World of Warcraft: Dragonflight Alpha preview — Forbidden Reach, Uldaman, and Neltharus

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight had another update to its alpha test, this time for the Dracthyr starting area (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight had another update to its alpha test, this time for the Dracthyr starting area (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight’s alpha is going faster than previous entries, and that’s certainly a good thing. This means players will typically have a week ‌to enter ‌the new content and try it out.

The previous iteration featured the Azure Span, but this week, they gained access to something a little different.

Besides another class update, Dracthyr's starting area, the Forbidden Reach, fans also got to try two dungeons. One is a rework, or perhaps a new wing of Uldaman known as “Legacy of Tyr”, and the other is the fiery Neltharus.

How do they feel, though? That’s what we’re exploring today. However, none of the Dracthyr videos will feature cutscenes to avoid spoilers. There will be mild potential spoiler talk in this preview, though, so readers beware.


World of Warcraft: Dragonflight’s latest build offers new and rebuilt content

In this current alpha build, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight’s available area is the starting zone for the Dracthyr: The Forbidden Reach. Once the secret training ground for Black Dragonflight, it’s now home to the Dracthyr that exists in stasis.

If that sounds familiar, it probably should. That’s also what happened to the Demon Hunters, existing in ‌stasis until they were brought back into the world.

It’s a gorgeous, green jungle with beautiful rivers, mountains, and a few creepy caves and temples. We also see the mysterious Primalist faction again, showing up to cause a ruckus in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight.

It’s not known if they are connected to whatever the big boss is, though, or if they’re just an ancillary faction.

For users new to the Dracthyr, it allows them to ease into the class, learning the usefulness of the Hover and Soar abilities and is excellent for those new to the class and the game.

For players that have already experienced the class, it feels a little slow, but it also teaches some lore, making it worthwhile.


However, it’s interesting that Nozdormu, leader of the Bronze Dragonflight, is present towards the end of the zone. Nozdormu, as many users know, has an evil counterpart in the future, Murozond of the Infinite Dragonflight.

There are several useful things taught to gamers new to Dracthyr, though. For example, their Living Flame ability can damage enemies or be used to heal an ally. It’s an excellent way to get a decent heal in solo gameplay.

Without spoiling too much, World of Warcraft’s Forbidden Reach does an excellent job of introducing players to the Dracthyr Evoker class combination. As of right now, that’s all Dracthyr can do, so if that should ever change, this area also likely will.


It also features some truly adorable animal creatures, from large horned beetles and winged foxes to blue, spiked otters. It’s a place that has laid dormant for long but now must be revisited.

The area is broken up into several storylines, focused on factions such as the Healing Wings and the Dark Talons.

Forbidden Reach is overrun with The Primalists in the MMO, but their actual goal is currently unknown, other than summoning and controlling a host of Elementals.

In Azure Span, it was all about fire elementals, but wind/storm elementals plague Forbidden Reach.

Two dungeons are available — Ulduar: The Legacy of Tyr and Neltharus


During the latest World of Warcraft: Dragonflight alpha preview, two dungeons were available to try out — Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr and Neltharus.

In particular, the former will be a trip through the past. Set in the Badlands, it has an entrance near the original Uldaman entrance ‌users are already familiar with.

The WoW dungeon will feel nearly identical to the original run, only significantly shorter. It contains five bosses ‌until gamers reach the point where Ironaya originally stood.

A hidden path in her chamber leads to a critical story-related point. While I won’t spoil it in writing, the dungeon video contains the entire adventure.


Neltharus is the original home of the Black Dragonflight in World of Warcraft, and it is a fortress completely overflowing with fire and fire elemental-related foes. Some experiments are conducted in the dungeon, leading to an angry Magmatusk foe.

It’s a place that looked to be gearing up for war. The bosses were interesting in both dungeons, and the layouts were solid. Both dungeons took around 20 minutes and were ultimately enjoyable experiences.

The two also teased some very interesting plot points, and are likely tied to the main story of the expansion. I appreciated that there were solid packs of foes to fight.

The pulls could easily be chain pulled but weren’t so close that accidental wipes would occur.

In conclusion

The intro area for Dracthyr was good, but I have to admit, the areas feel huge. Thankfully, soar and dragonflight will make that ‌less relevant, but on foot, these areas are gargantuan.


Some awesome Shaman skills are back too in World of Warcraft, like Power of the Maelstrom, Primal Lava Actuators, Primal Primer, and Primordial Wave, so that’s a positive for would-be channelers of the elements.

I had a blast going through the dungeons, and I am still a big fan of Dracthyr Evokers.

If I had to complain about one thing in the Dracthyr story, it would be the end. I’m glad they got a better reception in Orgrimmar than Death Knights, but the conclusion was vexing.

The last steps lead players to an area on the map that isn’t immediately known how to travel to.


On top of that, mounts and soaring are locked behind completing this World of Warcraft quest. There’s an elevator near the spot gamers need to be at, but it isn’t always obvious for them, so it’s something to be aware of.

If this could be made ‌clearer in the instructions or on the mini-map, that would be terrific. That was one of the few minor issues I had.

The rest of the storyline was paced well and felt good. It's also not too late to sign up for the beta, coming later this year.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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