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WoWFeb 6, 2018 4:00 pm CT

Battle for Azeroth brings Allied Race racials, change to Arcane Torrent

Okay, so we finally have Allied Races, and more are coming in Battle for Azeroth, so we can talk about their racial abilities. They’re interesting and fun, and some are going to get nerfed eventually — I’m looking at you, Void Elves. But while we look at the racials for the four races we now have, we can’t forget that there are two new races coming with new racials we don’t know about yet, and also a change is likely coming to an old favorite when Battle for Azeroth launches. So let’s talk about racial abilities.

The Highmountain

Highmountain Tauren, in addition to having awesome voices, come with four passive and one active racial abilities. The active, Bull Rush, is similar to War Stomp but manifests as a forward charge for one second instead of a stomp on the ground, and it knocks enemies in front of you down for 1.5 seconds instead of stunning in a circle around you. It’s fun, not particularly OP, and has a neat animation.

None of the passives are exceptional but one of them is very nice — Rugged Tenacity, which reduces damage taken and scales with your Stamina. It’s a variation on the standard Tauren racial which gives you more health, ultimately — either way, it means more survivability. I think I prefer Rugged Tenacity, but either way it’s not a huge departure. Increased Mining skill and an additional chance to get more meat and fish aren’t really big deals in my opinion, but Mountaineer‘s 1% buff to Versatility isn’t terrible. I guess if you have a yen for fishing, that buff to fish you harvest will be a selling point. Overall, I like the Highmountain quite a bit — I’m playing one now. I definitely think if you’re into mining or fishing you may want to consider them for your next alt.

The Void Elves

I’m honestly not sure if I’ve seen more Void Elves or Nightborne so far while playing, but the shadowy Elf types are very popular. What do they bring to the table for racials? Well, for starters, they don’t get that annoying cast delay from damage. If you’re a clothes horse, they get 50% discounts on transmog and void storage which, OMG, I want like sixteen of them now. And they just might get randomly empowered by the Void, which is… okay. It’s basically Alleria’s shadowy form except a random proc instead of on use like she has. They’re resistant to Shadow damage, which you’d expect, really, and they can teleport through holes they tear in space.

That last one, man. I am expecting to see that one get toned down. Hopefully I’m wrong.

The Nightborne

Who knew the Horde needed Night Elves so bad? Turns out they do. I still prefer the Highmountain.

I’ll admit I’m jealous of the magical mailbox they get. That’s pretty sweet. The bonus to Inscription skill… well, maybe they’ll fix Inscription. A flat 1% bonus to magic damage is pretty sweet, considering all the Mages and Warlocks (and maybe Priests) we’re likely to see roll one of these ancient mana addicts. Similarly, them having resistance to Arcane damage makes sense. Finally, they get a variant on Thalyssra’s big purple bubble because, well, it’s an iconic ability by the most famous Nightborne. I’m interested to see if Arcane Pulse makes them a potent PVP choice, and if that means it gets nerfed down the line.

Lightforged Draenei

Lightforged Draenei are interesting in terms of racials. I’ve never even thought about a “When I die, bad things happen around me” racial ability before. Light’s Reckoning is possibly the most unconventional racial I’ve yet seen and I’m honestly not sure if I like it or not. I mean, I’m imagining a raid with six of these guys all dying next to a boss, healing the rest of the raid up and killing the boss and giggling. But it’s still weird.

Holy Resistance is pretty standard, it makes sense and isn’t a huge deal. Similarly, Forge of Light is nice with the summoned forge and all, but it’s only great if you plan on Blacksmithing a lot. Demonbane means leveling through Outland and Legion content should go really fast. And Light’s Judgement is Gift of the Naaru if you wanted to burn enemies with it instead of healing yourself. I admit, as a Warrior, Gift of the Naaru was one of my favorite racials, a nice self heal — I’m not sure I’ll enjoy another damaging ability as much, but I get that they can’t just have Gift again.

Zandalar, Dark Iron, and Arcane Torrent

We should mention that more racials are coming with the Zandalar and Dark Irons in Battle for Azeroth, but at present we don’t know what they are. We know what the icons are for the Zandalari and what they’re named, but not what they actually do. Zandalari will apparently get City of Gold, Embrace the Loa, Pterrodax Swoop, Regeneratin, and Ward of the Loa. These are subject to change — they’re datamined and Regeneratin is potentially a joke spelling — and we have no idea what they are. Although, I’d be willing to speculate that Pterrodax Swoop is some kind of move or stun similar to the Void Elf/Highmountain ones. We know literally nothing about what the Dark Irons will get.

However, during the recent Battle for Azeroth Q&A, Ion Hazzikostas did mention a racial he expects will see changes in the upcoming expansion: Arcane Torrent. Apparently having another silence/interrupt makes Blood Elves a trifle OP in PVP — not that everyone didn’t already know that. We don’t know what the change will be as yet, so don’t panic until we get some more information.

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