the greymane wallIt’s one of the oldest lore questions in WoW, “What the heck is up with Gilneas?  What’s behind the Graymane wall?”

Well, unless Blizzard does something strange, the answer might be obvious.

Take a close look at the map.  What is the one single zone that Gilneas connects to?  Silverpine Forest, a Horde level 10 to 23 zone.

It only makes sense then that Gilneas would be levels 1-10.  It’s an unused Horde starting zone.

When will it be used?  Well, take a look at what else surrounds Gilneas…  The Ocean.
It seems likely then that Gilneas is a Horde starting zone that will be put to use by a new race introduced in the Maelstrom Expansion.

Now yes, Blizzard could go all wonky on us and make the zone into something it doesn’t naturally lend itself to, but for now we’ll just have to wait and see.  If it is a starter zone though then obviously our next question is, “What race?”  Well, it could be Worgen, and that tends to be the most popular rumor, but my hope is the Naga. <dodges tomatoes>

Here’s why…

The Naga were originally Night Elves altered by the Old Gods.

High Elves were derived from Night Elves who embraced the arcane and began living during the day.

The Forsaken are, of course, led by an undead High Elf.

If a faction of Naga have taken over Gilneas then the northern half of the Eastern Kingdoms effectively becomes a complete Elven territory.

Consider this then for Warcraft’s Future (we’re talking WC4/WoW2).  Even with the events of WotLK, many of us still feel it’s only a matter of time before the Forsaken break off from the Horde.  With the Naga in Gilneas, the Forsaken and Blood Elves could form a triumverate faction, the theme of which being their common elven origins.  Not only that, it also provides a strong, necessary catalyst.  With a faction of Naga now in Gilneas and the Blood Elves already available, the Forsaken would flat out no longer need the Horde, which is the primary (only?) reason they’re members of that faction in the first place.  In other words, placing the Naga in Gilneas would lead to a great shove forward for the lore.

Consider then the landscape in WC4/WoW2:

The north half of the Eastern Kingdoms is now an Elven territory mostly ruled by the Forsaken/Blood Elf/Naga triumverate.

The south half of the Eastern Kingdoms is mostly Dwarf and Human territory.

And Kalimdor is the home of what one could consider a more “classic” Horde of Orcs, Trolls, and Tauren.  Night Elves, Theramore Humans, and Draenei of course also inhabit the continent.

I’m admittedly as much a Worgen fan as the next guy, and it could be another option to have some sort of horror theme going on in the north half of the Eastern Kingdoms with Undead and Were-Wolves, but beyond that gimmick there really isn’t much depth to it.

As cool as I think Worgen would be in the short term, the Naga work much better when looking towards the long term.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brent February - 2009 at 3:19 pm

We’ve seen Arugal killed… twice. I wouldn’t be surprised if the backstory of Gilneas is that they isolated themselves to try to hide the fact that their entire population had become worgen due to the close proximity of SFK. While Worgen are an enemy they’re only significant in a few small areas, and most players only really have a passing experience with them (excluding young Undead). Naga on the other hand are like the big sisters of Murlocs. Everyone hates them, Horde and Alliance alike. I’d be very disappointed if Naga became playable. It’d be as bad as giving us Murloc’s to play.

I like the idea of “redeemed” Worgen from Gilneas for the Horde feeding directly into Silverpine and onwards.

2 Dangablad February - 2009 at 11:57 am

Worgen for the horde from Gilneas because it feeds into Silverpine. Makes sense

But Hyjal can feed into Ashenvale. Does that make it the other racial starting zone?


3 Boone March - 2009 at 1:37 am

Im calling Furlogs for alliance, basically they fit in with night elves, and their is some lore backing them up plus it even up a size issue thing with alliance, so the furlogs could match tuarns, and for horde im thinkign ogres or naga, i mean ogres got what, warrior, shaman, mage, warlock hunter,

and furlogs have warrior, shaman hunter ??????? i guess furlogs prolly woudlnt work

4 Cocles March - 2009 at 1:51 am

You might, MIGHT be able to get away with furbolg druids.

