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WoW 10.0: Rumors and everything we know about Dragonflight

World of Warcraft Dragonflight
(Image credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft has been going strong for 18 years and is about to receive its ninth expansion with WoW 10.0. There have been no official announcements, but the community has been rumbling with fun theories on what could be in store for the future of Warcraft.

World of Warcraft’s 10.0 reveal will go live on April 19 at 9am PST / 12pm EST. You can tune in on YouTube, Twitch, or keep up with our how-to watch to get live updates around when the show starts. 

So without further ado, here’s everything we know about World of Warcraft 10.0 prior to next week’s huge presentation.

World of Warcraft 10.0 Dragonflight release date 

World of Warcraft 10.0 has not received a release date. But ever since Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard has kept to a strict release schedule, so we’re expecting it to launch sometime this year. 

To illustrate my reasoning, the launch dates have been Vanilla in 2004, The Burning Crusade in 2007, Wrath of the Lich King in 2008, Cataclysm in 2010, Mists of Pandaria in 2012, Warlords of Draenor in 2014, Legion in 2016, Battle for Azeroth in 2018, and Shadowlands in 2020. Due to the timeline of previous releases, we anticipate the new expansion will launch in 2022. If not, it would mean the breaking of a pattern that has lasted for 14 years.

World of Warcraft 10.0 Dragonflight known patch notes 

After the launch of Zereth Mortis and Sepulcher of the First Ones, along with the story that tells of The Jailer’s end, the future of World of Warcraft is up in the air. Theories have circulated online about what 10.0 could yield, but otherwise, there’s nothing confirmed. 

World of Warcraft

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

We do know that World of Warcraft will receive its cross-faction update in 9.2.5. This will finally give the Horde and Alliance a method of partying up together and doing raids or dungeons, although it’s admittedly a bit limited. This will come handy, as just the other day a friend and I were trying to run the Uldir raid in Battle for Azeroth, but we couldn’t deal with an annoying bug. Instead, we had to call in another friend to help us out, but they mainly played Alliance and didn’t have a Horde character at max level.

With this cross-faction update, we can party up with their Alliance character and absolutely destroy Mythrax. Alternatively, this wouldn’t have been an issue if Blizzard had fixed the bug that made his mind control orbs not work properly, but that’s probably never going to happen considering it’s a four-year-old raid.

World of Warcraft 10.0 Dragonflight rumors

Theories have been circulating online that suggest World of Warcraft 10.0 will revolve around the Dragon Isles, a long-rumored piece of canceled content that was initially planned as a part of the game’s original release in 2004. Fans have been waiting to hear about the Dragon Isles for a long time, so it would be exciting to get the chance to explore a place we’ve been wondering about for years. 

World of Warcraft: Dragon Isles

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

After all, until now we’ve seen developer interviews that reference the canceled Dragon Isles raid and some concept art by Carlo Arellano. And since these islands received their first canonical in-game reference during the Battle for Azeroth expansion, it seems like a reasonable assumption that Blizzard is planning to introduce them at some point.

The only physical evidence we have left of the Dragon Isles lies in World of Warcraft’s 2004 Beta version, within a tester space called Designer Island are designs that resemble the area’s concept art.

World of Warcraft: Dragon Isles

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

These giant structures that rest atop what looks like a snail’s shell are the primary assets for what once was the Dragon Isles. The massive temple at its peak looks a lot like the concept art, and we can assume it was going to be a sandstone structure of some sort. 

World of Warcraft: Dragon Isles

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

In the concept art, we can see that this thing is not only a massive shell, but it’s also attached to some sort of huge octopus turned to stone. This isn’t too surprising, as the lore suggests that the Dragon Isles possess many temples worshiping The Old Gods, which are pretty much all Lovecraftian monstrosities. We have no clue if the Dragon Isles will return with a similar design, but we can only hope to see this exciting vision finally come to life.

Personally, I’m pretty tired of Shadowlands’ narrative arc and what it means for the lore. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the base game and its area storylines, but the patched content has been largely disappointing in failing to develop character arcs and dive deep into the implications of the newly-revealed afterlife. As a result, I’m more than ready to head back to Azeroth and explore a quaint island full of dragons!

World of Warcraft 10.0 Dragonflight theories

Considering this next expansion will bring about the 10th version of World of Warcraft, it seems too substantial a number to just place a new island down and call it a day. And by the end of 10.0’s lifetime, players who have stuck around since day one will be approaching their 20th year in the game. These are pretty substantial milestones, and I love to imagine how Blizzard will celebrate.

World of Warcraft

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Perhaps this is far too optimistic, but much of Azeroth needs reworking. The game’s Vanilla and The Burning Crusade zones on Azeroth are masterpieces in world design, but they’re also 15-18 years old. New players are largely discouraged from exploring the majority of this world, which seems counterintuitive, since it’s the place our characters are fighting for.

Having a new expansion recreate Azeroth in ways that appeal to modern sensibilities, as if Blizzard was creating a new game set in the Warcraft universe from scratch, could breathe life into players. Perhaps we’d no longer need to encourage players to go through a homogenized tutorial island detached from the rest of the world.

World of Warcraft

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Of course, this only really works because Vanilla and The Burning Crusade zones have been immortalized through World of Warcraft Classic. Players who desperately want to return to the golden days will always have the chance to do so, but it’s about time this game becomes friendlier to newer players.

World of Warcraft hides away its oldest content through obscure menus and forces the player onto the path towards the latest expansion. But if the base game were reworked with new quests, assets, textures, and entirely fresh environmental concepts, the game could feel as freeing as it did back in 2004. I’ll never stop adoring how the original Azeroth looks, but imagine how breathtaking it would be to explore a modern version.

However, this is a massive task and probably something Blizzard can’t accomplish in just two years, so I’m not necessarily expecting it. I’m just hopeful that we’ll finally get something massive to hold onto.

Momo Tabari
Momo Tabari

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.