Do you think the new allied races have intergrated well into the story/world?

This also includes Pandas and Dracthyr, but do you think they have integrated well into the story and their respective societies within the alliance/horde? or are they like Pandas where Blizz put them in but forgot about them until recently?

I play through their stories I think they were really good integrated as far a WoW stories can go. Obviously they could have done it better… I do hope they do still with side quest etc.

However my only nitpick (as its just my opinion) on it, are that Neutral Races should always stay neutral. It should be a weekly choice or some other way where they could easy interact with both sides without having it to be permanently bound. Even if bound I see no reason why they could not interact with the other faction without being attack on sight in opposite faction cities or NPCs.
Maybe its a game limitation, tie in with the race/faction change or just easy to leave it like that… but I will always think it shouldn’t be a permanent choice.

However this is coming from a guy that has always thought that all “Elves in WoW” should be neutral, specially the Blood/Void/Darkfallen/High elves so player would be free to play out heir elf fantasy however they want in whatever faction fits the players base fantasy.

So take my opion with a grain of salt…
:dracthyr_crylaugh:

Hmm… maybe the Dracthyr as even the Sundred Flame weren’t presented as a real threat to the Dragons but a nearby threat to the Dragonscale Expedition. :scroll::robot:

All could use better integration. Some of course are doing better than others but overall not great.

Zandalari and Kul’tirans are at the top. All of BFA is their integration into the world and story. They even come with their own main cities that we can still practically use and explore. Even if we discount that, Kul’tiras is basically the shipping supplier of the entire Alliance and we see used most directly in the Dragon Isles expedition and ship to get there. Tide sages over the typical Alliance flying fortress. Zandalari are shown here and there and I feel are given more appearances than other Horde allied races but I think thats more of a subjective thing. We’ll see if they make an appearance in the Darkspear heritage.

Nightborne and Dark Irons are really well integrated and used. Both are given time and highlights in BFA. Nightborne in particular are well represented in the Dragon Isles Expedition and Dark Irons are kinda just everywhere tbh. They’ve been slowly plopped in places since Cata.

Then its practically a 4 way tie between Highmountain, Mag’har, Void Elves, and Lightforged for a okay, but could be better. They get their little cameos, they’re shown here and there in cities, but outside of BFA they’re MIA. The Mag’har didn’t even show up in the Orc heritage quest about rediscovering their roots and culture.

Vulpera and Mechagnomes are even more MIA in the story. A few pop up in the Dragon Isles which is nice to at least see but they don’t do anything.

Pandaren get the worst of it. They’ve been a playable race for 10 years now and have gotten half the attention that some of these allied races have gotten.

Dracthyr are of course integrated into the current story but how much that actually matters is yet to be seen. We know they hardly did anything as a people or even dedicated wings in DF other than the Sundered Flame, but even then they were just tricked pawns into being canon fodder. I have little hope for their future story and may be relegated like Pandaren into the future.

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I think that overall, Blizzard has been doing a good job at showcasing the diversity of the Horde and Alliance in recent expansions. While they may not be given main story spotlight, there is still a presence shown for the Allied Races.

HORDE

Huojin Pandaren - Despite the jokes about them, we have seen how well they integrated into the Horde family in recent years. In BfA they, like all races, were shoen deploying forces. Actively partaking in cultural events, parades and more in Orgrimmar. Ji Firepaw may jot be the most central character but he has shown to truly believe in the Horde and is willing to fight for it. He cameos in novellas and short stories, training new students in Orgrimmar, acting as a council member. He played a decent role in Shadow’s Rising.

Nightborne - Perhaps the most prominant Allied Race, theyve been essentially skyrocketed into one of the main Horde races. They were present in BfA as everyone was. Thalyssra was in the Talanji rescue mission- and Oculeth in particular has developed a new portal system across the Horde. Thalyssra and oculeth’s story in Nazjatar, her role in the Horde council. Her marrying Lor’themar- it just shows how the Nightborne dove into serving the Horde. I would argue the nightborne overall have had the most presence and integration among the new races.

Highmountain Tauren - Like i keep mentioning they can be seen quite frequently aiding the Horde in BfA like all playable races. Lasan Skyhorn in particular has dedicated himself to serving the Horde; aiding in rescuing Talanji and later leading the charge in various invasions/defenses. Mayla was apprehensive and even regretted joining the Horde in BfA but since then she helped form the council and has been involved since. While not as prominant as the Nightborne theyve done well.

Mag’har - The Mag’har had a lot of troops and npcs in BfA, but they are perhaps one of the races with the least spotlight and integration. We see people like Kaz the Shrieker in the war, and they stayed ever loyal to Sylvanas because they didnt understand what the other leaders saw. They were new to Azeroth. I hope to see more of them in the future.

