Cataclysm speculation

Now that the news from yesterday has been out for about a day, I think it’d be a bit silly to keep hiding things behind breaks, as everyone should have heard the name of the new expansion, Cataclysm, at the very least. So you’ve been warned; from now on, I won’t be concealing or announcing any spoilers I mention.

Anyway, Worgen and Goblins, eh? I think it’s fair to say that everyone expected this – there’s been masses of speculation, all of which has been the same thing really – the Horde will get Goblins, and the Alliance will get Worgen, which we did! Time for my thoughts on the matter.

I feel the Horde getting Goblins was pretty inevitable. Right from the start of the game, the Horde have used Goblin-owned zeppelins for transport. In addition to this, while there’s Gnomish Engineering, the opposite is Goblin, so it’s only sensible that the Goblins ought to belong to the Horde. Finally, and maybe more coincidentally than by design, it’s true that the Horde don’t have a ‘short’ race, which the Goblins will do for them.

By the same token, the Horde have Trolls which are sort of stooped, and the Worgen will most likely match up with them, posture-wise. The lore behind the Alliance getting Worgen is a little more complicated than Goblins for the Horde, and there isn’t really anything currently in the game to suggest that the Alliance is the faction they should join…

Right, lore. So I’m thinking that the Goblins who go Horde on us will probably be one specific faction of their race – obviously the Steamwheedle Cartel, who own and maintain the ports and ships around Azeroth, are one faction, probably under the control of one of the many Goblin Trade Princes, and the Venture Co. are another. In this way, the Goblins who choose to abandon their neutrality will be under the control of a different Prince, one who evidently has ulterior motives. What could these be? Well, actually I have no idea. Perhaps the Prince has a particular grudge against the Alliance (if so, it’s probably against Varian, let’s be frank, a lot of people dislike him), or maybe there’s profit to be had by siding with the Horde, which is infinitely more likely. I suppose also possible would be that the Prince and his faction have done something to offend the other Goblins, and they’ve been thrown out of Undermine – the Goblin capital which we’ll no doubt see in the expansion – and have been forced to choose a side.

The Worgen are a little trickier to guess at. One theory is that the Human nation of Gilneas, which has been concealed behind the Graymane Wall in Silverpine Forest for a decade after they decided to seal themselves away, has been invaded / infected by Arugal’s evil half-human Worgen, which can be seen around the outside of the wall – these Worgen are more like werewolves, and being bitten by one would transform the Gilneans into wolf men themselves (think about what happened up in Grizzly Hills). This nation may now have decided it needs all the help it can get to remedy the problems caused by their transformations, after breaking free of Arugal’s magic, much as the Forsaken broke free of Arthas. Not that the Forsaken are anything like decent, but you know.

The other theory, which I personally support, is that the playable Worgen will be fresh, new Worgen from their homeworld. Let me explain. The Worgen were first introduced into Azeroth by two means – one was a Night Elf priestess who used the Scythe of Elune to summon them, to help fight against the Burning Legion. However, they became corrupted and turned against her, probably killing her as she is now missing, and began to effectively summon themselves. At the same time, Archmage Arugal was summoning Worgen to fight the Scourge which had destroyed Dalaran, but these Worgen also turned on their summoner, and Arugal went mad and adopted them as his children in Shadowfang Keep, where he performs experiments on them with curses and such.

So while all the Worgen currently on Azeroth are clearly evil, vicious creatures, the Worgen on their homeworld may not be. According to Dalaran research, they are locked in battle with the Lords of the Emerald Flame, their lifelong enemies, and it is possible that the playable ones will have come here looking for assistance with our common enemy; it is very possible that the Lords of the Emerald Flame are the ubiquitous Burning Legion, who we’re more or less driven off several times now.

I suppose we’ll have to wait and see which of the many theories are true, but in the mean time it’s great fun to guess – what are your thoughts?



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