Goblins & Worgen, The New Races in Maelstrom?

GoblinSappersSo a few days ago, one of our readers directed me to a post on MMO-Chamion declaring “Goblins and Worgen” as the new races in the Maelstrom Expansion, because masks of them were just added for the Hallow’s End holiday.

Sure enough though, a few days later, Vrykul and Ogre masks were added too.

So what’s our take on it?  There’s a lot that can be dug out of this, and some of it’s not immediately obvious.

Let’s cut to the meat of it.  It’s obvious that if Blizzard could have their drothers the  new races would be Goblins and Pandaren.  They’re both island races, they’re completely humanoid, there’s a huge demand for Pandaren, and the Horde need a small race to mirror gnomes.

Now let’s look at it by faction…

For the Horde the answer is immediately obvious; it’s either Goblins or Naga.

Ogres?  They’re from Outland.  If the Horde weren’t in  need of a “pretty” race at the time, they would have been perfect as the new Horde race in “The Burning Crusade”.  But Maelstrom?  They don’t fit.

I’ve mentioned Naga in the past.  Fact is though, when I think of Naga I’m thinking of the big picture.  I’m thinking of what it would mean for WoW2 or WC4 if the Naga were to take Gilneas and form a third faction with the Forsaken and Blood Elves.  Fact is though, Blizzard doesn’t give a flying rat’s rumpus about WoW2 or WC4 right now, so if it’s instant gratification then it’s got to be Goblins.

As a side note, there are a number of people arguing that playable goblins will have an adverse affect on any “neutral goblins” currently in the game.  This simply isn’t the case.  Keep in mind, there is no “goblin faction”.  The goblins’ government is a “Trade Coalition”.  They are ruled by at least five “Trade Princes” who are completely autonomous from each other.  It gets confusing, because they all share the same capital, “Undermine”.   Imagine France, Germany, and England all sharing one capital and you  kind of get the idea.  In Warcraft 2, only one of these Trade Princes temporarily hooked up with the Horde; the other four remained completely neutral.  Today, the neutral goblins we deal with are mostly members of Trade Prince Steamwheedle’s cartel.  If one Trade Prince (besides Steamwheedle) joins the Horde, it wouldn’t affect Steamwheedle at all.  Playable goblins would exist just fine with “neutral” ones.

Now onto the Alliance; they’re much more tricky.

Pandaren tie perfectly into the Maelstrom, but I simply don’t see Blizzard stirring that pot.  Say what you want.  Yes Blizzard fixed the armor, but things are tenuous at best between Blizzard and China right now, so I simply don’t see them adding anymore risk to the equation.  “Wrath of the Lich King” is *still* not out over in China.

That’s why things are tricky.  Once you remove Pandaren from the equation, there’s no obvious winner.  The Naga could go Alliance.  Feels strange, but it’s possible.  Worgen?  They’re probably the second most in demand race behind the Pandaren, plus they’re heavily rumored to be tied to Gilneas.

So what’s the new Alliance race?  It’s whichever one is currently residing behind the Greymane wall.  Naga or Worgen.  It’s strange to think that since with Silverpine right next door, Gilneas seemed destined to become a Horde level 1-10 zone.  Anyway, lore-wise, I like the Naga, but practically speaking I’m leaning towards the Worgen.  If the Alliance can’t have their Pandaren then Blizzard (via Gilneas) has an opening to give Alliance players a concession prize.  Plus, there’s no reason why the Naga couldn’t take Gilneas from the Worgen sometime in the future (or you could just dump the whole Naga idea altogether).

So there you have it.  Goblin and Worgen, which coincidentally leads us back to those first two masks.

By the way, two of those masks represent the first time we’ve seen either a female ogre, or a female worgen in WoW.  That alone is intriguing.  Perhaps ogres are also on the horizon.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Malfural July - 2009 at 5:56 am

If you look at the female ogre mask, you can see that it is the lowest quality one there. This is thought to be because the other “new masks” (meaning the second lot) were quickly put in to cover up Blizzard’s mistake. The worgen and goblin masks are obviously higher quality than their in-game models, whereas the others are just direct copies. However, there is no in-game model of the female ogre, so it seems a drawing was used instead.

2 campbell July - 2009 at 5:17 pm

i dought the naga will be a horde race because i remember reading somthing about how the horde saved the trolls from a bunch of murlocs and some naga thing

3 Chris July - 2009 at 11:15 am

What I want to know is why would Blizzard give a popular race only to the Alliance I totally disagree with this Horde should get something better then goblins thats like a kick in the face that would totally unbalance horde and alliance unless they give a new class to each besides you don’t play horde to be a small char it would totally suck to just get a damn goblin while Alliance is eating us with their awesome worgen… just seems a little off balance to me

4 Thurokiir July - 2009 at 11:51 am

Size doesn’t matter in this game, and shouldn’t be even remotely regarded in terms of how the game is designed.

Alliance were beating the tar out of horde for over a year in classic and they were all using itty bitty characters.

