Worgen (playable)

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Core races
Allied races
This article is about the playable race. For the worgen lore, see Worgen. For the in-game faction, see Gilneas (faction).
AllianceCataclysm Worgen
Worgen heritage armor.jpg
Character classes Death knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior, Dragonflight Monk
Main language Common
Starting zone Gilneas City, Gilneas
Shadowlands Exile's Reach
Racial leader  Tess Greymane[1]
Capital Gilneas City
Racial mount IconSmall Horse.gif Mountain horse (faction)
[Running Wild] (racial)

The worgen of Gilneas are one of the playable Alliance races in World of Warcraft, introduced in Cataclysm. It was only recently that worgen were considered anything more than mindless, savage beasts, and even then, many still are to this day. In the hearts of any who have faced their wrath, Gilnean or otherwise, their very name inspires fear. Krennan Aranas managed to concoct a partial treatment for the worgen curse. Upon experimenting on captured Gilnean feral worgen, it allowed them to regain their sanity (giving them control of their minds), thus allowing them to retain the semblance of their past human selves. The night elves later offered a more effective treatment: the Ritual of Balance would allow them to transform back into their human selves at will. There is, however, no full cure, and even the noblest of worgen hunt in the wilds, run on all fours as if it satisfies some primal urge deep within, and struggle with their own bristling rage.

Until level 6 worgen characters are humans located in Gilneas City where they get affected by the worgen curse. They then quest through the kingdom of Gilneas until around level 10, where they leave to join the wider world. As former humans, all worgen speak Common as their main language.


Main articles: Worgen#History, Gilneas (kingdom)#History

Creation screen description

The worgen were first unleashed upon the Eastern Kingdoms by Archmage Arugal during the Third War. Primarily used as a weapon against the Scourge, the beasts soon proved to be a burden greater than the humans of Lordaeron could bear. A mysterious curse began to spread among those who fought alongside the wolf-men, causing them to become worgen themselves.
The curse rapidly spread as it reached Gilneas, trapping its inhabitants behind the very walls built to protect them. The survivors of the curse now seek to find a new fate for their people -- their destiny unwritten...

Opening cutscene

Led by their indomitable king, Genn Greymane, the proud citizens of Gilneas once stood with the Alliance against the vile orcish Horde that sought to conquer all of Lordaeron. Gilneas survived but, in the years following the Second War, the kingdom drew ever inward. Distrustful of their former allies, the Gilneans erected a mighty wall at the borders of their land, closing off their nation - and their hearts - from an ever-darkening world. Now, many years later, as the seemingly unstoppable undead Scourge marches across Lordaeron, human civilization once again teeters on the edge of destruction. As war and terror close in all around them, the citizens of Gilneas are faced with one, terrible truth: their mighty wall cannot hold back the dead for much longer and, worse, rumors of a new threat have risen within the kingdom's borders of feral, nightmare creatures that walk upright as men but hunt and howl as wolves.


The worgen curse originated from a druidic sect who followed Goldrinn, known as Druids of the Scythe. They shapeshifted into the feral worgen and eventually lost their minds to its violent nature. The other druids agreed that they must be locked away, and thus put them into eternal slumber deep beneath a tree... until the day Arugal and Velinde Starsong tampered with the Scythe of Elune, releasing them.

The curse could not be contained, persisting in the lands of Silverpine and extending into the walled nation of Gilneas, where the curse rapidly reached epidemic levels. The citizens of Gilneas found themselves trapped, with no hope of escape. They retreated deeper within the isolated domain, and there they survived, fearful of the savage presence that lurked just outside the barricades.

Tensions among the displaced citizens escalated over time, resulting in a civil war that now threatened to destabilize the embattled nation even more. There were those among the Gilneans, however, who clung to hope. Many believed that a cure for the worgen curse may exist, although others had nearly given up, fearful that if the barricades should fall, their humanity would be lost forever.[2]

Induction to the Alliance

After the Cataclysm, the Greymane Wall was destroyed. Setting their sights on the vulnerable country of Gilneas, the Forsaken have started an invasion of the kingdom. In their hour of greatest need, the worgen of Gilneas called out for their old allies' aid. As it was the night elves who created the curse in the first place, they felt obliged to help their newfound allies.[3] The Gilneans are now back in the Alliance, and with their new allies by their side they aren't giving up their home without a fight.

