WoW: Dragonflight's Dracthyr are more evidence that RPG players just want to make characters

Dracthyr face customization
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)
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For as long as World of Warcraft has existed, players have been asking Blizzard for the opportunity to play as dragons, bipedal or otherwise. There are still forum posts and interviews as old as 2009 (opens in new tab) with discussions about how to get playable dragons into the game. WoW's newest expansion, Dragonflight, has finally given the gift of a highly-customizable, playable dragon race and players are naturally spending hours making them.

As everyone knows, the ultimate RPG endgame is at the beginning, during character creation. You absolutely have to look good before saving the world. And the Dracthyr, who are now playable if you've pre-ordered the Dragonflight expansion, are very customizable.

The Dracthyr, across both their human and dragon form, have over 40 individual customization options, creating an absurd number of possible combinations (somewhere in the octillions). Blizzard Watch (opens in new tab) pressed the randomize button on the character creator 100 times and none of the dragons looked the same. You can adjust everything from the shape of your horns to the scale patterns on your dragon, and then you can do the same for the human form. You'd have to make a concerted effort to make a Dracthyr that looks the same as someone else's.

Players have spent the last 24 hours creating and sharing their Dracthyr creations. While some are still a little upset that you can't make your Dracthyr beefy (opens in new tab), most people are more than happy to sift through the options to make the dragon of their dreams. What's most impressive is how distinct some of them look from one another. Reddit user Malvarik's (opens in new tab) Dracthyr and human Visage form blend crimson armor and gold accents, while AngerFork's (opens in new tab) bronze character almost looks steampunk with the glasses. 

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Twitter user Kenandstuff (opens in new tab) went minimal—so minimal that their Dracthyr looks like their features haven't loaded in. "Behold! Blandicus the all none left Evoker Dracthyr!" they wrote. 

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MMOs are the great OC generators and it only gets better as the amount of cosmetic and outfit options increase. Twitter user and artist Lemongrace (opens in new tab) used Wowhead's Dracthyr creator (opens in new tab) to match their illustration. 

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Tragically, WoW doesn't offer the ability to save a preset for your cosmetic options like Final Fantasy 14. It's possible to be hours deep into fiddling with your tail and eye colors and realize you picked the wrong faction, like Twitch user Ahlaundoh (opens in new tab). Ouch. 

The final boss for character creation is choosing a name. Final Fantasy 14 has canon naming conventions for each of its races, but WoW leaves it fairly open to interpretation based on other characters in the fiction. You can either be something graceful like "Tyrgos" or go the unhinged route and name your Dracthyr something like "Ligmagos" and "Dragonballz". I've already seen a range of names while exploring the Dracthyr's unique starting zone, the Forbidden Reach (opens in new tab). Half of the fun of an MMO for me is to run around and try to find the most ridiculous names. The Dracthyr simply named "Vrchat" (opens in new tab) is currently my favorite.

Dragonflight isn't fully out yet, but the number of Dracthyr popping up everywhere suggests that Blizzard really nailed it. Some players are jealous of all the dragon customization options. They want the other races to get the same treatment (opens in new tab) in the future, which is a real possibility. Blizzard has been making an effort to increase the options for old races. Shadowlands finally let you play as Black and Asian humans after over a decade without those options. Once the most glaring omissions are fixed, Blizzard will hopefully start looking into adding all sorts of other options.

"It is jarring creating a Dracthyr and comparing them to the other races," wrote Reddit user KershawsTightPants (opens in new tab). "They look like they're from another game/series."

Much of Dragonflight does seems to set WoW up for a different sort of future, one that might include robust character customization across all the playable races. Blizzard has already opened the door for the Horde and Alliance—the franchise's iconic opposing factions—to work together (opens in new tab) in dungeons, raids, and PvP. And Dragonflight has yanked the storyline's focus away from catastrophic, cosmic threats to high adventure in the Dragon Isles. There aren't any old gods and ancient races meddling with alternate realities (at least not yet), there are simply dragons and their long, still-unexplored home.

The fact that you can only have one Dracthyr per server might seem unfair, but it's probably a good thing. The sheer fervor for the Dracthyr would otherwise keep everyone in the character creation menus for the life of the expansion.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.