As it stands, new races will come and we’ll see what we get, it’s far too early in my book to make any kind of judgement.

Oh and a lot of Chinese users are switching to the Taiwanese servers. How’s that for public relations haha.

5 tyler July - 2009 at 8:32 am

i doubt naga would be playable, they’d be the main antagonists of the maelstrom and blizz has stated that their design isn’t humanoid enough (for armor etc).

6 wow-horda July - 2009 at 1:21 pm

Imagine France, Germany, and England all sharing one capitalnp, Brussels, European Union. Place, where interests of France and Germany are very mixed. Add to this Netherlands infuence. You got this.

7 pandurai July - 2009 at 6:47 pm

I don’t see why people keep thinking that naga = horde and pandaren = alliance. In wc3 it was revealed that naga are related to night elves, and though i don’t recall exactly how wc3 went, wasn’t there some kind of tenuous alliance between the night elves and naga?
It makes sense that pandaren could go horde to me. After all, in wc3 it was Rexxar who helped Chen out, while under command of Thrall.

8 Sciu August - 2009 at 12:19 pm

With my very limited knowledge of WC lore, I could certainly see one race such as ogres, goblins, naga, worgen or *gasp* murlocs available for both sides. There would obviously need to be some sort of visual distinction between them, such as skin/fur color, ambulation (walking) or in the usual WoW case, stature. They did just successfully remodel a good majority of the NPC troll presence, so I don’t see why this wouldn’t work for another race.

There has also been water cooler talk of the ability to change sides independent of race, so a single race present on both sides could easily contribute to that.

9 Meh August - 2009 at 3:30 pm

i dont particulary like the new races (if they are truly goblin and worgen)
Worgen may be ok,it depends on how its done.But Goblin are too similar too Gnomes ,i mean,they are a cool race,but they could take the spotlight away from Gnomes.

I would prefer Naga for Horde (they could find new allies in the Forsaken and Blood elves ) ,Pandaren for any of them or maybe Centaur for the Horde(they could be redeemed by the Pariah).That would be cool.

And i have a question,what where the Ironforge dwarves and the Stormwind humans doing during the 3d war?they were attacked?they just waited while their allies were being eaten by the undead?

10 GnollDruidPCsFTW August - 2009 at 2:56 pm

Personally, unlike most of the opinions I am reading, if the two races are Worgen and Goblins, I think Worgen are the lamer race. Goblins are tiny, and funny, and awesome, which the Horde doesn’t have yet. Think of the Goblin-Gnome rivalries if the Horde gets the goblins. In fact, if goblins do end up being the race for the Horde, I am willing to bet the next battleground involves a battle between the gnomes and goblins, with engineering and contraptions playing a big part in the battleground. You will enter the battleground and have to take over various points which would then give your side the ability to use various crazy engineering contraptions, like hang-gliders and lasers and giant bombs and things like that.

Worgen just seem too “fanboy” to me:

“Cool! Werewolves! That has to be the next race, because Werewolves kick ass! The only thing better than Werewolves is if we could be Vampires!”

“Yeah, Vampires, but they used to be elves….or what about demons…..I know Demonic Elven Vampires that can turn into Werewolves!”

“Yeah! Blizzard rocks!”

I admit, the location of Gilneas makes sense for the Worgen, but that’s all that makes sense. I don’t buy the masks being a clue. Why would Blizz put Hallows End masks out for the new races in an expansion that has no prayer of being released anytime near this year’s Hallow’s End? If it is for next year, why would they put them in a patch this year? I think they would wait until a patch next year, or include it in the discs that ship with the expansion. I think it is much more likely that they just wanted to add more masks for people to collect, and the female Worgen are just there for kicks because it looks really silly (and it does).

11 wowaholic August - 2009 at 6:06 am

In WC3 the naga teamed with the Blood Elf prince. So if naga were to be the next race it would be a horde race with there tie-ins to the Blood Elves and how there basically mutated elves. But I do agree that they aren’t really that himanoid so I don’t think they would be in the game.
As for goblins and worgens goblins are an obvious horde race and they would give the horde a short race to play. Worgens I don’t see how to fit then into the alliance lore wise, but they would give alliance a more dark race to balace out with the forsaken

12 Dafu August - 2009 at 7:15 am

Just thought I’d throw this bit of thought out there… Naga have no legs. Think of the implications of that. Having no legs closes all sorts of doors, can’t ride any existing mount, would be awkward in situations where legs are handy like climbing stairs or ladders. Existing lower body armor pieces and boots won’t make sense. Skill descriptions and icons will have a poor fit too.

It’s a bipedal world, I say Naga will never happen for that reason.

13 Beast August - 2009 at 9:00 pm

This is my opinion about this race debate.

The naga could not be playable. They couldn’t wear armor. o.O Sure, they can weild a sword and put on a breastplate, but where will the boots go? They don’t have feet, thus making them unplayable.

