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9 tips to glide through ‘World of Warcraft: Dragonflight’

(Washington Post illustration; Blizzard Entertainment)

“World of Warcraft: Dragonflight” introduces a plethora of additions to the 18-year-old MMORPG. From the vast continent of the Dragon Isles to Dragonriding to the new Evoker class, there is plenty to catch up on.

Regardless of whether you’ve been in Azeroth for years or are just getting started, the “Dragonflight” expansion incorporates new mechanics and twists on existing systems to master. Let’s take flight and dive into how to make the most out of your time across the Dragon Isles.

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You can’t immediately shift to your humanoid form

If you’re just starting out with the new Dracthyr class and can’t seem to find the skill to shift to your character’s humanoid form, that’s intended. The Visage skill is unlocked during the “Iconic, Dragonic Look” quest, which takes place after you finished the starting objective and got to roam around the capital of your faction. So just be patient!

Keep in mind that, in general, some skills will inevitably turn your character back into their dragon form. But hey, that isn't exactly a bad thing.

Yes, Dragonriding is fairly limited at first

As good as Dragonriding, the expansion’s revamp of flying mounts, feels, it’s hard to deny that the mechanic’s limitations are a bummer. Progressing through the “Dragonflight” campaign will give you access to useful passive skills, as well as different dragons to ride and customize.

When you’re first starting off, I recommend taking the time to actively look for Dragon Glyphs around the Dragon Isles. Purchasing talents can be expensive, with costs ranging from three to five glyphs per talent, so it’s worth the effort to search for them. Always keep an eye on the chat box, as the game will notify you whenever there is a glyph nearby.

Flight masters are your friends

Whenever you see a green exclamation mark on your minimap, stop everything you’re doing and go talk to them. Flight masters are a vital NPC in “World of Warcraft,” but this rings even more true during “Dragonflight,” considering how much back-and-forth there is between campaign missions.

Calling back to how Dragonriding can be fairly limited at first, you can’t rely on your dragon mounts to go from point A to point B all the time. As such, make sure to talk to every flight master you encounter. It doesn’t matter if they’re in a small town or village, as they will surely provide a handy travel route for any nearby quests in the future.

Evokers heal with friendly fire

Sure, the Undead race can heal themselves by eating corpses, but Evokers are raising the bar by adding fire into the mix. Your basic ability, Living Flame, serves as a great range attack as well as a healing method. For a good way to turn the tides in the heat of battle, you can target an ally to heal or hold the shift key before casting to heal yourself.

If you don’t want to focus on the healer specialization of the Evoker class, there are a few talents that can improve your healing capabilities either way. Enkindled, for example, increases the damage and healing of the skill. In that same talent tree path is Cauterizing Flame, a great way to remove bleed, poison, curse and disease effects on a teammate as well as heal them after any effect is removed. Lastly, the Ancient Flame passive ability will reduce the cast time significantly on subsequent healings performed by Living Flame.

If you’re not playing with a crew, go for Devastation

Evokers can choose between two specializations: Devastation and Preservation. These are basically fancy titles for damage-per-second (DPS) and healer, and it’s an important choice. While you can switch between them afterward, I recommend focusing on Devastation if you plan to head into the expansion mainly on your own. The progress of leveling up your character will be faster as a result, and as mentioned above, it’s not as if choosing DPS will leave you out of healing options completely. The healing skills won’t be as thorough, but abilities such as Emerald Blossom can still be useful for patching up groups should you find a party to join up with.

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Get the Quell skill ASAP

Regardless of your specialization as an Evoker, Quell is a must-have. This skill does a simple yet important task: interrupt an enemy’s spellcasting as soon as you activate it. In addition, it also prevents any spell from that school of magic from begin cast for four seconds. It’s not a long interruption, but it can make a difference.

If you are going for the Devastation specialization, though, grab the Imposing Presence passive skill, which reduces Quell’s cool-down by 20 seconds. While we’re covering useful skills, both Landslide and Wing Buffet are great to pin foes down or push them away, respectively, and should be at finger’s reach at all times.

Don’t miss out on this questline that rewards a duck pet

“Dragonflight” tells a serious story of historic, calamitous scale, but you should also take the time to chase some of the odd quests outside of the main campaign. Taking a breather to enjoy the sights is never a bad move, and you can also snag some neat rewards, from gear to an adorable pet.

Over at the Shady Sanctuary of the Green Dragonflight, you’re going to stumble upon Gracus, a massive sentient tree. Honestly, he’s hard to miss. Doing his questline — which is composed of “Some Call Me Bug Catcher,” “Others Call Me Duck Herder,’ and “But … I Am the Hero of Ducks” — will reward you with Pilot, a cute duck pet that joins you on your adventures.

Bonus Objectives can be great sources of XP

If it’s been a while since you played “World of Warcraft,” the addition of Bonus Objectives came with the release of the “Warlords of Draenor” expansion. As you explore the Dragon Isles and elsewhere, you’re going to notice these optional quests, which usually involve taking down a certain number of foes until you fill up a percentage bar, or defeating a specific enemy around the area.

They can take a while to complete, but the upside is that other players in the area will likely be trying to complete them too. Sending a quick invite to a group is best, but if not, targeting the same enemies that they’re attacking can help them help you in the process. Bonus Objectives usually reward quite a bit of gold and XP, which are super helpful as you’re trying to get to the level 70 cap.

Jump to dungeons for better gear

Even after completing all main campaign objectives and a dozen smaller quests, I was only level 67. Unless you already have plans for what to do in the endgame, I recommend jumping over to the new Dragon Isles dungeons to equip yourself with decent gear. While the campaign tends to reward you with set pieces every few questlines, you’ll want to prepare yourself properly, so dungeons can be a good way of increasing your item level.