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This article is a copy of "Races," a collection of official articles from the World of Warcraft Community Site. These articles overviewed the playable races available in World of Warcraft prior to Cataclysm. The original articles are no longer available, but they can still be viewed through online archives (see below).

The articles also laid out the racial traits and other basic gameplay information about each race. However, that information is omitted in this copy.

Article content

World of Warcraft offers ten playable races: Dwarves, Gnomes, Humans, Night Elves, Draenei, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Undead and Blood Elves. Each of these races has unique racial traits and certain playable classes available to them. These racial traits and class options help them to accomplish their goals in the world.

The game's races are further divided into two warring factions: the Alliance and the Horde. Characters can only talk, group, and create guilds with players from their own faction. Certain zones and cities in the world are also friendly to one faction while hostile to the other. Additionally, certain quests can only be completed by members of one faction and not the other.

Alliance

Draenei

Game Guide draenei banner.png"Is that the monster? Maybe it's one of the others? It's not safe, maybe we should go back to the hatch. KATE! Are you listening to me??""Huh? Sorry, I didn't hear you...I was having another random flashback...""Hi!"
The Draenei crash land onto a mysterious island

One month ago, a terrible explosion tore open the skies above northern Kalimdor. At that moment, the great ship Exodar plummeted from the heavens, and crashed upon the world of Azeroth. Having fled the ravaged world of Outland, the noble draenei used the dimension traveling Exodar to reach safe haven. Inspired by tales of the heroic alliance that stood against the might of the Burning Legion, the draenei have come to enlist aid in retaking their shattered homeland. Dedicated to preserving life and upholding the tenets of the Holy Light, the draenei hope to gather a new coalition of warriors to battle the Burning Legion and put a halt to its horrific Burning Crusade. Armed only with courage and their unshakeable faith in the Light, the draenei look forward to finding the alliance and ushering them towards the destiny that awaits beyond the skies of Azeroth.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Dwarves

Game Guide dwarf banner.pngAck! He's an ugly one, isn't he?Aye. Reminds me of your mother.Ack! She's an ugly one. Reminds me of my mother.
Newlywed dwarves go on their honeymoon

The stoic dwarves of Ironforge are an ancient race of robust humanoids who live beneath the snow-capped mountains of Khaz Modan. The Dwarves have always been fast allies with the Humans, and they revel in the prospects of battle and storytelling alike. In past ages, the Dwarves rarely left the safety of their mountain fortresses. However, whenever the call to battle sounded, they rose up to defend their friends and allies with unmatched courage and valor. Due to a recent discovery that uncovered fragments of their ancient origins, the Dwarves have undergone a remarkable transformation. The discovery convinced the Dwarves that the mighty Titans created them from stone when the world was young. They feel that their destiny is now to search the world over for more signs and proof of their enchanted heritage and to rediscover the Titans' hidden legacies. To this end, the Dwarves have sent out their Prospectors to all ends of the world in the hopes of discovering new insight into their shrouded past. These journeys led to Dwarven excavation sites all over the known world, some of which serve as outposts and some of which serve as potential hunting grounds for enemies of the Dwarven race.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Gnomes

Game Guide gnome banner.pngYES! It's working!Hehe. She actually thinks it works.Stop laughing or she might catch on.
A gnomish female tests her new device that forces others to dance

The eccentric, often-brilliant Gnomes are one of the most peculiar races of the world. With their obsession for developing radical new technologies and constructing marvels of mind-bending engineering, it's a wonder that any Gnomes have survived to proliferate.

Thriving within the wondrous techno-city of Gnomeregan, the Gnomes shared the resources of the forested Dun Morogh Peaks with their Dwarven cousins. Though the dwarves of Ironforge also have a propensity for technology and engineering - it is the gnomes who provide the critical, visionary designs for most of the Dwarves' weapons and steam vehicles.