5 Armagon March - 2009 at 8:17 pm

Please help me stop laughing at the idea of Furbolg Death Knights.
Of course a playable race introduced after all the WotLK Undead/DK thingy might be not eligible for being a DK, but then… right now it’s the only class that can be created from every single playable race.
Same with Naga, Worgen, etc.
Don’t take my word, but I’m quite sure I’ve never seen any stealthed Ogre, Naga, Furbolg, Worg. Which again completely rules out Rogues. Plus Furbolg Warriors never had Shields.
I know, I know, I’m nitpicking, but from all these “unlikely” races, they just have to choose some…
And what about Paladins, also hardly fit in here.

6 Brent March - 2009 at 3:04 pm

There are stealthed Worgen (can’t remember exactly where), plus Worgen are humans who gained wolflike features, so there’s an underlying expectation of intelligence.

Class Ideas –

Greymane Worgen for Horde:
* Warriors
* Hunters
* Rogues
* Priests
* Mages (remembering Arugal)
* DK

Furbolgs for Alliance:
* Warriors
* Shaman
* Hunters
* Druids
* Paladins (taught by Draenei)
* DK

7 Exquisite March - 2009 at 10:15 pm

If the Alliance were to get another shaman race, the Horde would need another paladin race. You also have to look at the limitations of putting armor on worgen and furbolgs.

8 Brent March - 2009 at 10:21 pm

Acutally on the basis of a “Redeemed Worgen” you could justify a paladin class, being that they were redeemed by their “return to the Light”.

As for armour on the models, there’s nothing to say a modified model couldn’t be used, that’s more conducive to armour. There are multiple troll models, on which one of them can hold armour.

9 Valerant March - 2009 at 7:53 am

I am pretty sure the lore behind gilneas is a old faction of the alliance lead by Genn Greymane that shut its walls during one of the wars?

I dont think it is going to be worgen or something to that effect? But i cant really say entirly due to the fact that there has been 0 info about what has been happening behind the walls.

10 Mark March - 2009 at 12:26 am

I’m still sold on Worgen having taken Gilneas. The Naga are too “evil” to be a player race. Their leader is Azshara after all and unlike the B. elves. Every Naga worships her as a god. (She may be, possible antagonism there with Elune?) Why would the Naga break away and fight themselves?

This would be e repeat of the B. Elves plot and reak of the Fosaken-Arthas Cliche. Its possible(maybe likely). But equal footing should be given the the Worgen rumors.

Worgen lore ties them with Elune and with Dalaran and some foreign plane seen only by Ur the crazy Archmage. Where is this world? Why does Elune involve herself in this planes history? and thus, who is Elune? On one hand she is a benevolent goddess, the other a crazy dog lady picking up strays. Surely shoe understood the impact an uncivilized race would have when used as a weapon.

How do human turn into extraterrestrial beings anyway? In the root of the Worgen lore are Were-wolvels, But they are established as their own being seperate from Human form. Why(how) would Arugal make Worgen/men?

You should blog a post on the Worgen alone and their credibility as a player race/involvement in future lore.

11 Cocles March - 2009 at 4:13 am

“You should blog a post on the Worgen alone and their credibility as a player race/involvement in future lore.”

I think that could be arranged.

12 Mordorlay May - 2009 at 6:48 am

As much as I could see the Gilneas/Worgen side of things, at the same time it could be justified that the wall went up prior to it, keeping them out.

I was thinking aboutt his for some time. If the Maelstrom were to be the next area of conflict, then anything facing the Maelstrom could be possibly attacked. Gilneas is a Peninsula (sp). I could see the Greymane gates being opened once Gilnes is under seige and on the losing side.

It would be a great starting zone for the next expansion, to be honest. Where Gilneas (unhappily) requests the aide of the forces beyond their wall to regain control over their land in exchange for allowing the Alliance to temporarily set up a base camp for the seige of the Maelstrom.

It’s slighty one-sided, however, giving the Horde (whom aren’t very popular with Gilneas) no foothold inside the Wall.

13 Timpalainen May - 2009 at 1:41 pm

I like the idea Mordorlay layed out, it makes a lot of sense really.
But we have to remember that Gilneas was at the time of the Second War one of the most powerfull human nations and the fact that they have had peace for a very long time would logically make them even stronger now?

