Shadowlands is the eighth expansion that really brought serious changes to the franchise and, nonetheless, opinions vary. Many players welcome some of the changes, like level squish or Covenants for example. However, some seasoned players are saying that the accustomed WoW feeling is dissipating along with some of the main changes. 

Either way, one of the significant new changes comes for Allied Races and it simplifies their unlock mechanism. These changes combined with the level squish will make it noticeably easier for players to unlock and develop their Allied characters.

Today we will show you precisely how will Allied Races work in Shadowlands and how to harness their full potential. Let’s start! 

What are Allied Races

For a brief reminder — Allied races are alternative models of the main ones which means that they use their wireframe blueprint, but are topped with a different “skin” or model. However, esthetics is not the only reason why we like them, it is because they come with their unique racial abilities and cool mounts.

Besides, they became available in the Battle for Azeroth, even though they were announced and created through the storyline even before it. There are 10 distinctive types — categorized in pairs of 5 for each fraction. Therefore, Alliance Allied races are:

  1. Void Elf
  2. Lightforged Draenei
  3. Dark Iron Dwarf
  4. Kul Tiran Human
  5. Mechagnome

while Horde Allied races include:

  1. Nightborne
  2. Highmountain Tauren
  3. Zandalari Troll
  4. Mag’har Orc
  5. Vulpera

Here is the challenging part concerning difficulties in how the players should unlock them. Players were first obliged to complete boring and time-consuming achievements and hit Exalted reputation within their fraction.

Nonetheless, reaching Exalted took weeks even for the experienced players This was done just to become eligible to start the storyline with additional chain-quests to finally unlock the Allied Races’ character. Moreover, if players wanted an Allier race hero, the requirement was to abandon the current one, complete the storyline and grind the Rep. Pretty cumbersome and boring — don’t you agree?

Finally, Shadowlands’ pre-patch removed the Exalted reputation requirement and saved players a lot of time they can now devote to enjoying the game. 

Still, many are wondering: how will the Allied races work in Shadowlands, if at all. So let’s jump straight to that!

Allied races in Shadowlands

We all know that Shadowlands is a completely different realm with specific and unique mechanics and possibilities. In that light, players were suspicious even of the notion that the Allied races will be available in Shadowlands. 

What’s more, the purpose of Allied Races according to the lore from BfA, was to aid players in fighting back the enemy faction ( Horde or Alliance). Furthermore, each faction’s goal was to recruit as many races as it could, to fight the opposing one. 

On the contrary, Shadowlands’ storyline is completely the opposite, uniting fractions to fight together against the Jailer. To be precise, for Allied Races that would mean neutrality, and what would be their purpose in Shadowlands then?

Anyhow, despite this logic and skepticism, Blizzard just might do something unpredictable. They even said that the Allied Races will be included when and where they make sense. For Blizzard, that would mean bridging the gap in logic for Allied Races in Shadowlands, to secure them reasonable and important purposes.

What can actually happen?

In a turbulent sea of the internet, there are so many theories and speculations, from many kinds of fans. Nevertheless, we will focus on the most interesting one down below.

Covenants are the new Allied Races! That would be awesome, as every Covenant has its own unique lore and feel. Not only that, but specific traits of each Covenant would mean more specific and distinctive racial abilities for their ARs. 

Sounds cool? — It does, we know, but analysis proved that it wouldn’t make any deeper without a proper storyline. 

Therefore, maybe this is where the missing key element to fill the story is — a synergy of your character and the Covenant you have chosen. Now, let’s dig a little deeper!

You play throughout the Shadowlands with the class you already chose and build your hero through quests and the Raid. Also, this continues through following patches up until the final Raid, where you defeat a final boss and the expansion ends. Logically, the new expansion would be on its way and that is where a Blizzard might surprise us. 

So, here is a twisty way it could all play along.

Shadowlands already made it important through its mechanics in how much being loyal to your Covenant is. An example is that you can easily renounce your current Covenant and shift to another one. However, if you want to get back to your previous covenant, you’ll really need to gird up your loins and prove your worth.

In that light, Covenants might be a funnel for heroes to become an Allied Race by further uniting with their Covenant in every possible way. Your achievements would remain the same and your progress would become account-wide. 

For example, you play a Kyrian campaign as Paladin and at the end, you are given a choice to fully rejoice with your Covenant. That choice is to become a full Kyrian and your character would need to transcend and that would be an Allied Race of itself. Your new hero would be a Kyrian Paladin, keeping its class but infusing it with Kyrian essence. 

Overall, it sounds like a plausible solution to bridge all the gaps needed and to make AR’s existence meaningful.

Final words

We have seen many changes, improvements, and twists in WoW’s long history of existence. Some of those proved to be a total failure and some were so spontaneous and original, that their popularity surprised even the Blizzard. Therefore, we cannot safely say what is going to happen with the Allied Races in Shadowlands, although currently, they are unlikely. Lastly, don’t get your hopes too high, but also don’t write ARs off completely — there is still enough room for surprises in Shadowlands.