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Warlords of Draenor: New blood elf models delayed

sad belf priest
In a quick announcement over Twitter, Blizzard Senior Art Director Chris Robinson has confirmed that updated blood elf models will not be ready in time for the launch of Warlords of Draenor. Blood elves are indeed scheduled for an update just like all the player character models, but they will now be scheduled for addition into Warlords post-launch; perhaps along side another content patch. Robinson did quickly add that the new troll models are still scheduled to be in place at Warlord's launch, and we can expect to see an Artcraft preview of them as early as next week.
As unfortunate as it is that the blood elves are being delayed, I think it's understandable. As far as the older models go, the blood elves have held up rather well. There are other player character models in far more need of updating, so if something had to be pushed back, it's no surprise that it's the blood elves. Then again, blood elves are one of the most popular choices for player characters, so I'm sure there will be at least a bit of disappointment surrounding the decision. Never fear, though, we will get new versions of our favorite mana addicts soon enough, and until then, I'm on pins and needles to see the new trolls. Will my hunter finally be able to blink? I certainly hope so!

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: Warlords Anonymous

Warlords Anonymous is the latest from Ian Beckman. You may recognize other voices in the mix -- WoWCrendor is the voice of Durotan, for example. The models used in Warlords Anonymous really make it clear how immense the difference is between older and more recent character models. Gul'dan is a real eyesore compared to Durotan, Blackhand, and so on.

Considering the machinima's subject matter, I'm not sure we could have possibly timed the discussion in today's Queue better.

You tried, Durotan. You tried and that's what matters.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Artcraft focuses on facial customization

One of the hot button topics when talking about the new character models is faces. Many players worry that when the customization comes in, their characters won't feel like their characters anymore. Blizzard has now released a new Artcraft discussing exactly how they're planning on dealing with that issue.

Our next big focus is doing justice to the facial options. With the original models and their simplistic geometry and low-resolution textures, a lot of facial expressions were simply painted on. Now that we've moved to higher-polygon models with lips, teeth, and fully articulated faces-not to mention higher-resolution textures-recreating those same facial options isn't as simple as painting them onto a flat surface. Previously, to get a sneer out of a model, you'd just paint a sneer on its face, and that was that. To do it correctly now-and make it look great-we have to fully pose a sneer, create a custom texture, and mesh that base pose with all of the existing emotes and animations.

So it's still a work in progress, but take heart in the knowledge that Blizzard abandoned their original plan, which was to release the new faces before customization was completed. "Our initial idea was to release the new models with their base face, and then add additional options in updates over the course of the expansion." That would have been a huge mistake, in my opinion. People would likely have been very unhappy with the uncertainty of knowing whether or not they'd get the face they identified with.

Head on over to the latest artcraft and check it out now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Let's get mad about orcs

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Oh boy, this first question is going to get me in trouble.

RustinMeek asked:

for those in the beta, is WoD giving appropriate attention to the more peaceful and shamanistic side of orcs? It's not all war and mayhem, and the players that don't read the novels should know that

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Blizzard opens dedicated gamescom page

Coming this August, gamescom 2014 will continue the tradition of one of the biggest and most important video game conventions in the world. And this year, Blizzard plans on letting even people who don't get to travel to Cologne (it's in Germany) keep track of what they're up to at this massive con, with a dedicated web page for their presence, including livestreaming coverage. It's an interesting move for Blizzard, and an understandable one - gamescom is, on the whole, a big deal and it's likely that they'll be putting a lot of effort into their presentations there, so why not let people from outside the con get a look as well? It's just good PR.

This year's gamescom runs from August 13th to August 17th in Cologne, Germany. Dare we hope for a release date for Warlords of Draenor by then? Yes. Yes, we dare to hope for that. Maybe the cinematic? Why not? I'm from Rhode Island and I say release it all! Sorry, got excited, referenced Starship Troopers. it won't happen again.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Around Azeroth, Beta Edition: Most tedious quest ever

"Hold it! Stop the war! Don't anybody move! Thrall dropped a contact lens," reports beta tester LibFeathers. She didn't mention it specifically, but I'm sure the follow-up quest to find the thing with a vacuum cleaner and a pair of pantyhose was a joy. "The beta is revealing all sorts of secrets about Thrall. His vision is horrible, and he really has no hair. Guess those long beautiful braids were just a wig." And Jaina will be sobbing alone in her bedroom tonight at that revelation.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Avoiding the beta

I have friends who somehow manage to do this. Not just not playing the beta (that's pretty hard to do) but flat out avoiding any and all news about it. One of them somehow managed not to know anything about the upcoming changes to healing, the CC changes to PvP, even the item squish completely evaded his attention. This isn't just not logging on or anything, it's an act of will, and frankly to my eyes a difficult one. How do you manage it? He even told me he reads various fansites. How do you read fansites and avoid beta news?

Of course, if you're reading this Breakfast Topic, you just failed (since I told you three things from the beta) but perhaps you have some insight. How does one avoid this kind of thing?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The WoW Insider Show Episode 354

Every week, join us as we present you with The WoW Insider Show podcast -- an hour's worth of WoW community discussion covering everything from the week's top stories here on WoW Insider to emails from our readers and what's been going on with our particular characters in Azeroth.

Want to have your question answered on the air? Email theshow@wowinsider.com! And don't forget to join us for the live show again next Monday at 8:00 p.m. PDT!

Get the podcast:

[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
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Listen here on the page:


Filed under: Podcasts, WoW Insider Show

Heart of the Valorous returns this weekend

At this point, you know the gist: Heart of the Valorous is active again this weekend, increasing all valor point gains by 100%. Go forth and be valorous, my friends.

Filed under: News items

The whole World of Warcraft in 41 minutes

It's no secret that I like the lore of World of Warcraft, so it should be no surprise that I decided that you needed to see this video. Nobble's done lore videos before, but this is quite frankly his masterpiece - a fairly concise (for what it is covering) run-through of all of the background of World of Warcraft and the Warcraft franchise as a whole. It's definitely worth your time.

Soak in it, my friends, the gloriously messy, chaotic, crazy lore of World of Warcraft.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria