Pre-ordering Battle for Azeroth came with an “unexpected” surprise of being able to complete the 4 introductory scenarios that admitted the Allied races to their new respective faction. For the players who match the requirements, this allowed them to create characters of those new races which start at level 20. We have a few thoughts on those scenarios and what they might be missing, so sit back and enjoy.
Horde Allied Race Scenarios & Thoughts
Nightborne is the Allied Race coming to the Horde that players have been either excited or very salty about given their huge presence in Legion and the epic Suramar campaign. First Arcanist Thalyssra is invited by Lady Liadrin to visit Silvermoon and is later granted a visit to the Sunwell. After a series of events that require the champion’s participation, she voices her wish to join the Horde.
However, it feels as if there is a significant piece of lore missing between the end of the Suramar campaign and Liadrin’s invitation. In particular, it is left unsaid and unknown what has transpired in this window of time what has happened, if anything, between Tyrande and the Night Elves and the Nightborne. The last we heard, Tyrande said that, once the Legion was defeated, she would “see where Elune’s wisdom guides us”. The only indication of Thalyssra’s disdain for the Night Elves is when she says, “Apparently Elune’s wisdom guided them away from the bond we once shared.” Beyond that, nothing and we want to know!
The scenario is meant to be an epilogue between Blood Elves and the Suramar campaign and the Nightborne. It fits for Horde players, but leaves much hanging for Alliance players, in particular the Night Elves, both players and NPCs.
Highmountain is the second Horde allied race and another that players interacted with throughout the Legion expansion. This scenario, above the others in some ways, fit the Highmountain Legion campaign perfectly. It built on the activities and foundations we had already participate in throughout the expansion.
When they are being “courted” to come to the Horde, we get to see Baine actually do something to learn more of the history of Highmountain and its protective wards that have lasted generations. There is much less of a disconnect than the Nightborne and, truthfully, it makes sense given the similar culture.
Alliance Allied Race Scenarios & Thoughts
For both of the Alliance Allied races, there feels as if there is a big jump between when the Titan Argus is defeated and when the scenario events take place. For characters who have been gone for what they perceive as 1,000 years (in “reality, 30 years), Turalyon and Alleria seem very quick to choose one faction over the other without, it seems, truly understanding the world of Azeroth as it is today.
As an example, when Turalyon left, he was a nobleman of the Lordaeron Alliance, not Stormwind’s. Arthas Menethil was a young man, largely a “nobody”. The events of Warcraft 3 have not transpired yet: No Stratholme, no Lich King, etc. Why would he not want to explore more of what has happened in his absence before opting for one side or the other?
As for Alleria, before coming to Silvermoon, with an offer for the Blood Elves to join the Alliance, shouldn’t Alleria have learned more about the plight of her people or her family? Alleria parrots things she’s heard from Vereesa during the Nightborne scenario apparently without forming her own opinion. She doesn’t speak to Lor’themar about what happened to Silvermoon, why Belves joined the Horde, about what happened to Sylvanas and many other things.
This isn’t to say that they wouldn’t have ended up in the same place before or that they needed to remain neutral characters, but more information -- literally a novel’s worth -- could have (and should have) been explored in game or outside of it via novels, cinematics, comics, short stories, etc.
Lightforged are Draenei who have been fighting the Burning Legion on Argus for generations. Apparently, however, they have undergone a transformative experience that brings them new abilities, enough different that they are somehow “more” than Draenei.
In the scenario, however, we didn’t really learn anything about what a Lightforged Draenei is or why someone would want to become one. We don’t learn anything about them -- no lore, history -- how does the process of Lightforging came to be, how the process works, etc. However, the personal story of T’parthos, the character you follow around in the scenario, was a good one. You felt bad for him and wanted to help him achieve his goal, though the entire thing ended very abruptly.
This is the only instance where we don’t see the “leader” of the faction participate in the events of the scenario beyond the introduction.
Void Elves are probably the most controversial Allied race coming in BfA. They have literally never been heard of before Blizzcon 2017, unlike all of the others. In the scenario, we learn that these are exiled Blood Elves who have been dabbling in the Void. It’s pretty convenient too that Alleria just became Void infused as well and can come along at the perfect time to give them a hand in learning to control their newfound power.
Alleria actively participates and helps the player. However, this is a group that has, to be frank, betrayed its people, its leadership and that has switched factions at a delicate time in the balance of power between Horde and Alliance. It was never a neutral group like the other three. To most players or NPCs, this would be a traitorous act.
And a couple other things about Allied “Races”
As you have doubtless noticed, the notion of allied “races” coming to World of Warcraft in Battle for Azeroth, one thing has become clear over the weeks since we first heard about them: None of them are technically “races” in the purest sense of the word. In addition, out of the six coming with BfA, only two have every been known in the lore, the Zandalari Trolls and the Dark Iron Dwarves.
When we say that these “races” aren’t technically races, what we mean is that, by and large, they are factions within a race. These can be political, as in the Void Elves; or a distantly related faction to an already-existing race such as is the case with Highmountain Tauren and Baine’s herd in Thunder Bluff.
We don’t see the reaction of anybody to the change in most of these races. Are they excited? What do they think about joining? What about the epic speeches to the entire group of people? How about the reaction of Joe Citizen? Why not have the champion speak to regular citizens.
In the end, what we’re left with is the fact that none of the Allied races truly feel that they belong in one faction or another from a lore perspective. The four feel more like they should be neutral in lore, though from a game mechanics slant, it brings players more customization options.
What are your thoughts about Allied races? Have you played the scenarios? What do you think?