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Playable races in World of Warcraft e
Alliance World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Draenei (0800World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Lightforged) · Dwarf (0800World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Dark Iron) · Gnome · Human (0800World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Kul Tiran) · Night elf (0800World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Void elf) · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Worgen Both (Alliance and Horde) World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Pandaren Horde World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Blood elf (0800World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Nightborne) · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Goblin · Orc (0800World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Mag'har) · Tauren (0800World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Highmountain) · Troll (0800World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Zandalari) · Undead
This article is about the playable gnomes and the Gnomeregan Exiles faction. For general history of the race, see gnome.
The clever, spunky, and oftentimes eccentric gnomes present a unique paradox among the civilized races of Azeroth. Brilliant inventors with an irrepressibly cheerful disposition, this race has suffered treachery, displacement, and near-genocide. It is their remarkable optimism in the face of such calamity that symbolizes the truly unshakable spirit of the gnomes.
- Blizzard intro

The gnomes of Gnomeregan [1] (LoC 66, 71-72, 77) [2] (WoWRPG 17) is the faction of playable gnomes. They start in Gnomeregan, their home city located near Ironforge.

A race of diminutive beings, gnomes have made their mark on Azeroth through the application of a collective intelligence and ambition overshadowing that of their larger peers. Gnomes are renowned mechanics, engineers, and technicians, widely respected for their knowledge of the scientific facets of the world and their ability to transform said knowledge into surprising tools, vehicles, armor, and weapons.

The eccentric, often brilliant gnomes are held as one of the most peculiar races of the world. With their obsession for developing radical new technologies and constructing marvels of mind-bending engineering, it’s a wonder that any gnomes have survived to proliferate. Over the years, the gnomes have contributed ingenious weapons to aid the Grand Alliance in its fierce battles against the Horde.


Little is known concerning gnomish history previous to the Second War, even among the gnomes. Much of gnomish philosophy is focused on forward-thinking, inventive concepts; little thought has ever been given to history or non-scientific records. However, recent developments have uncovered evidence of prehistoric mechagnomes created by the titans to help shape the lands of Azeroth. Like many of the titans’ creations, these helpers were afflicted with the Curse of Flesh, and they became what is known today as the gnome race.

It wasn’t until their discovery by the dwarves centuries later that gnomes were recognized as a viable and important race. The dwarves were impressed with the ingenuity and quickness of their smaller “kin” (for they had also been titan-forged and similarly cursed), and they assisted the gnomes in constructing a capital city, Gnomeregan, in the foothills of Dun Morogh near the dwarves’ own capital of Ironforge. From their wondrous techno-city, gnomes provided invaluable support in weaponry, vehicles, and energetic troops to the Alliance of dwarves, humans, and high elves.

Third War

Thriving in the wondrous techno-city of Gnomeregan, gnomes shared resources of the forested peaks of Dun Morogh with their dwarven cousins for generations. When the Burning Legion invaded, the gnomes strangely refused to send aid to their allies. It wasn’t until the war had ended that the Alliance learned the reason for the gnomes’ withdrawal: around the time of the Third War, an ancient menace had risen from the bowels of Azeroth to strike at Gnomeregan. The troggs — believed to have been unearthed from the Uldaman excavation – erupted beneath Gnomeregan and began to slaughter every gnome within the city. Knowing that their allies’ priority was defeating the Burning Legion, the gnomes decided to make their stand alone. Though they fought valiantly to save their beloved city, Gnomeregan was lost.

At the command of the High Tinker Mekkatorque, the gnomes opened the pressure valves of their giant, grinding machines and released toxic radiation throughout the city. Though the radiation killed the troggs, the gnomes soon discovered that it killed their own people just as quickly. Most of the gnome race was wiped out during the fall of Gnomeregan; some say that as much as 80 percent of the gnomes died during those horrible days. The few survivors fled to the safety of nearby Ironforge. There they quietly went about rebuilding their forces, healing their wounds, and preparing to retake their ravaged city.[3] (WoWMan 174)[4]


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Just prior to the Cataclysm, the gnomes’ leader, High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque, led an attack on Gnomeregan’s invaders. It was a successful first maneuver, but there will be much more bloodshed before the entirety of the gnomeland is liberated.

