WoW’s next patch drops in just under 2 weeks: game-wide dragonriding, follower dungeons, and worgens coming home

World of Warcraft’s been on a bit of a roll with its patch cadence this past year. As Heather Newman pointed out earlier this week, Blizzard’s seemingly turned a corner with the game—though whether it keeps that momentum going into 2024 and The War Within is another thing entirely. 

While Shadowlands saw a horrific 218 days between its release and its first major patch, Dragonflight’s been on-tempo the entire time—promising things and then… actually delivering on them. The future is now. It looks like the updates will proceed as morale improves, as announced on World of Warcraft’s official Twitter account.

(Image credit: @Warcraft on Twitter/X.)

Seeds of Renewal will be dropping January 16. Granted, we’ve known about this stuff for a while thanks to handy roadmaps—I’ve even discussed some of it, like how the upcoming follower dungeons feature is the first step to fixing the game’s atrocious new player dungeon experience. Still, here’s a point-by-point explanation of what’s coming.

Dragonflight Follower Dungeons: You’ll be able to do all of Dragonflight’s dungeons with a party of NPCs, rather than risking the usual toxins of the party finder. This is something FF14’s been doing for a while, so it’s nice to see WoW catching up: gogogog no more.The Dragon Isles Epilogues: A set of new campaign chapters to wrap up Dragonflight. We could even see the start of narrative threads leading to The War Within, considering WoW’s trying to get all story-focused with a three-expansion narrative arc.The Reclamation of Gilneas: As promised, the game’s British rep—the Gilneans, afflicted with a Worgen curse—will be returning to their homeland to take it back.Azerothian Archives: According to some PTR adventurers, these’ll be world events where you can get mounts and cosmetics by doing menial tasks for the archivists. A nice come-down after kicking Fyrakk’s teeth in.Dragonriding Worldwide: While you’ll be limited to around 80% of your speed, Dragonriding is coming to every continent. Blizzard previously said that the cap was to avoid making travel feel “trivially short”—but don’t worry. You can still hit top speeds of about 660%, which is blisteringly quick.

That’s just the major stuff. We’re also getting Troll and Draenei customisations, visual updates to abilities from Shadowlands, access to the Night Elf’s new home Bel’ameth (whose pseudo-neutral status has been ruffling feathers) and some new skins for demons.

While it won’t be launching with Seasons of Renewal, there’s still that mystery pirate flag draped over the roadmap. It’ll be interesting to see if my swashbuckling dreams will come true—or if they’ll sink to the bottom of Mike Ybarra’s locker. While I have plenty of issues with the game (especially its new and returning player experience, which still aren’t great) the future is looking bright against all odds. Shadowlands was merely a setback.

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