Designing an MMORPG: Unlocking Our Dragon and Vampire Races

For the last week, we’ve been having a pretty interesting conversation about improving MMORPG chat systems. There seems to be some support for voice chat integration, though the inherent flaws in it have been acknowledged. There also seems to be some disagreement on if global chat is a good thing or not, personally I think it’s a wonderful thing, but I think AlexanderDLarge on Reddit made the best point talking about how games today are made to be played solo and that the industry needs to get back to that. Overall though, it seems like the chatbox is here to stay and the best improvements that could be made would be eliminating restrictions on what is possible.

This week we’re looking at how to unlock the special races in our game, specifically the Dragon and Vampire races.



Dragon and Vampire Races

Vampires are perhaps one of the most unique races for our game because they start out as a different race entirely. Vampires start their lives as Humans, Dark Elves, Dwarves, or Hellspawn. This means they will actually be able to change faction, the only race able to do so. But we still haven’t answered how vampires come to be. Obviously, it comes from a bite. But where that bite comes from opens up a lot of options for us.

NPC Bite

Ascelin Heinrich considers himself a charitable man. On the 13th of every month, he leaves his mansion to give those he deems worthy eternal life. How does he decide who is worthy and who isn’t? Money. Mansions are expensive and he has an expensive lifestyle to maintain.

So, we have an NPC who will go to a random location in the world once a month who will turn you for a price. He is somewhat similar to Nicholas Sandford from Guild Wars in that he travels the world and appears in a different location every time.

Player Conversion

In the beginning, there is a single GM vampire out in the world, playing the game. He or she will only be able to turn one player per cycle. The next cycle there will be two vampires able to bite two more, the next cycle after that there are 4 vampires and so it spreads. After a few cycles, the GM will disappear and it will be up to players to keep vampirism alive on their server. This will create a player run economy in which the players can charge handsomely for a bite. Or perhaps they’ll feel generous and give you one for free. In the beginning, a cycle is 1 week but as more players are turned that time will stretch until it can only happen once a month. Will players be willing to cross faction lines to turn others? That’s up to them.

Getting to Level Cap

Perhaps one of the less interesting and most straightforward options is getting to level cap. Once you get to the level cap the Vampire race unlocks on the character creation screen and you can roll one up to be a vampire from the very beginning. This would be similar to what City of Heroes did for the Epic Archetypes.



Unlike Vampires, one cannot be turned into a dragon. As a result, the options for unlocking dragons are different. You won’t be biting anyone this time.

Getting to Level Cap

Just like with vampires getting to level cap is one way to unlock dragons. They’ll simply appear as an option on the character creation screen once you’ve had one character reach cap.

An Epic Quest

With this option, if you want a Dragon you’ll have to take part in an epic quest. This journey will take you across the world into all sorts of different scenarios where you learn about dragons, save them from danger, and become their friend. Until the very end when you’re given a dragon egg. With the egg in hand, you’re invited to the Dragon’s inner sanctuary and given a title by them; Dragonkin. Once you get this title you are family and dragons will always recognize you as a friend. You’ll also be given a tattoo on your wrist so all can see what you’ve done. At this point, you’ll be able to play Dragons.

With this option, there is the potential for repeatability. This quest could unlock only one Dragon character and if you want to unlock another you’ll have to repeat the quest on another character. This could be interesting, or it could be annoying. So, for now, we’ll say that it is an optional possibility and not call it fact.

Treasure Hunt

Travel the world on a massive treasure hunt where you have to follow clues, solve puzzles, and complete mazes. The clues will be a mystery for the community to solve together while puzzles and mazes need to be solved by each player independently. The treasure hunt isn’t one you’ll be able to complete in a day. It will take a lot of time to get through it all.

The only downsides to a treasure hunt are that they aren’t repeatable and once the mysteries have been solved it could easily be put into a guide or wiki.


One thing I absolutely want to avoid with unlocking races is any sort of RNG element. As someone who permanently has terrible luck with RNG nothing would piss me off more than having to wait for one stupid thing to appear.

