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New races rumoured for WOW expansion

Goblins for Horde, Worgen for Alliance?

The normally reliable WoW.com has added its weight to rumours that the next World of Warcraft expansion will feature two new playable races.

"Multiple sources close to the situation" confirmed to WOW.com that Goblins and Worgen would join the Horde and Alliance respectively.

Worgen are WOW's werewolves, and a seemingly unlikely choice to join the whitebread Alliance. The ubiquitous, currently neutral Goblins mucking in with the Horde seems more feasible.

Rumours began to swirl around the two races a few weeks ago, when they appeared as new Halloween masks - normally reserved for playable races - on a test server update.

The next WOW expansion is likely to be revealed in some form at the BlizzCon fan convention next week. It may be called Cataclysm, following a Blizzard trademark. Many speculate that it will deal with the Maelstrom, a storm in the centre of Warcraft's world, and have a maritime theme.

In a recent interview with Videogamer.com, lead designer Tom Chilton noted that "we don't feel that we can support the pace of adding a new class with every single expansion" (last expansion Wrath of the Lich King featured the Death Knight class) and said it was "less likely" this time around - making new races are more realistic prospect.

He also noted that any new playable races would have to be well-represented in the game world already, unlike the Burning Crusade's Draenei who "it was harder for players to get... because they kind of came out of nowhere". Goblins are everywhere in WOW, and Worgen appeared as enemies in the early levels of the original game as well as being revisited in Lich King.

We'll almost certainly find out more next week. The opening ceremony of BlizzCon, traditionally home to the big announcements, takes place on Friday 21st in the evening, UK time.

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Oli Welsh


Oli was Eurogamer's MMO Editor before a seven-year stint as Editor. He worked here for a colossal 14 years, shaping the website and leading it.