This thread inspired me to start hammering out some ideas on how Naga could become a playable race. This would likely be set in a Great Sea expansion, or at least one that would feature Azshara as a major baddie.
The Silverdeep Naga are a clan centered in the underwater city of Naz’tej. The city is off the north coast of the Eastern Kingdoms, and is the most remote major Naga settlement. This distance has let the Silverdeep develop subtle yet distinct features. Their colorings are darker shades of blue and green, with red markings in some scales and in their spines. This has earned them the somewhat derisive nickname “redscales” among other Naga tribes.
Further separating the Silverdeep from other clans is the fact that their males have a high aptitude for magic, particularly elemental magic. These factors leave the Silverdeep feeling somewhat aloof toward their brethren, though they share all Naga’s sense of superiority over other sentient races.
The Silverdeep are led by Lady Kalina, a confidant of Queen Azshara from before the Sundering. The Lady has been tasked for millennia with protecting the Silver Temple, a Night Elf structure that sank beneath the ocean during the Sundering. The Temple is said to be home to a powerful artifact of Elune.
Warrior, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Hunter, Shaman, Death Knight(see Q&A for DK thoughts)
Intended to feel similar to the Worgen and Goblin starting zones. The player’s quest progression will involve phasing and movement through specific areas, as well as trips to several capitals. A new character is a young Naga stepping up to fight for his clan. The player will be accompanied for his experience by a team of Naga who are the Lady Kalina’s chief combatants; they will be the player’s quest givers and class trainers. They are:
Lady Az’tana <Priest Trainer> - High priestess of the Silver Temple and Lady Kalina’s right hands.
Warlord Korajun <Warrior Trainer>
Ter’zana the Siren <Mage Trainer>
Battlemaiden Vaz’naja <Rogue Trainer>
Fathom-Stalker J’kahn <Hunter Trainer>
Fathom-Lord Burnscale <Shaman Trainer> - As both a male magic user, and a shaman, he is a rare sight among the Naga. Accepted by his own clan, his mastery of lightning and fire has other clans viewing him and his students warily.
A rough overview of the leveling experience.
The Silver Temple
Player starts outside the Silver Temple. Gilblins are attacking. Quest givers explain that Lady Kalina had been called to Nazjatar, and they must swiftly deal with this or face her wrath.
Fight into the temple, kill the Gilblin leaders, and disable the equipment they’ve hooked up to the temple’s sacred artifact.
A band of Naga priests quickly arrive. Having come directly from Queen Azshara, they order everyone else out of the temple. Player gets his class quest at this point, then some mop-up quests on the Gilblin invaders, where he will pick up a quest giving item that suggests the invaders had inside help.
Take it to the quest givers, who send the player to infiltrate the temple. Find the priests working with the Gilblins. Kill them, quest givers take the player (“An impressive young one who will find great favor with the Lady“) to Nazjatar to report the happenings to Lady Kalina. This could be a phased version of a high-level Nazjatar zone or instance.
After meeting the Lady, Kalina angrily presents Azshara and her council with this evidence of treason in the ranks of the priests. Azshara says that it was her plan, to tap the power of the Artifact. Kalina had been called to the capital to spare her the destruction that the unleashing its power would cause. Kalina attacks Azshara but is easily knocked away. Player, the Lady, and companions are forced to flee the capital.
The City of Naz’tej
Player goes to Naz’tej proper to find it under assault by another tribe of Naga. This tribe’s lady is a rival with Lady Kalina, and will relish a chance to wipe the Deepscale out. Player fights through the city on several missions to push back enemy forces, recover weapons and supplies, and rescue trapped or captured Silverdeep. After several battles, the attackers retreat, but the quest givers say that this was a probing attack.
Player is sent on missions to recon and harass the enemy forces. Determine that the full force of the Naga empire is coming down on the Silverdeep. The city is not easily defensible, and the Lady will not allow her clan to be slaughtered. Orders all her Naga to head to deep water, and to wait for her instructions. The player is sent to guide the evacuation, and fight off infiltrators, murlocs, and other dangers.
The Lady takes the player and quest givers/class trainers to do the one thing the Naga will not expect: seek help from land-dwellers. Goes to Orgrimmar, thinking that Lady Vashj’s history with the Blood Elves will be a way in with the Horde. Garrosh is skeptical, the Blood Elves want to distance themselves from Kael’thas, and the Trolls are furiously opposed. A Forsaken suggests the Naga could be useful in current operations, but Garrosh silences that, and orders his Kor’kron to escort the Naga back to the coast.
On the Coastline, a force of hostile Naga lead by a powerful Siren are waiting, and ambush the player and group. Fighting goes on until there is one Kor’kron left. A blood elf unstealths behind the siren and kills her, and the rest of the naga flee. The blood elf picks up a trident from a fallen naga and runs the orc through.
She introduces herself as an operative of the Alliance. If the Naga want allies, they’ll have to prove what they can bring. She has just begun to uncover the Horde operation that the forsaken had referred to. There is a Goblin submarine departing the dock. Follow it, find out what the horde is up to, and then come to Stormwind.
