Allied races are, from a design point of view, alternate versions of the main races. They mostly use the skeleton of an existing race but altered and with a different model. They also have their own racial abilities. Allied races get a full character kit including their own emotes, flirts, funnies, exertions, and so on. All current allied races are variants of a previously playable race, with the exception of vulpera, which are only goblins in build.
- For recruitment questlines, see Allied race recruitment quests.
Each race is associated with an achievement in order to unlock. These requirements are account-wide, not character-bound, so players can earn each requirement on different characters on different realms and still unlock the allied race. After a player meets the requirements for a given race, they must head to their faction's embassy - Alliance players can recruit them from the Stormwind Embassy, and Horde players from the Orgrimmar Embassy. They will be given a quest chain that, upon completion, will grant them the ability to create a new character for that allied race, which will start at level 10. Upon reaching level 50 without using a level boost or Recruit-A-Friend boost, they are rewarded with a heritage armor set.
Allied race recruitment quests can't currently be repeated, but there could be an option to repeat them in the future.
The first four allied races were recruited as a direct result of the events of Legion, originating from the Broken Isles and Argus. Another four are part of the story in Battle for Azeroth. Allied races are not a Battle for Azeroth-exclusive feature, however.
Mag'har orcs and Dark Iron dwarves are available after completing the Battle for Azeroth War Campaign. The Kul Tiran humans and Zandalari trolls were recruited later in the expansion after they respectively join the Alliance and the Horde.
List of allied races
Class balance on factions is more linked to lore than equality. It was also stated that there are no plans to give hero classes to allied races in Battle for Azeroth, but in the future the door is open to it. All the allied races will receive access to death knights starting in Shadowlands, with those who pre-purchased the expansion able to create them in patch 8.3.0.
Future allied races
- There are no immediate plans for Wildhammer dwarves, but it is possible in the future.
- In Shadowlands, playable dwarves will be able to apply Wildhammer tattoos.
- Murlocs and blood trolls are not planned as allied races.
- High elves are not planned as an allied race. At BlizzCon 2017, when asked if they could be a future allied race, Ion Hazzikostas said that "blood elves are pretty much high elves, and void elves are pretty much another flavor of high elves". He also stated that there was no obvious population center for them to come from, as they had been assimilated in other cultures. In a Developer Q&A, when asked why they had thus decided to give the Alliance void elves instead of high elves, Hazzikostas elaborated that the fantasy of the "fair-skinned, blonde-haired, majestic elf" kind was already fulfilled by blood elves. Giving that race to the Alliance would also have blurred the lines between factions. Void elves allowed them to give a unique and distinct "flavor of blood elves" to the Alliance.
Notes and trivia
- An allied race character can be boosted with the Character Boost service but will not receive their heritage armor set. Using the Race Change service to turn a character into an allied race will prevent the obtention of the armor as well.
- NPCs that call the player by their race originally referred to allied races using their full allied race name, such as "Highmountain tauren" or "Lightforged draenei". This was later changed so they use only the race name, such as "Tauren" or "Draenei".
- Before the introduction of the allied race system in patch 7.3.5, the term had occasionally been used in various other contexts:
- In a 1995 interview, Bill Roper used "allied races" to refer to the various new races introduced in Warcraft II as allies of the humans and orcs (elves, dwarves, gnomes, goblins, ogres, and trolls).
- The patch 1.5 notes used the term to refer to other races in a player's faction.
- In a Mists of Pandaria promotional video, Chris Metzen used the phrase "allied races" to refer to the Alliance's allies on Kalimdor.
- With the addition of the four first allied races in patch 7.3.5, the number of available character slots per realm was increased from 12 to 16. In patch 8.0 it was increased again from 16 to 18 to make room for Mag'har and Dark Irons. With patch 8.1.5, the character slot limit per realm was removed entirely, though the total account limit remained at 50 characters.
- According to game director Ion Hazzikostas, allied races will always come out in pairs to begin with so that both factions have an equal number of available races, but in the long run the developers are open to the possibility of adding one-off allied races if it makes sense for the story.
- In 2013, MMO-Champion user "shoc" created a forum thread in which they showcased various mockups for "subraces", including several ideas that later became playable as allied races (Mag'har orcs, Dark Iron dwarves, humanoid mechagnomes). They also introduced the idea of slim humans based on the Forsaken rig and beefier humans, two concepts that were eventually realized with the nation of Kul Tiras.