I am not quite sure what kind of nation they are (war-like, seafaring etc) but still, they have had an awfull lot of time to build up their forces.

If Gilneas people is as stubborn and single-minded as their king then I for one would not want to tresspas on their lands.

14 doll May - 2009 at 8:05 am

i love the idea…. and it makes perfect sense… the naga can join the horde, and then the naga, forsaken and bloodelves will splinter off into a third faction… however the problem is… what about all the quest hubs and towns…. almost every hub and town will have a tauren or a troll in it giving quests out.. it would be hard to reprogram everything, and what about someone leveling a forsaken? how is he meant to level if he cant go to the barrens or orgrimar etc….. it’s a great idea to have the 3rd faction, but reprogramming everything will be too hard and blizz wont bother

15 dinfinite May - 2009 at 6:55 am

Factions can not split, A lot of angry horde would result, now that they don’t have paladins again, so the whole elven faction is never gonna happen. I would hate worgen or furbolg playable races as well. They have bland models and just aren’t interesting enough. Genn Greymane had NO love for the other human inhabitants of Azeroth. Pretty much neutral with both horde and alliance races, disliking them equally. My guess is that if Maelstrom is the ext expansion, then The capitol of Gilneas would be the major city of the expansion (See Shattrath/Dalaran) I think that the naga are going to be a big part of it, since its mostly going to to be islands and a lot of water based stuff. Im not sure about new races/classes.

16 furbolgsupport May - 2009 at 8:37 am

@Brent, for Furbolgs, maybe even Warlock as a playable class, I only say this because a large number of the Furbolg tribes have been corrupted, what about those that we’re only partially corrupted, or managed to fight it off somehow, yet still had the Corrupted energies running throughout their bodies? It may be a longshot, but I figured why not?

17 Brent May - 2009 at 2:49 pm

From a technical point of view, we’ll need another launching point besides Gilneas, probably around Azshara if its all about the Maelstrom. Blizzard found that the two Wrath starting points solved many of the HFP issues with overcrowding so I’d be surprised if they didn’t repeat the action.

Maybe part of the sea out from Azshara will rise up as a new zone, or the land on the eastern side of Thousand Needles (north of Tanaris and Steamwheedle Port) will become a usuable zone. It’ll make a good overflight for lowbies from Theramore to Gadgetzan too. They could even redirect the Horde over it from Orgrimmar.

18 Mordorlay June - 2009 at 6:39 pm

You know, I was just thinking… Timbermaw Hold in Azshara.

Neutral race.

19 Shylo July - 2009 at 11:33 am

That island off of of tanaris i once heard was the goblin homeland. Recently i read also that some are wondering if gobbies will become playable races. Which would make since with Brents theory.

The same source that wondered about the goblins becoming playable also wondered about the worgen.

20 Brent July - 2009 at 2:47 pm

I’m skeptical of the “There’s halloween masks so they *must* be the new races” theory.

Blizzard had to introduce new masks into halloween to give people who’d done all the achievements, something more to do. Werewolves and goblins are halloween creatures anyway, so its not a stretch that they were simply just added. If worgen are one of the new races, its more likely that Goblins were included to give a smokescreen. When BElves were announced as the Horde Race in BC, Blizz did a lot to conceal the Draenei’s existence. We’re not even a year into the current expansion, and close as 9 months out from the BC expansion they were still keeping it hidden.

Personally, I’d be very disappointed if Goblins became playable, simply because they’ve been billed for so long as the neutral faction, to the point of having their own factions etc.

21 bob August - 2009 at 10:05 am

Riddle me this …

How would the second strongest Human nation on Azeroth get overrun by 1-10 level Nagas? This does NOT make sense.

Secondly, Blizzard already retconned too much lore in Lordaeron with the Blood Elves and High Elves, Forsaken, Dwarves … I sincerely hope they don’t mess around with it again. Besides … where would they put the alliance race in order to balance this lopsided positioning? The middle of the Barrens?

It would make more sense to introduce a third faction alltogether.

