Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under Feature, Roleplay
On Worgen and Goblins
comment 22 Written by on July 20, 2009 – 2:39 pm

In an attempt to clarify my previously stated position on the possibility of Goblins and Worgen as potential new playable races in WoW (apparently some of you are surprised that I’d make a blanket statement without elaboration) I am posting here my opinion on this particular subject. So without further ado, a full on Anna-rant.

brill *

Let’s start with the obvious here, ok?

Worgen are a mutual enemy of both factions.

Goblins are a neutral ally to both factions.

Blizzard is now having to face the faction problem.  How do you solve the faction problem?  Well there’s the potential for two “new” factions – since allying them together is totally out of left field (since when to Goblins ally with anyone?) and makes no sense.  But two new factions means new factions to balance (and Goblins already ARE a faction).

Nor does it make sense that either the Horde or the Alliance will magically start loving Worgen (see: Duskwood/Silverpine) or that Goblins will magically decide to start loving the Horde to the exclusion of the Alliance or vice versa (see: Gold Grubbing McGreedyPants).  In fact, we can gain reputation with THEM – which, at the current time serves only to make THEM more money, since we do more stuff for them.

The closest to “makes sense” in either race is having Goblins be able to choose Horde OR Alliance, based on some arbitrary decision that they only want half of the gold (what goblin only wants half of the gold?) – and doing so would require twice the quest coding for Goblins alone, as well as allowing one/both races to be either faction, something Blizzard has actively shunned.

Having Goblins act as cross-faction allies – while admittedly a neat concept – doesn’t fit at all with any of the history of Blizzard’s decisions regarding cross faction communication. They’re actively promoting the difference between Horde and Alliance (T9, Isle of Conquest), not building bridges.

All of which still leaves out WTF to do with these Worgen guys that want to eat your children and/or turn them into more Worgen.

Basically, I don’t see that it can work without creating an entirely new lore base and retconning a bunch of already existing history with these two races.  And given past experiences, I am extremely dubious that they will do even a remotely good job. The Draenei thing was pretty awful, and I /like/ Draenei – their saving grace is that they just flat didn’t exist in game before Burning Crusade, and so were quite the blank slate to work with, lore wise. DK’s are hard enough to deal with, ICly, and they too (even though they’re a class, not a race) had no actual in game presence.

I honestly don’t see that either race provides anything even remotely interesting as a PC that they don’t already provide as an NPC, unless it’s to cater to people that want to be Wolf-men and Gobbos.

It doesn’t add any great depth to the lore.  It doesn’t add any great explanation of some long unexplained race (Furbolg anyone?  Now that’s a race that at least has some options for lore background with it).  It adds Goblins and Worgen into the game for some arbitrary reason.  I know that some people are SOO EXCITED OMFG at a chance to play Gobbos and Wolf-men.  That does not make either Goblins OR Worgen make sense as a playable race.

And all that aside – I know that for Burning Crusade, the addition of the new Hallow’s End masks were signifiers for the new race – but what’s to say they don’t just have SCARY THING masks for dressing up this year?

I will be actively moderating posts in light that this is obviously a sensitive issue.  Keep it civil – you’re free to argue, as always.

*Artwork by the amazing Katharsis

If you enjoyed the article, why not subscribe?

22 Responses to “On Worgen and Goblins”

  1. Goblins could easily be added I think. The goblin in game model even has a dance which seems odd for a purely NPC model (and then again, so do ogres who also have sleeping animations which gobbos dont). I agree with the crossfaction communication thing. There are obviously already goblins who prefer the horde however just simply because of the existance of zepplin towers only for the horde.

    Worgen are an interesting proposition. I simply cannot see them joining the horde because the most likely candidate for worgen PC’s are the humans that have been infected with the disease. However, they’d be kinda bloodthirsty if the villagers in Grizzly Hills are anything to go by. I guess the “redemption” theme of the death knights could well fit with worgen too? maybe?

    Its interesting speculation regardless and based entuirely on some data mined halloween masks. Next thing, people will tell me that we really did land on the moon 😀

    By Mac on Jul 20, 2009 | Reply
  2. “(since when to Goblins ally with anyone?)”
    “… or that Goblins will magically decide to start loving the Horde to the exclusion of the Alliance or vice versa”

    Thing of it is, back in Warcraft II, they did- Goblins were Horde-aligned. It’s not unthinkable; just throwing that out there. 🙂

  3. As stated, Goblins have been allied with Horde before, and I could fairly easily see a new cartel/trade prince seeing an advantage in providing technology to the Horde again. This is true especially if the upcoming expansion is going to focus on the Maelstrom, Horde don’t exactly have a fleet of ships sitting at the wait to take them there.

