Countdown to Cataclysm: Why go worgen?

This article is part of our Countdown to Cataclysm series, helping you prepare for Cataclysm launch one day at a time.

As Deathwing makes his escape from Deepholm, the Greymane Wall finally collapses, revealing the kingdom of Gilneas. For years, the kingdom had locked itself away behind the wall, shutting out the troubles of the rest of the world. King Genn Greymane, leader of Gilneas, has been dealing with his own problems behind the wall, however, including the spreading of the worgen curse, which is turning his people into ferocious creatures.

Who are the worgen?

Players assume the role of a citizen of Gilneas, stricken with the worgen curse, forever burdened with their beastly form. After the Greymane Wall was destroyed, the rest of the world was introduced to the worgen and their plight. And as the world changed outside of the kingdom of Gilneas, new enemies reached their borders -- the terrifying, undead Forsaken.

Worgen are humans turned ruthless, cunning and dangerous in a very physical way. The curse has its hold on you, and there is no choice but to accept the beast within and without.

After the Forsaken advance forces the worgen into a retreat, the citizens of Gilneas find their salvation at the hands of the night elves, who invite the worgen into their home of Teldrassil, the new world tree.

What classes are available to the worgen?

  • Warrior Heightened combat senses and brutal tendencies make worgen warriors a dreadful enemy on the battlefield and a valuable ally.

  • Rogue Stalking prey is second nature to both the rogue and the worgen. The only thing worse than a ferocious killing machine is a silent ferocious killing machine.

  • Hunter In touch with the ground, worgen are on the hunt: they're after you. Their mouths are alive with juices like wine, and they're hungry like the wolf.

  • Druid Gilneans once part of a forgotten pagan cult have realized their true powers with the coming of the night elves. Worgen druids harness both their own animal forms and the druidic spirits to become a force of nature.

  • Priest Once human, now wolf, priests of the light retain their conviction even through the hardships they are forced to endure at the hands of their enemies.

  • Mage Like their human counterparts, the mages of Gilneas channel the arcane, manipulate the ice, and control fire like Dalaran's best.

  • Warlock Even humanity consorts with the demons of the Twisting Nether, pulling servants into our realm to do their bidding. The worgen aberrations are no stranger to the dark art of demonology.

  • Death knight Worgen unlucky to be in the scourge's path through the Eastern Kingdoms were raised to fight by Arthas' side, only to regain their will and fight for the Alliance.

What are the worgen racial abilities?

  • Worgen possess a passive ability called Aberration, increasing their resistance to nature and shadow spells.

  • The true speed of the worgen manifests itself through Darkflight, an ability that allows the worgen to run 40 percent faster for 10 seconds.

  • Worgen players can change at will between their human and worgen forms while out of combat. In combat, the player is forced into their savage, worgen form.

  • Savage and vicious, worgen gain a 1 percent increased chance to get a critical strike.

  • Flayer increases the worgen's skill in skinning by 15 and skins faster than any other race.

  • Instead of a traditional mount, worgen can drop to all fours and run wild like an animal at mounted speed. Worgen can still mount on any other mounts available in the game but exclusively get the ability Running Wild.

The worgen starting experience

Worgen players begin their adventures years before the current conflict, in the past, when their home of Gilneas is under attack by the ruthless worgen. As you mount a defense against the vile creatures, you are introduced to King Greymane and his family, as well as the supporting characters who you will fight alongside during your journey. You are soon bitten by one of the creatures, your wound festers, and by the time you are surrounded in the cathedral, the curse has taken all that it needs to transform you.

In the present, the great cataclysm has ravaged Gilneas and exposed the nation to the undead Forsaken, led by Sylvanas the Banshee Queen. The Dark Lady intends to take Gilneas for the Horde, and it is up to you and the other worgen to drive back the Forsaken. Through magical and alchemical means, the Gilneans have found a way to retain their human sanity and control their savage worgen forms. However, savagery still lurks in your heart, and even after the Forsaken march on your homeland and you evacuate with your new night elven friends to Kalimdor, the pain of losing your homeland howls inside your new, beastly heart.

Also, you're a werewolf now ... and that's pretty cool.

How are the worgen integrated into the world?

The worgen begin their integration into the rest of the world through the night elves, gaining a sanctum in Teldrassil called The Howling Oak. King Genn Greymane has gone to see King Varian Wrynn, offering the might of Gilneas to the Alliance. Elite worgen soldiers still fight the Forsaken on the borders of Gilneas and into the Hillsbrad Foothills. Many worgen druids have taken to healing the land, scattering to far off corners of Azeroth to begin healing the land of the blight of demons and undead. Worgen have also become recruits into Tirion Fordring's elite Argent Crusade in the Plaguelands.

The worgen are an awesome new addition to the Alliance that add a level of savagery not yet seen in the faction. In contrast to the draenei, who are a calm and centered people, the newly cursed citizens of Gilneas are ready and willing to use all of their newfound animalistic rage to win their war.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.