Vulpera - The one race that might have even less than the Mag’har. This is in part due to the Vulpera joining the Horde after the war ended. We see Kiro adjusting to representing his people on the council in Shadow’s Rising, and Vulpera like Tacha aiding the dragonscale expedition, but we just havnt had much time to see them integrate into the faction itself.

Zandalari Trolls - The Zandalari have the benefit of a huge portion of BfA being dedicated to their integration into the Horde. Even the post-expansion book was about bringing the Zandalari formally into the Horde via Talanji joining the Horde Council. Theres too much to really delve into, but theyre good i would say.

Dark Talon Dracthyr - This is a tough one due to just how new they are, and Dragonflight itself not centering on the going ons of the factions outside the Dragonscale expedition. We get a few tidbits about how theyre integrating. Cindrethresh mentions that the Dark Talons have grown fond of the Horde despite originally being skeptical theyd fit in, and she mentions Vulpera being her favorite members atm. I hope to see more in this regard.

ALLIANCE

Void Elves - During BfA the Ren’dorei are trying VERY hard to show their worth to the Alliance. Thus we see them wuite frequently and Umbric is involved in the war campaign story. Theyre sending people into the void and corrupting dinosaurs in the name of the Alliance. While they may not have done much more than that, it shows theyre integrating.

Lightforged Draenei - Their High Exarch is now the Lord Commander of the Alliance and regent of Stormwind, so that is truly all that needs mentioned here. But we also see them quite frequently theoughout the war and aiding the Alliance. Telaamon sacrificed his life for a diversion tactic.

Dark Iron Dwarf - The Dark Iron Clan has been integrated firmly into the Alliance years before they actually became playable. They are 1/3 of the Council of Three Hammers. Their playability just made them more represented among various npcs.

Kul’tiran - Kul’tiras, similar to the Zandalari were the focus of BfA and bringing them back into the Alliance. We see quite a few npcs in the dragonscale expedition from Kul’tiras, and their leader, Jaina, was lrominant in Shadowlands.

Mechagnomes - Not much to say here. Mechagon declared Mekkatorque their King, which firmly integrates them into the Alliance.

Obsidian Warders Dracthyr - Similar to the Horde counterparts not much has been seen. Azurathel mentjons that they have firmly found a place within the Alliance and he got to know Turalyon better; believing the Lord Commander respected the Dracthyr’s discipline.

Tushui Pandaren - Perhaps the least focused on additional race of the Alliance. Theyre barely shown as even cameos in stories like Firepaw is in the Horde, but they are still around. We see them valiantly fighting for the Alliance in BfA, supplying troops and supplies. Aysa herself is less showcased than Firepaw but we know she has formed a bond with other leaders that frequent Stormwind. In her appearances lately she mentions Varian being a better sparring partner than Anduin, etc.

TLDR; I think Blizz has been doing a good job at showing the diversity within the Alliance and Horde. They may not all be the focus of the stories, but they are still around in some way.

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One particular highlight has to be Gilneas. Like while I was hoping we would get some Alliance presence Blizzard made sure ALL races/allied races get included as troops of the 7th Legion(sans Dracthy)

After the expansion they were developed in, they have been largely ignored.

I feel like the ones with fairly strong backstory or a lot of “getting to know you” quests before the actual recruitment quest (the Dark Irons, the Nightborne, the Highmountain, Vulpera) integrated fairly well.

Mag’har and void elves kind of stick out to me on the inverse side where I have very little idea what their roles are, how they’re dealing with their circumstances, or what everyone makes of them. They just show up sometimes. I guess.

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Yup! They may be nameless, generic soldiers but it is still nice to see everyone represented! I’m sure going forward in the story the Dracthyr will be added into that too.

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They each had their beginning moment in the sun and then became “one of the boys”.

So in that sense they fit in as well as everyone else.

We also see how they make part of other groups as well.

One particular case for me was seeing a lightforged draenei in the tuskarr questing zone, where she is having trouble learning how to catch fish.

We see void elves among Wrathion’s forces.

A lot of nightborne in the dragonscale expedition.

Is just nice to see that those groups exist outside their introductory questlines.

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I feel like we need some more quantifiable metrics regarding what, “integrating,” is.

Is a race present in numerous neutral/hostile factions well integrated?
Do they have a strong nigh constant presence in their playable faction?
Was their introduction to the story enough to flesh them out?
Are there other cultures in the world which mesh well with them?

There are so many factors as to what a well integrated race could be that it’s hard to figure out what we’re talking about.

Not at all. Unlike the LFD and void elves the new Horde races didn’t do anything during the fourth war. I doubt they have any actual loyalty.