There WILL BE BOTH Worgen an Naga there, however. Gilneas will be a Combat Zone like Wintergrasp or Ahn Qiraj. It really doesn’t fit any other way at this point. Think about … and it will be awesome.

22 Cocles August - 2009 at 1:35 pm

Blizzard is inconsistent with their relation to levels, so I’d avoid using that when judging anything. Remember, going by that logic, the elves are fighting tooth and nail to reclaim their homeland from… 10-20 Scourge.

In other words, game mechanics decide level ranges, not lore. That and just being forgetful… why else would the ArchDruid of the entire Horde be level 62 with 3500 health?

23 Anguss August - 2009 at 9:06 pm

Going back and reading this thread with the advantage of current knowledge is fascinating, especially since some of those posting came pretty close to the mark, and even those who diverge present good cases that would have been plausible and pretty interesting if they had come to fruition.

I’m particularly intrigued by the idea of a THIRD faction. Forsaken splitting off would be cool, because of course we all agree that they don’t quite feel right in the Horde, obviously having their own (decidedly dark) agenda. I’m Horde to the Core, but I have to admit I hate the Forsaken and wouldn’t mind at all if they were in an enemy faction.

However, if you ever play the WoW Minis game, mobs are a playable faction in that. I can imagine an Azeroth where you could choose to take control of some of the more interesting mobs with a bit of history, like Naga, furbolgs (though it just seems like a playable Ewok to me), ogres, either of the Piggy Men tribes… ooh, how about Dragonkin?

As for the economics of it, would you make the third race available only to those buying an expansion? Or make them available to the Vanilla-only players (who are already going to have a whole new world to play in once Cataclysm hits)?

And what would a third faction do to BGs? Would they all be adapted, or would new BGs be developed for tri-faction combat?

Anyway, we know now that there won’t be a third faction in the foreseeable future, but I sure do find it fun to think about.

24 AwesomeDude December - 2009 at 12:51 am

Well of course now we all know that the Worgen are going to be with the Alliance, but this is just to tell you why the naga would never be with the horde, or with the Alliance, *ahem*

1. They’re incredibly evil, and in their highborne years served Azshara without question.

2. The argument, “They’re high elves just like Sylvanas, so theres a connection there” doesn’t work, seeing as how High Elves are degenerated from Night Elves. When the sundering occured, the pink-skinned blood and high elves we know today had not existed yet. So, they would still be Night Elves, only ones who practice arcane magic or w/e.

25 kaelub December - 2009 at 12:48 am

its for worgen witch strangly are on the alliance side the night elfs recruted them and it will be in the exspanshin caled cataclysm this is tru info and goblins are on the horid

26 kaelub December - 2009 at 12:50 am
27 Brent December - 2009 at 10:13 pm

Well of course now we all know that the Worgen are going to be with the Alliance, but this is just to tell you why the naga would never be with the horde, or with the Alliance, *ahem*

1. They’re incredibly evil, and in their highborne years served Azshara without question.

2. The argument, “They’re high elves just like Sylvanas, so theres a connection there” doesn’t work, seeing as how High Elves are degenerated from Night Elves. When the sundering occured, the pink-skinned blood and high elves we know today had not existed yet. So, they would still be Night Elves, only ones who practice arcane magic or w/e.

Wow, I’m sorry but that shows a distinct lack of accurate knowledge of the Lore of WoW.

1. Firstly, Naga didn’t exist when the Sundering occurred either. The Naga are the Highborne elves (who were night elves at the time) who were twisted by the evil magics of the Old Golds after Azshara, Queen of the Kaldorei, made a pact with them.

2. High Elves and Blood Elves are those Highborne who didn’t go with the Queen into the depths but chose to join the Kaldorei Resistance before the last battle in the War of the Ancients.

3. The Naga still serve Azshara without question since she’s still their Queen due to her immortality mutation. This point from what you said holds true with why they won’t join the Alliance, though not because of their time as Highborne.

I agree with the fact that Naga would never join the Alliance, but it has nothing to do with the Kaldorei blood lines, and everything to do with their current society.

28 John May - 2010 at 9:36 am

Get a girlfriend.

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