There are close to 50 total dragons in the World of Warcraft: Dragonflight launch cinematic—I gave up counting the moment it cut to the populated halls of the Dracthyr.
WoW has had a lot of dragons over the years, including one that broke Azeroth over its knee for a whole expansion, but Dragonflight takes you to the Dragon Isles, the home of all dragons. It’s like a convention hall for dragons that was locked until now, so all the dragons are lining up to get in.
Compared to the past few WoW expansion launch cinematics, this Dragonflight short is pretty chill. There are no vampiric lords tossing souls into the abyss or horde and alliance soldiers rampaging through a battlefield. There’s just a dwarf and a troll who have to dodge one nasty looking dragon before continuing their flight through the isles—a nod to the upcoming Dragonriding feature. You also get to see a Dracthyr, the playable dragon race that comes out today, whip up some Evoker magic. Alexstrasza, the big red dragon, shows up to restore life to the corrupted forests below her.
As an expansion, Dragonflight appears to be a return to what WoW was originally about before it got caught up in a maelstrom of cosmic villains and flimsy story reveals that made lore-heads cry. Dragonflight is the sort of high fantasy that WoW started on and you can see it in the way the launch cinematic is structured. It’s not as character-focused as the classic WoW cinematic trailer, but it has a similar vibe as the camera zooms through the glowing environments to an uplifting score and only a few seconds of tension. It’s explicitly about high adventure instead of the looming threat of some big bad.
Dragonflight will launch on November 28, but the game’s pre-expansion patch is already out. There are tons of class ability and balance changes and the new talent trees to play with. And later today—if you pre-ordered the expansion—you can start to level up your own Dracthyr and try out the new Evoker class.