Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Coming Storm: The Maelstrom, the Dream, and Two Possible New Allies (Part Trois)

This will, hopefully, be the last thing I have to say on the steadily approaching expansion for a while (However short it may be... *chuckle*). However, the last bits I want to go over are the possible classes for both Goblins and Worgen, my stance on general sentiments towards the two races, my pending plans, and other theorizing. Speculations! Hooooooo~! (Possible spoilers ahead.)


It's something that needs to be considered, of course. Since we appear to have two new races joining the fold in the future, it's good to have a gameplan.

Goblin Classes:

Very Possible: Warrior, Rogue, Warlock, and Mage.
Possible: Priest and Hunter.
Not Even Possible: Druid, Paladin, and Shaman.
Uncertain: Death Knight

I'd imagine there being a distinct lack of healing classes, if any at all, for the Goblins. Much like the Gnomes, they do not have a faith in unearthly powers and are self-made men/women that forge ahead under their own steam and quick-thinking. Though unlike their fellow short-statured brethren, they are driven by the all-mighty gold piece. Being a pious religious person usually means living a very humble life, so that would naturally go against the grain for them.

However, I do remember someone bringing up a very good point on a forum somewhere (I wish I remembered which it was...). As anyone can say after watching a televangelist on TV, religion can be profitable too. The weak-hearted and those seeking salvation would gladly pony up the dough if it means saving their soul. So, because of this, a Goblin priest might very well be possible. However, from a game mechanic standpoint, every Horde race has a healing-capable class. The Alliance's Gnomes have no healers, so the Goblins might lack one as well in an effort to keep things balanced.

Worgen Classes:

Very Possible: Warrior, Rogue, Hunter, Warlock, and Mage.
Possible: Priest, Paladin, and Shaman.
Not Possible: Druid.
Uncertain: Death Knight.

I can see the Worgen having almost every class a human would, save the hunter class. Being Worgen are more feral, they would feel more of a kinship with the wild than they did when they were still human. This might be another healerless race, but I'd think, in an attempt to balance both sides, I'd think they'd have at least one.

Druid wouldn't work since, thus far, Blizzard wants to keep it solely made up of Night Elves and Tauren. Plus I do not think that the Cenarion Circle would welcome an "abomination" of those of the Scythe into their fold. Their healing class will be solely dependent on what will keep things in balance and what fits the race. Priests, in my opinion, are the most innocuous of the bunch. I have a hard time seeing Worgen paladins, but I do not want to discount it entirely because none of us know how far from the Light they have fallen.

Honestly, I can see them as shaman very easily. With their new bestial appearance, and nature, I'd assume, I can see the Worgen being very attuned to the natural world and the elements. However, giving the Alliance another shamanistic race when the Horde only has one race with a paladin class would be unfair. That is unless they give an already existing race the ability to be one--And the only race that could even have it be possible is the Forsaken (but that's a topic for another post). However, that is a problem being that the Forsaken are an already class-heavy race as is...

Hero Classes

Well, this one is definitely up in the air for me... Blizzard initially mentioned they wanted all races to have access to hero classes, but I am not certain if that sentiment extends to future races introduced after the hero class in question. To play it safe, and also for the sake of continuity in lore, I will say that goblins and worgen cannot be death knights. It would make little to no sense to have wolfish and tiny greenskinned DKs running around when they, more than likely, would have never even set foot near New Avalon.

However, Blizzard mentioned that they planned to release at least one new hero class each expansion. Whether or not this applies to expansions that plan to have new races added as well, I am not sure... On one hand, the next hero class would likely be a healer-caster hybrid in order to help fill the supposed lack of healers at end game. On the other, if they did introduce a hero class that is available for a new race, there will be a glut of hero worgen and goblins running around from the get-go instead of encouraging a brand new race to grow from the ground up. Not to mention that Blizzard still has their hands full balancing death knights.

I know Blizz wouldn't want to cancel out their own new starting zones, so if they did add a hero class along with a new race, I would hope that they wouldn't have them available for play right away. Like...give the new races a couple months of being unable to access the class before allowing them to roll one. Don't know if that'd work, but that's the only thing I can come up with.

My Stance on the Reception of the New Races

Much like the Burning Crusade, there has been an outcry of dismayed people who are aghast by the possibility of there being playable worgen and goblins in the expansion. Old news, new faces... I will go down the list of the most frequent comments I've seen.

1) Worgen?! Dammit, here come the furries.

First of all... All the rampant furry hate on the 'net, and in the real world, sickens me. Sure, just like with any group of people, there are going to be extremists. So while crotchless fur-suiters are out there, a majority of the furry community is very normal and sane. To outright assume that the Worgen will be populated with nothing but perverted furry ERPers is really insulting. Will they be there? Some, yes. No matter what the race, there're ERPers in all of them. They just so happen to frequent the "pretty races", but I have seen ones that were dwarves, tauren, gnomes...

2) Worgen just don't work! They're vicious and mindless beasts from another dimension!