For more than a decade, the Gilneans fought to reclaim their home. During this time, King Genn Greymane ruled the refugee nation from Stormwind City, and prior to the War of the Thorns, many worgen called the Howling Oak in Darnassus their home. In Dragonflight, the Gilneans finally returned home after the defeat of Fyrakk on the Dragon Isles. After their victory against the Scarlet Crusade occupiers, King Genn abdicated his throne to his daughter, Tess Greymane, who he deemed ready to lead their people to a better future as the Queen of Gilneas.


Worgen artwork in Cataclysm.

When starting a worgen character, the first 5-6 levels are played as a human, shortly after the Northgate rebellion. You start off within Gilneas City as it is being evacuated, only for the worgen to attack before the evacuation can be finished. Following the initial few levels, in which players go about performing various important tasks such as reuniting the Gilnean people, your character is bitten and transformed into a worgen. After finishing the questline in Gilneas City, the player is moved to Duskhaven, prior to the Forsaken invasion of Gilneas.

Worgen characters can appear in [Two Forms], either their human form or their worgen form. However, they will immediately turn into their worgen form should they enter combat or activate their [Darkflight] or [Running Wild] racial abilities.

When creating a worgen character, a human stands in the background displaying the worgen's human form.

Starting attributes

Stub.png Please add any available information to this section.

Base[4] Mage Mage Priest Priest Rogue Rogue Warlock Warlock Warrior Warrior Druid Druid Hunter Hunter Death Knight Death knight
Strength 23 23 23 23 23 26 24 23 111
Agility 22 22 22 25 22 22 22 25 75
Stamina 20 20 20 21 21 22 20 21 99
Intellect 16 19 18 16 18 16 18 16 25
Spirit 19 21 22 19 21 19 21 20 41


Racial traits

[Darkflight] (2 min cooldown)
Activates your true form, increasing movement speed by 40% for 10 sec.
[Viciousness] (passive)
Increases critical strike chance by 1%.
[Aberration] (passive)
Reduces Shadow and Nature damage taken by 1%.
[Flayer] (passive)
Skinning skill increased by 15 and allows you to skin 0.5 seconds faster.
[Running Wild] (1.5 sec cooldown)
Drop to all fours to run as fast as a wild animal.
[Two Forms] (1.5 sec cooldown)
Transforms you between human and worgen forms. You will revert to worgen form in combat.
[Calm the Wolf] (active)
Activate to control your worgen instincts and automatically assume human form when you leave combat.


Worgen have [Running Wild], in which they take to all fours and travel at mount speed. Running Wild is automatically learned at level 10, allowing worgen players to travel 60% faster, but they'll have to purchace Apprentice Riding skill to make it usable, and they'll also have to purchase Journeyman Riding skill at Level 20 to upgrade the ability to go 100% faster.

Running Wild is a different mechanic than the removed tauren [Plainsrunning] ability. [5]

This vendor sells
Ability mount ridinghorse.png [Mountain Horse]
Ability mount ridinghorse.png [Swift Mountain Horse]

Lore reasons for classes


A female worgen druid.

The worgen curse is a creation of kaldorei druids. As such, the night elves feel somewhat responsible for Gilneas's plight and help the worgen whenever they can. During their time together, the former have taught the latter the way of the druid.

However, the presence of harvest-witches like Celestine suggests that Gilneans are no strangers to druidism. She talks about "the old ways" and recounts a time when their powers supplied food during a famine, pointing to druidic roots as a base, even before night elf contact. This is agreed with in "Lord of the Pack" short story when Genn Greymane stated "He had heard that druidism was practiced among some of Gilneas's agrarian folk, but he hadn't been exposed to it until recently". It seems many worgen have at least tried to embrace the druidic heritage of their new race after their transformation. This can be seen as a coping mechanism, or the fact that the natural powers can help them keep control of their animalistic rage.

There is sufficient proof and reason to believe that the practices of primitive druidism or "the old ways" were once alive and well within or around Gilnean society before the sealing of the Wall. It is likely that the people of Gilneas would have once practiced or acknowledged (in varying degrees) the traditions and reverences of nature worship. In time though (before the Greymane Wall was erected) the followers of the Holy Light must have spread their teachings to Gilneas and succeeded in converting many of its people, causing druidism to slowly fade into the past and become mostly forgotten.

When starting a worgen druid, the quest text from Celestine of the Harvest does seem to support these assumptions. During Hallow's End, the faction commoners and Celestine of the Harvest also have quest text supporting these assumptions, connecting Gilneas, druidism, and the traditions of Hallow's End.

