlands will inevitably have to be replaced at some point. You don’t have to go back to Torment or any system from the previous expansion to evolve your gear. You will upgrade your gear with that of Dragonflight. Whether there will be legendary items for Dragonflight and features to improve them, we’ll have to wait to find out.
  • No kite form for druids.
  • In the current version, flying with your drake is restricted. It’s an item that you can level up by unlocking items (speed). In order to be able to fly from one place to another in Dragonflight, certain requirements must be met. Blizzard continues to believe that the best way to experience expansion content is from the ground up, not allowing players to fly from point to point on day one.
  • Look timed some World of Warcraft items persist (meaning you need to unlock something in week 3 for example to get 3 items – one per week). Blizzard likes the fact that a subset of players unlock certain things at once, like access to the jailer or a story chapter (like freeing Anduin). This allows players to discuss a topic together. However, other elements can be gradually unlocked throughout the game, such as Zereth Mortis’ cryptic research console. Blizzard can do some balancing on this and developers will continue to do so.

Technology and system requirements

  • that WoW engine will continue to develop step by step as in recent years. Players who have the latest technology will be able to get new content without losing track of what’s on laptops or computers with older technology.
  • That minimal configuration and required for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, to be revealed shortly before expansion release. However, the philosophy remains the same that has motivated the teams since the release of WoW, namely to enable as many players as possible to have fun with the MMO, regardless of their equipment.

Mythical+

  • Currently the Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1 should contain 4 dungeons from the new expansion and 4 old dungeons. In season 2 there will be a rotation with 4 other dragonflight dungeons and 4 other ancient dungeons. Shadowlands’ ones will no doubt be set aside because they’re too new.

Dragonflight release date

  • The extension is released as quickly as possible. No concrete date yet. The first step is to launch Alpha and Beta to get Dragonflight into players’ hands as soon as possible. Blizzard will then announce Dragonflight’s release date.

Conclusion

Thank you Blizzard for this interview opportunity, which came right after the announcement of the Dragonflight expansion.

I would like to personally thank Ion Hazzikostas for the interview and in particular for the question which he was not obliged to answer. I asked how the developers felt after two years disrupted by the Covid pandemic on the one hand and the harassment scandals on the other. Incidentally we love this dev team and I wanted to know how it feels today.

Ion took it upon himself to answer the question, stating that the team is particularly excited to introduce players to Dragonflight. Those two years have inevitably been difficult, but Ion is very proud of the people who make up the dev team. The developers are having a break talking about player feedback and can’t wait to see early testers get their hands on Dragonflight. You have been observing the rumors for a few days and will now look to the future. A lot will happen in the coming months and it will be more interesting than ever.

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