Starting info

New starting area

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Gnomes have unique background art in Cataclysm

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Gnomeregan Exiles were given their own unique starting area near Gnomeregan, rather than sharing Anvilmar with the dwarves. Players worked to defeat Sicco Thermaplugg after their first attempt to retake the city: Operation: Gnomeregan.

With the success of Operation:Gnomeregan, gnomes begin their journey within the upper reaches of Gnomeregan as one of the survivors of the radiation poisoning. Making their way to the surface, they continue their adventures at New Tinkertown,

[33, 36]

working to clear away the surface of enemies before heading out to Ironforge.

Starting area intro voice-over

To edit this section, click here.

From in-game video of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm beta:

Given the recent political upheaval in Ironforge, the gnomes have suddenly found themselves unwelcome guests within the city. Leveraging their ingenious technologies and unquenchable spirit for adventure, the gnomes have begun to re-evaluate their role within Khaz Modan. Under the inventive leadership of High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque, the gnomes now plan a daring campaign against the barbarous troggs to retake their former capital of Gnomeregan.

With the odds stacked against them, the gnomes are counting on brave heroes, such as you, to stand and be counted. Your people's greatest hour draws near.

- in-game voice-over
This is the pre- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm intro.
The eccentric, often brilliant Gnomes are held as one of the most peculiar races of the world. With their obsession for developing radical new technologies and constructing marvels of mind-bending engineering, it's a wonder that any Gnomes have survived to proliferate. Over the years, the Gnomes have contributed ingenious weapons to aid the Grand Alliance in its fierce battles against the Horde. Thriving within the wondrous techno-city of Gnomeregan, the Gnomes shared the resources of the forests of Dun Morogh peaks with their Dwarven cousins. Yet recently, a barbaric menace rose up from the bowels of the earth and invaded Gnomeregan. Aided by their Dwarven allies, the Gnomes fought a valiant battle to save their beloved city. Nevertheless, Gnomeregan was irrevocably lost. The surviving Gnomes fled to the safety of the Dwarven stronghold of Ironforge. There they remain, devising strategies to retake their city. As a Gnome of proud standing, it falls to you to answer the challenge and lead your curious people to a brighter future.
- in-game voice-over

Starting attributes

Questionmark-medium.png This section concerns content that is potentially inaccurate. Reason: Possibly outdated since World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Warlords of Draenor.
Base Death Knight Death Knight Mage Mage Priest Priest* Rogue Rogue Warlock Warlock Warrior Warrior Monk Monk
Strength 15 103 15 15 16 15 18 16
Agility 23 76 23 23 26 23 23 23
Stamina 19 98 19 19 20 20 21 21
Intellect 23 32 26 25 23 25 23 25
Spirit 20 42 22 23 20 22 20 20

Racial traits

Trait abilities
[Escape Artist] - instant - 1.75 min cooldown
Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.
[Expansive Mind] - passive
Mana, rage, energy, and runic power increased by 5%.
[Arcane Resistance] - passive
Reduces the chance you will be hit by Arcane spells by 1%.
[Engineering Specialization] - passive
Engineering skill increased by 15.
[Nimble Fingers] - passive
Haste increased by 1%.

Reasons for racial traits

Despite their short limbs and large heads, gnomes are remarkably nimble. They can keep pace with taller races, jump twice their height, and can make quite the Escape Artist by slipping out of both conventional and magical traps.

The Expansive Mind of the gnome race is readily apparent to the casual observer. Many of the Alliance's best arcanists, scientists, and tinkers have been gnomes.

Engineering Specialization is a defining characteristic of gnome culture, and gnome creations such as the Deeprun Tram regularly make life easier and (more or less) safer for the Alliance's citizens.

Gnomes take the same approach to the arcane sciences as they do to other technologies. Their carefulness and precision with magic has given them a slight Arcane Resistance.


Gnomes have fair starting stats for the rogue class. This is because high agility benefits rogue's critical hit chance and dodge chance. The melee damage of rogues (and hunters) is based on agility as well as strength. A notable feature that sometimes may give a gnome rogue advantage is their very short height. An unprepared and less alert enemy player might not notice the dangerous gnome rogue creeping near him, especially if his camera is pointed upward or he is distracted. Of course this advantage rarely appears and an experienced player knows to be alert.