The Gnomes served the Alliance well during the Second War, but strangely, they refused to send any personnel to aid their allies during the Burning Legion's recent invasion. Though their designs helped turn the tide against the Legion, the Dwarves and Humans were shocked by the Gnomes' decision to withhold their courageous troops and pilots.

When the war ended, the Alliance discovered the reason for the Gnomes' sudden withdrawal. Apparently, an ancient, barbaric menace had risen from the bowels of the earth and invaded Gnomeregan. Knowing that their allies' priority was defeating the Burning Legion, the Gnomes decided to make their stand alone. Though they fought valiantly to save their beloved city, Gnomeregan was irrevocably lost.

Nearly half of the Gnomish race was wiped out during the fall of Gnomeregan. The ragged Gnomes that survived fled to the safety of the Dwarves' stronghold of Ironforge. Committed once again to the Alliance's cause, the Gnomes spend their time devising strategies and weapons that will help them retake their ravaged city and build a brighter future for their people.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Humans

Game Guide human banner.pngFirst the Orcs come...then the Scourge, and now...But I shall succeed where the Burning Legion has failed!
Humans once again defend their home from intruders

The Humans of Stormwind are a resilient breed, having survived an invasion by the savage Orcs during the First War. During the Second War, the armies of Stormwind rallied with the Alliance to reclaim their homeland of Azeroth. After the success of the Second War, Stormwind was rebuilt and Human civilization began to flourish once again throughout the southlands. With the recent invasion of the Burning Legion - which left the northern kingdom of Lordaeron in ruins - Stormwind now stands as the last bastion of human civilization. Following the heroic examples of the legendary Sir Lothar and King Llane, the defenders of Stormwind are considered to be among the fiercest warriors in the land. They stand resolute in their charge to maintain the honor and might of humanity in an ever-darkening world.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Night Elves

Game Guide night elf banner.png(I'm glad I'm not the tank)(I'm glad I'm not the tank)(I should've brought a priest)(I should've brought a priest)(She should've brought a priest)
Night Elves battle the Burning Legion in Felwood to reclaim their corrupted lands

The reclusive Night Elves were the first race to awaken in the World of Warcraft. These shadowy, immortal beings were the first to study magic and let it loose throughout the world nearly ten thousand years before Warcraft I. The Night Elves' reckless use of magic drew the Burning Legion into the world and led to a catastrophic war between the two titanic races. The Night Elves barely managed to banish the Legion from the world, but their wondrous homeland was shattered and drowned by the sea. Until recently, the Night Elves closed themselves off from the rest of the world and remained hidden atop their holy mountain of Hyjal for many thousands of years. The Legion's invasion brought the Night Elves out of their long period of slumber. They now have renewed interest in shaping the world, and for the first time are allying themselves with other races to insure the continued survival of Azeroth. As a race, Night Elves are typically honorable and just, but they are very distrusting of the 'lesser races' of the world. They are nocturnal by nature and their shadowy powers often elicit the same distrust that they have for their mortal neighbors.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Horde

Blood Elves

Game Guide blood elf banner.png
Blood Elves fight the Scourge in the ruins of Silvermoon City

For nearly seven thousand years, the high elves cultivated a shining magical kingdom deep within the forests of northern Lordaeron. But five years ago, the undead Scourge invaded Quel'Thalas and drove the elves to the brink of extinction. Led by the evil death knight Arthas, the Scourge destroyed the mystical Sunwell, thereby severing the elves from the source of their arcane power. Though the scars of that conflict are evident, the remaining elves have banded together and retaken much of their homeland. Calling themselves "blood elves", these grim survivors are committed to regaining the vast powers they once commanded. Inspired by the leadership of their beloved prince, Kael'thas Sunstrider, the blood elves now seek out new sources of arcane magic and the means of defending their land against the undying horrors of the Scourge.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Orcs

