With a new World of Warcraft expansion announcement only days away it is time to speculate on one of the most requested features in WoW history. Subraces.
While Wow has a lot of great stuff going, in-depth character customization is not one of them.
The Warcraft universe is filled with exciting, lore-rich races and subraces. So why not allow players more customization options for their characters.
The likelihood of subraces has never been higher as a few subraces were datamined recently. Among those are Lightforged Draenei, Nightfallen, Void Elves and Highmountain Tauren.
In this article, we will take a look at ALL the possible subraces. Both the likely candidates and the not so likely ones.
Alliance Sub Races
Let us start off by taking a look at the fairer faction and their possible candidates for sub races.
Humans have next to no actual subraces that would make sense, but a few things could be done to the human customization nonetheless.
The physically superior ancestors to human could be an option. While Vrykuls traditionally doesn’t have a positive view of the Alliance races, but Blizzard could make it work. Also, wreaking havoc as a Vrykul warrior does sound quite fun.
Nationality – Just more Customization Options
While humans do not have a lot of sub-races, they do have quite a lot of different kingdoms. Most of these are friendly which is why making nationality a customization option for humans could make sense.
When the vast empire of Arathor was divided, it split into seven human kingdoms. Each with different characteristics to take from. Arathor, Alterec, Kul’Tiras, Stormwind, Dalaran, Gilneas, and Lordaeron.
Letting players choose a human Dalaran mage or a swashbuckling rogue from Kul’tiras would be great. Although the actual additional customization would be quite limited and would be stuff like tattoos, jewelry, etc.
Unlike the humans, the dwarves have a LOT of possible subraces to pick from.
Dark Iron Dwarves
The dark iron dwarves, led by Moira
The more savage cousins of the Ironforge dwarves, the Wildhammer clan were the first dwarfs to practice shamanism. So with dwarf shaman being playable it only makes sense to introduce Wildhammer dwarfs with some fresh, unique tattoos and hairstyles.
The Frostborn dwarves of the Storm Peaks have a unique blue tint look and are already friendly with the Alliance so could make a decent amount of sense.
The titan ancestors of the dwarves we know today. Lorewise they would be a little more challenging to introduce but playing as the original titan iteration of dwarves would be quite cool.
While there are other significant clans to choose from, such as the Stormpike dwarfs. They do not offer enough cultural difference from the Ironforge dwarves to justify them as a sub-race.
Gnomes also have a few cool possible sub-races.
Much like the Earthen dwarves, it would be awesome to play as the original titan iteration of gnomes. Blizzard could even do a twist and allow for partial mechagnomes. Having some parts of their body mechanized and some regular.
Now, let me start off by saying that I don’t like the idea of sand gnomes. They are insignificant, lore wise and would not make much sense to add them to the Alliance ranks. However, they are one of the few other possible sub-races, so they are worth mentioning.
As one of the eldest races in Warcraft lore, night elves have a lot of exciting options.
If it weren’t for the current data mining that suggests that Void Elves will be a playable sub-race for the Alliance, I would never have put them on here. Seeing as it is not an actual race currently in the lore. However, Blizzard can make it work with some quest chain with Alleria or something of the sort.
Both the Alliance and Horde aided the Nightborne in the Suramar quest line so it would only make sense to have Nightborne as an option for both night elves and blood elves. Letting the Nightborne choose which faction to support. That being said, it is rumored that the Nightborne will be a ”Horde only” sub-race and that the Alliance will get ”Void Elves”.
Both the Nightfallen and withered could be a possible addition to the Nightborne. Although withered might be a bit of a stretch.
Basically, High elves are just blood elves with different eye colors and less addictive behavior but would make total sense to have them playable on the Alliance side. As they are already part of the alliance in the lore.
Night Elf Sub-factions
Night elves have quite a lot of factions which could be unique enough to serve as additional customization options for the regular night elves. Such as Sentinels, Sisters of Elune, Watchers, etc. They could even make them class specific.
Worgen are already sort of a sub-race, so the options are pretty limited.
Night Elf Worgen
There are a few examples of night elf Worgens in the lore, such Dennmother Ulrica and considering the origin of the Worgen curse and the history between the Worgen and night elves, this sub-race theoretically make sense. Although the early night elf Worgen were banished by Malfurion and are not on the best of terms with the Night Elves.
Plenty of good stuff to choose from with the Draenei.
This one is the most likely, as it was one of the four sub-races to be datamined recently. They are the polar opposite to the fel corrupted Eredar, and the models for them in patch 7.3 looks kinda amazing.
With the Broken also getting a model overhaul in patch 7.3 it would make a lot of sense to add them as a Draenei sub-race.
The lost ones are a further developed Broken, or further mutilated, whichever way you want to look at it. I see lost ones as being much less likely than the Broken, but I am all for more character customization. So, why not?
I know what you are thinking, that’s just Draenei, right? Anyway, look at Velen, he does look considerably different to the rest of his people. Giving the Draenei a more original Eredar like model to choose would be awesome.
There are so many phenomenal possible sub-races for the Horde.
Sub-races are aplenty with the orcs.
Mag’har(Draenor natives/Brown Orc)
The most obvious choice and one that I would be shocked not to see if they were to implement sub-races. We have even fought alongside the original brown colored orcs on several occasions.
Mok’nathal ( Half-Ogre )
Rexxar is pretty damn awesome, and as one of the original champions of the Horde, it just makes sense to introduce the Mok’Nathal into the Horde. Although it would arguably be a bit weird lore-wise, as they are pretty rare.
