I'm guessing that 99.99% of you reading this post already know of the Worgen/Goblin speculation going around. In case you're a part of that 0.01% minority that doesn't, here's a quick recap:
PTR data-miners found fairly-detailed Worgen and Goblin male and female masks for the Hallow's End holiday, leading many to believe that these two will become playable races.
That's certainly not ALL there is to it, but it has become what I believe to be where the debate got its wings and took flight. Personally, I think Blizzard removing the Worgen pets from those lucky hunters that got them might be a bit of foreshadowing as well, but that could be stretching it.
I decided to take a step back and examine these races and debate whether it's likely that we'd see them in game, and in what forms.
So the kingdom of Gilneas has closed shop for quite some time and never joined the Alliance. They threw up the Greymane Wall in southern Silverpine Forest and have never come out (at least, as far as we know). However, Silverpine is where Arugal's crib is located, so naturally the entire zone is oozing with Worgen. Much speculation revolves around Gilneas and the possiblity that its inhabitants have been transformed into Worgen.
I have a few bones to pick with this theory. First of all, it's interesting that directly in front of the wall there are refugee humans, not worgen. You'd think if the Gilneans were turned into Worgen (and Worgen were a playable race), they'd have enough combined intelligence to operate the lever that would let them out of their kingdom-sized cage. The fact that the door remains shut refutes this. And, as I mentioned, the presence of humans outside of the Greymane Wall suggests that there are no Worgen inside the wall. If the gate to the wall has been closed this whole time, it can be assumed that these humans are trying to get in, not out. Or maybe they're just chillin' there, like the cool kids chillin' by the dumpster at recess. Yeah guys, the dumpster is a GREAT place to hang out.
However, the Worgen could be much more intelligent than I am assuming, and may be plotting a scheme/building ships/generally biding their time behind the wall.
Where did the humans come from, you may ask? Well, let me make this more clear in an 'order of events' kind of thing.
1. King Greymane, or whatever his name is, flips off Varian and builds the wall, sealing away his kingdom. Since the whole purpose of the wall is to keep people out (and in, presumably), the gate is closed and sealed.
2. Arugal comes along, doo dee doo, takes over Shadowfang Keep with his worgen pals, and terrorizes nearby Pyrewood Village because he's pissed that he got kicked out of the Kirin Tor for being a dumbass.
3. The non-werewolvy people of Pyrewood Village flee, and claw at the gate of the Greymane Wall, desperate to get away from the psycho turning their friends and family into puppies.
4. Umm... that's it, the gate is still up, there are still Pyrewood refugees outside the wall, and Arugal is still a dick.
If Worgen really were to join the Alliance, then they couldn't be the same Worgen that Arugal summons and unleashes upon innocent people. In order to be allies, the playable Worgen shouldn't rip their friends to bits and pieces. In fact, the Monster Guide, a WoW RPG book, has this to say of the Worgen:
"These creatures are thoroughly evil, delighting in torturing and devouring intelligent creatures. They enjoy hearing the screams of their victims as they tear them apart piece by piece. Worgen never show mercy or remorse. They may seem savage, but they are fairly intelligent and possess a cruel bestial cunning that can come as a surprise to the unprepared."
So then how can Blizzard make the Worgen work? Well, that has to do with where they come from.
Velinde's Journal recounts Velinde Starsong's encounter with the Scythe of Elune, which is basically an instrument used to summon Worgen to Azeroth from their homeworld. In her journal, Velinde details her use of the Scythe and how it allowed her to see the Worgen fighting a war against an enemy called the Lords of the Emerald Flame.
So if emerald = green, flame = fire, and places like Shadowmoon Valley that are filled with green fire have TONS of Burning Legion baddies running around, then maybe they're connected? Yeah, a lot of people think so too.
So perhaps the Worgen, on their homeworld, are fighting the Burning Legion. Not a huge stretch, they are a universally-evil force, much like the Ginyu Force...
Certainly, battling against a foe like the Burning Legion is noble. However, from my understanding, the Burning Legion wants to kill EVERYTHING, even slightly-less evil entities that won't bow down to them. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt.
Following this scenario, the Worgen that Arugal summons, the Worgen that like killing and ripping things apart and stuff, could be Worgen that have succumbed to the Legion's power and are an attempt by the Legion to invade Azeroth yet again. Therefore, there still remains a faction of Worgen on their homeworld that are fighting the big baddies and NOT owning level 14's in Silverpine Forest.
How and why did they come here? They were losing the battle with the Legion and opened a rift to Azeroth themselves. I know it sounds kinda like the introduction of the the draenei:
"Hi, we're running away from the Legion and we decided Azeroth would be a good hideout, so we're just going to crash at your place for a while. Do you have dip for these chips? This sofa is really uncomfortable. Can you close that window?"
Why'd they join the Alliance? They're new to the neighborhood and showed up at Stormwind with a plate of wolf-cookies and friendly smiles. Seriously though? I'm not exactly sure. You'd think a race of wolf-people would feel at home in the freakish Horde (green guys, cow guys, dead guys...). Then again, orcs do RIDE wolves, so maybe they'd take offense at that.
OR (an alternative method of introducing Worgen as playable):
The humans of the kingdom of Gilneas WERE transformed into Worgen/human hybrids by Arugal (while he was still alive) using the same curse he used on Pyrewood. Attempting to deal with the curse themselves, the Gilneans tasked their mages with a way to stabilize the transformation and preserve the human consciousness throughout. They were successful, and could control their actions, unlike the ravenous Worgen in Shadowfang. Unfortunately, they were already Worgen in a physical sense, and the Gilneans couldn't figure out how to become human again.
They're rough, I'll admit, but kinda plausible. The first scenario doesn't give a location where the Worgen enter Azeroth, while the second ignores the whole Burning Legion side of things, which I think robs the Worgen of a significant backstory.
What about classes? What could Worgen be? Depends which scenario is more correct.
SCENARIO ONE: WORGEN AS REFUGEES FROM THEIR HOMEWORLD
Warrior, hunter, and rogue seem likely, given their 'primitive nature,' as described by Velinde. One could stretch their intelligence a bit farther and say perhaps shaman, as a sort of archaic, elemental seer (how else would they open a dimensional rift?).
Seeing a Worgen shapeshift into a Druid would be awkward, seeing as their "caster form" would look more like their "kitty form."
Mages seem to be the really nerdy, smart guys, so yeah... They might not have enough IQ for that job.
They were basically fighting AGAINST warlocks, so it's doubtful that many Worgen would aspire to become warlocks themselves.
Paladins and priests? These just don't seem to fit the grizzly nature of the Worgen, although they could have been using the Light to fight the Burning Legion, who knows.
And death knights? The current generation of death knights were paladins that fought against the Scourge and were re-animated to serve the Lich King. Again, the Worgen currently on Azeroth wouldn't have fit the bill.
So if I were to assemble a list of likely classes for Worgen, I'd have to go with Warriors, Hunters, Rogues, Shaman, and MAYBE Priests and/or Paladins, Priests being the more likely of the two, in my opinion.
SCENARIO TWO: WORGEN AS TRANSFORMED GILNEANS
This seems fairly simple: any class that humans could be, except for Death Knights, assuming of course that the Gilnean-Worgen transformation occured after the whole creation-of-vast-armies-of-Death Knights-by-the-Lich King bit. So that leaves us with the following:
Warriors, Rogues, Mages, Warlocks, Paladins, and Priests.
So yeah, that's my take on the Worgen. Next post, Goblins.