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Posts with tag Blizzard-Art-Team

New art available for viewing at Blizzard's website

Hey, you! Yes, you -- dude sitting on the stained couch watching Family Feud and eating Cheetos. Need a little bit of high culture in your life? (And no, rewatching Once More, With Feeling doesn't count.)

WoW Insider may not be able to send you to the Louvre, and I'm not sure our legal department is okay with us reprinting the works of Maya Angelou. What we can do, however, is forward you along to some great new art just released at the Blizzard website. Specifically, there are three new pieces from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion: the Wrath box art, a piece called "Boneyard," and a piece called "Winter Tauren." They all show off the incredible level of talent of Blizzard's art department.

While you're there, be sure to page through the gallery and enjoy all the pieces of older concept art, too. They provide some great insight into how ideas transition from mere thoughts in an artist's head to a miserable, frustrating 5-man instance like The Oculus.

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Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: Iconography

I don't know if you've noticed, but Blizzard's been inserting new icons in every patch. You know those little square graphics that appear next to spell or item descriptions? They've been revising some that were shared across several items and gave them entirely new icons. It doesn't appear on the patch notes, but some spells got new icons - such as the Black Tabby, which got a new icon back in Patch 3.1.

Here in Patch 3.2, we see two new cooking icons which are probably going to be related to some world events - the Bread of the Dead and Cranberry Chutney. Both have new, unique icons. Personally, I think spell and item icons are a small but important part of what makes the game feel unique. Some icons are funny, some are really colorful, and some are even plain sexy. Some icons were actually confusing - remember when flying carpets all looked like Runecloth? That was dumb, but Blizzard got around to setting things right.

There are cool spell and talent icons, too. Some icons look exactly like the item they represent, some icons are totally generic, and some icons are hard to make heads or tails of, although that's probably what Blizzard is slowly trying to eliminate. Did anybody notice how they changed icons for the Cockroach and the Magical Crawdad Box? Blizzard didn't have to, certainly, but I for one appreciate the little things. Like I said, small parts of the game that give it its unique feel. Are there any icons in particular that stand out for you? What are your favorites? Dislikes? If anything, I'll take this opportunity to give a shout out to the amazing art team at Blizzard responsible for those little square things. Oh, and if you can name all those icons pictured above... you probably need professional help.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What's your item set design preference?

It looks like we've got a sneak peek at what may be the new tier sets when MMO Champion uncovered some gear intended for Paladins, Death Knights, and Warriors. Just in case you didn't notice, that's all plate gear and, well, they all look alike. With Patch 3.2 seeing the return of faction-specific armor, a lot of people were thrilled except that most players (including myself) sort of forgot that faction-specific gear such as the old Level 60 PvP sets had shared models across armor types.

The reason most of us didn't notice was because this wasn't so apparent back then... the Alliance only had one mail-wearing class and the Horde only had one plate-wearing class. With Shamans and Paladins no longer restricted to one faction and with the introduction of Death Knights in Wrath of the Lich King, more classes appear to share the same item models -- there are three plate and two mail classes on both factions now. This has the downside of homogenizing appearance across classes but the upside of having the near-certainty of putting together a visually cohesive set as well as looking different from the enemy faction's counterparts.

So today's question is simple: what design philosophy do you think works best for World of Warcraft? Every path has its obvious benefits, of course. What appears to be the most appealing is something we still haven't seen... faction- and class-specific gear where each class has a completely unique model according to faction. It sounds great on paper but it's more work for the art team and an itemization nightmare -- imagine having to organize those drops in a dungeon! It might be easier to go the Sunwell Plateau route and be done with it! Or heck, do everything Emperor's New Clothes-style, where everyone goes commando! Good idea? No? So, uh, that was just me? Drat.

Which design direction do you prefer?
Faction-specific but sharing models across armor type431 (4.7%)
Class-specific but completely different models for each class3044 (33.0%)
Faction-neutral and sharing models across armor type (ala Sunwell)116 (1.3%)
Faction-specific and class-specific, where each class from either faction has a totally unique model5148 (55.9%)
I want to be able to make my twill set look like Tier 9 and vice versa...478 (5.2%)

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

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