Saturday, July 18, 2009

Worgen: Playable or Red Herring?

Somehow, nothing seems to prompt information about Blizzard's plans emerging like when I post speculation. Various sources, including MMO-Champion have unearthed pictures of Goblin and Worgen Halloween masks. Because only playable races have masks to date, and because there are reasonable lore ties between the location of the Goblin home city and the Maelstrom, leading expansion candidate and a good fit for the name "cataclysm" (see Random Ravings of Warcraft's summary), it seems like we might have un-earthed the new races for the expansion.

Then again, Blizzard has to know that every last byte of the PTR client will be datamined into the ground. Is it really beyond a company with an 80-member CGI team (larger than many whole studios) to generate textures for a Worgen mask just to confuse people? The tie with the goblins is relatively clear (goblins work for cash, so there's no reason why a specific sub-faction of goblins wouldn't join the Horde without screwing up all the neutral cities in the game), but I don't see any connection between the Worgen and the Maelstrom, nor any compelling reason why they'd suddenly be showing up to join the Alliance at this precise moment. They've been seen in game before, and perhaps they don't like the Forsaken, but having them show up in Stormwind without warning would be like having a new race fall in from outer space....

Okay, the new Alliance race is probably Worgen.


Jormundgard said...

There is a strong potential Alliance connection for the Worgen:

And if "Cataclysm" refers to the open sea, then the Goblins are also a strong candidate, given that the Steamwheedle Cartel, along with all the others, is located in the Maelstrom.

Green Armadillo said...

Exactly, there's a very strong and obvious connection for goblins with BOTH the expansion and the maelstrom, but only a fragile connection between the Alliance and the hypothetical Worgen residents of Gilneas and none between said and the Maelstrom. Perhaps Naga invaded the peninsula for some reason.

Also, the Wiki claims that the dotted line for the boat path to Theramore was changed in patch 3.1 not to pass through where Gilneas should be. If this is true, it might be a clue.

Anonymous said...

The to biggest clues for me to the worgen being alliance are Gilneas and its worgen infestation close by at pyrewood village and SFK and the Scyth of Elune Chain. Its completly possible for some of the worgen brought to help the Night Elves this was have remained hidden somewhere and still loyal to the elves.

Jormundgard said...

The biggest indication to me is that Metzen and Nielson said they have "big plans" for Gilneas.

Secondly, there is at least a "Burning Legion" connection, if the Worgen home is being ravaged.

Finally, tons of mysterious masks are suddenly added to "hide" the new ones? How blatant can you get?

I think that last move did more to confirm the rumor than diminish it.

Green Armadillo said...

@Jorm: Yeah, adding more masks that recycle existing art after the Worgen masks clearly use new art seems to be pretty good confirmation (though it does also cement my point that Blizzard COULD create masks as red herrings if they wanted to).

I do still feel like Blizzard would want to tie the new race specifically to the conflict in the Maelstrom, if that is indeed the expansion, much as they tied the Blood Elves and Draenei into the conflict in Outland. To the extent that was possible given the invention of the Draenei largely out of whole cloth, they wanted to go beyond "this race could plausibly join the Alliance" to "this race has a specific reason to join NOW". A general shared dislike of the Legion would not meet that bar unless the Naga are working for the Legion, but, like I said, a Naga invasion of Gilneas would probably suffice.