The Ember Sea
Player, the Lady, and companions arrive at the Ember Sea, the watery region between Elwynn Forest and Dun Morogh. The large body of water is covered by a constant mist, as hot geysers fed by the volcanoes of the Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge meets cold, snow-fed waterfalls coming down from Dun Morogh. Under this natural cover, the Horde has launched an operation to discretely breach the Deeprun Tram, giving them access to both Stormwind and Ironforge.
Lady Kalina is impressed by the Sea. It is large enough to house the entire Silverdeep clan, and rich in plant and animal life. The entrance is a narrow straight, a natural aquatic fortification. If they can’t find allies, this will be the Silverdeep’s best chance of survival. The Lady and her honor guard leave to gather the rest of the clan, while the player and quest givers stay to deal with the horde and other problems (murlocs, elementals, Nessy).
Upon completion of the quest chain the Lady arrives, and large numbers of Naga begin streaming into the Sea. The Lady, the quest givers, and the player leave for Stormwind, where the elf spy is waiting for them in the harbor. She and some guards escort them to the throne room, explaining that Varian Wrynn has called the leaders of the Alliance to discuss the Silverdeep.
Tyrannde and Velen have not arrived yet, the other leaders are interested in hearing what the Naga have to say. When the Night Elf and Draenei leaders arrive, they report that their ship was attacked by Naga. They present weapons taken from the attackers, Lady Kalina says the weapons have markings from several other clans. Azshara’s army has come from them.
Kalina says that she has no time. If the Alliance will not have them, the Silverdeep will make their last stand. Varian says the Alliance can’t have a hostile army right off the coast, with easy access to two capital cities. Greymane adds that the Naga have been more aggressive recently, and this is a great chance to strike a blow to their forces when they least expect it.
The player and fellow Naga are ported back to the Ember Sea, to find hostile Naga fighting Silverdeep at the straight. Player is sent to lead an assault to push them back. Additional quests have them take out archers shooting at SEALs coming down the southern cliffs, and casters firing at bombers coming in from Dun Morogh. Last quest has the player going out to call friendly Naga back and deploy “frost bombs” created by the mage and shaman trainer to block the straight with ice. Final cutscene has the dwarves bombers dropping depth charges on the enemy naga, devastating them and forcing a retreat.
Wrynn and Tyrande arrive, and press Lady Kalina to assure her commitment to the Alliance. Explain that she will be expected to assist her neighbors, and to send forces and supplies to major alliance campaigns. And, all the peoples of the Alliance have champions and adventures who travel the world, dealing with the large and small problems their citizens face.
Kalina says she knows just the Naga to take up that mantle: you the player. First Alliance mission is being sent to Lakeshire, Redridge, to assist with the Murloc problem the town is having.
Afterwards the Ember Sea will have a small Naga city built at the east, with a flight point and access to the Deeprun Tram. A team of gnome engineers is gleefully scouring the goblin technology left behind by the Horde. The zone would be used as an Alliance launching point for activity in new zones, particularly a Nazjatar zone.
Q: Would Blizzard ever make playable naga?
A: Chris Metzen suggests in this video that he wants to make Naga a playable race at some point. (~7:45 into the video)
Q: Naga have no legs, they can’t ride mounts.
Q: Naga have no legs, they can’t wear pants.
A: This video shows a male Naga in various tier sets. Note that all the robes actually have the proper shape for it’s length. The “body stocking” all the way to the tip of their tails will have to be corrected, I would think they need their tail in direct contact with the ground in order to move. Pants will have to be tweaked into kilts.
Q: Naga have no feet. What about shoes?
A: Much like Tauren and Draenei turn boots into ankle warmers, the Naga will have to turn boots into tail cuffs, or maybe tail caps.
Q: Why the Alliance?
A: I like the idea of having the playable Naga be allies of convenience, rather than being reformed/redeemed. The Horde seems to already have several members of convenience. This would introduce new vibes in the Alliance. The Naga will bring a more vicious and devious angle to the Alliance, as well as causing strife with the Night Elves.
Q: How could the Naga be Death Knights?
A: That will be a big stretch, but could go something like this:
The first quest giver is shocked to see a Naga rise from the pile of corpses, and comments on that in the first quest’s text. “Picked a bad day to raid the surface, didn’t you?” But if the Val’kyr could raise a Naga, it could be useful, so show what you’ve got. At the quest where other races kill their friends, a new Naga prisoner is added. He’s not Argent Dawn, and complains loudly about the absolutely cruelty of being imprisoned along side these filthy surface dwellers.
Given that there are already continuity issues in the leveling experience, getting sent off to your new capital is something that could be accepted “just because”. Or, Thassurian (or Koltira for horde) could offer to take you with him to the Alliance.
Or, the next races added could be the first non-DKs. Goblins and Worgen were acceptable close, I believe, but new races too far removed from that storyline may have to lose some options for lore reasons.