World of Warcraft Developers Talk About Making the Emerald Dream Come True in Dragonflight

Highlights World of Warcraft’s Patch 10.2, Guardians of the Dream, is finally introducing the Emerald Dream as a proper zone for players to explore. The zone will focus on a small section of the Emerald Dream called Amirdrassil, where players can witness the growth of a tree and experience diverse areas. Patch 10.2 will bring back familiar characters and introduce new ones, including major druids and characters interested in the World Tree, creating an exciting storyline for players to follow.

When World of Warcraft first launched nearly 20 years ago, the Emerald Dream was supposed to appear as an entire zone players could visit. Early iterations had players go there when they died, where they could complete quests and meet deceased lore characters. Extensive work had been done on the Emerald Dream, but the idea was eventually scrapped, with the bountiful realm instead appearing in small instances and quests, rather than a full zone – but World of Warcraft is finally changing that in Patch 10.2, Guardians of the Dream.

Today Technology talked to lead quest designer Josh Augustine and senior game designer Allison Steele about the new World of Warcraft update. Dragonflight is officially taking players to the Emerald Dream in a proper zone, but that isn’t all Patch 10.2 is bringing to the table. The developers talked about creating the zone, as well as making the opportunity to bring faces both old and new back to the stage in Dragonflight.

Dreaming Up the Perfect World of Warcraft Experience wow df 10.2 concept art emerald dream

Guardians of the Dream will be focusing on one small section of the massive plane of the Emerald Dream. “I love that we’re focusing on a slice of it,” Augustine admitted. “It’s really focused on Amirdrassil, growing this tree, what that means.” This cross-section of the Dream is comparable in size to the expansive zones of Dragonflight, so fans will still have plenty of places to visit. “[Fyrakk’s forces] have different areas where they burnt out some of the things,” Augustine said, “So, we’ll get a lot of diversity there, contrasted with the overgrown, lush, gorgeous plant life in other areas where the Dream is really thriving.”

Like previous Dragonflight updates, the Emerald Dream will host plenty of sights to see. New Dragonriding races, world quests, and the new three-part Superbloom world event will invite players to explore every corner of the zone, but Augustine shared another unique trait of the area when characters use the /sleep emote. “A Dream version of yourself rises up, so you’re like a shade greener and you can run around and explore a little bit while you see your character sleeping on the ground with the little Zs and stuff.” With charming details like these, World of Warcraft hopes to breathe life into the lush environs of the Emerald Dream.

Patch 10.2 will continue the trend set by Embers of Neltharion, World of Warcraft’s previous major patch, by featuring a cast of major characters along with plenty of cameos. “I think you can probably take a pretty good stab at some of the cool, strong Druids and the characters who would be really interested in a World Tree are,” Augustine teased. Tyrande, Shandris, and Vyranoth are confirmed to play a role, but Augustine went into a bit more of how World of Warcraft decides which characters to feature in a given story.

“There are two big things we look at: The meta-level characters, like Fyrakk. He has had something going on, he’s definitely going to be in this content update because we want to tell his long-term story, and also… We always look to bring in characters that maybe won’t be hugely central to the story… but we care to get their reactions and input. So you can imagine, when Fyrakk is threatening the new World Tree, there’s going to be heroes and incredible characters from across all of Azeroth that are going to care about stopping him and giving the world tree a chance to bloom and grow.”

It seems likely that Merithra and her mother Ysera will play a role in Dragonflight Patch 10.2, but players might see other familiar faces too. Druids like Hamuul Runetotem, Naralex, and Celestine of the Harvest appear as vendors during the Dreamsurge event from Patch 10.1.7, so players could see more of them – or other powerful druids, like the slumbering Malfurion – but they will have to wait for the patch to release to find out for sure.

Wrathion and the Island of Misfit Dragonflights wow dragonflight vyranoth primal incarnates

Some of the questlines in Guardians of the Dream don’t take place in the Emerald Dream at all. Players will see the conclusion of the Silver Purpose storyline featuring Keeper Tyr, but another questline will see the return of the minor dragonflights of Warcraft, such as the Netherwing Dragonflight from Outland and the Thorignir Storm Dragons from Stormheim. “We’ve lovingly called them the Misfit Dragonflights,” Augustine joked.

Spearheading this quest will be Wrathion, as he adapts to a life without chasing the position of WoW’s Black Dragon Aspect, and Vyranoth, who has rejoined the Aspects to face down her brother Fyrakk. Though the exact context behind the story is still a mystery, Augustine gave some hints as to what themes the questline might explore.

“The Aspects are constantly questioning themselves throughout this expansion, what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown. We saw that with Alexstrasza interacting with the Dracthyr and the Drakonid rebels about realizing maybe we haven’t always treated them the best. So, looking at that reconciliation, what is possible with these new lesser dragonflights? Do they want to join? What does that mean? What do they want their future to be? How would they work together? So, that questline really explores that. What is the future of these different dragon groups, and what do they want as well? What are their goals?”

Getting the chance to see the so-called Misfit Dragonflights join the story is exciting for the fans and developers both. Players have been wondering what these dragons have been up to, and how they fit in with the other Dragonflights. Considering they are now working with both Infinite Dragons and one of the Primal Incarnates, it is possible these Misfit Dragons will be given the chance to join up with the Aspects in Dragonflight as well.

The first four chapters of the main campaign are already on the Public Test Realm now. Patch 10.2’s release is planned for this fall, so players won’t have to wait long to see these quests for themselves.

World of Warcraft is available now for PC.

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