There is one faction that doesn’t have an unlockable race at the moment. That’s the one with Dwarves, Shifters, Hellspawn, and Humans. Shifters could very easily be turned into a race that requires unlocking or it could be something that is left to the first expansion. Like in Elder Scrolls Online with Werewolves and Vampires there could be similarities to how you create Shifters and Vampires. They could have similar methods just using completely different quests. That’s something to consider in the future though. For right now Dragons and Vampires are our special races.

Next week will be our 10th Designing an MMORPG article so I want to take a break from the planning and take a look at what we have so far. This will also be when I give the first look at the world map. It will be made by me in MS Paint, so don’t get your hopes too high for master map making skills.




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WoW Wednesday: Allied Races

Recently I have seen a lot of questions regarding the new Allied Races. No matter which forum I visit, there are multiple posts with all types of questions. So let’s take this WoW Wednesday to hopefully answer all your questions regarding the new Allied Races in World of Warcraft.

Let’s start off with the basics: Horde and Alliance will both be getting 3 new races. Each faction will have to recruit these specific races through a series of quests that will explain why these races decided to join your faction. Upon completion, you will be able to either race change or create a brand new character of that race, which starts at level 20. If you level one of these races from 20 to level 110, you will unlock a set of Heritage armor that you can only transmog on that specific Allied Race, regardless of armor type.

So if, for example, you level a Lightforged Draenei from level 20 to level 110, you will unlock their Heritage armor and even though the Lightforged Draenei Heritage armor looks like plate you can still transmog it as a Mage, as long as your Mage is a Lightforged Draenei and you’ve unlocked the armor. Now let’s go over the specific Allied Races starting with the Horde.

Highmountain Tauren – Horde

Highmountain Tauren can already be seen in Highmountain. These Tauren have massive horns and tribal painting, both of which are customizable.

Allied Races in World of Warcraft

Playable Classes

  • Warrior
  • Hunter
  • Shaman
  • Monk
  • Druid (Note: They keep their Highmountain horns in their bear and cat forms, get a new eagle flight form and a moose travel form.)


  • Pride of Ironhorn – Mining skill increased by 15 and allows you to mine faster
  • Mountaineer – Increase your Versatility by 1%
  • Rugged Tenacity – Reduces damage taken by 330
  • Waste Not, Want Not – You have a chance to loot additional meat and fish
  • Bull Rush – Charges forward for 1 sec, knocking enemies down for 1.5 sec. 2-minute cooldown

The Highmountain Tauren also receive a moose racial mount named Highmountain Thunderhoof.

Allied Races

Nightborne – Horde

Most should be familiar with the Nightborne after questing in Suramar and doing the Nighthold Raid.

Allied Races

Playable Classes

  • Hunter
  • Mage
  • Monk
  • Priest
  • Rogue
  • Warlock
  • Warrior


  • Ancient History – Inscription skill increased by 15
  • Arcane Affinity – Increases magical damage 1%
  • Cantrips – Conjure up an Eldritch Grimoire, allowing you mail access for 1.5 minutes
  • Dispel Illusions – Draw upon your arcane sight, piercing illusions and invisibility within 15 yards
  • Magical Resistance – Reduces magical damage taken by 1%
  • Masquerade – Shroud yourself in illusion, taking on the appearance of another Nightborne

The Nightborne receives a racial mount named Nightborne Manasaber.

Allied Races

Lightforged Draenei – Alliance

This Allied Race can currently be seen fighting demons on Argus.

Allied Races

Playable Classes

  • Hunter
  • Mage
  • Paladin
  • Priest
  • Warrior


  • Light’s Judgement – Call down a strike of Holy energy dealing 5,150 Holy damage to enemies within 5 yards after 3 sec 40 yd range, 5-minute cooldown
  • Forge of Light – Summon a forge of light, enabling Blacksmithing. Blacksmithing skill increased by 10
  • Demonbane – Experience gains from killing demons increased by 20%
  • Holy Resistance – Reduce Holy damage taken by 1%
  • Final Verdict – When you die the Light avenges you, dealing 1,162 Holy damage to enemies within 8 yards and healing allies for 1,383

Lightforged Draenei receives a racial mount named Lightforged Felcrusher.