That said, the Night Elves have taken great interest in the worgen and are readily teaching them more about druidism, helping them to understand other areas of the path. It seems that this is the kaldorei's attempt at redemption in the eyes of their allies as they are partially responsible for the worgen curse reaching them... They feel they owe it to the worgen to explain and teach the magic that can lead to their salvation, druidism.

Death knights

A worgen death knight versus a forsaken spellcaster.

Worgen death knights are former slaves of Arugal. These former Gilnean citizens of Pyrewood Village managed to escape the wizard's control only to fall prey to the Lich King. During the Death Knight starting quests, you learn how worgen death knights came to be.

Lord Harford says: Come to finish the job, have you?
Lord Harford says: You'll look me in the eyes when...
Lord Harford says: <Name>?
Lord Harford says: <Name>, I'd recognize that face anywhere... What... What have they done to you, <name>?
Lord Harford says: You don't remember me? We were both servants of Arugal back in Silverpine Forest. We put up with his merciless torture for ages. It was you who saved me on that fateful night when we escaped Shadowfang Keep.
Lord Harford says: Without you I would have died. YOU! The most noble worgen I ever knew.
Lord Harford says: What have they done to you, <name>? How could this have happened?
Lord Harford says: Remember the worgen you once were, <brother/sister>! You were our savior! Fight this!
Lord Harford says: Listen to me <name>. You must fight against the Lich King's control. He is a monster that wants to see this world - our world - in ruin.
Lord Harford says: Don't let him use you to accomplish his goals. You were once a hero and you can be again.
Lord Harford says: Fight, damn you! Fight his control!
Knight Commander Plaguefist yells: What's going on in there? What's taking so long, <name>?
Lord Harford says: There... There's no more time for me. I'm done for. Finish me off, <name>. Do it or they'll kill us both. <Name>... Remember Gilneas, our beloved home. This world is worth saving.
Lord Harford says: Do it, <name>! Put me out of my misery!

While the worgen curse makes raising them into undeath far more difficult than it is for normal humans, the powers of the Lich King himself are sufficient enough to raise worgen as death knights. Even though those worgen did not imbibe the waters of Tal'doren to control the curse, the Lich King's power shattered their animal instincts, leaving the logical, human mind under his control. After the Lich King lost control over the Knights of the Ebon Blade, their intact human minds became free again, without the animal side, while still retaining their worgen forms.[6]


Main articles: Jokes#Worgen male, Jokes#Worgen female
Main articles: Flirt#Worgen male, Flirt#Worgen female

Notes and trivia

  • Worgen are shown in the ranks of SI: 7 during the goblin leveling experience, indicating that they joined the Alliance some time before the goblins joined the Horde.
  • The females are voiced by Bianca Bryan.[7]
  • The males are voiced by Seth Duerr.[8]
  • During the early phase of the Cataclysm beta, the worgen had an additional language called Gilnean.
  • Based on the descriptions of A [1] (DEPRECATED) and A [3] Face to Face in early Cataclysm alpha, the worgen player character was to be from Wolfheart clan.
  • Worgen are the only non-pandaren Basic Race without an associated Learn To Ride quest, as before Shadowlands they naturally learned Apprentice Riding at level 20.


Original models

The original worgen models used in the Alpha and Beta of Cataclysm

Concept arts


Patch changes

  • Dragonflight Patch 10.1.0 (2023-05-02): [Calm the Wolf] racial added.
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.0.7 (2023-03-21): Monk class added for Worgen.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Worgen characters no longer automatically learn Apprentice Riding, rendering them incapable of using [Running Wild] until they do.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Worgen characters can now customize their human form separately.
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.3.0 (2020-01-14): Heritage armor added, alongside the questline to obtain it.
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.2.5 (2019-09-24): Model updated. Two new faces for female worgen with glowing yellow eyes and two new faces for male worgen without glowing eyes.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Owning Cataclysm is no longer required to create a worgen.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Added.


  1. ^ N [70] Beginning a New Dawn
  2. ^ World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Features - Worgen. Retrieved on 2009-09-30.
  3. ^ http://www.worldofraids.com/topic/17055-cataclysm-hands-on-worgen-starting-experience/
  4. ^ Added base stats to worgen obtained via gameplay video from BlizzCon showing stats of mage at level 6 with arcane intellect, then subtracting back to level 1.
  5. ^ Blue posts from MMO-Champion
  6. ^ Ask CDev
  7. ^ Radio & Voiceover: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
  8. ^ Credits: Voiceover: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
  9. ^ Maticus 2009-08-25. WoW Director J Allen File:Brack Interview. WorldofWar.net. Retrieved on 2009-09-30.

External links