The several months before a major World of Warcraft expansion release is the best period for fans who canceled their subscriptions to pick up the game again. And lately, it's not just the excitement of getting new content, but actually being allowed to play small parts of the upcoming content before it's released.
This year, Blizzard will launch Battle for Azeroth on or before September 21, though production director John Hight hints to a possible July-August release. Until then, returning and dedicate World of Warcraft players can try out the new Allied Races, which are part of the new Battle for Azeroth expansion.
However, in order to have access to these Allied Races, you'll have to pre-order the Battle for Azeroth expansion and meet some requirements, which some will find pretty demanding (especially those who haven't played in a while).
No less than six new races will join Alliance and Horde in Battle for Azeroth, three declaring allegiance to each of these factions. Alliance players who pre-order the upcoming expansion will get access to Lightforged Draenei, Void Elves and Dark Iron Dwarves, while Horde player will be able to play as Nightborne, Highmountain Tauren and Zandalari Trolls.
Two of these Allied Races will be available only after Battle of Azeroth's release, namely Dark Iron Dwarves and Zandalari Trolls. Here are the requirements you need in order to create and play a new character besides pre-ordering Battle for Azeroth expansion:
- Nightborne: Exalted with the The Nightfallen and completion of Insurrection achievement.
- Void Elf: Exalted with Argussian Reach and completion of You Are Now Prepared! Achievement.
- Lightforged Draenei: Exalted with Army of the Light and completion of You Are Now Prepared! achievement.
- Highmountain Tauren: Exalted with Highmountain Tribe and completion of Ain't No Mountain High Enough achievement.
- At least one 110 level character on the faction you want to start playing as an Allied Race.
Allied Races are very old and more powerful then the other races. As such, newly created characters will start at level 20 and will have some specific powers that makes them prolific at certain roles.
I had the chance to play the new Nightborne class immediately after Blizzard released patch 7.3.5, which introduced a scaling world. Basically, every zone in the game is now using level scaling system that's been part of the Legion expansion, which allows players to start and finish specific story lines within these regions without overpowering the mobs.
Despite the fact that many fans have found the new heritage armor for most of the Allied Races plain ugly, I did enjoy my time playing my Nightborne frost mage. Perhaps a bit more customization options would be more appropriate for the Allied Races, but Nightborne voices are really awesome.
Even the short quest line that I had to go through in order to get access to the Nightborne race made me feel kind of nostalgic about the vanilla days. Of course, you can always take advantage of the 110 level boost feature that you get when you pre-order Battle for Azeroth and have your Allied Race character all set up for raiding.
As for me, I prefer the long, hard, but enjoyable route of leveling up my Nightborne without using the 110 character boost benefit. There are a lot of things I haven't even touched since I could easily level up my character doing dungeons, and Allied Races are the perfect reason to take the long way to 110.
Ultimately, playing Allied Races is the best way to spend your time in World of Warcraft until the release of Battle for Azeroth expansion. At least you'll be ready for what's to come and see for yourself the state of things if you haven't played the game in a while.