    I am looking forward to the (minute) possibility of Gilneas as a playable zone, personally.

    And yes, they *could* just be SCARY THING masks, but has there ever been a Hallow’s mask of a non-playable race before? It’s just as possible they’re SCARY THING masks as they are an indication of new races since masks have never been made for races we can’t play before, could go either way I suppose.
    .-= Awlbiste´s last blog ..blahblahblah =-.

  4. A few points here, really. First, Anna is right, the goblin race is strictly neutral to both sides as a result of one faction of goblins interacting with the Horde. The goblins as a race were never fully affiliated with the Horde, and the small segment who were are the reason the rest of the goblins want to stay neutral– they can make more money this way. The whole point of the goblins as they exist in WoW currently is for them to be neutral. It’s their main character feature.

    As to worgen, I can only say that it would take a lot to change these creatures into something playable, as everything about them right now suggests that they are bloodthirsty monsters. Even people who hate Varian Wrynn should know that they wouldn’t be allowed into the Alliance as is.

    One more note about goblins. The idea that the Horde have no boats without the goblins could be considered invalid when you consider that the Horde took boats to Northrend. They can be seen wrecked along the coast of Borean Tundra, near the Horde starting area, in the bay. While it may be that the goblins gave them these boats, that seems unlikely, as the goblins run a zepp that links to the settlement now.

    Of course, anything in lore can change, but at the current time, lore supports neither of the races.

    The worgen are much trickier and more muddled. If Blizzard created them as a race, they would most likely be worgen all the time, instead of a true “werewolf” that could change forms. This kind of negates using humans who have been turned to worgen unless Blizzard does some fancy lore-work. AS of right now, I will only say that I am waiting to see what comes of the worgen issue.

    As a side note to the original article, I take issue with the idea that “draenei just flat didn’t exist before Burning Crusade.” This is simply untrue. The creatures we now call “broken” or “lost ones” are in fact a devolution of our current draenei. And even at launch, they existed in vanilla WoW in the Swamp of Sorrows and the northern Blasted Lands. They were the draenei back then. The only draenei.
    You could play their units as Illidan’s in *Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne*, where they were actually refered to as “draenei.” The lore retcon which took place in *The Burning Crusade* was to tie their history into that of the demonic eredar and call the draenei an offshoot of that race (and then the broken became a further offshoot).

    And this draenei diatribe goes back to the main point of this post. What all this this could mean is that huge retcons are in order for goblin and worgen as races on a new expansion, but I for one believe the lore department learned their lesson after the backlash at the draenei (who I, too, absolutely love) controversy. The biggest issue, in my mind, is that all of this is speculation right now– and seeing as we’re not even 100% certain a new xpac will be announced at Blizzard (pretty certain, but not 100%). It’s an enormous leap.

    Great job on a wonderful post, Anna! Keep up the good work!

    By Taldarion Shatterbound on Jul 20, 2009 | Reply
  5. @Taldarion Shatterbound:

    I didn’t say that the Draenei didn’t exist before BC – I said that they didn’t exist in game. (the Draenei did exist OUT of game, in Christie Golden’s novel Rise of the Horde) The few broken in Swamp of Sorrows were very cryptic, and were definitely the offshoots of the Draenei – but they are not, and were not Draenei as we see them now, and were called the Broken. They are the “descendants” of such, but they aren’t Draenei. I didn’t play much of WCIII:FT – only WCIII, so I didn’t know that they had existed in Frozen Throne as an Illidari troop unit. Still, the Draenei as WE know them, weren’t around in WoW or WCIII – and it didn’t take a huge earthshattering retcon to make the Broken into what they are (at least in my mind. I didn’t see that particular part as a big deal) from the perspective of WoW itself. The huge earthshattering Retcon was their showing up uncorrupted in Azuremyst on a trans-dimensional spaceship, wielding the light and making Gnomish Vibrator jokes.

    To me, renaming a minor group of people (that had actually already been renamed) wasn’t the big crazee about the Draenei retcon, I guess.

  6. @Llanion: Yes – but there have been two games and three expansions since then (WCIII, FT, WoW, BC, LK) where the Gobbos were neutral. It’d be a pretty huge backslide to go back to that! Besides, what about all those Alliance bozos so willing to give up their gold for pirate hats?!

