World of Warcraft turns eighteen this week and amazingly it’s just about to drop another massive expansion.
The folks at Blizzard have kindly set us up ready for when Dragonflight releases on November 28, so we’ll have a lot more coverage of how it plays then, but in the meantime we’ve been experimenting with the new race and class combination of the Dracthyr Evoker.
I’ve been dipping in and out of World of Warcraft for years now, and for the longest time, have yet to really feel the magic of those early days, but if my early impressions of this new class are anything to go by I’d say Blizzard are really onto something.
Evokers are a Hero Class so you start out at Level 58. That means, by the time you leave the training grounds of The Forbidden Reach, a remote area that is home only to this enigmatic race, you’ll be ready to dive right into Dragonflight when it releases next Monday.
From the word go, the story is pretty compelling You find yourself awoken among other frozen Dracthyr in a small war creche. You’re confused, wondering what’s going on, so summon the help of others you’ve been in deep slumber with. Turns out there’s a bigger threat at play and it all stems from changes happening in the wider world of Azeroth.
The story takes some really interesting twists and turns, before eventually allowing the player to travel to Stormwind or Ogrimmar so they can branch out and explore the wider content. And it also opens up some interesting possibilities for narrative threads later down the line.
Yet it’s the class itself that really offers up the most fun and interest. As a dragonkind, you’ll be able to breathe fire and incinerate enemies, but you can also glide after jumping and soar through the skies like Spyro, floating through air rings and over the tops of mountains.
It’ll be interesting to see how often people use dragon flight when they’re able to hop onto their own flying mounts and the full potential of that won’t be unlocked until the expansion launches, but for now this glimpse offers some interesting possibilities while playing and manages to make the typical grind a lot more refreshing.
The moveset dovetail with that really nicely as well as you can absorb enemies from a distance akin to a Warlock, and also create a blazing trail of fire and stone wherever you’re facing, which can do some massive damage.
As a ranged DPS class, I can definitely see more people favouring and rolling the Evoker as I have been eating through mobs with ease with impressive DPS, but I’ve also been in parties where the Evoker has rolled as a healer and actually done a great job of keeping everyone alive with a ranged heal that regenerates everyone in the set circle.
The Evoker’s main move ‘Living Flame’ also doubles as both an attacking blow and a self-heal as a single-target spell which is a really interesting approach and makes you pretty handy when solo’ing and even when in dungeons if you don’t want the healer to spend too much time focusing energies on you.
Other cool moves are a Wing Buffet which actually pushes back incoming enemies and is great for crowd control. Tail Swipe also sends an enemy sailing into the air, putting distance between you and them. Particularly handy as a lot of your abilities do have sizeable cooldowns.
If they’re still all up in your grill, though, the Azure Strike is great in clutch situations, is fast to cooldown and can do hefty damage when levelled up.
A quick look at the talent tree as well shows a nice spread between the two disciplines – Devastation and Preservation – but both giving you opportunities to reduce the damage you take as well as increase your damage output. When maxed out, this is undoubtedly going to be a lethal class and a valuable ally to have in your guild and party, whether you’re a healer or DPS. Or maybe a bit of both.
Most importantly, though, I was having fun while playing. Gliding into action like Batman never gets old, quite frankly. Being able to cinder your enemies to ash is also incredibly satisfying and there seems to be some really interesting abilities further down the tree.
Another interesting feature is the Visage ability which enables you to change from your Dracthyr appearance to something a bit more human. Of course, you’ll still have your spikes, scales, and ashy, smouldery skin, but being able to switch between the two is an interesting aesthetic effect and could be really cool for some roleplay.
It’s quite possible the class is bordering on the OP already, so will probably see some balance tweaks in the coming weeks and months, but I already know how I’m going to main Dragonflight, putting my usual character on the backburner this go around.
This is absolutely the most fun I’ve had in World of Warcraft since Mists of Pandaria, rolling a Monk, so I’m very excited to sink my teeth into Dragonflight and really see the full potential of this class. This could be the shot in the arm World of Warcraft needed, which is incredibly impressive for a game approaching two decades of service.
You can play as a Dracthyr Evoker now if you pre-purchase World of Warcraft: Dragonflight as part of Phase 2 of the content rollout.
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight launches November 28 on Battle.Net.
Code Kindly Provided by Activision Blizzard