Things to do before World of Warcraft: Dragonflight launches

What to do before Dragonflight
(Image credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft is gearing up for Dragonflight, the ninth expansion launching on November 28. A small mountain of game content hits this week in the first part of the pre-patch, with another set of goodies—including the Dracthyr—arriving in the second phase on November 15.

This means you've got about a month to get ready for the new zones, areas and questlines on launch day. So with that in mind, here are some of the things that are going away when World of Warcraft: Dragonflight arrives and the new things you'll want to get done before the new expansion launches.

Finish up your Fated raids 

All of the raids from the Shadowlands were scaled up for Season 4 and put on a weekly rotation, offering better gear and new achievements. This week, all three raids will become available at the Fated difficulty all the time, so it's a little easier to wrap up some of those achievements or gear hunting you're looking to complete.

Kill every boss in each raid (Castle Nathria, Sanctum of Domination and Sepulcher of the First Ones) on Normal, Heroic or Mythic difficulties and you'll earn the Jigglesworth Sr. slime cat ground mount. Clear them on Heroic and you'll also get the Hero of Fate title; finish Mythic and you'll get portals to the raid locations. The mythic-difficulty-only mounts from Sylvanas and the Jailer, end bosses of Sanctum of Domination and Sepulcher of the First Ones, will become rare drops after the new expansion launches, so you'll want to grab them now if you can. The Carcizined Zerethsteed mechano-mount from killing the Jailer on Heroic difficulty won't be available at all.

On the gear front, you can still earn your rare Dinar coins if you haven't finished that quest, to buy selected weapons and trinkets from the raids before Dragonflight. The currency to upgrade those items to Heroic and Mythic difficulties will still drop from raids at those levels and because all three raids will be Fated, it will be much faster to accumulate the currency you need to max out your items. At this point, your focus should be on weapons that will allow you to speed through the levels in Dragonflight.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Rank, mounts and titles for other content 

Discover the Dragon Isles

World of Warcraft Dragonflight screenshot

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Dragonflight leveling: Get to 70 fast
Dragonflight talents: New trees explained
Dracthyr Evokers: The new race and class
Dragonriding: Take to the skies
Dragon Glyphs: Upgrade your dragonriding
Dragonflight professions: What's new

For dungeon-runners who enjoy five-man content, you will no longer be able to get the Shrouded Hero title for ranking in the top 0.1% of Mythic Plus dungeon delvers. But Keystone Master and its accompanying Restoration Deathwalker mount are still available until Dragonflight launches. If you clear every dungeon in Shadowlands at Mythic-plus level 15 or higher on both Fortified and Tyrannical difficulties, you'll almost perfectly hit the cut-off.

If you feel like pushing a little higher, Keystone Hero achievements and the teleports they grant you to the dungeons this season will still be available for anyone clearing a +20 or higher until Dragonflight begins. The Great Vault and its weekly rewards for raiders, dungeon runners and PvPers will still be open as a way to fill out your chosen character's leveling gear.

Like the Shrouded Hero title, PvP titles and rank achievements will end this week with the pre-patch, as will progress toward Gladiator and its mount. But Vicious Mount and Saddle progress will continue until launch, and PvP Great Vault rewards will still drop.

The biggest meta-achievement of the expansion, Back from the Beyond, will end with the launch of Dragonflight. This hidden Feat of Strength awards the Veilstrider title and progress is account-wide. It consists of doing nearly every bit of content for all four of Shadowlands' covenants, plus activities in the Maw, Korthia, and Zereth Mortis zones.

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There are a number of guides to getting Veilstrider, but you can also track it manually. A warning–if you haven't started yet, look at the Shadowlands Dilettante covenant achievements in detail, first. They're quite time-consuming, and if you haven't started all of them by now, it's probably too late. You'll need to complete the following achievements:

  • Castle Nathria
  • Chains of Domination
  • Dead Men Tell Some Tales
  • Fake It ‘Til You Make It
  • From A to Zereth
  • Many, Many Things
  • Myths of the Shadowlands Dungeons
  • On the Offensive
  • Re-Re-Re-Renowned
  • Sanctum Superior
  • Sanctum of Domination
  • Secrets of the First Ones
  • Sepulcher of the First Ones
  • Shadowlands Dilettante
  • Tower Ranger
  • Walking in Maw-mphis

Level in Dragonflight in style 

With Dragonflight so close, most players' focus will be on things that last—that is, appearances and mounts that won't be worthless two levels into the new expansion. Shadowlands was loaded with transmog gear appearances, most from the four covenants that made up the expansion. Now that you can freely swap anima currency between covenants using an item purchased from the vendor next to the flight master in the capital city of Oribos, make sure you pick up the appearances from each covenant that you'd like to wear as you level.

Some "hidden" appearance sets require you to use specific features of the covenants' special buildings and events, such as using the mirror network in Revendreth for the Venthyr or defeating opponents in specialized ways in the Path of Ascension for the Kyrian. One of the toughest—and most dependent on random chance—is the Unity set for Necrolords, and it's about to get much more difficult to do.

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The Unity set requires you to have the Unity construct with you, which requires a Level 5 Stitchyard to build. Every once in a great while, a world quest in the zone of Maldraxxus will award you with an appearance from the set—but only if you have Unity out when you complete it. The quest doesn't indicate in advance whether it'll drop a piece.

Right now, helpful folks in the Maldraxxian Unity Set Announcer Discord are doing sweeps of the world quests to flush out those rare pieces. After Dragonflight launches, the odds of that continuing at this level are small. Get them while they're hot!

New collector's items to pick up 

Speaking of mounts and pets, a brand-new 500-mount achievement is being added this week, and it rewards the Otterworldly Ottuk Carrier, an adorable spectral otter mount. New pet collection achievements also come in at 1,250; 1,500; 1,750; and 2,000 pets.

For people who have been collecting the many different Soulshapes of the Night Fae covenant, don't miss your chance to take those shapes anytime you like in Dragonflight. Lady Muunn in the Heart of the Forest will sell the Seed of Renewed Souls this week, a toy that lets you use your favorite shapes.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Level those alts 

Don't miss the opportunity to truly prepare your characters for leveling in Dragonflight, even if you haven't quite hit 60 yet. The Winds of Wisdom 50% XP buff will last until November 15, and a nerf to the amount of experience needed to get from zero to 60 will then reduce the overall leveling time by about two-thirds. Because of the way the levels are scaled, this means it'll likely be worth getting characters to roughly level 37 now, then leveling the rest of the way with the experience squish.

It's also easier to level with friends, as monsters are now individually tapped for loot and quest credit for up to five people, regardless of what faction they play. So if you party up with a Horde or Alliance friend while you play the other faction, you can both quest together without having to kill twice as many things. War Mode monsters are still faction-tapped, however.

Finally, if you plan on leveling Dragonflight's new Dracthyr dragonkin race or Evoker class, don't forget to pop into the Shadowlands Public Test Realm and try out the character customizations. There are literally tens of thousands of combos for Dracthyr, and you don't want to spend the first hours of the expansion feeling pressured to pick the perfect combo right away. To log into the PTR, open the launcher and under "Game Version" where it typically says World of Warcraft, click the drop-down menu and select "Public Test Realm".

See you in Azeroth!