Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hero Races

Yesterday, has revealed what many of us suspected: that the new World of Warcraft expansion will be called Cataclysm and that it will bring two new races: Worgen for Alliance and Goblins for Horde.

I was too lazy to comment on this yesterday but it's just as well 'cause I read some opinions from current players, ex-players and non-players of WoW in the meantime. Many of them were entertaining due to their narrow-mindedness, not to say stupidity.

For example, some were proclaiming that there's no way Blizzard's going to introduce any new races in the next expansion. Newsflash: Burning Crusade has already brought new races so there's definitely precedent for that. Wrath of the Lich King brought a new class but the next expansion will most likely bring new races once again, to even things out.

Here's more food for thought. The recent changes to mount speeds and the lower levels they become accessible at will definitely play a role in leveling a brand new Worgen or Goblin character. Starting areas for these 2 new races will most likely run the player through levels 1-20 from which point they get access to both their first mount and the existing areas of Azeroth. Speaking of which, I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard gave these old zones a significant makeover.

Other people were qq-ing over the choice of races and how the hell they are gonna fit in with the 2 factions. Worgen are eeveel! They shouldn't belong to the Alliance! Goblinz are neutral, they shouldn't be Horde! Well, I'm not a lore nerd by any means but even I know about the nation of Gilneas hidden behind the Greymane Wall. Essentially the people of Gilneas (of human race) who were briefly part of the Alliance once, have been turned into Worgen (or so it is speculated). If there be playable Worgen, that's where they'll come from: Gilneas. This has been made even more plausible some time ago by a blue who hinted that Blizzard has great plans for what's behind the wall. That's great. As for Goblins? I won't even get into the lore at this point but there are countless ways in which they can be allied with the Horde.

Now Blizzard has stated that they like to "seed" races in the game way before they are added as playable. Goblins and Worgen have, of course, been in the game since the beginning. So have other races such as Ogres and Furbolgs. In fact, if any other races will be introduced to the game in some distant future, I would expect them to be Ogres for Horde and Furbolgs for Alliance. We'll see about that. There's the small matter of Ogre females. They are so shy that no one has seen one yet.

People are also in contradiction over whether a new hero class will be added. I'm on the fence in regards to this. A new hero clas would be very nice. It would, of course, start the game at level 65 and would begin in a nice instanced area just like the Death Knight. However, Blizzard has stated that a new expansion won't necessarily mean a new (hero) class. There are also balancing issues with a new class due to the fact that most skill combinations are pretty much accounted for and a new class would have to bring very special things to the table in order to make it interesting. Besides, what are the chances of Blizzard introducing both new races and a new class? Very slim indeed.

Blizzcon is less than 2 weeks away though and I'm sure all will be revealed then. I wouldn't be very surprised if Blizzard pulled a twofer and gave us new races and a new class (not necessarily a hero class). Let's not forget that they are trying to push the envelope with each expansion and it's gonna be rather tricky to top WotLK.

Personally I am very excited about Worgen especially. I have a feeling that they won't look 100% like the in-game Worgen. They will probable have their features toned down a little to make them more "human(e)"-looking. They might even be called Gilneans instead of Worgen. I just hope they can be mages. As for Goblins, I don't like playing Gnomes but these green-skinned buggers might be interesting. The skin tone is what would attract me in a wacky sort of way.

As interesting as the raging debates are, I have another suggestion for Blizzard: merge hero classes with races and create a Hero Race. A Hero Race would have such powerful racials that it would dominate any regular race in 1-on-1 PvP combat. In fact you would need at least 3 regular races (of any class combination) to defeat a Hero Race (of any class). Yeah, I know it's a stupid idea but I guarantee that if Blizzard pulled this off, everyone would be like WTF?!?

So which of the new races are you excited about?


Celebrandil said...

As a true horde player from the beginning, I'd have to go with Goblins, but.... really, I don't think I will.

I like them as NPCs and I like their attitude, but if Blizzard uses the same models in the expansion, then they're gonna be damn ugly. And have you seen how they run?

Dalt said...

I am excited about the prospect of both. Worgen in particular would be fun to play and remind me of the Wolfen from the Rackham miniatures games. I think there is a lot of potential for great story lines and quests for a Gilneas 1-20 zone. I would like to level a Rogue on day and it would be fun if it could be a Worgen.

For the Goblins, there is no reason a faction of them couldnt be allied with the Horde. There are plenty of Horde NPC's that are Goblins as well as neutral ones. What wouldnt surprise me is if all the Goblin NPC's alredy tied to the Horde (Zepplin Crews, Orgrimmar Questgivers, etc) werent re-classifed as being part of a Horde Goblin faction introduced in the next expansion.

However, the Neutral Goblins would stay neutral. That way Gadgetzan, Booty Bay and Everlook would stay pretty much the same.

Darth Solo said...

I have a feeling that Horde will get a bit shafted with these new races. Worgen seem so much cooler. Gilneas has major potential. But who knows, maybe they'll come up with a great back story for Goblins too. And I'm almost certain that they'll tweak the character models to look better than the NPCs.

Shawn said...

So, does this mean that we'll have the first skinnable player chars?! I'm so excited. I want to skin me some hunter.

Anonymous said...

Although I really like the idea of new races being introduced to wOw, I am not over excited about the choice Blizzard has made for the races that we will be getting in the new expansion.
Why not introduce something more sexy and alluring the likes of Fey Folk or Dragonkin?
Pffft maybe it is just my being female - but I am sure there are others out there, male and female alike, that are not overly impressed.

Savin (Nay) Wangtal said...

I would prefer the actual Worgens summoned to Azeroth by the Scythe of Elune. They definitely share common enemies with the Alliance, seeing as they were pretty much summoned to Azeroth as servants to the Night Elves. But the Glineas Worgens would be good as well.

Goblins.. are somewhat neutral. Not that they were never a part of the Horde in WC2 or anything like that. No, that has never happened, ever.

Ultimately though, I would still reroll as a Troll given the choice. No amount of new races is going to change that.

Darth Solo said...

@Shawn if only we could skin furry player characters... It's funny how I attempt to skin humanoids with my skinner characters. I mean cmon, think about it: humanoid skin would be so much softer and suppler.

@Suicide Barbie what are these Fey Folk that you're talking about? There are some Fey "creatures but that's all. As for Dragonkin, the problem is that they are not humanoid. I'm pretty certain that Blizzard will never introduce a playable non-humanoid race. So this excludes Dragonkin, Nerubians, Naga etc.

@Savin why trolls mon? I'm curious to why people prefer a certain race over another. I have a future article planned on the subject.

Anonymous said...

I guess I have let my over active imagination run wild once again with the idea of introducing completely new humanoid classes the likes of Faerie Folk/Fey Folk and Dragon Kin - Humanoids decended from the line dragons (kinda kinky so I will leave it to your creative powers to decide how such a thing is possible) -Meh! small wonder that I am a total sucker for fantasy and science fiction :-p

Darth Solo said...

Aren't we all, Barbie ;)