Personally, I think this is a good choice. I love me some goblins! They can wear all the gear, and the pact with the Horde makes sense. They’re fine, in my opinion. 🙂

Honestly, it seems a bit inbalanced. Why do they get wolves to chomp the little goblins up? Another question: how are you going to make a female worgen? Would it just be a male worgen with different colored fur? On another note, holding weapons for the worgens is a little strange. Think of it — a worgen hunter? -.- My final opinion on worgens is that it’s not the best idea. I always thought werewolves were sworn enemies of the humans. Maybe not.


Worgen Hunter? Fail
Troll Druid? Fail
Tauren Paladin? A holy cow, but I think it’s unoriginal.
Goblin Warrior? Sorta.

14 Beast August - 2009 at 9:14 pm

Oh. Also, another reason why nagas fail. What classes would they have? There’s not a big variety. They could have mage, warrior, shaman, and death knight*. That’s all I can think of. If you wanted to get weird, I guess you could add rogue, but think about it.

It couldn’t use Kick. It’d just slap it with it’s hard tail. OUCH!
Sinister Strike requires slightly long and agile arms. Another failure.
Shadowstep? Do I need to explain?
Killing Spree. Requires a little more agility? 😛

That’s all I can think of. Well, good night!

15 Perapsam September - 2009 at 7:15 am

Naga could never be playable. It’s not so much the graphical design and physics that would be the problem – Naga models wearing armour have been seen, the boots and pants being a big sock, although it looks pretty damn ridiculous. And I’m not even going to bother pointing out the equally stupid-sounding solutions to mounts and leg-based attack.

The real problem is lore. Night Elves hate the Naga, and if they join the Alliance, then the Night Elves would leave. It’s as simple as that. So that leaves only the Horde, who arn’t on good terms with the race either.

And this isn’t even relevant because all of the Naga are enslaved by Azshara, some by Illidan. In answer, many people have come up with the ‘breaking free’ theories, like the Forsaken. The Forsaken only managed to establish themselves because of Illidan invading the Frozen Throne. Azshara is much more powerful than the Lich King (Proof: She is a Demigodess) so it would be significently harder for the Naga to deny her will – This similarly applies to Illidan. And besides, the Naga are fiercly loyal to their masters. Why should they leave their masters for one of two random groups they’ve been attacking relentlessly for centuries?

16 Perapsam September - 2009 at 10:08 am

Anyway, good preview. I always thought the only currently existing races that could ever POSSIBLY be playable in World of Warcraft that arn’t already were Furbolgs, Pandaren, Goblins, Worgen, and Ogres. Heres my overview of each – As you will see below, the former two I mentioned (Pandarens and Furbolgs) don’t have much going for them but they’re better options than most, like the Naga. Anyway…

Worgen and Goblins are in already. I think they are perfectly fine choices in terms of lore, graphics, and areas to establish a city, although faction was the subject of debate before the two were announced for real. Besides, both of them are classic fantasy creatures if you consider Worgen werewolves. Why is this relevant? Because everybody knows what they are and can get stuck into their character easily. Even the Draenei are supposed to represent demons/imps. And the humans, well, you have to have humans. Anyway, Pandaren and Furbolgs are unique to the game and most people will go with what they’re familiar with.

Pandaren, speaking of which, are out. Well, maybe not, but I’m 99.9% sure they are. This is because the Chinese got offended by the Pandaren because of their likeness to pandas or something, I don’t know. Either way, it doesn’t matter to Blizzard, because China makes up a huge part of their playerbase and if the Chinese get upset and quit playing, then A LOT of money is being lost. And this affects us, too. Remember: It’s the player’s money that allows Blizzard to sustain WoW and give us new, exciting things within it. On their part, it’s a no brainer I’m afraid.

Furbolgs, lore-wise, would make perfect sense to join the Alliance. They were on great terms with the Night Elves and recently the Draenei, and they could have had a good starting area in the form of Hyjal. Graphically speaking, though, Furbolgs would be hard to implement. And only two tribes of them are friendly, one of which is neutral and won’t get involved. So thats… what, 100 furbolgs? That aint’ gonna cut it. So Furbolgs are doubtful, but it could happen. Just don’t hold your breath.

Finally, we have the Ogres. I have faith in the Ogres becoming a playable race, actually. They’re classic fantasy monsters, for one, and another thing they’ve got going for them is the chance of acceptance into either the Horde OR the Alliance, although Ogres hate humans so thats leaning towardss the Horde a bit. Many don’t think Ogres could cut it because, well, they’re pretty big. However, there are Tauren-sized Ogres in places, and they could definitely be made into a playable race. The only real problem is starting area… perhaps another island – based city?

17 Allmalice September - 2009 at 1:13 pm

Plus Ogres were part of the horde at one point and so were goblins. The worgen can’t join the Horde because the Forsaken despise them so that would not fit

18 cody September - 2009 at 5:55 pm

acuity naga wont be on the alliance either way because in WC3 the naga teamed yp with Illidan who betrayed the night elves and the night elves greatest enemy r the naga because the naga used to be night elves that evolved so naga would never be alliance just because the hate they had for the night elves

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