It’s official: New “World of Warcraft” Alliance race will be the Draenei.

Blizzard spilled the beans today and the folks at the New York Times (of all places) have the announcement:

Today, as the video game industry gathers here for E3, the top annual game convention, those players will start getting answers. In the biggest piece of news, Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind the game, plans to announce that in the expansion, to be called The Burning Crusade, players will be able to join an otherworldly species called the Draenei.

In the Burning Crusade, much of the action will take place on a planet called Draenor. The Draenei are the remnants of a once-thriving culture there that was mostly destroyed by orcs after the orcs were corrupted by the demons of the Burning Legion — the big bad guys in the game, who oppose both the Alliance and the Horde.

In a twist, the Draenei are descended from the same demonic race, the Eredar, that produced some of Warcraft’s most fearsome foes, like the demon Archimonde.

“Lots of players have wanted to play demons, and Draenei are the closest you can get to looking like an Eredar,” Jeff Kaplan, one of the game’s top designers, said in an interview. “They have these cool forehead features, and one of the customization features is switching around these facial features and the tendrils hanging beneath the chin and so on.”

Supposedly the new Alliance race was supposed to be “ugly” to balance out with adding the “pretty” Blood Elves to the Horde side, but looking at the picture here I can’t say they’re all that ugly. You can click it for a bigger version too. No word yet on what classes they’ll have, but I’m still going to play one regardless so it doesn’t matter. As for the flying mounts that will be added to the expansion? They’ll be Nether Drakes, which just sounds wicked cool.

Update: The Official Burning Crusade website has been updated with info and more pics about the new Draenei race. There’s also a boatload of new pics of both races at the WoW Forums.

Updated Update: Classes for the Draenei will tentatively be: Warrior, Priest, Paladin, Mage and Hunter. We might change that, however, maybe add or remove a class.

1 thought on “It’s official: New “World of Warcraft” Alliance race will be the Draenei.

  1. When I read the bit about the Draenei inter-dimensional ship, I couldn’t help but ask, “What?!?!

    I suppose it could be a portal hopping version of a Final Fantasy airship, but it seemed a little too sci-fi for the medieval setting…

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