Its been nice but we don’t see them interacting too much within their own factions or as their own groups. Thats an opportunity for improvement. Dragonscale Expedition worked out well with Nightborne because its so Blood Elf coded in a lot of aspects. They’re trying to out magic each other daily. You have dwarves too but there are so many Blood Elf camps and sections so they fit in so well.

Everyone else though we’re just not seeing much in the story or world. Part of that, of course, is that they were all introduced just before or during BFA and then we went to Shadowlands where if you weren’t a DK, it just didn’t matter what was going on. We get to Dragonflight and almost the same thing, factions just don’t matter and hardly have space to shine.

Lasan, for example, gets a cameo in the Ohn’ahran Plains, and its a cute little bird gossip text, but he doesn’t do anything. The biggest lover of all birds, is in the bird place, and doesn’t do anything with birds?! Could have given him a little throw away quest at least. Did Mayla and Baine even realize he was there? Then Mayla too, she’s here but she’s here just to go find Baine. You can kinda call that integrated but is that really Highmountain content? Are Highmountain really that different though anyway? Physically, spiritually, culturally, they’re basically the same but thats neither here nor there (give me Taunka!).

On the Horde side, the climbers and explorers we recruit are Vulpera primarily. Outside of Tacha, the primary individual we recruit in Org, having a few quests in the Forbidden Reach, we don’t see them handing out climbing quests throughout the isles. Yet, we see our gnome friend Wulferd we recruit Alliance side handing out photo quests all day long however. Coralie get some quests too but that just rounds back to what I said before about Nightborne.

Speaking of Coralie, when we recruit her in Org she’s with a lorewalker and Zandalari chronicler. Amazing actually, a good diverse allied race cast for the sake of this post. The other two dont do anything outside of that introduction!

So there are really fine small nuggets here and there but the allied races getting allied race stories and attention are essentially nonexistent.

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The Allied races are like every other race in this story. Frozen in time until the roving eye of sauron that is the narrative focus falls once more upon them.

In the darkness between spot-lights, the less distinct allies stand the very real risk of being thematically absorbed into their parent race. The mechagnome. The Light Forged. The High Mountain Taurens of the world.

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The allied races that had the spot light and abundant story focus before being recruited are integrated well, even if they may not be as present as they ought to be. The worst integrated are the ones that continue to be an enigma for just about anything regarding their culture, or identity.

The vulpera are the worst culprits I can think of because there’s very little lore for even something so basic and fundamental as why they can be the classes that they are. They can be priests, but we know nothing about their religion; they can be shaman, but we know nothing about their connection to the elements; they can be mages and warlocks, but have no existing places for arcane study or any insight into how they came into contact with demons in the first place. We know next to nothing about them aside from the surface level glance at their culture we got from their part in the Vol’dun questing.

The Nightborne, Highmountain, Zandalari, Kul’tirans, Dark Iron, and Void elves all have a lot of pre established history, and identity, and/or considerable focus by the narrative in the expansion they came from, which made it especially easy for them to slide into the narrative as something more important than npcs. We know why the nightborne are talented mages, we know about the highmountain, and Zandalari’s spiritual connections, and we know why the Kul’tirans can be shaman as examples contrasting the Vulpera.

The vulpera are also basically uninvolved in any of the ongoing story, but that’s not a unique problem to them, but they tragically don’t have much of anything else to fall back on when they aren’t in the spotlight. They don’t have a major city to their name, they don’t have any history to speak of beyond what transpired in BFA, and they have no outside material to expand upon. They -do- have a very likeable cast of characters, but that just makes it all the more disappointing that they continue to be irrelevant.

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I think neutral races are doomed to have extremely weak connections to other peoples and the world.

Interesting thread ! Here are my two cents on the matter (Horde only).

The Zandalari and Shal’dorei are definitely up there, at least strictly in terms of screentime and prominence. In addition to the Zandalari having been obviously very central in BFA, Shadows Rising also did a very good job at addressing the consequences of their new Horde membership and ultimately reinforcing their newfound place in the Horde cast. Hopefully the game soon acknowledges the developments brought by this book, notably the character of Tayo, former lieutenant of the Widow’s Bite and now officially the Zandalari’s ambassador to the Horde Council.
The thing with the Shal’dorei is that although they’ve been getting a fair amount of representation ever since their addition, their integration to the Horde so far was mostly done by pairing them up with the Sin’dorei. Thalyssra and Lor’themar getting married didn’t help in that regard, and the fact that both races are virtually identical on a narrative and thematical level only makes the problem worse. The writers must now depict them interacting with other Horde races and put the emphasis on what sets them apart from the Sin’dorei.

