World of Warcraft has been around so long that it has a whole history of easter eggs. The MMO has dropped nods to everything from Lost (opens in new tab) to Dark Souls (opens in new tab). If you count the names for quests, the number of easter eggs would skyrocket into the thousands. It's a reference-heavy game that only keeps getting bigger. So big, in fact, that the references have even started to turn inward and memorialize WoW's iconic moments.
The latest expansion, Dragonflight (opens in new tab), increases the easter egg count once again. Even though Blizzard ran a beta for a while, people are still digging up secrets and references as they fly their way through the new zones. These are some of the best easter eggs out there so far.
A curious Yu-Gi-Oh! duel
In the Thaldraszus region, you can run into two characters (opens in new tab) bickering over a set of playing cards. The game they're playing is literally Hearthstone, Blizzard's own trading card game, but the fighting characters are clearly a reference to the mega popular manga and anime series.
One of them wants their cards back and his name is Yumadormu. Yuma Tsukumo is the main character of the spin-off Yu-Gi-Oh! series Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, which ran from 2011 to 2012. The "dormu" in the name is just a common suffix for dragon names. Setogosa, the one who won't give Yumadormu his cards back, is an obvious reference to Seto Kaiba, the antagonist of the original series.
Yumadormu gives you the quest Gotta Collect Them All (see what I mean about quest names) and has you recruit Dracthyr for a Hearthstone club. Once you've gathered enough members, Setogosa is irritated about the club and Yumadormu challenges her to a duel. Setogosa tries to cheat during the match—as Yu-Gi-Oh! fans would expect—but you can stop her and help Yumadormu win.
Community's Shirley Bennet
The Community reference tucked into Dragonflight would be pretty easy to miss. Reddit user beathelas (opens in new tab) caught it while picking up the Out For Delivery quest. The quest involves a character named Hauler Bennet and she has a line that is very similar to one said by Shirley Bennet in Community. In the game, a wagon is stuck in the mud and everyone is trying to get it out. Hauler asks, "I'll ask again... Are you SURE I can't do anything to help?" to another character. In the Community episode Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps, Shirley Bennet asks Britta Perry if there's anything she can bring to the Halloween party.
The situations are pretty different, but Blizzard tends to sneak in character names that resemble characters from other media a lot and this seems too close to be a coincidence.
A hunt like the good ol' days
Dragonflight's Nergazurai quest is a reference to an earlier version of WoW. Before the Cataclysm expansion changed the world and quests, baby tauren characters could hunt down a big bird named Mazzranache. They were one of the first named rare enemies that new WoW players could experience. There's a quest (opens in new tab) named after the plainstrider and it describes the bird's "demonic red eyes, razor-sharp talons, and venomous bite."
The Nergazurai quest text describes its target bird as having "razor-sharp talons and [a] venomous bite." It's been so long that this reference will probably go over many players heads, but it's a nice wink to long-time players.
This one isn't exactly an easter egg but it's a neat little touch that you might not catch otherwise. Dragonflight introduces a playable dragon race called the Dracthyr. Nobody has seen them since they were put to sleep for many, many years.
When you start a new one, they begin with rested experience just like any WoW character would if they logged out in an inn. It's a really clever attention to detail. It doesn't change anything about the surprisingly good starting experience (opens in new tab), but it introduces some fun consistency with the storytelling and systems.
While you flip through the dozens of Dracthyr customization options, you might spot a beard option named Shimada. There are no Shimada's in WoW, but there are a few in Overwatch. Blizzard gave the dragons a beard that matches Hanzo Shimada's look.
Dracthyr can't use bows though, so this is as close as you're going to get to roleplaying that AU.
Old Gods again
At the bottom of the ocean near Ohn'Ahran Plains is a pile of gold that stares back at you. Nestled in the middle of the coins is an eye that resembles the old gods that frequent Azeroth. There are also tentacles writhing around it too.
Dragonflight hasn't made any hints at any old gods meddling with the main characters, so this is more likely a reference to N'Zoth, one of the big bads during the Battle For Azeroth expansion.
Tea with Mako
Uncle Mako (opens in new tab) is a pandaren monk that loves tea. Your Avatar: The Last Airbender alarms should be going off because this guy is a direct reference to Iroh and his late voice actor Makoto Iwamatsu.
Mako wears similar clothing to the Avatar character and meditates near a giant kettle of tea—Iroh loved his tea. If you want to go find him, he's located in the Valdrakken city's hot springs. You can't do a quest for him, but you can admire how peaceful he looks.
The Elder Scrolls' required reading
The Elder Scrolls scholars will recognize The Lusty Argonian Maid (opens in new tab), a series of romance novels found in Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind, and The Elder Scrolls Online.
Dragonflight continues the tradition and has a steamy book about passionate dragon love. Noah Scribeson, who is located in Valdrakken, is reading the book to an audience and you can go pick it up and read along. The item is called A Steamy Romance Novel: The Lusty Draconian Mage. Look forward to the next book in The Elder Scrolls 6.
The full text of the item is available on Wowhead (opens in new tab).
What do dragons eat, anyway?
This orc in Orgrimmar has one question after seeing all the dragon business going on with Dragonflight: "What do dragons eat, anyway?"
Blizzard snuck in a reference to a scene in Game of Thrones (opens in new tab) where Sansa Stark asks the same question during a meeting with Jon Snow about Daenerys. The answer in both stories is, as Daenerys says, "Whatever they want."