Sure there’s a whole new zone in WoW Dragonflight patch 10.1, opening up new quests, new WoW Dragonflight Dragon glyphs and more, but the best thing about the next World of Warcraft content patch is the Niffen. Adorable mole-like creatures who use their noses to navigate the all-new Zaralek Cavern, I asked the MMO‘s lead quest designer Maria Hamilton and production director Patrick Dawson about what we’ll get up to with these little guys.
“The idea is that they’re like moles,” Hamilton tells PCGamesN. “They burrow and their eyesight is not very good, so culturally they refer to things by how they smell. Their entire society is built around scent trails and the scent of home.”
She goes on to reveal some of the “fun activities” players will be able to engage in alongside their new furry friends. “One of them is called ‘Sniffen Seeking,’ which allows you to go [around] with a Niffen buddy to go find additional caverns that you can’t reach without burrowing with your Niffen friend.
“They [find caverns] by following their nose, so sometimes you may be interested in finding a particular kind of thing, and they associate that with a specific smell, so they’ll take you to certain caverns. Then there’s also some puzzle gameplay to reach whatever the treasures might be in that place, or fight the enemies in that place.”
“They actually have an entire renown track as well,” Dawson chimes in. “So you’ll be able to interact with them like you would with any of the other renown factions out there.”
As I said to Dawson and Hamilton, I have decided that all I want to do in Embers of Neltharion is befriend the Niffen. Gone is my allegiance to the Murlocs (okay that’s maybe a lie); the Niffen are my best friends now.
All jokes aside, however, the fact that the Niffen’s entire worldview is informed by scent is a really unique idea. As Hamilton mentions, the sulphur pools of Zaralek Cavern are “very smelly,” and the Niffen “love smelly things,” making it the perfect place for their odd little society. We’ve never seen a creature like this in previous WoW expansions, and I can’t wait to interact with them and roam into all of these mysterious new caverns.
If you’re considering diving into the Dragon Isles, our WoW Dragonflight review will give you a heads-up about what to expect. We also have a rundown of all of the WoW Dragonflight professions to help you kill some time while we wait for Embers of Neltharion, as well as a list of the best WoW addons if you’ve got your eyes set on the new Aberrus raid.