World of Warcraft: Dragonflight Season 1 kicks off with a new raid, arena and lots of proto-drakes that need killing

Dragonflight world boss
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Now that Azeroth's many adventurers have had a couple of weeks to get to grips with World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, Blizzard has seen fit to throw some new challenges their way in Dragonflight Season 1. The expansion's villain, the impressively-named Raszageth the Storm-Eater, has breached the Vault of the Incarnates with her Primalist pals, which means heroes will need to jump in and put an end to their plans by fighting through eight boss encounters in a new raid. 

The Vault of the Incarnates raid can be tackled in Mythic, Heroic and normal difficulties straight away, which is a bit of a novelty—raiders don't normally get to start on Mythic difficulty right off the bat. 

Dragonflight's first raid ties into the animosity between the proto-dragons and dragonkind. When Raszageth was freed from her prison in the Dracthyr prologue, the conflict between them was reignited. On her own she's plenty dangerous, but inside the Vault of the Incarnates, she plans to free her siblings and bring their ancient plan to fruition: cleansing Azeroth of Titan influence. Unless, of course, you put a stop to it. 

I'm not a big raider and don't really have the time for this serious business these days, so I'll be waiting for Vault of the Incarnates to appear on the raid finder, which will happen in three stages. On the week of December 19, the first wing will open up, followed by the second on the week of January 2 and the third on the week of January 16. 

If you're also planning on waiting, you can at least get a taste of the full raid by watching guilds compete in the Race to World First (RWF). Conveniently, we've also got a primer on what has become a big streaming event, so check out our feature on the history of the Race to World First to get up to speed.

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Certain bosses will drop Primalist class armour sets, and equipping two pieces and four pieces will give you a bonus to your abilities based on your specialisation. Honestly, these new sets aren't really doing it for me, aesthetically, though the Hunter appearance (see above) does make me chuckle: I assume it's meant to look draconic, but really it just makes Hunters look like angry birds.

Accompanying the first raid is a new dungeon rotation for Mythic+, including four Dragonflight dungeons. Here's the full list:

  • Ruby Life Pools
  • The Nokhud Offensive
  • The Azure Vault
  • Algeth'ar Academy
  • Halls of Valor
  • Court of Stars
  • Shadowmoon Burial Grounds
  • Temple of the Jade Serpent

The Mythic+ seasonal affix is Thundering, which gives enemies 5% more health and curses players with an unwanted gift from Raszageth, overcharging them with primal power. If you don't discharge this power quickly, you'll end up stunned. 

If you get your Mythic+ rating high enough, you'll earn a bunch of new rewards. For 1500 you'll get "The Thundering" title; for 2000 you'll get a fancy new mount, the Hailstorm Armoredon; for completing a +20 or higher in each dungeon you'll get a dungeon teleport; and finally, players in the top 0.1% in each region will get "The Thundering Hero" title at the end of the season. 

Outside of dungeons, players can tackle four new world bosses on a weekly rotation, so get ready to hunt some big proto-drakes. The first is the menacing Basrikron, the Shale Wing, a rocky, green proto-drake. Grab a big group and go batter the sucker. 

This update also means the first PvP season of Dragonflight has kicked off. You can check out the new arena, Nokhudon Proving Grounds, a centaur-themed location, and net yourself some new titles, mounts and more. PvP rewards include the "Crimson Gladiator" title, the Crimson Gladiator's Drake, a new Dragonriding appearance, and Alliance and Horde-themed sabertooth mounts. A new weapon illusion, tabard, cloak and pennant will also be coming in a future patch before the end of the first season. 

Finally, the Primal Storms are back. These were part of a pre-launch event, but now the storms are appearing in the Dragon Isles. As well as giving you another chance to earn the Unstable Elemental Confluence heirloom trinket and Bag of Furious Winds toy, you'll be able to get a full set of ilevel 359 armour, Stormie and Ghostflame pets, and the Stormhide Salamanther mount. 

So much to do, and I've not even hit 70 yet. One more level to go! 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.