Today, I’m going to look at World of Warcraft’s core races and running them down from best to worst, in my humble opinion. Wait, there’s nothing humble about it! Why would I be writing a public gaming blog if I was humble? This makes no sense.
Obviously. I mean, hate on the little dudes and dudettes all you like, but Gnomes are objectively and subjectively awesome. They have spunk, they have technology on their side, they have awesome emotes, they look cute as a button, they have the best facial hair in the game, and they’re perpetually the underdog in any given situation. Love my gnomies!
Other than being slightly difficult to spell, Draenei — especially the female models — look pretty terrific while still bearing a very different body structure and features. I’ve always found them really appealing, especially if you want a “good looking” race that isn’t human. Other pluses include a self-heal, magi-tech totems, and a home that doubles as a spaceship.
Very few MMOs let you play as any sort of zombie character, so World of Warcraft’s Undead/Forsaken automatically distinguish themselves for this fact alone. I think I love the concept of the race more than the actual models (there are too few visual options that don’t make them look like drowned rats and the bones sticking out of the gear is a downer). Still, it’s pretty awesome to play a recently dead character that has a Halloween town for a capital city and one of their own as the war chief.
Despite being too big and having slow running animations, I’ve always had a fondness for the Tauren. The mixture of native American culture and cows, weirdly enough, works. They’re kind of the “nice guys” of the Horde and have usually sported a really good class selection. Plus, the cow puns. Oh the cow puns. They moooved me.
As the shortest race for the Horde, the Gobbos aren’t quite Gnome-levels of terrific, but they do have appeal. I like their fun little racial abilities, their quotes, and even some of their punk-rocker looks. I kept going back and forth in making my Horde Warlock an Undead or Goblin, and to this day I’m not sure I made the right choice.
Yes, it’s the “boring” and “way too popular” choice, but there’s a lot to be said for humans. Armor looks fantastic on them and they get perhaps the most character creation options for visuals out of any of the races. Plus, the racials aren’t half-bad and the class selection is pretty much everything except Druids.
Dwarves are fine… in theory. My first WoW character was a Dwarf, in fact. I’ve always tried to get behind this race because I like to support the shorter characters, but the Dwarves seem so vanilla and bland in this game for some reason. Plus, I don’t like giant beards overtaking armor, nor am I a fan of the rather generic-looking female options.
Great starting zone. Transformation options. Another Druid race. But that’s where the joys of Worgens kind of stop for me. You can’t stay as human in combat even if you want to (which, as a Druid, I did). The animations and visuals for this race suffer, as do the voices. Even though I played a Worgen Druid for a while, I never connected to it.
I think the best thing that can be said about Pandaren is that the models are well-detailed and you do get the option to choose your faction. But they still, three expansions later, don’t feel like they fit in World of Warcraft. I’ve tried rolling one and given up each time because it didn’t look right at all. They’re still pretty shunned by most players, so I guess if you really want to set yourself apart, here you go.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Horde is for masochists that enjoyed looking bad. Especially in Vanilla, where a pretty race was nary to be seen. Trolls, nobody likes Trolls. They’re just off-putting in their stance, their overgrown teeth, their three-fingered limbs, etc. Plus, their homes look like they just came out of the stone age, so why are they players on the level with some of these other races?
Yet I’d rather play a Troll than an Orc. I never even considered playing an Orc. They’re brutes that are ugly no matter which gender you pick, and Blizzard’s harping on them for story beats have made them even less appealing. Rawr, yes, but I’m not playing you.
Yeah, don’t act too surprised that the despicable Elves are at the bottom of this list. That said, I’m putting the Blood Elves one notch higher because the Horde really did need at least one attractive-looking race early on, and their gold-and-red aesthetic is a nice color combination.
Worst: Night Elf
Where do I even start with these. They have plagued the game like cockroaches ever since Vanilla. People playing them don’t stop doing that jump-flip. Their Druidic forms are terrible. Their eyebrows stretch to the horizon. And THEY ARE ELVES. Arrogant, know-it-all, tree-hugging, we-know-better-than-you, we’re-connected-to-the-earth jerks.