A quick guide to every step required to unlock the Nightborne allied race in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
Figuring out how to unlock allied races from past expansions can be challenging — especially if you are new to World of Warcraft. To make things more complicated, unlock requirements have changed over time, but online guides and forums have not been updated. In this article, I want to give you the most up-to-date information to unlock the Nightborne allied race fast in Shadowlands. At a high level, here is what you need to do to create a Nightborne character.
You can unlock the Nightborne allied race in Shadowlands by completing 2 steps (requires level 45+ Horde character):
- Earn the Insurrection achievement by finishing the Suramar storyline
- Complete 4 recruitment quests, which start at the Orgrimmar Embassy
For the remainder of this article, I will explain how to get to Suramar, what storylines you need to complete, and how to begin the recruitment quest chain.
Let’s do it!
How to get to Suramar in Shadowlands
After reaching level 45+, make your way to Legion (new) Dalaran via your Dalaran hearthstone or portal to Azsuna found in the Orgrimmar or Stormwind portal rooms.
If you haven’t been to Dalaran before, you can visit the Hero’s Call Board in Orgrimmar and select “Fight the Legion.” This will provide you with a scenario and a quest that grants your hearthstone at the end.
After arriving in Legion Dalaran, make your way to The Violet Citadel found on the city’s west side. Once inside the citadel, talk to Archmage Khadgar to pick up the quest Khadgar’s Discovery. Once you complete that quest and a few other small ones that all take place in that same room, you will be teleported to Suramar to help First Arcanist Thalyssra.
If you have already been to Suramar, you can get there by flight path directly from Dalaran.
Complete the Suramar storyline
One of the most confusing aspects of unlocking Nightborne is completing the Suramar storyline. Most guides will simply tell you that you just need to do the story until you earn the Insurrection achievement.
But how do you start those storylines? Can you skip some quests to unlock Nightborne faster?
To answer these questions, I decided to make a little graphic to show you how all the quests connect. The graphic is a treemap that displays the name of each storyline and first quest in the series to unlock Nightborne.
As illustrated by the graphic, you can begin the Suramar storyline by accepting the Khadgar’s Discovery quest with a level 45+ character. This can be a Horde or Alliance character. Still, I would recommend using a Horde character since you will need one for the second part of the Nightborne unlock anyway.
While you are picking up Khadgar’s Discovery, you’ll also want to pick up and complete Uniting the Isles because it will unlock world quests in Suramar. This is important because the An Elven Problem storyline requires you to complete 10 world quests in Suramar. Sadly, completing the 10 world quests will take at least 2 days due to the availability of quests, so be ready for that *sad face*.
I left out several storylines in the graphic that you can skip if your only goal is to unlock Nightborne. These are required for the Good Suramaritan achievement but should be safe to ignore for the unlock. If you find any issues in the graphic, let me know in the comments so I can update it for other players.
Here are the skippable storylines:
- Breaking the Lightbreaker
- Moon Guard Stronghold
- Jandvik’s Jarl
- Eminent Grown-Main
- Tidying Tel’Anor
Overall, these storylines will take you a while to complete. If I had to guess, I would say that it would take 6 – 7 hours over a couple of days to finish.
If you are having a hard time following the questline, I would recommend you download the BtWQuests and BtWQuests: Legion addons. These amazing mods add a quest journal, complete with a quest tree that lists out prerequisites and locations for quests. It is so helpful!
Once you finish the storyline and earn Insurrection, you are most of the way there in your mission to recruit the Nightborne.
Do the 4 recruitment quests
With the Suramar story completed and achievement in hand, it is time to recruit the Nightborne.
To begin the recruitment quest, you need to visit the Orgrimmar Embassy. Once inside the building, Ji Firepaw should offer you a quest called Thalyssra’s Estate that requires you to travel back to Suramar. From there, you will go through some backstory in Silvermoon before returning to the embassy to unlock Nightborne.
If you are curious, you will need to complete the following quests:
If you are looking to unlock other allied races have included a few frequently asked questions below. If you are working on unlocking other allied races, here is my quick allied race unlock overview and links to detailed guides for every race.
Frequently Asked Questions
Given the length of the Suramar questlines, I would expect it to take you around 6 – 8 hours to unlock Nightborne from scratch. However, it could take much longer if you need to level a Horde character to level 45 to start the recruitment quest.
The Nightborne allied race can play as 8 different classes in World of Warcraft. They cannot play as demon hunters, druids, paladins, or shamans. Every other class is fair game, including:
Nightborne characters have 2 active racial abilities. The first is Arcane Pulse, an AoE burst which deals damage and slows enemy movement speed. Damage pulses occur every 2 seconds over a total of 20 seconds. The slow movement speed lasts for a total of 12 seconds.
The second active racial ability is called Cantrips. This allows the Nightborne to summon a book that grants access to their mailbox for 1.5 minutes.
Outside of that, Nightborne have 3 passive racial abilities, including:
Ancient History – Inscription skill boosted by 15
Magical Affinity – Deals 1% more magic damage
Arcane Resistance – Take 1% less arcane damage
Unlocking the Nightborne allied race requires completing a significant portion of Suramar’s storyline and a short recruitment quest. To begin, you will need a character at or above level 45. You can start the Suramar storyline from The Violet Citadel in Legion Dalaran. All in all, the process is will likely take a few days of questing to complete.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy exploring Azeroth on your brand new Nightborne Manasaber!