World of Warcraft: Dragonflight review: Sky dragons in flight (afternoon delight)

Dragonflight brings some ambitious new fun and mechanics to the World of Warcraft saga, but is it more than a flashy gimmick?

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World of Warcraft has been around for a hot minute, giving players years of content to explore through its various expansions and campaigns. It’s not done yet either, but rather heating up further with Dragonflight. This latest expansion brings players to the new Dragon Isles regions in which they can explore all new quests, mechanics, a new race, a new class, and even tame their very own dragon for travel. Is it a good expansion? In almost every way, yes, though this expansion’s vast offerings may prove overwhelming for newcomers.

Spread your wings

One of the more annoying aspects of many World of Warcraft expansions is borrowed power mechanics. These are gear, abilities, or gimmicks that can’t move between expansions, such as Artifact Weapons in Legion and Covenant bonuses from Shadowlands. For Dragonflight, this will be less of an issue going forward. The new expansion not only brings in dragons as enemies, but also companions and rideable mounts. You can even fly the dragons through the air, which brought about a major tuning of the whole game to allow for reasonable flying mechanics. What’s more, dragonriding actually just plain fun and perhaps one of the best gimmicks a World of Warcraft expansion has had in decades.

This expansion is far more than fancy flying, though. Dragonflight also brought a revamp of Professions and new Talent Trees for players to explore. The Professions rework is great, offering an in-depth new approach to each job for players to explore whether you’re mining, fishing, cooking or anything else. What’s more, the new Talent Trees per class offer a deeply rewarding variety of class skills and options. It will no doubt a min-max-minded player’s dream to figure out what works best in each class, but the choices also feel deeply intimate and personal in allowing you to build out your playstyle as you see fit.

The world is fun and beautiful to explore as well. The Dragon Isles feature a variety of scattered lands related to various aspects of dragons, and their variety is flooring. The color is fun and vibrant, the characters are engaging, and there’s plenty of fun to be had throughout the main and side quests in each area. The only drawback of all of this is that World of Warcraft is still operating on its subscription model and it feels weird for that to still exist in 2023 where other games have dropped such models. All of these new reworks, changes, and gimmicks can also feel daunting to new players who just want to jump in and play.

A dragon’s breath of fresh air

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, in which a troll defends against a dragon's fire breath.
Source: Activision Blizzard

Dragonflight feels like one of the best things to happen for World of Warcraft in sometime. Its reworks of base systems are fun and enjoyable, but its new content really stands out as impressive. Players will find exploring on their faithful companion, whether on the ground or in the sky, is quite the fun time, and the Dragon Isles themselves are well worth the journey. It may feel like jumping in the deep end here for newbies, but top to bottom, Dragonflight still feels like a great reason to play WoW.


This review is based on a PC copy provided by the publisher. World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is available now on PC.

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Pros
  • Dragonriding is fun & fantastic
  • New Professions rework is great
  • Great sense of exploration & discovery
  • Crafting Orders are a welcome addition
  • Spectacular varied & colorful environments
  • New Talent Tree feels more personal & important
Cons
  • Monthly subscription cost model seems dated
  • New updates may be intimidating to new players
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