Old Format vs New Format
Previously, most racial pages included a section on the race’s history, home zone, home city, and racial mount, with the pages for Allied races being more streamlined. The new pages are much simpler, with a blurb describing each race, their home city (or embassy in the case of Allied races), their racial mount, and – where applicable – their heritage armor and leader.
Old racial page for Humans (left) vs new (right).
Only the pages for non-Allied races seem to have been updated. Though some Allied races have a racial leader (such as Elisande for the Nightborne), their pages have not been updated to include this information.
The racial pages for Allied races, such as Void Elves (left) and Nightborne (right), do not appear to have changed.
The updates include several lore tidbits that may be of interest.
Horde Leadership Remains in Disarray, with Orcs and Undead Lacking Official Leaders
According to the blurb on the Orc racial page, while Thrall is standing in to represent the Orcs for now, their permanent leader is still to be determined.
Previously, Thrall had left the Horde to settle in Nagrand with his wife, Aggra, and their two children, but he returned during the events of Battle for Azeroth, after Saurfang challenged him to help fight for the Horde’s future. In the novel Shadows Rising, which is set between the events of Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands, Thrall is shown to be on the Horde Council, but has not yet decided to make his move permanent.
No, a simple hut would do until his family could join him or the Horde no longer needed him.
– Shadows Rising by Madeline Roux
Currently, the Undead page simply does not have a section about their leader, with Sylvanas no longer being recognized since the events of Battle for Azeroth, and no replacement yet named. In Shadows Rising, Undead interests are represented on the Horde Council by Calia Menethil and Lillian Voss, but neither has ever officially been named leader of the Forsaken in Sylvanas’s absence.
Undercity and Darnassus Still Listed as Capital Cities
Despite both cities being destroyed in the lead-up to Battle for Azeroth, Darnassus and Undercity are both listed as the capital cities for their associated races. Darnassus was set ablaze during the Burning of Teldrassil, Battle for Azeroth’s pre-patch event, while Undercity was covered in blight and rendered uninhabitable during The Battle for Lordaeron, Battle for Azeroth’s opening scenario.
Their inclusion is an interesting choice, especially in light of the way some other subjects have been dealt with. Blizzard could have chosen a similar approach as the one they took with leadership – list the home cities as still to be determined, or simply remove those sections. And while the Darnassus blurb acknowledges Night Elves are seeking a new home as it was destroyed in the Fourth War, the Undercity blurb doesn’t acknowledge the fact that the Forsaken have been forced to abandon it at all.
It’s possible the inclusion of these cities have to do with in-game phasing. Both cities and associated zones can still be visited and even quested through in-game, with members of the Bronze dragonflight allowing players to witness the past as it was. It’s also possible that their inclusion hints at story that’s still to come in Shadowlands – with the Sepulcher of the First Ones supposedly containing the power to reshape the universe itself, it’s not entirely out of the realms of possibility that someone may choose to use that power to reverse the effects the Fourth War left on Azeroth.
Hints at a War Between Shadow and the Light?
The Draenei page places a certain amount of emphasis on the Light. This isn’t particularly out of character – the connection between the Draenei and the Light is well-established – but it is interesting to see just how strongly Velen seems to feel a war between Shadow and Light is on the way – for it to be listed as one of the few most important things to know about him in this update.