World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is wrapping up, and the expansion has had a bit of a rocky trajectory. While the current patch is actually quite good, it took us quite a fair while to get to this point, and many of the players who fled for FFXIV and other competing MMOs may never come back. That is, unless the next expansion is really good. And we may have just been given our first glimpse of it.
An update to Blizzard's website spotted on reddit may have accidentally revealed the next expansion, dubbed "Dragonflight" in the source code. It is in-line with many open rumors about the game being set on Azeroth's mysterious Dragon Isles. The dragon flights of Azeroth were empowered to steward the mortal races and look after the natural order, but have been sidelined in recent times as player factions grew in power, and in-fighting between different flights threatened their very existence. A previous expansion, Cataclysm, saw the black dragonflight almost wipe out Azeroth in its entirety, led by the crazed Deathwing.
While few official details are available about the next expansion, Shadowlands was the first expansion that didn't include either a new race or a new class. It stands to reason that "Dragonflight" should see the addition of either a new race, or a new class, or even both, as we saw in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Rumors from trusted sources we've received on our end indicate that, indeed, we could be seeing some sort of Dragon-themed class, perhaps along the lines of the oft-requested "Dragonsworn" theme from in-game lore.
A separate leak on reddit also claims to have spotted posters and promo art for the game, although we haven't been able to verify the authenticity as of yet. The promo art appeared just two hours after the source code leak, and the art in question doesn't seem to appear anywhere else as of writing, if it was indeed cobbled together from fan art. The art depicts red dragon queen Alexstrasza, alongside the "Dragonflight" logo.
Blizzard will reveal the new World of Warcraft expansion in full on April 19, and these website updates may have been designed to accommodate that. Of course, the internet misses nothing, and it seems to have slipped past Blizzard into the public domain in this case.
WoW has seen a bit of a downward trend in recent years, as Blizzard focused on engagement padding over fun at the behest of Activision. With Microsoft looking to purchase Activision Blizzard, it's hoped that Microsoft's shareholder culture, which focuses on Azure, will allow WoW to become more of a game again while also potentially hitting Xbox, but on that, only time will tell.