The Highmountain’s narrative integration to the Horde has been somewhat decent. Everyone liked Lasan in BFA, and more recently, I thought the addition of a Horde-aligned Feltotem girl in the Pools of Vision (https://warcraft.wiki.gg/wiki/Se%27tah_Bloodtotem) as a way to provide implicit lore justification for Highmountain Warlocks was a pretty neat little detail—this is exactly the type of faction lore and worldbuilding fluff we need. However the HMT face two fundamental issues : 1) Mayla so far has been perfectly pointless, only ever serving as a support character for Baine (who is a lost cause, to put it mildly) instead of being written as the leader of a great nation she’s supposed to be, and more generally, as a proper character in its own right ; 2) we need to see the HMT tribes operate as, well, tribes (a problem shared with the baseline Tauren). Don’t just show Lasan—show the Skyhorn. Show the Rivermane, show the Horde-aligned Bloodtotem/Feltotem, hell, show the Stonedark too !

The Mag’har and Vulpera are obviously in a bad spot. Geya’rah was not seen or even mentioned since the creation of the Horde Council. That’s bad. Especially since she’s basically the only Mag’har character, besides Kaz the Shrieker (my love) making an appearance in that one World Quest in Zul’dazar. That is a shame, because the Mag’har have SO MUCH potential. Maybe they are to be relevant in Midnight, if the writers seize the opportunity offered by the Light vs Void context to resume the Yrel plotline ? Anyway, aside from more prominence in general, what the Mag’har need is 1) for Blizzard to reinforce and play on the traits that makes them unique (that is to say : their AU-ness, their Iron Horde tech, and their traditional Orcish clan fantaisies) ; 2) a racial capital. How awesome would it be to see them settle Un’goro Crater and build a cool Iron Horde-themed stronghold in the heart of the jungle, with Gronn and Ogron patrolling the area ?
The Vulpera… you know. The issue with them is much simpler—they have no lore. So, huh. Start addressing that I guess ? Explore their culture, their spirituality, the way their society works, their ancient lore and historical ties with the peoples of Zandalar… ALSO HAVE EUDORA PLEDGE HER BILGE RATS TO THE HORDE.

The Huojin are a tough one. By all means, they SHOULD be well-integrated members of the Horde at this point. They would work so well, they would fit in so naturally within the wider faction landscape thematically ! But no. They’re a complete nothingburger, as is poor old Ji, who could be such a cool Horde character if the writers bothered putting him to use (Shadows Rising makes it pretty clear that he has the potential to be a very enjoyable and well-rounded member of the Horde cast). My hope here is that the Pandaren Heritage explicitly focuses on the faction Pandaren and gives each group its own separate questing experience, so as to do justice to both fantaisies.

The Darktalon are a joke. If you had been wondering when the Dracthyr would finally be formally inducted into their respective factions after being strictly irrelevant throughout the entirety of DF, well, they have been in 10.2.5, through that one Stay Awhile and Listen you probably missed :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiMHts0lFyg. Basically, the Darktalon one was “Ah yes we joined the Horde because why not, also the squirrel people are cute, Vulpera I think they’re called”.
Don’t expect anything from them narratively.

On a more general note, I will say this. What WoW historically lacks as far as faction lore is concerned is race interaction. Show how the various races interact with each other, show with whom they have the strongest, most natural connection (basically develop racial axis within the factions, kinda like how the Worgen and Nelves are often seen operating together), show how they may evolve at the contact of the other members of the faction ! How have 20 years of Horde membership shaped the Sin’dorei’s perception of Trollkind ? Did the Bilgewater and Forsaken evolve beyond their “allies of convenience” initial stance and end up genuinely bonding with the other races of the Horde ? What do the Ren’dorei and LF Draenei think of each other ? That sort of stuff is what makes the factions interesting in the first place.

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I hope in time you understand Blizzard only cares for the alliance they will always treat the Horde races as jokes. Especially with the Dracthyr this is painfully obvious, where Azurathel praises Turalyon Cindrethesh is just standing around until she gets a speaking role.

Integrated well into the story and world? Actually seamlessly. It isn’t jarring to find Lightforged, Dark Iron, Mechagnomes, Void Elves or the like as a quest giver, organization leader, or anything. We’re all just mashed into the same mold of ‘sameness’.

I hate it.

I want to see more culture shock from the Lightforged and Mechagnomes, who have existed utterly cut off from any contact with Azeroth for millenia as they developed their own way of being. They don’t need to write flippin books about it, just write up the dialogue so they have character instead of EVERYONE IS THE SAME. At least I saw some variance with the Dark Irons in BFA during the War Campaigns.

Everyone acting, talking, and behaving the same, having the same motivations and only varying ever so slightly in methodology is boring and bland.