- There are no new allied races planned for the launch of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.
- Allied races won't be able to start in Exile's Reach as they already have their own starting areas and begin at level 10.
- Kul Tirans are the only allied race to use a completely unique animation skeleton. The next closest race, Zandalari, have many unique animations but are still ultimately a modified night elf skeleton.
- Due to not being introduced until after Wrath of the Lich King and lacking their own representation in the Argent Tournament, the allied races use their respective core race choice after completing . For example, after finishing the quest, Zandalari trolls continue with .
- Prior to patch 9.0.1, unlocking allied races required reaching Exalted reputation with that race's associated faction. For example, unlocking playable Vulpera required .
- Official art
Concept art for Zandalari and Kul Tiran cat forms
- Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13):
- Patch 8.3.0 (2020-01-14): Added Mechagnome and Vulpera allied races.
- Patch 8.1.5 (2019-03-12): Added Kul Tiran and Zandalari troll allied races.
- Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Added Dark Iron dwarf and Mag'har orc allied races.
- Patch 7.3.5 (2018-01-16): Added Void elf, Lightforged draenei, Nightborne and Highmountain tauren allied races. Pre-order of Battle for Azeroth required.
- ^ MMO-Champion: Nov 6 Hotfixes, Dev Interviews, Heroes PTR, Overwatch PTR Build, Blue Posts, DLC #606
- ^ Live Developer Q&A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas
- ^ Battle for Azeroth Beta Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
- ^ MMO-Champion - Battle for Azeroth Developer Q&A
- ^ Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas - Battle for Azeroth
- ^ BFA Press Event - Talanji Cinematic, 8.0 Pre-Patch, Mag'har and Dark Iron Unlock Schedule
- ^ 8.3 Developer Content Update Preview
- ^ a b World of Warcraft 2018-03-15. Battle for Azeroth Live Developer Q&A w/ Ion Hazzikostas 3/15/2018. youTube. Retrieved on 2019-12-23.
- ^ Battle for Azeroth Live Developer Q&A – April 26, 2018, 48:25
- ^ Elliot Gardner 2018-05-03. How Blizzard are preparing WoW for Battle for Azeroth | PCGamesN. Retrieved on 2018-06-13.
- ^ Battle for Azeroth Developer Exclusive Interview Q&A! - Method (17:53). YouTube (2017-11-11). Retrieved on 2018-07-16.
- ^ Ornyx 2018-06-12. Blood Troll Allied Race - World of Warcraft Forums. Retrieved on 2018-07-08. “Just to clear the confusion, there was a small segment in yesterday's E3 interview with IGN in which we weren't entirely clear - but we want to clarify that Blood Trolls are not currently planned as an Allied Race.”
- ^ Ion Hazzikostas and Jesse Cox: BlizzCon 2018 (17:58)
- ^ Ion Hazzikostas: High Elves and Void Elves (46:20)
- ^ New Customization Options for Blood Elves and Void Elves
- ^ Linxy on the US Forums
- ^ Blizzard Archive 2012-05-05. Bill Roper interview 1995 (33:55). YouTube. Retrieved on 2020-05-30.
- ^ WoW -> Info -> Under Development -> Implemented -> Patch 1.5. Archived from the original on 2009-11-07.
- ^ World of Warcraft 2012-09-24. Blizzard Devs Discuss the Mists of Pandaria Release (01:17). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-12-24. “The Horde armada has cordoned off Kalimdor so the Alliance fleets are coming in to break through and support their allied races on Kalimdor.”
- ^ WarcraftDevs on Twitter (2018-01-31). Retrieved on 2019-12-24. “The update that enables four additional character slots per server is now available! You'll need to restart WoW to allow the Blizzard Battle.net App to pick up the update.”
- ^ WarcraftDevs on Twitter (2018-05-18). Retrieved on 2019-12-24. “In Battle For Azeroth, the per-realm character limit will be going up from 16 to 18 to make room for the two new Allied Races (Dark Iron dwarves and Mag’har orcs).”
- ^ The Lost Codex 2019-11-05. BlizzCon 2019 Interview: Steve Danuser & Frank Kowalkowski - Story and Systems | The Lost Codex. YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-12-24.
- ^ Shadowlands: Adventure Awaits in the New Starting Experience