Allied Races

Void Elves – Alliance

Void Elves are new to World of Warcraft. Currently, the only one we have seen is Alleria Windrunner.

Allied Races

Playable Classes

  • Hunter
  • Mage
  • Monk
  • Priest
  • Rogue
  • Warlock
  • Warrior


  • Chill of Night – Reduces Arcane and Shadow damage taken by 1%
  • Entropic Embrace – Your abilities have a chance to empower you with the essence of the Void
  • Ethereal Connection – Reduces the cost of Void Storage and Transmogrification by 50% (Best racial ever)
  • Preternatural Calm – Your spell casts are not delayed by taking damage
  • Spatial Rift – Rip a rift in space and time. Reactivate this ability to teleport through the rift

Void Elves get possibly the coolest racial mount named Starcursed Voidstrider.

Allied Races

Zandalari Trolls – Horde / Dark Iron Dwarves – Alliance

Sadly we don’t know anything about either of these Allied Races at the moment. Hopefully, we find out more about these two races soon. It’s hard to contain my excitement when it comes to straight back Trolls. The only thing datamined on the Dark Iron Dwarves were their racial names:

  • Dungeon Delver
  • Fireblood
  • Forged in Flames
  • Mass Production
  • Mole Machine

Most of what we know about these Allied Races have come from the current PTR build giving us all of this information on all but two of the Allied Races, leaving many to believe that we will be receiving Allied Races in Patch 7.3.5 instead of having to wait until Battle for Azeroth, but leaving the Zandalari Trolls and Dark Iron Dwarves for the expansion. I think it would be best to release at least the first four Allied Races in the upcoming patch. It will give a lot of extra content for players to get involved in. Patch 7.3.5 is also changing how leveling works in Azeroth, making every zone scale and what better time to release these new races that need to be leveled!

Final Words

I am personally pretty excited about these new Allied Races. I’m beyond happy that Blizzard decided to give us multiple races instead of just one at a time, and they even announced that more will come in the future! I love the idea of the Heritage Armor, even though they are making you level all over again to get it. I already have every class at or close to max level, but I will still be more than happy to level these races for that beautiful Heritage Armor.

If I have left anything out of this week’s WoW Wednesday, or if you have any questions about the new Allied Races in World of Warcraft, please feel free to let me know in the comments down below.

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Halflings Arrive to Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Today has some big news. ..well, half-big news. Somewhat short news? News that Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Halflings are a thing. The reveal of the race to the MMORPG goes into great depth about how they were conceived and brought to life in-game.

pantheon: rise of the fallen halflings

When one thinks “Halfling”, Tolkien’s Hobbits almost immediately spring to mind. To that end, the devs knew that they had to design Pantheon’s Halflings differently. “The basis for Pantheon’s Halflings started when we asked, ‘What if they had a reason behind their appearance?’,” says lead writer Justin Gerhart. “Major inspiration for their flavoring came from [creative director Chris Perkins] simply saying, ‘I see a bit of the lost boys in them’. That really was the final push to get out of the lazy chair and live among this wild, paradoxical and joyful people.”

To drive home the connection between the Halflings and the land, designs of their equipment and their housing focused on using furs and leathers much like in tribal traditions and films like Hook. The blog post goes in to further and deeper details on the Halfling’s creation, so if you’re curious to learn about how game designers conceive things, be sure to go take a look.

Our Thoughts

It’s easy to make a change to an established fantasy race simply for the sake of making a change, but it looks like the folks behind Pantheon’s Halflings really thought things through to make them truly unique. Now we want to know when they’ll arrive in-game.

Source: official site

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