So when word broke on the blogosphere that Blizzard revealed the new Alliance race at E3, I began grabbing the few online images of the E3 event such that I could host them myself in case they vanished by getting bandwidth-hammered. Fortunately, WoWWiki was updated at lightning-fast speeds, bringing you the screenies in addition to some backstory.
It looks like the counterpart to Blood Elves will be the Eredar, whose backstory is vaguely reminiscent of Scientology. It seems that during the great battle at the World Tree Nordrassil, a bunch of wisps detonated themselves and killed the ueber-demon Archimonde (Xenu), which resulted in a demon’s husk and a bunch of wisp spirits (thetans) floating around the forests of Felwood. These spirits apparently fused with some of the demons (humans) that took up residence at Mount Hyjal, and became the Eredar (sick humans).
Thus, we have an “ugly” race for the Alliance, in counterpart to the “pretty” Horde race known as the Blood Elves. From the E3 booth art, it also looks like Blood Elves will indeed be able to be Rogues, and that among some form of caster class, Eredar can also be Paladins. This would finally give three Alliance races Holy powers, though it’s curious how a merger of demonic magic and dead Night Elves can result in a race capable of learning the ways of the Paladin. (Nevermind the double-negative that is the term wisp spirit.)
I’m somewhat sadened that Pandaren and Draenei didn’t make the cut, but I guess lots of people (read: kids) will think a “demon”-race is awesome, and will roll accordingly. I happen to find both new races rather bland, though I could be convinced to finally roll a Priest I’ll stick with if either race has a decent Priest racial ability. Or a sexy dance.
Update 1: _The current word on the street is that the new race _is the Draenei after all, or at least how they were prior to their departure from Outworld. That is to say, the litle fellas in the Swamp of Sorrows are not the Draenei we will see as an Alliance race, which one can see more of in certain online videos. Some leaked screenies show more of the race, but no announcement yet exists on the WoW homepage. Nonetheless, the NY Times confirms that the Draenei will be the new Alliance race.
Curiously, Blizzard’s statement that players would initially be confused as to the race decision is ridiculous, since the Draenei were the obvious choice all along.
Update 2: _Official news is now located at Blizzard’s WoW site. From information previously available on the Draenei, it would appear that new creative license was taken to _flesh out the concept, though I’m happy to say I initially guessed rightly, albeit with some disappointment nonetheless as I would have enjoyed rolling a giant panda. The creative license taken is pretty straightforward about how the Draenei can have holy powers, rather than shamanistic ones the WoW community had questions about. It seems this means that Priests and Paladins both will be an option for the Draenei.
Hopefully, we’ll soon have a better idea of what classes each of the new races can be, as well as what the racial abilities are (to include the new Priest racials).