  7. @Taldarion Shatterbound: One other thing – I really like your take on Goblin Neutrality as their defining character trait (other than the greedy bit).

  8. Goblin will be horde only = Horde gnomes

    Worgen will be alliance via some torturous back story (rebel/intelligent worgen) = Allied tauren

    Just throwing that out there. 🙂
    .-= BobTurkey´s last blog ..Priest gems in 3.1 =-.

  9. We’ve been having a lively discussion on this long before the masks came out at Loregy.com.


    But I have to completely disagree with this:

    “Worgen are an interesting proposition. I simply cannot see them joining the horde because the most likely candidate for worgen PC’s are the humans that have been infected with the disease.”

    a) True worgen are aliens from another planet/dimension. Due to sillohette issue and play times, I don’t expect worgen to ever appear as human, as a playable race. When I used to play on a US server (now on Oceanic) I never realised that the worgen could be humans, because I only ever saw them at night.

    b) The alliance’s xenophobic ways (see Varian Wrynn) mean that the Horde is more likely to accept an old enemy as a friend.

    By Brent on Jul 20, 2009 | Reply
  10. The major difficulty I can see with Goblins officially joining the Horde is the matter of dealing with the Steamwheedle Cartel. Would the Cartel just remain neutral? Would there be a huge retcon somewhere to make it all Horde? Both of those seem like they would be very hard to pull off, as these cities all have been neutral territory, and sometimes have as many Alliance-race NPCs as Horde-race NPCs. The fact that both sides can get many quests in these towns in earlier stages would also wreck serious havoc with low-level questing if something was done to make them Horde-owned, but it’d make little sense for them to remain neutral while the entire rest of the Goblins join the Horde.

    It also does go against a Goblin’s mentality to pick a side. They don’t care about territory, faction loyalties or the like – they go where the money is. However, I can see lore circumstances that might force them to pick a side. Lately, with the conflict between the Horde and Alliance exploding into all-out war, and the Alliance appearing to become more and more xenophobic in its mentality, it may prove extremely difficult for the Goblins to stay neutral for much longer. There’s already an instance where Alliance forces have violently captured a Goblin employed to operate a zepplin for the Horde, and held under violent threat (see Westguard Keep). The fact that Varian seems adamant that everything green-skinned is an aberration that needs to die, to interpret his own words, and the fact the Horde is the Goblin race’s biggest trading partner, may increasingly force the Goblins to ally with the Horde whether they like the idea or not.

    By Rollandren on Jul 20, 2009 | Reply
  11. Or, another way to look at it is to reference the trolls. There’s a specific tribe/sect that’s part of the Horde,but you find NPCs all over Azeroth that are perfectly willing to squash you no matter what faction you are. They could maybe do that.

    By Xlade on Jul 20, 2009 | Reply
  12. First, I am unashamedly SQUEE over the idea of being able to play worgen. I want to have a worgen rogue, so I can pop out of stealth and be all RAWR. That said, the arguments I’ve seen thus far presented against the worgen or goblins becoming playable largely seem to come from the standpoint of simply not wanting the status quo to be upset. There aren’t any significantly compelling existing lore reasons for not allowing these races to be playable and there are two very good lore reasons why the would.

    Worgen: Gilneas. The end.
    Okay, more detail. Going back to the Third War, once Arthas conquered Lordaeron, the next closest neighbours, Gilneas, Alterac and Stromgarde, all had to react. Of those three kingdoms, only Gilneas still stands and only because they locked themselves behind the Greymane Wall. Since then, Arugal did all his tricks and got everyone afflicted with worgenisation.
    It’s not a huge stretch to imagine that the Gilneans, over the course of the last decade, have come to terms with their affliction and maybe have even grown to accept and master it. Such a feat is obviously not impossible, as the wolfcult in Grizzly Hills shows us. As to why Varian Wrynn would accept them into the Alliance once more? Simple necessity. Gilneas’ armies were one of the most powerful in all the Eastern Kingdoms. Whether the next expansion sees us assaulting the Maelstrom or the Emerald Dream, additional allies will be needed and welcome. Not necessarily fully accepted as full members of the Alliance, but welcome.

