With the coming of the Battle for Azeroth pre-order I was in and had one of the allied races, the Highmountain Tauren, unlocked straight our of the gate.
Furthermore I had a second allied race, the Nightborne, pretty close to being unlocked. You can go use WoW Head’s Legion Attunement page to see how close a given character is to unlocking the allied races. As it turned out I fell off the final quest line about three quests before it was done. Once I got back on that track I was able to get the requisite achievement.
That, in turn, unlocked the Nightborne Elves for me as well.
So I had the Horde allied races covered. The Alliance allied races… is being allied with the alliance make you an ally ally or just part of the Alliance… were not available to me. In what I will claim is yet another example of residual Horde favoritism from the Chris Metzen era, you could unlock the Horde allied races in the core areas of the Broken Isles, but the Alliance allied races required you to go to Argus.
It isn’t so much that Argus is bad. In fact, it follows closely the zone design philosophy for WoW Legion, where zones are actually small but feel big due to good design. The problem is flying. Once Blizzard gives you flying it feels like they’re punishing you when they take it away. We’ve been over that many times, but it is still true. Once the genie is out of the bottle you’re cooked.
I ran once character up to the level cap, went away for months, came back once flying was made available, worked to unlock that, and only then started on alts. Flying makes running through a zone trivially easy as you avoid any unwanted entanglements. This is doubly handy when you just want to zip in and get a few world quests out of the way.
And then you get to Argus and there is no flying. There are not even flight points. You just unlock what are essentially teleport nodes to get around. So, while I started in on Argus, I tended to leave it alone in order to concentrate on efforts elsewhere… like in places where I could fly. Also, Darkmoon Faire, and Love is in the Air, and pet battles kept me busy.
Eventually though I hit a point where I had some time and Argus was still there waiting for me. In fact, getting the Darkmoon Faire “Test of Strength” quest done prompted me a bit to get out a slay some stuff on the ground.
As noted, not so bad. The usual amount of stomping about the various land masses and occasionally trying to figure out how to get from point A to point C when mountain range or chasm B is in the way… stuff you never worry about with flying… but otherwise not an excessive amount of schlepping along in the usual knees bent running about advancing behavior. And the story sticks you in the cut scenes now and again, which I always seem to enjoy more than I should.
A couple hours of quiet time with my wife and daughter out of the house was all it took to get the achievement side of unlocking the Alliance allied races.
So that both Alliance allied races are unlocked by the same Argus achievement is good. That they need me to get exalted with both of the Argus factions is… less fun. As noted above, flying and world quests… and world quests are the way forward for faction… go together like two things clearly meant to go together actually going together.
And my having ignored Argus for a while means that I have a ways to go on both factions.
And I am only that far along with the Alliance allied race faction unlock effort because we had a faction bonus week that overlapped with Darkmoon Faire and its bonus faction merry-go-round booster, which I renewed liberally, and that I am doing this all on a Human character that gets its own boost to faction accrual.
Still, I don’t have to unlock the allied raced TODAY. I can move along, wait for the emissary quests to roll around for Army of the Light or Argussian Reach or Kirin-Tor, the latter which gives you a boost to the faction of your choice, and end up unlocking both in time.
Because the next question is what to do with these unlocked allied races. I am not sure I need four more alts. I am not sure I what classes I would make them or if I really need the overlap that would come with making yet another character of a class I already have. I still haven’t finished the Demon Hunter starter quest line, leaving my Demon Hunter lingering about waiting for me to get back to him.
And then there is the usual problem of the level 110 booster that came with the Battle for Azeroth pre-order. Do I want to use it straight out on one of these allied races? Do I want to get any of them to level 60 first to fill in any sort of trade skill gap I might have when I boost them, because boosting from level 60 also means boosting trade skills as well, or is there some other character I should boost instead?
And then, of course, there are two more allied races to be unlocked once the expansion hits, the Zandalari Trolls and the Dark Iron Dwarves, the latter seeming an odd choice for an Alliance allied race given all the trouble they’ve cause in the past. But the lore is malleable.
These questions will probably linger until summer when the pre-expansion events kick in and I come back from playing Rift Prime or whatever I am likely to try a couple months down the line when I tire a bit of Azeroth.