Half-Orc ( Draenei or Human descent )
This one is less likely but worth mentioning. Garona is the most notable half-orc, but also the likes of Lantresor of the Blade, Med’an, and Drann the Treasure Hunter. It would be pretty cool having the option of choosing an orc from either Draenei or Human descent.
There are a few orc clans with enough unique esthetics to justify them as a customization option. Such as the Frostwolf clan.
Trolls have a staggering amount of possible sub-races.
The forest trolls of Lordaeron with their most noteworthy tribe being the Amani empire. They are bigger and physically superior to their Darkspear counterparts.
The jungle trolls of Stranglethorn, more commonly known as the Gurubashi, have played a significant role in the lore on several occasions. Like most of the troll tribes, they have been our enemies throughout Warcraft history. However, having a few Jungle Trolls join the Darkspears would not be the biggest stretch.
The original trolls and the ones with the most significant physical differences from the rest of the trolls. While they are commonly viewed as our enemy, I couldn’t make a list of Troll sub-races without mentioning the original trolls.
Ice Trolls & Sand Trolls
Both some of the lesser troll species and probably the most unlikely, apart from Dark trolls. The Drakkari(ice) trolls and Farraki(sand) trolls do still offer enough variation from the Darkspear trolls to be considered.
Also known as Dark forest trolls, are the least likely of all troll sub-races for two reasons. Firstly, they are incredibly rare, so rare that Brann Bronzebeard believes them to have been wiped out by the Twilights Hammer. Secondly, their allegiance would probably be to the Alliance, more specifically to the Night Elves as they are the actual trolls that evolved into the Night Elves and also aided the Night Elves during the Battle for Mount Hyjal.
That being said, they are also the tallest of all trolls and have a unique look to them so could be awesome, but I don’t see them adding Trolls as a sub-race to Night Elves, nor do I think they should.
A few good options exist for Tauren sub-race.
Let us start off with the most likely of them all. Highmountain Taurens are the ones that have been datamined, and it does make quite a bit of sense with their role in Legion, and their current model is good enough to be directly used as a playable model.
Also known as winter Tauren. The Taunka was discovered on our journey to Northrend and even owe allegiance to the Horde, so this one also makes a lot of sense.
The Yaungol are ancestors of the Tauren race and have more similarities with the yak than the bull. They have already fought wars against the old god minions, the Mantids, so if the old gods were to return it would make sense for the Yaungol to join the Horde.
Undead subraces are plentiful, and Blizzard could do some fascinating things with the Forsaken.
What if you don’t want to have bones showing and a missing jaw? Well adding freshly dead undead could be one way to go. The model already exists on the Chinese version of WoW as the concept of Death are very frowned upon in China. Just an Undead model without all the bones showing.
What if you want more bones? Having a model of a long time deceased undead would also be kind of cool. Giving players the option to play as a full-on skeleton.
It’s kind of weird that the leader of the Forsaken, Sylvanas is more or less the only elven undead. When the scourge destroyed high-elven society, it would make sense that they raised more than a few elves from the dead.
All races as undead?
This probably won’t happen, but with Sylvanas continually looking for ways to add more to the Forsaken ranks it could make sense. You could have Undead Night Elves, Undead Draenei, Undead Orcs, etc. I don’t think this will happen though and it probably shouldn’t either.
The fairer race of the Horde also have some tremendous possible sub-races.
The Nightborne has been rumored to be a horde only sub-race which I don’t entirely agree with, considering all the help the Alliance provided in the Suramar quest line. However, the hints are there, and it does make a certain degree of sense. Firstly, Tyrande and the Night elves are not too fond of the Nightborne. Secondly, the blood elves have a lot more in common with the Nightborne as they have both struggled with magical addiction.
If the Horde gets the Nightborne, they should also accept the less attractive of the Nightborn people into their ranks. The withered almost certainly won’t happen though, as they are barely humanoids anymore.
Something on the line with Arathor, the son of Alleria and Turalyon. Although they don’t have a unique model yet, Blizzard could do some really neat stuff with half-elves.
Time is money, so let us go right into it.
Mutated goblins that were experimented on by goblin alchemists. They are much stronger and bigger than regular goblins but also considerably more dum. Apparently, mutative experiments are not good for you and they, therefore, have a very short life expectancy of 3 years and are thus commonly seen in dangerous professions such as guards or mercenaries.
The native goblins of the Undermine. In theory, the goblins in-game are already from the Undermine, but it would be fun to allow some extra features that showed off their greedy, capitalistic personas. Such as allowing them to be bigger and fatter, showing that they are living the good life.
While researching for this article I found a sad truth. The only real sub-race to the Pandaren are the furbolgs. I honestly don’t see them adding furbolgs as a playable sub-race so we will probably just end up with an updated model and some additional customization options.
One of the significant counterpoints to sub-races are the problem with the starting areas. It doesn’t make much sense for a Highmountain Tauren to start out in Mulgore or a Nightborne to start in Teldrassil. Luckily, there is an easy fix that could also be really cool.
Faction Training Encampment
For lack of a better name, let us call it a ”Faction Encampment”. Blizzard would only have to make 1 fantastic starting area for each faction which would revolve around misfits(sub-races) who want to join up with either the Horde or the Alliance.
The questing could be about proving your allegiance to your new faction and could even involve a lot of substantial lore figures such as Genn Greymane for the Alliance and Sylvanas for the Horde.
The starting locations could even be in the same zone and revolve around sabotaging and battling the recruits of the opposite faction.
This way Blizzard would save a lot of development hours and still be able to create a fun starting experience for each new sub-race.