Game Guide orc banner.png

The savage, green-skinned Orcs are one of the most prolific races of Azeroth. They are commonly believed to be brutal and mindless, possessing no humanity or empathy for other races. Born on the hellish world of Draenor, the Orcs were brought into the kingdom of Stormwind through the dimensional gateway known as the Dark Portal and forced to wage war on the Humans. Although few are aware of their history, the Orcs once cultivated a noble, Shamanistic society on the world of Draenor. Tragically, the proud Orc clans were corrupted by the Burning Legion and used as pawns in the Legion's invasion of Azeroth. The Orcs managed to rebel, however, and they were ultimately able to help turn the tide against their demon masters. Led by the young Warchief, Thrall, the Orcs have reclaimed their strength and honor. Now, the Orcs stand ready to fight not for the sake of conquest, but for their right to survive in their adopted world.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Tauren

Game Guide tauren banner.pngIs this the centaur that said you were as fat as a cow?He's the one!Lies! I said you WERE a cow
Two tauren fight to protect their new home against the marauding centaur

The Tauren are huge, bestial creatures who live in the grassy, open barrens of central Kalimdor. They live to serve nature and maintain the balance between the wild things of the land and the restless spirit of the elements. Despite their enormous size and brute strength, the remarkably peaceful Tauren cultivate a quiet, tribal society. However, when roused by conflict, Tauren are implacable enemies who will use every ounce of their strength to smash their enemies under hoof. Under the leadership of their ancient chief, Cairne Bloodhoof, the Tauren allied themselves with the Orcs during the invasion of the Burning Legion. The two races have remained steadfast allies ever since. Like the Orcs, the Tauren struggle to retain their sense of tradition and noble identity.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Trolls

Game Guide troll banner.pngGood work wo'mon. You found their camp.We be sure to win the headhunting contest now.
Two trolls go headhunting and find that two heads are better than one

The vicious Jungle Trolls, who populate the numerous islands of the South Seas, are renowned for their cruelty and dark mysticism. Barbarous and superstitious, the wily Trolls carry a seething hatred for all other races.

One tribe, however, was forced to overcome its prejudices when it encountered the Orc Warchief, Thrall, and his mighty Horde. The Trolls of the Darkspear tribe, long since exiled from their ancestral lands in Stranglethorn Vale, were nearly destroyed by a band of aquatic Murlocs, but Thrall and the Horde managed to save them. In return the grateful Trolls swore an oath of eternal allegiance to the Horde.

Led by the cunning Shadow Hunter, Vol'jin, the Darkspear Trolls now make their home in Durotar along with their Orcish allies. Their village, named after their fallen tribal elder, Sen'jin, lies along the eastern coast of the harsh, rocky land. The Darkspear tribe also occupies tracts within the nearby jungles of the Echo Isles.

As part of the Horde, the Trolls have extended their loyalty to the mighty Tauren, but they have little trust for the manipulative Forsaken, whom they believe will visit only misery and strife upon their allies.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Undead

Game Guide undead banner.png

Having broken free from the tyrannical rule of the Lich King, a renegade group of undead seek to retain their own free will while destroying all those who oppose them. Known as the Forsaken, this group is dedicated to serving their leader, the banshee queen Sylvanas Windrunner. These dark warriors have established a secret stronghold beneath the ruins of Lordaeron's former capital city. Situated deep beneath the cursed Tirisfal Glades, the labyrinthine Undercity is a sprawling bastion of evil. Within its shadowy confines, Sylvanas' royal apothecaries scramble to develop a devastating new plague - one which will not only eradicate their hated Scourge rivals, but the rest of humanity as well. To further their dark aims, the Forsaken have entered into an alliance of convenience with the primitive, brutish races of the Horde. Holding no real loyalty for their newfound comrades, the Forsaken have duped them into fighting against their common enemy - the Lich King. Only time will tell how these disciples of doom will fare in their mission of vengeance.

[Racial Traits and Other Information]

Notes

  • The descriptions for the original eight races are copies from the World of Warcraft Townhall's Races of Azeroth article.
  • Blood elves and draenei were not originally on this page; they were added to it in January 2007.

References

This page and the articles it contained can still be viewed here through the Wayback Machine.

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