- Jul 11, 2001
How are you all liking Dragonflight expansion so far?
Dragonflight has a lot of pros and cons. Shadowlands felt very similar to BFA overall, not a ton of changes. In contrast, they changed a LOT of stuff in Dragonflight.
New talent system. It's more complicated and has a lot in common with the classic talent system, but I like how it allows for more customization. You still have sites that recommend cookie-cutter builds and it seems like the majority of people just go with one of those cookie-cutter builds, so things have not changed in that respect. But, for those who have a deep understanding of how their class & spec works, you can create a spec that is very synergistic with your actual play-style. A talent/ability is only as good as you are able to make use of it. A "bad" talent that you make excellent use of can be better than a "good" talent that you almost never use, so creating a spec that you can make great use of feels very rewarding. There is now a lot more freedom to do exactly that.
Lots of unnecessary restrictions removed. As a Resto Druid, I now have access to abilities that formerly required me to shift into moonkin form or sacrifice healing talents in order to use. Things like instant-cast Starsurge, being able to cast Starfire, having access to Nature's Vigil without compromising healing talents, etc. It's great for people like me who remain in a healing spec even while questing, etc. Although it does slightly raise the expectation of healers contributing more DPS in dungeons which I'm not too thrilled about.
World Quests. They put some good effort into making fun world quests, and they give better gear than they did in previous expansions. For people who mainly quest rather than raid or do mythic 5-man dungeons, things have never been better. Even for people who do raid, etc, it makes the quests seem less trivial.
Mythic+ dungeon rotation. Each Mythic+ season, there are a mix of current Dragonflight dungeons as well as dungeons from older expansions. Like right now, you have Halls of Valor and Court of Stars from Legion, as well as Shadowmoon Burial Grounds and Temple of the Jade Serpent as part of the current rotation. I think it's fun to revisit these older dungeons on a competitive level as opposed to a trivial level (timewalking) and it helps keep things fresh not doing the same 5-man dungeons for the entire expansion.
Tier sets. They brought back tier sets and made it clear that it will continue to be a part of the expansion going forward. There are multiple levels of tier sets, some which can be acquired from doing world content.
Difficulty of most content has increased, dramatically in some cases. Raids are much more difficult to clear especially if you are in a casual guild made up of members who don't end up over-gearing the content via gear acquired via other means. So, if you have a raid group full of people who are all ilvl 395-405+ via gear from Mythic+, etc, then clearing Normal raid is easy. But if you have a group of people who are getting their gear from the raid itself as well as world quests, etc, it can be painfully difficult. Mythic+ gets painfully difficult very quickly as you move to higher keys. Learning mechanics is important and has always been a part of the game, but there has always been some wiggle-room for a certain amount of failure. In Dragonflight there is simply too much content where you have to do everything absolutely perfectly or you die instantly. There are times when you are trying to juggle 4+ different mechanics at the same time and if you fail at any of them, even once, then you wipe. Even good players still make mistakes from time to time, and that's always been part of the game. As long as you aren't making tons of mistakes, you should be able to recover. But now things like a high-level Mythic+ key are so stressful I feel like I need to take a break from the game afterward each time just to relax.
Mythic+ Timers. Expanding on the above, most of the timers for Mythic+ are way too short. This forces groups to over-pull trash, never allow the healer to drink for mana, never allow people to eat a food buff, etc. It's all just GO GO GO GO. It's like Blizzard is so focused on pushing the E-Sports angle that they are willing to sacrifice any ability to actually enjoy the content along the way unless you only play the game at very low difficulty levels that reward irrelevant gear. God forbid that you ask the group to take a short break to use the bathroom, or to answer the door when someone knocks, or want to refill your drink, or because your baby started crying, etc. None of those things are compatible with the game anymore if you play Mythic+.
Dragonriding. This is their attempt to revamp how flying works in WoW. It has it's pros and cons, but far more cons IMO. With the old flying system you just pointed yourself in a certain direction and could basically AFK as you flew there. Maybe some people found that too simple, but I never had a problem with that. The new system requires constant effort on your part just to keep yourself in the air. You have a limited amount of "Vigor" which gets used in order to keep yourself in the air. It's very convoluted and non-intuitive. You regain vigor by remaining on the ground or flying downward at a steep angle. There are a lot of weird quirks with the way this works. You gain vigor much faster flying downward than you do by simply being on the ground. You don't gain any vigor by simply gliding downward unless it's at a steep angle, even if your wings aren't flapping. It would make much more sense if you simply regained vigor any time your dragon wasn't forced to flap it's wings, but that's not how it works. Some things can be very cringe-worthy. You can easily use all of your vigor by simply trying to fly to the top of a tall tower. There is also no way to simply hover. This makes it very painful when you are trying to locate a world boss, etc, which are often located in caves or other hard to spot locations. You have to try to fly in circles while trying to search the map below you and it's just stupid. About the ONLY good thing is that after you've learned how to game the system in it's required non-intuitive way, you can fly faster than traditional flying. It's also rather insulting as a Druid, where I have had the ability to transform into a bird ever since Burning Crusade (the first expansion) yet I guess my character forgot how to do that, and I have to ride this dumb dragon instead? If my dragon can fly, then why can't I fly in bird form? And also, blizzard is still selling flying mounts that you can't actually use for flying anymore since they are tied to the older style of flying. It's just a mess with two different kinds of flying, and seemingly arbitrary restrictions on where you can use each type of flying.
Professions. They made professions WAY more complicated in Dragonflight. It's no longer something you can just do on the side, you really have to dedicate yourself to the profession in order to max it out. Many recipes are gated behind vendors that require extremely high renown levels in order to purchase, etc. You have to use these weird talent-trees that are way over-complicated, with no way to change your profession "talents" if you decide to go in a different direction. There are multiple quality tiers now, so for every enchant, gem, etc, there is a bronze, silver, and gold version with different amount of stats. I don't know of a single person who likes the new system other than maybe gold sellers.
In-game money/gold. They removed all the easy ways of making money, such as the mission table, while also making everything more expensive. The increased expense is partly a result of the increased complexity of professions as less people are selling consumables, etc. I can't remember the last time (pre-dragonflight) where I had people asking to borrow money to buy potions or repair, but it happens all the time now. The cynic inside me can't ignore the potential connection to them selling tokens for gold. In BFA and Shadowlands many people were making so much gold in-game that they were basically playing the game for free by buying tokens with gold and using the tokens for their subscriptions. Now almost no-one is doing that, and people are instead buying tokens with real money just to buy potions, etc.
So, overall, I'm disappointed at how chaotic and non-intuitive some things are as well as the increased difficulty, but I'm still having fun with my guild and as long as that continues, I will keep playing. Then again, I'm more dedicated to the game than most people are. We'll see how it goes. There is a threshold... I've hit it before. Like when your raid-leader cancels raid that night for whatever reason and you realize that you are actually happy/relieved instead of disappointed. When I get to that point, I usually take a break from the game. I have not got to that point since Mid-Legion, but I'm closer now than I have been any time in the last ~5 years. I hope that Blizzard listens to feedback and fixes some of the things that they have taken in the wrong direction. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.