    Goblins: Trolls.
    The troll example above is the perfect example as to why the goblins would join the Horde. Of all the trolls on Azeroth, only the Darkspear tribe is NOT hostile to everyone. Similarly, it’s not a huge stretch to imagine that there is one of the many merchant princes among the goblins who is more sympathetic to the Horde than to the Alliance, so much so he sees more benefit to helping the Horde exclusively, as has been done in the past. While the goblins may be equal opportunity exploiters of all races, the Alliance tends to be more distrustful of them because of their dealings with the Horde, which the Horde is, quite obviously, much more open to using goblins for all they are worth.
    .-= teh Khol Abides´s last blog ..Intermission: More Teasing, Pleasing Included =-.

  13. I see what you’re saying, Anna, but I think there’s a distinction you may not be considering: races can and do take part in any number of separate factions. I could be wrong about this, but my understanding is that it isn’t the entire goblin race that’s decided to be neutral, it’s the Steamwheedle Cartel. Those are the goblins that live in Ratchet and Booty Bay and whatnot, rather than… um… Undermine, is it (which, incidentally, is located near the Maelstrom)? On the other hand, the Venture Company is actually hostile to both Alliance and Horde.

    Similarly, though there are about a gajillion tribes of trolls that are hostile to the Horde, there is one (the Darkspear) that are allied with them. As is one Ogre clan (the one in Duskwallow Marsh).

    There’s no reason, then, that there can’t be one goblin organization that allies with the Horde. Blizz could even retcon Warcraft III to say it was the same company.

    The worgen are a tougher sell, admittedly, but they’re also quite a draw. If they really want to bring in worgen, I would imagine that it wouldn’t be too hard to come up with a story of how there’s that one GOOD tribe of worgen that slipped through one of Arugal’s portals and made its way to Gilneas or something.

    By el ranchero on Jul 21, 2009 | Reply
  14. “I would imagine that it wouldn’t be too hard to come up with a story of how there’s that one GOOD tribe of worgen that slipped through one of Arugal’s portals and made its way to Gilneas or something.”

    Which I’ve been saying since leveling my first Alliance toon about a year ago and reading…um, the Book of Ur, I think? Even then the description in the book sounded to me like they were leaving a loophole for a playable race should the mood ever take them.

    I’d damn sure like worgen better than belfs, is all I have to say. And similarly, after the first rush of OMGCOOL toons with stupid-ass names wears off, you’d probably have good RP start to come through. Pill’s belf RP is awesome, as demonstrated by the fact that my obnoxiously tolerant druid wants to bite her and possibly drop her off the side of Dalaran (what? She can bubble!). What I would absolutely adore, and what could probably be pulled off with phasing, is the ability to pick your faction at level 10 or 20. I think it’d work nicely for both potential races.
    .-= Aggrokitty´s last blog ..Accidental Efficiency =-.

  15. Remember the part where I suggested they might just be scary thing masks?


    Yeah. Like I said.

  16. @Anna
    ‘Cause this would be the first time Blizzard’s had their collective butts caught out in the open and had to scramble to cover. One look at the difference in art quality between the Goblin/Worgen masks and the rest smacks of a hurried CYA.
    .-= teh Khol Abides´s last blog ..Intermission: More Teasing, Pleasing Included =-.

  17. The Venture Company is indeed hostile to both Alliance and Horde. That’s the confusing thing about Goblins. They’re pretty much all over the map; some are total renegades, technically the goblins that run Booty Bay are a bunch of pirates, but at least they’re not as bad as the Bloodsail Buccaneers, so we work with them. All of these factions work for at least one of the Trade Princes of Undermine, though.

    The “Trade Princes” as they seem to be known are the closest thing the goblin race has to leadership, appearing to have some kind of council they keep together to keep the profits flowing in for everyone, even if every faction is meanwhile trying to make sure they get the most of those profits. This actually does present a hurdle to just saying that one faction “goes renegade” and works for the Horde; as much as it doesn’t look like it, the goblins generally remain at an *official* ceasfire with other goblin factions, at least. They just steal, lie and cheat with eachother under the table. If a goblin faction does join the Horde, it still would have to work within this framework.

    By Rollandren on Jul 21, 2009 | Reply
  18. I’ve been rereading your post and decided to write up another article on how the addition of Worgen and Goblins might possibly work. Your post was mentioned in it. 🙂

    .-= Moonbiter´s last blog ..I Smell a Red Herring! =-.

  19. I play Hordie for the most part, and if Blizzard does add Worgen and Goblins, all I have to say is I don’t care how much they have to butcher lore, I want Worgen to be horde side, and give the Allies another midget.

    By Zalgosh on Jul 23, 2009 | Reply

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

Want to subscribe?   

 Subscribe in a reader Or, subscribe via email: