A promotional image of the Ancient Bough in WoW Dragonflight
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Is WoW Dragonflight worth your money? A final verdict

Is it good or is it good?

For older and younger gamers alike, World of Warcraft has been both the pioneer and the eventual epitome of the MMORPG genre, laying the foundations for other giants like Final Fantasy and Guild Wars. Starting with the Warcraft franchise in the ’90s, the golden era of WoW continued up to Cataclysm, which revamped the old world and changed the game as we knew it into a more modern iteration of itself, resonating with quality-of-life changes and convenience.

Recommended Videos

The peak of WoW design was Wrath of the Lich King with the game boasting over 12 million subscribers over the course of the expansion. Despite Blizzard Entertainment’s best efforts, the company could not nail down a similar feel for the game and hasn’t hit the sweet spot when it comes to class design since. What’s more, the most recent expansions like Warlords of Draenor, Battle for Azeroth, and Shadowlands were such low points that many in the community felt like the game will never see such glory days again. 

Last year, on Nov. 28, Blizzard launched Dragonflight. Promising the return to Azeroth with the fabled Dragon Isles that have been in the game’s files since the early days, revamped profession and talent systems, interactive iteration of flying known as Dragonriding, and a handful of quality-of-life features that players have been begging for years, Dragonflight has seemed like the change WoW so desperately needed. 

Alongside all these promising features, Blizzard added roughly 300 developers to work on the game on a regular basis. Before the release of Dragonflight, the devs revealed the expansion is intended to mark the beginning of the third era of WoW, focused on listening to player feedback and rapidly implementing those changes to the game for a healthier and more community-focused game. 

If you’re still unsure about Blizzard’s intentions, not convinced Dragonflight is worth both your time and effort, and you’re looking for a sign to buy the expansion, here’s what we learned from playing the expansion and our final verdict if the expansion is worth buying. 

Dragonflight’s attractions: Dragonriding, talents, professions, and the freedom not to play the game

Player Dragonriding on Highland Drake in WoW Dragonflight
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The first and biggest selling point has been Dragonriding. At first glance, Dragonriding is just flying—but in reality, it’s “flying with an ability to soar the skies at before unimaginable speeds and use the laws of physics to your advantage.”

Although Dragonriding might seem lackluster when you first get into the game and don’t have enough Vigor points and talents at your disposal, this feature truly starts to shine after you collect all Dragonriding Glyphs. It also offers you a more interactive flying experience (and it did so from day one of the expansion) by using the environment of the isles to your advantage. In addition to that, all the zones were designed with Dragonriding in mind, featuring wide and open areas with numerous hills and chasms to test your skills. 

The revamped talent system is another game-changing feature that was added to WoW with Dragonflight. Taking inspiration from the old talents in Classic, the new iteration unites the old version with borrowed power systems to make for a whole experience. Divided into two separate trees (class and specialization), the talents are a fresh addition to the game giving players more room to limit-test, experiment, and get more creative with their builds. Although there will always be meta builds for Mythic+ dungeons and raids, you’re free to choose your talents as you please. The revamped talent system also brought along quality-of-life features like a search bar, loadouts, exporting, and importing.

It’s no secret that professions in WoW have been in a stale state for years: Blizzard didn’t touch them at all, apart from dividing them according to expansions and adding more recipes. With Dragonflight, professions have once again become relevant—and a viable choice for gearing up your characters.

To make things even spicier, the devs added additional features like profession specializations, gear, stats, recipe difficulty, and Profession Knowledge. Though the system seems overly complex at first, it is a meaningful addition to the game that has its own progression and unequivocal value. From gathering professions like Herbalism and Mining to crafting professions like Jewelcrafting, they have never felt better in WoW since they can heavily boost your stats like no looted item in the game, and therefore, boost your total damage and healing output by a lot.

Unlike Shadowlands and BfA, which essentially felt like work after coming home from your day job—one that you have to grind on a regular basis unless you want to fall behind the pack— Dragonflight does not have time-gated content and mandatory systems that you need to unlock to play the game. In fact, you don’t have to play it at all if you don’t feel like it, and nothing will change. Reputation grinds, world and weekly quests, and gear crafting are all fully optional. You can always complete them, and you’ll be handsomely rewarded if you do so, but now you won’t be behind in your reputation grind to unlock Pathfinder. In addition to that, Dragonflight offers different methods of gear progression like open-world questing, raiding, and PvP, giving you full freedom and control over your characters. 

Coming in Dragonflight from the content draught that’s known as Shadowlands, the community can now expect six major updates this year alone. This means we’ll get at least two major content patches in addition to smaller updates that will introduce even more fresh features like Trading Posts, a new feature that will have transmogs, mounts, and toys up for grabs rotating on a monthly basis. Dragonflight won’t be like the preceding expansion: in fact, you probably won’t find yourself aching for content ever again.

Dragonflight’s weaknesses: Lack of accessibility, overwhelming Mythic+ dungeons, and other minor problems

A dragon breathing fire in the WoW Dragonflight instance Ruby Life Pools
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The only major drawbacks we’ve seen so far are the lack of accessibility and clarity, especially in Mythic+ dungeons, the dearth of alt-friendly alternatives, and other minor issues like getting random world drops that are not tied to your class, let alone your specialization.

With updated systems and spells, it’s never been more important to have addons like Deadly Boss Mods to keep up with all the mechanics in dungeons. In addition to that, the color palettes are often similar to the surrounding environment, making it difficult to discern between the backgrounds and the mobs’ harmful spells, especially for melee classes—and there’s no way you can improve clarity and spell visibility by increasing contrast, changing colors, or making them more readable in general.

On a similar note, Mythic+ dungeons, especially those that came out with Dragonflight, are overflowing with mechanics, making the fights incredibly difficult to pull off, even when doing lower keys: the floor might be brimming with swirlies and other similar mechanics, leaving you with no space to work with and prolonging boss fights by a couple of minutes. This, of course, means the skill expression is greater, and players that understand the mechanics will be handsomely rewarded. On the other hand, those who are just starting their Mythic+ journey will surely struggle to keep up with all the mechanics, swirlies, and soaks. 

There’s also the issue of the 30 days of game time Blizzard started offering a month after the release of Dragonflight. For a limited time, you could get an extra 30 days of subscription, no matter the edition you bought. Normally, you can only get this if you buy the most expensive edition of the game, Epic Edition. This means that Blizzard has, after the refund period expired, started offering 30 days of game time—and players who originally bought the expansion were, in a way, scammed out of those free 30 days. 

There are also a couple of minor issues that surfaced over the course of playing the expansion: profession gating, unclear systems like gear crafting, a lack of alt-friendly alternatives, the main storyline progress being tied to Renown, tier sets being raid-themed instead of class-themed and getting random drops not even tied to your class, let alone specialization. 

These are far from game-ruining problems, and they won’t leave a bitter aftertaste. These are just small concerns, which should not scare you away from picking up the expansion.

Final verdict: Is Dragonflight worth picking up?

A gnome and a goblin near the Engineering station in Valdrakken
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Looking at Dragonflight as a whole, it is worth buying since the positives clearly outshine the drawbacks. Dragonriding, the revamped professions and talents, the lack of time-gated content, and hamster wheels: all this gives the game a fresh spin, making you want to play it even more, even though you don’t “have” to.

The expansion is more than up to the modern MMORPG standards with its new content and updated old systems. With six content releases just in 2023, this expansion won’t suffer the same fate as Shadowlands did. For a WoW fan, especially one with friends who also play the game, Dragonflight will be money well spent.


Dot Esports is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Best Volatile Air farm in WoW Cataclysm Classic
Orsis in WoW Cataclysm with two Scions of Al'Akir shown present
Read Article How to get to the Stonecore entrance in WoW Cataclysm Classic
Temple of Earth -- Stonecore Entrance in WoW Cataclysm Deepholm
Read Article How to get the Claw of Eternus in WoW MoP Remix
Valley of Eternal Blossoms from WoW Mists of Pandaria
Related Content
Read Article Best Volatile Air farm in WoW Cataclysm Classic
Orsis in WoW Cataclysm with two Scions of Al'Akir shown present
Read Article How to get to the Stonecore entrance in WoW Cataclysm Classic
Temple of Earth -- Stonecore Entrance in WoW Cataclysm Deepholm
Read Article How to get the Claw of Eternus in WoW MoP Remix
Valley of Eternal Blossoms from WoW Mists of Pandaria
Author
Izabela Tomakic
Staff Writer & World of Warcraft lead. Izabela has a long history with writing and games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Fortnite, and The Sims. Before finding her home at Dot Esports in 2021, Izabela was an English teacher and a freelancer at Hotspawn, GGRecon, and Gameranx. In her free time, you’ll find her writing novels, wandering Azeroth, or inting on Summoner’s Rift.