With Blizzard taking a new approach to their expansions, and blizzcon around the corner, there have been leaks here and there on what might come next. Originally there was a report of Blizzard copyrighting “Cataclysm”, which suggested it might be the title of the next WoW expansion.
More recently, as of a few weeks back, rumors of news on the new races for the expansion came in the form of datamined files of a new patch that was in testing. WoW.com today confirms these races and name rumors through various sources.
The new races in question are Goblins for the Horde, and Worgen for the Alliance. Goblin are pretty universal. Small mischievous green guys who, in the Warcraft universe, like making insane gadgets and blowing stuff up. Worgen are werewolves, without the typical name. Two varieties of Worgen exist in the Warcraft universe, which one this is has yet to be seen. I find this rumored confirmation both plausible and implausible, being a play of WoW and keeping up to date on WoW news as much as possible.
Blizzard apparently doesn’t want to create a new class like they did in the last expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. This is understandable as they’ve been tweaking and tuning the class drastically since the expansion came out. Death Knights have bounced around more than a hyperactive kid snorting pixie sticks, so jumping into another class when their first new one is still getting the bugs worked out seems like much.
So the only other plausible choice would be a new race. The Horde lacks a small race, the Alliance does. The shortest horde race are still human sized. The Alliance doesn’t have an “ugly race” which the horde has in spades. The problem with this is that neither class is exceptionally exclusive to either faction.
The Goblin are a mercantile race. They work for whoever pays them the most. Goblins DO work with the Horde more frequently, but this is largely due to the Horde not being exceptionally knowledgeable in matters related to engineering, and most Gnomes not liking the Horde.
Worgen are a race largely portrayed as enemies in the game. No friendly Worgen jump to mind immediately, and there might not be any. The Alliance has had the most dealings with the Worgen, but neither case is incredibly expansive. The variety of Worgen could change that though, with naturally born Worgen being less-likely to join either, but magically transformed Worgen still wanting to maintain ties with their families.
All in all, I’d say the races are more factionally neutral than anything, but part of that is that I REALLY don’t want to roll a Worgen if they’re Alliance(yes I play Horde). In either way, this seems like the mostly likely case if WoW.com’s rumor comes true. Both races have a relatively large presence in the world, and the alternative doesn’t seem likely.
Keep your eyes and ears open, chances are we’ll have confirmation of this at Blizzcon later this month.