Blizzard is paving the way for World of Warcraft‘s next big free update, Visions of N’Zoth, and in doing so has revealed two new Allied Races that’ll join WoW‘s sizable race stable when the update eventually hits. Vulpera, which are basically fox people, and Mechagnomes, which are basically steampunk cyborgs, will be available to Horde and Alliance players (respectively) who complete the quest line in the related race’s zone, and become “Exalted” with that race’s faction.
Specifically, Horde players seeking to roll their own Vulpera will need to finish up the quests in Vol’dun, which was introduced in WoW‘s most recent expansion, Battle for Azeroth. They’ll then need to reach Exalted with the Voldunai, at which point they’ll be able to create what Blizzard calls a “prestige character” as a Vulpera. The process is identical for making a Mechagnome, with the only differences being that you have to finish the quests in Mechagon Island, rather than Vol’dun, and become exalted with Mechagon, rather than the Voldunai.
World of Warcraft director Ion Hazzikostas briefly details the new races in the video embedded below (skip to around 13 minutes in), but does not elaborate on what classes will be available to Vulpera or Mechagnomes, nor does he talk about what racial traits players might enjoy while playing either new race. Yes, it’s 2019 and characters in World of Warcraft still have racial traits, despite everyone in the universe being way, way more aware of What That Means™.
But anyway! World of Warcraft‘s public test realms should be updated with Visions of N’Zoth by the time you read this, so if you play WoW and are willing/able to have the game installed on your computer twice, you can roll your own temporary Vulpera and/or Mechagnome starting today. Everyone else will have to wait until Visions of N’Zoth hits the live realms, and since Blizzard tends to keep release dates close to its chest, we don’t know quite when that’ll be. Blizzard generally likes to put new updates onto the test realm one or two months before the proper launch, so we may see Visions of N’Zoth go live before the year is out.
In related, but unrelated to becoming a fox person news, Hazzikostas also touches on some other features arriving in Visions of N’Zoth, including a new time-sensitive “Assault” system, which will have players defending specific zones from the old god N’Zoth’s armies during set times of day. Blizzard is also introducing a cheerful new “Horrific Visions” system, in which players experience terrifying visions of a future in which N’Zoth is successful in its conquest, which, in gameplay terms, means a new solo dungeon of some kind.
And for the sake of full disclosure, you should know that I worked for Blizzard from 2008 to 2011 as a World of Warcraft Game Master (read: in-game customer support drone). I saw some wild shit both in-game and out during my time there, and while my experiences definitely gave me some Big Thoughts™ about Blizzard as a company, those opinions are relegated to op/ed-style columns.