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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands begins a new LGBT+ inclusive future for the game

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is set to release this October 26th, and while we’re excited to be slaying enemies and doing quests, we’re more enamored with the fact that this new expansion will set the standard for LGBT+ inclusivity within the game’s future.

The inclusion of LGBT+ characters in Shadowlands was implied in Madeleine Roux’s book, Shadows Rising, a book that includes the start of a budding romance between two men. One, a sailor called Flynn Fairwind, and another being that of Mathias Shaw, the Stormwind Spymaster.

The two men, as described via TechRadar, have worked together before in-game. Their chemistry was soon picked up by fans, who shipped them and have created an abundance of fanart and fanfiction about the two. Their name? Fairshaw, of course.

Steve Danuser, lead narrative designer of Warcraft for Blizzard Entertainment spoke of the chemistry between the two characters. “We could have had them just be friends if we wanted, but we felt like \man, they have a much deeper connection, and it’s something that could feel like a really genuine relationship.’ It just felt really right for these characters.”

It isn’t just Fairwind and Shaw getting a more romantic look at their relationship, this expansion also has an angelic, afterlife zone called Bastion where spirits reside. One of these spirits the player can meet is called Pelagos, whom lived his mortal life in, as Pelagos describes, “the female form.”

“I don’t recall my former name, or even my race, but I…never felt like my physical form represented who I was inside. It never felt as clear to me then as it does now.” Pelagos is quoted to say in game, via TechRadar. “I struggled with that identity for my entire life… But when I arrived in Bastion I became an aspirant that looked like, well… This! A male form! I felt…comfortable! Excited! Like who I was inside matched what others saw for the first time! All of those feelings in my life finally made sense.”

It isn’t just LGBT+ characters included in this newest expansion, you’ve also got in-game changes – such as the addition to barbershops that now lets you change your gender for gold. While it isn’t as fantastical as the Fantasia potion in FFXIV, it does get the job done.

There’s a lot more quests that involve LGBT+ characters too, with one quest involving a same-sex wedding between two women. It speaks of promising things for World of Warcraft, and we’re certain that it’ll help more people in deciding to get into the game and play for themselves.

We hope that this also means World of Warcraft LGBT+ guilds don’t get blocked in the future. But only time will tell.

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