Know Your Lore > WoWOct 23, 2017 2:00 pm CT

Know Your Lore: Potential future race and class combinations

When we’re looking at upcoming content, it’s always fun to speculate about new races. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t look at our existing choices as well. Cataclysm introduced a lot of new race and class combinations to the game, and Legion added Gnome Hunter s. Will we see more in a future expansion?

Now you might think this is an odd choice for a Know Your Lore, but hear me out. We aren’t going to be looking at these from a mechanics standpoint. We’re going to be looking at them from a lore standpoint. Would any of these choices theoretically work in game, with existing lore? If so, how?

Paladin s

The most likely thing we’re going to see — if we see anything — are Night Elf Paladins. Why? Because we got one in Legion. As part of the Paladin Class Hall campaign, players encounter a Night Elf Priest named Delas Moonfang. We’ve seen Delas before — she was part of the quests surrounding the Alliance garrison in Shadowmoon Valley. In Legion, she joins the Order of the Silver Hand and becomes a Paladin. If Delas can do it, theoretically other Night Elves could as well.

Another not-so-far-fetched option is Gnomes. Why? Gnomes didn’t actually have a healing option until Cataclysm, when Gnome Priests were added to the mix. Gnome Warrior s have always been an option. As intelligent as they are, it’s not out of line to suggest that they’ve managed to successfully master the combination of the two skills.

One idea players have been wanting for a long time is Forsaken Paladins. We do have an example of this in lore — Sir Zeliek was an undead Paladin. His faith in the Light was so strong that even in undeath, the Light heeded his call. Unfortunately, this puts him on a level that is less of an example and more of an extraordinary set of circumstances. The Light isn’t typically that friendly to the undead. Forsaken Priests are scorched and cauterized every time they use the Light — being a holy Priest takes a tremendous amount of willpower.

Could a Forsaken with that kind of willpower become a Paladin? It’s not out of the realm of possibility — but whether or not other Paladins would accept them is up in the air. The Forsaken were brought back from the Light’s embrace to live on as monstrosities. A Forsaken follower of the Light would be a difficult concept for any Paladin to swallow.

Rogue s

Only two races currently can’t be Rogues in game — Draenei and Tauren. Everyone else seems to have grasped the art of subtlety just fine. The concept of either one has been routinely dismissed because of the size of both races and the fact that they have hooves. How exactly are you supposed to be stealthy when you’re so large? How do you sneak around undetected when your hooves give you away?

Well, it never really seemed to be a problem for the Rangari of Draenor. Although the Rangari are Hunters, they’re able to camouflage with little difficulty. We witnessed them doing this several times throughout our adventures on Draenor. Tauren are also adept Hunters — they’re been successfully doing so ever since their days as wandering nomadic tribes on Kalimdor. Being a Hunter requires a certain amount of subtlety to begin with — you can’t just crash through the brush at random. You have to be quiet, so as not to alert your prey.

While both of these races could in theory be Rogues, it still seems unlikely for a different reason — a lore reason. Rogues aren’t exactly examples of the best of society. They’re shady, sometimes pretty selfish, and generally up to no good. The Draenei and the Tauren are two of the most morally upstanding races on Azeroth. Lore-wise, it seems highly unlikely any representative of that race would want to choose that path — or that anyone would encourage them to follow it.

Warlock s

To date, only four races have turned away from the shadowy demonic arts of the Warlock. Night Elves, Tauren, Draenei, and Pandaren have all dismissed that path outright. To be fair, this attitude makes perfect sense from a lore standpoint. The Night Elves, Tauren, and Pandaren were all around for the original War of the Ancients. Why would they ever want to embrace the kinds of forces that nearly destroyed the world?

As for Draenei — we’ve seen what happened to Argus. The Draenei are the Eredar who chose to flee, rather than accept the Legion’s offer. With everything we’ve learned about Draenei history and culture to date, it’s little wonder there aren’t any Warlocks. Why would they turn around and utilize the very thing they fled from, thousands upon thousands of years ago?

Here’s the thing, though…we don’t know how Argus is going to pan out. We don’t know what’s going to happen at the end of Legion. But the shattered remnants of the Eredar homeworld are currently filled to the brim with Eredar practicing dark magics. If we successfully defeat Sargeras…where would the remnants of his army go? Velen’s shown his capacity for forgiveness with Kil’jaeden. Could he potentially hold that same level of forgiveness for the Eredar who were once lost in the Legion’s thrall?

It feels like — while this could be a potential possibility — the option still works against everything the Draenei stand for. Much like Forsaken Paladins, a Draenei Warlock — or more correctly, an Eredar Warlock — wouldn’t be accepted by their own kind. Given what Azeroth’s suffered, I don’t know if the rest of Azeroth’s races would be too keen on the idea, either.

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At the moment, only four races can be Druids. Night Elves and Tauren both hold a deep, spiritual connection to the natural forces of the world. Trolls also have a connection with those natural forces — they just didn’t understand that connection until Cataclysm. The loa of the Troll world are the same Ancient Guardians that the Druids revere.

As for Worgen — the Harvest-witches of Gilneas already had a connection to nature that was scarcely understood. Early Humanity used to practice primitive nature magic — the introduction of the Holy Light and the study of the arcane all but wiped these practices out. They were still practiced in Gilneas due to the kingdom’s isolation. When Night Elf Druids appeared, it was a reaffirmation of what the Harvest-witches had been practicing, on an entirely different level. What Humanity practiced long ago was just the tiniest fraction of what true Druids are capable of. But those arts were amplified by the Worgen curse — leading to the Worgen Druids we have today.

It’s that innate connection to nature that defines a Druid. The only other race with that kind of connection is the Pandaren. The August Celestials are Pandaria’s equivalent to the Ancient Guardians. Both Draenei and Orcs are from another world — they don’t have a connection with Azeroth. Dwarves and Gnomes were originally Titan creations of metal and stone. Forsaken were once Human, but their present state is the opposite of everything nature embodies.

As for Goblins and Blood Elves…lore-wise, they aren’t interested. Goblins don’t really want to devote themselves to selfless protection of the world. They want to take advantage of it for their own means. That’s just the Goblin way. Blood Elves were once kaldorei — but they are the descendants of those who turned from Druidism and embraced the Arcane arts instead.

Predicting the future

Of course, nothing in lore is set in stone. All we have for reference is what’s already been written and established — we base our predictions on what’s come before. But Blizzard’s talented team of writers can theoretically come up with a justification for just about any kind of race and class combination out there. Will we see any new combinations at BlizzCon 2017? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, are there any other race and class combinations you’re interested in? Leave a note in the comments, and maybe we’ll pick up the discussion again next week.

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