Future Allied Race Speculation
After that pessimistic last article of mine, I feel it would be a good idea to discuss something more positive. So let’s take a look at one of Battle for Azeroth‘s most interesting features, the Allied Race system. Essentially a way to add playable races that would otherwise be too similar to existing ones opens the door to many potential races I would never have thought to be made playable. Then there is the fact that Blizzard said the six allied races coming are just the beginning. It’s unclear, at least to me, whether they meant additional allied races will be added during Battle for Azeroth‘s patch cycle, or if allied races will be something we can expect as a core feature of any future expansion like new regular races or classes. Either way, there are a tons of potential candidates worth speculating on.
So read on past the jump to see my predictions for what allied races we could see in the future.
Based on the six announced allied races, Blizzard appears to have settled on the following “categories” for what can be qualified as an allied race. They are not simply new skin options for existing races, so more work would need to go into them than something like mag’har orcs or wildhammer dwarves.
-Category One: A variant of an existing race, but with unique customization options beyond different skins. (Highmountain tauren with their antlers, dark iron dwarves with their fire-beards, lightforged draenei with their unique horn styles, runes and tattoos)
-Category Two: A race with a very similar appearance to an existing race, but requiring a heavily reworked model. (Nightborne and Zandalari trolls)
-Category Three: A variant of an existing race, nearly identical to its parent other than skin color, but is available to the opposite faction. (Void elves)
Divided into those categories, I’ll list some of the potential allied races I feel could be added in the future. I’ll provide a brief explanation of why I think they would fit, what their customization options would be, and their available classes.
I like idea of a fully non-flesh race, and unlike mechagnomes, earthen would look alright wearing armor. Stone hair and beard styles would give the earthen a completely unique look compared to any existing race while still being close enough to base dwarves. Being made entirely of stone could also grant some interesting racial abilities. In terms of lore, we could finally see what became of the Frostborn. As they’re already allied with the Alliance, they would make a perfect inroads towards recruiting the earthen in larger numbers, especially given their proximity to Ulduar.
Potential classes: Warrior, Hunter, Shaman, Rogue, Paladin, Priest, Monk
When thinking about allied races, brown-skinned or mag’har orcs are one of the first things that come to mind. However there is a problem, they’re not unique enough from regular orcs based on what Blizzard has shown so far. Even the dark iron dwarves had to be retconned to have beards that are always on fire. So I looked for other customization options that would set brown-skinned orcs apart from the primary race and hit upon the perfect solution: the Iron Horde. Instead of just the remnant mag’har from Outland, the orcs of alternate Draenor show the clans at their height of power and diversity. With Draenor orcs you could fold in Blackrock or Shattered Hand skin tones on top of brown, have unique customization options like Warsong and Bleeding Hollow tattoos, perhaps even new hairstyles themed around the Warlords.
Potential classes: Warrior, Hunter, Shaman, Mage, Rogue, Priest (from the Shadowmoon clan), Monk
When trying to think on an allied race for the undead, I first considered something akin the dark rangers or Nathanos, intact undead elves or humans. These didn’t seem unique enough to me, but then I remembered the darkfallen. They still seem a bit more of a stretch than the others, given we already have two elven allied races coming, but the idea of having playable vampires is an idea that seems perfectly suited for an allied race. To help them stand out, they could be given features like vampire fangs or vestigial versions of Blood-Queen Lana’thel’s wings. Where they could really shine are racial abilities, perhaps being able to feed on enemies (similar to an in-combat version of the Forsaken’s cannibalize ability) or maybe a slow-fall with their wings.
Potential classes: Warrior, Mage, Warlock, Rogue, Hunter, Priest, Death Knight
Furbolgs are one of those races that have been requested since WoW launched but never seemed flashy enough to be a realistic choice. That changes with allied races, especially given that they have a perfect parent race to serve as a variant of: the pandaren. As you can see in the mock-up I’ve made at the top of the article, taking a pandaren model and giving it a more grizzly-like head would make a perfectly serviceable furbolg without any more design work than say nightborne or Zandalari. There would be the question of how to treat an allied race derived from a neutral one, especially since I can’t see furbolgs joining the Horde.
Potential classes: Warrior, Druid, Shaman, Hunter, Priest, Monk
Kul Tiran Humans:
In a rather bizarre detail shown at BlizzCon, while most humans living in Kul Tiras use the same model as current playable humans, there are some who use an entirely new “bulky” model. Stranger still, from the BlizzCon demo and available screenshots, these Kul Tirans are all around three feet taller than the regular ones. They seem like a perfect allied race, as their resemblance to vrykul makes them stand out while also being (presumably) smaller so as to avoid the issue of them fitting through doors. A thread on MMO-Champion pointed out the possibility that the “Kul” in Kul Tiras could even derive from Vrykul, which seems like the kind of unintentional, retconned in “foreshadowing” that Blizzard loves to implement from fans (see Tirisfal/Tyr’s Fall or Genn Greymane becoming a worgen). The starkly different culture we’ve seen of Kul Tiras would also open up some interesting class options, for example Kul Tirans seem to have druids and shaman (the Sea Priests, who are described as using water and storm magic).
Potential classes: Warrior, Priest, Shaman, Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Mage, Monk
Ogres are something I’ve seen people suggest as a potential allied race, but I disagree. They’re unique and known enough that should ogres be made playable, I think they would work better as a traditional race. Also, there’s the problem I mentioned with the vrykul of their size. Mok’nathal, the clan of orc/ogre hybrids living in Outland, on the other hand seem a great fit. While in-game they’re just orcs with orange skin, look at Rexxar’s Heroes of the Storm artwork. Using that a base, Mok’nathal would be bulkier, upright orcs with more ogre-ish faces. Their being midway between an orc and an ogre would also make them a good counterpart to the vrykul-ish Kul Tirans.
Potential classes: Warrior, Hunter, Mage, Shaman, Monk
When considering a Horde equivalent to the void elves my first thought was the man’ari eredar. There are eredar that have sided against the Burning Legion, and with the defeat of Sargeras many more disenfranchised eredar could seek out a new purpose and new allies. It would also provide more support to Battle for Azeroth‘s theme of faction conflict, as the draenei, especially the lightforged, would be wary of the Horde accepting their corrupted brethren.
Potential classes: Warrior, Rogue, Mage, Warlock, Hunter, Paladin (in the style of Tyrant Velhari)
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