For mage and warlock classes, gnomes have an advantage (at low levels) because their high initial intellect means they have a larger mana pool (can cast more spells before running out of mana). The 5% intellect bonus given by the Expansive Mind trait is calculated after adding bonuses from gear, so it continues to offer an advantage even at high levels.

Reasons for classes

Questionmark-medium.png This section's content needs citations, references, or sources.
  • Death Knight Death Knight - Like many other heroes of the grand Alliance and mighty Horde, gnomish champions killed by the Scourge were often raised into undeath to serve the Lich King.
  • Hunter Hunter - With the rise of mechanical creatures, gnomes are singularly suited with their engineering and tinkering backgrounds to taming and calling these strange creatures pets.
  • Mage Mage - Gnomes grasp the studies of magic with incredible ease, with their expansive knowledge and great intelligence. Many of the worlds greatest sorcerers, both just and evil, have been gnomes.
  • Priest Priest - The ever curious gnomes, being influenced by their friends within the Alliance, have taken up worship of the Holy Light.
  • Rogue Rogue - Due to their small size, gnomes have always made excellent scouts and agents for the Alliance. Additionally, these gnomes have been useful in scouting ahead and planning assaults on trogg-infested parts of Gnomeregan.
  • Warlock Warlock - All races have darkness in their hearts, and the childlike gnomes are no different. Some gnomish mages, enraged and overcome with bitterness at the loss of Gnomeregan, even went so far as to devote themselves to dark magic.
  • Warrior Warrior - Like many other races, some gnomes are just born with a sense of pride, reveling in the the thrill of close combat - weapons clanging and armor chiming is just music to their ears. Many of these gnomes also became troops for Operation: Gnomeregan and now fight on the front lines to reclaim their beloved city.

Why gnomes in the World of Warcraft?

From Insider Interview — with Chris Metzen: Gnomes and Trolls as Playable Races from the Blizzard Insider:

I think we deal with it a little bit in upcoming D&D supplements. During Warcraft II, the gnomes were, in effect, building weapons and lending designs to the Alliance — but they were staying out of any direct fighting. In Warcraft III and Frozen Throne, and even in World of Warcraft, it becomes clear that the gnomes have had internal problems of their own for several years. As of World of Warcraft, they still offer support to the Alliance in terms of building tanks, designing weapons, sending flying machines, and so on. But they had a problem at home that has recently been discovered — an ancient menace from the depths of the underground, called Troggs. The Troggs invaded the gnomes' city of Gnomeregan and wiped it out. The gnomes decided not to let the rest of the Alliance know about this because they figured that they could deal with it on their own. But Gnomeregan fell, probably thanks as much to the gnomes' own actions as to those of their enemies — they likely blew themselves up with whatever failsafe devices they used to defeat the threat. After the destruction of their homeland, the gnomes fled to the safety offered by their nearby allies the dwarves.


  • The death knight gnomes are performed by voice actor Dino Andrade, who also provides the voices for Mekkatorque, Mimiron, Professor Putricide, and Fungalmancer Glop. He is also noted for being the voice of The Scarecrow in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
  • The male gnome dance is from the song "Sex Bomb" by Clueless. The female gnome dance is from the song "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls.
    • Some have observed that the Gnome male dance may be closer to the dance by the Bloodhound Gang in Bad Touch Skip to 3:18.
  • Up until Mists of Pandaria, Male gnomes had the longest /train emote out of all the Alliance races. (One of the male Pandaren /train emotes is just a bit longer.)
  • Gnomes also have one of the shortest death animation/voice next to female night elves and both genders of Worgen.



World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.


Patch changes

  • World of Warcraft: Legion Patch 7.0.3 (19-Jul-2016): Gnomes can now be Hunters.
  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (14-October-2014): Character models for races from the original game Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Orc, Tauren, Troll, Undead, and Draenei have been overhauled with an increase to fidelity and texture resolution; while retaining the core look and feel of the originals.


  1. ^ LoC, 66, 71-72, 77
  2. ^ WoWRPG, 17
  3. ^ WoWMan, 174
  4. ^ Online game guide

External links