Uh, do you work on Blizzard's creative staff? No? Well, then who are you to say for certain? True, many consider the addition of the Draenei to be a botched job, but not everyone thinks that. And our perception of the Worgen in WoW has changed over the years... Sure, we knew them only as two varieties in Vanilla; The bestial kind summoned via the Scythe and the cursed humans in Shadowfang Keep and Pyrewood Village.

Though in WotLK, we have been exposed to the Wolfcult. While they do seem more primal and feral, they do appear to keep a great deal of their sense of self even in their lupine forms. Being the Worgen in the expansion would be those most likely from Gilneas, they would be exposed to Arugal's worgen curse rather than the Scythe. Therefore, it is entirely possible, especially after all this time of being under nationwide isolation, for the Gilneas Worgen to still maintain their humanity.

3) Goblins can't go with the Horde! They're neutral!

This is true--Goblins are neutral. Denying one side of the war is denying thousands upon thousands of customers. That means less money for them! But even then, the Goblins have a long-standing history of being on close terms with the Horde despite their neutrality. Though there are exceptions to every rule... Thrall and his Horde might happen upon a troubled trade prince and his people and bail them out of a sticky situation, thus earning their loyalty (for the time being).

4) Worgen can't be Alliance! It just isn't possible!

Who says? It's true that Gilneas has a long-running history of neutrality and overall not-giving-a-damn, but even mighty kingdoms fall one day... For all his stubbornness and pride, Genn Greymane might finally see that his people need help and, begrudgingly, admit to the aid that is given to them.

Honestly, even though I do wish they'd be Horde, the Alliance needs a wild-looking tall race and the Horde needs a short one. Plus the Horde got a race based out of the Eastern Kingdoms in Burning Crusade, so I'd say it's just not in the cards this time around.

5) The masks prove nothing! They're just masks!

That may be... But Blizzard generally doesn't make a habit of making things in-game that will never be used or if it is deemed a waste of time. This is why we never see female models of NPC races (save the current Goblins and High Elves), because it was deemed superfluous and a "waste of time". So, following that line of thinking, why would Blizz go through all that trouble to make some high-rendered masks and actually bother to make a female Worgen mask if there was no intention of adding the race in? Not to mention that the Hallow's End masks are only made up of playable races. 'Nuff said.

6) You're all wrong! Worgen and Goblins are going to be neutral races! You can pick your sides!

While this would make sense from a lore perspective, being both Goblins and Gilneans have a history of being neutral in conflicts, it wouldn't make sense from a gameplay perspective. Blizzard has already made it clear that they want each side to be distinguishable--down to the races, the mounts, and the tier armor. Having a Horde worgen or an Alliance goblin would cause too much confusion. Plus, Blizzard has already made it clear that they want there to only be two playable factions. Save the neutral factions for the NPC races, IMO.

7) Pandaren! I want Panda person!

Probably not gonna happen. Ever. And if it does, it won't be for a LONG time. However, I can see them being present in the expansion, even if they're a NPC race like the Taunka or Tuskar. Pandaria is allegedly out in the Great Sea, after all.

My Plans

I know that the expansion is way off, but I still like to have an idea of what to expect when that day eventually does come. However, Blizzard is becoming faster at cranking out new content for WoW, so while the expansion could very well come out in winter of next year, it could also just as well hit the shelves in late spring or early summer.

So, the big question is; Worgen or Goblin? While I do intend to roll at least one of both races, I think you can probable guess which I'm going to go for just from my handle and the name of this blog. So, yes, I'd roll a Worgen the moment I install the expansion. However, would it sway me entirely from the Horde? Not certain at this point, being I don't know where I'll be then (In real life and in-game). I've always been a Horde player by heart, but I've been stuck as Alliance for a very long time. Needless to say, I'm not entirely eager to go back to the "boys in blue" right away, but... I have been holding out for playable worgen for years and that just might be the race to keep me Alliance side (where, apparently, this game thinks I belong ¬_¬).

And being there is also a lot of groaning about Worgen coming from the RPers (which is justified, of course, I don't consider myself that insensitive), I do want to strive to be one of the exceptions that will hopefully help break the stereotype that's already being placed upon them. In fearing that I will carry on with this too long, this too will be discussed in a separate future post.

In Summation

I am extraordinarily excited to start theorizing about the expansion (Couldn't ya tell?) and I can't wait to hear more about it come Blizzcon in August. Believe it or not, I am trying to not theorize too much because it would kind of suck to be proven wrong over something after being so keen on it. However, the masks do kind of make it clear on what races will be added, at least.

As for when the expansion is coming out, like I said... Blizzard is getting faster at releasing content. TBC took about a year and a half (closer to two years, almost). WotLK took a little more than a year. While the safe assumption would be that it's released in late fall/early winter of 2010, I'm betting on it being released in late spring/summer of that year. Providing that the Icecrown Citadel raid comes out in fall or early winter of this year, I'd say that's more than enough time to let people experience it before moving on to "bigger and better things".