Yes, we're getting a Warcraft movie, but this animated trailer by Dragon Films -- which is more than we've seen of the actual Warcraft movie -- makes us kind of want an animated version. Sure, this trailer has its flaws, with Russian voiceover and slightly stiff (in places) animation, but the art is undeniably gorgeous. Considering the trailer itself is about a year old, we aren't sure whether we'll be seeing any more of Blood Shaman... but even without English voiceover, we're pretty sure it would be worth watching.
Plus, with WoW's recent storyline putting orcs center stage, it's nice to see other races in the spotlight -- and the animation style works great with the tauren characters on display. And if you'll excuse me, I need to roll a tauren shaman now....
The second installment of Blizzards animated short series Lords of War debuted today, shedding more background on the leader of the Iron Horde: Grommash Hellscream. There's not doubt that Grommash is a pivotal figure in the upcoming expansion, with his son, Garrosh, having been a central figure in the Mists of Pandaria. Like the previous installment of Lords of War, the new episode opens with Maraad urging Varian to take the offensive and march through the new Dark Portal to face the Iron Horde head on. He then goes on to tell the tale of the events that earned Grommash the undying loyalty of his Warsong clan and how he, against incredible odds, bested the ogre nations united against him. We also get a glimpse of Grommash's mate, Golka, and her fate at the hands of the retaliating ogres.
If you've ever wondered what Jasmine from Aladdin would look like as a blood elf, wonder no more. Thanks to this story on Kotaku, we get to see how DeviantART poster LiberLibelula would design various Disney characters in terms of the races of World of Warcraft, and while some are no real surprises (Snow White as a dwarf lass) some caught me off guard (Rapunzel as a gnome I did not see coming, and I was pleasantly surprised by draenei Cinderella and troll Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire). The art style here is interesting and captures both inspirations well, in my opinion, and it gets me wondering why we've never seen a Warcraft cartoon of any kind.
Frankly, while we're waiting for a Warcraft movie, I've always wondered why we never saw anything like the Diablo III Wrath trailer for the Warcraft setting. Seeing these images only makes me wonder more - we've seen enough comics and graphic novels in the Warcraft setting to convince me a wide variety of animation styles and artwork could work, so where's our Animatrix for WoW?
I've always been a big fan of the DC Animated films (frankly, I think they're better than the live action movies in most cases) and I'd definitely like to see Blizzard do something similar for Warcraft. While we wait, you can always head over to LiberLivelula's gallery and dream.
Mother of sweet things! I saw this on Reddit's /r/wow community a few days ago and realized that I'm kind of a slacker when it comes to my own forum signatures (which is apparently the whole purpose of the project). Thovald, the player responsible for the video, wrote that he did it in 3D Studio Max and didn't actually change the female troll model itself. The big difference is an increased polygon count for the robes and (I would assume) the graphics of the fire spell being cast. It reminded me more than a bit of the perennial favorite Blind, and it's all the more amazing that Thovald is apparently self-taught.
We know that Blizzard is working on an update for character models, but it's pretty cool to see what players can do with them in the meantime. They might be old, but as Thovald noted, they're still a surprisingly expressive bunch.
Our (my 10-man) prayers have been answered! /map has an animation now on the test realms, and it totally rules.
For those of you who don't know about /map, the greatest emote in World of Warcraft, you need to try it out. There have been few times in WoW when I have felt more at peace with myself and my surroundings then when I have held my trusty map. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise -- /map is the best, most trustworthy, and amazing emote that will never let you down. And now it totally has a real map.
You also may be thinking that the words in this post are intended to be humorous or spoken in a mocking or sarcastic tone. You are wrong. Join the /map brigade, and be one of the cool kids.
All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.
Playing Warhammer recently has made me think of more features that WoW could add in order to create a better roleplaying experience. Far and away the most important one, to my mind, was the Tome of Knowledge. WoW players really need an in-game resource they can refer to as a standard for information about the Warcraft universe, and having this at hand, roleplayers could do a lot better than they can today.
Knowledge is the most important thing, of course, but there are other features Blizzard could add to the game that would help roleplayers too. I'd like to address a few of these things, and see how much they could really do for us. Player housing is a possible feature that gets talked about a lot, but I have my doubts as to whether or not it would really help roleplayers all that much. Another issue is one that is more important to me personally, and is another feature inspired by my trial with Warhammer Online: looking at interactivity between characters.
Well I grabbed my own video of the new Feed Pet animation, but it turns out that Lougara on YouTube did it much better, so that's their video you can watch above. Yes, as hunters everywhere have noticed, Blizzard has added a brand new animation to the feeding of a hunter pet -- you can actually see your hunter toss a piece of grub to the pet, who then catches it and noms away.
It would be cool to see it go a little further -- maybe have the pet claw and chew away at it for a moment -- but then again with so many different types of pets out there, it's probably tough for Blizzard to make them all look good. Still, it's a nice little touch for immersion, and it has the added bonus of showing other players when you're tossing food to your pet as well. Of course, with Bloodthirsty as a pet talent or the Glyph of Mend Pet going, you may not even need to feed your pet any more, but if you do, that's what you'll see.
I've talked here before about just how wacky Blizzard's coding is -- they are obviously great programmers (even with all of the 180,000 bugs), but man, when things go wrong in this game, they go wrong in the weirdest, strangest ways. Take the bug above, spotted in patch 3.2.2 by xella over on Livejournal: the female dreanei /train emote is bugged like crazy, but instead of not playing or playing a random sound like you might expect it to do as a software bug, it instead plays a cacophony of the strangest sounds, including a slice of the original sound and then a female blood elf /chicken noise instead. This will surely be fixed soon (and as a few people in the comments over there say, it's probably a bit of file corruption on Blizzard's part), but what a weird bug.
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You can't talk to the enemy in the World of Warcraft. Shouting "KEK" when you're on your Alliance character doesn't read as "LOL" to the Horde players, no matter how many times you've heard that rumor. You can't Mind Control the enemy and then babble away in your own tongue (although that did work for one amazing, once-upon-a-time period in a long-ago patch). The truth is, trying to leapfrog the Alliance/Horde language barrier is a bannable offense; you're just not supposed to talk to the enemy.
That said, there is a way you can make your intentions known to players of the opposite faction: standard, pre-set emotes. The only emotes that work between factions are the ones that are already in place in the game. Creating your own emote by typing "/e yourmessage" only works for players of your own faction; for others, it translates to "X makes some strange gestures" – pretty antagonistic, really, no matter what you're actually intending to convey.
So hot on the heels of the best mob noise in game discussion, I thought I'd ask another question: What about the animations? We probably don't think about it too much, but the sounds and animations of PCs and NPCs alike probably end up making a lot of atmosphere we take for granted. It fills out the world and makes it feel more immersive, more real.
Beyond that, even PC animations can have their awesome looks, such as a Draenei twirling a Polearm to attack or a male Blood Elf dying with Shakespearean dramatics. Ethereals also have some pretty graceful moves overall, even in the way their bandages move and their energy pulses.
What animations and graphics have you encountered in WoW that have made you stop and say, "Hey, that's pretty neat?"
Throw another nomination on the list for Wrath of the Lich King -- Blizzard's cinematic team has been nominated for an Elan award for the WotLK cinematic in the category of Best Animated Short Subject. And the nom is well deserved: while the trailer broke with the tradition of showing the various races and classes of Warcraft doing battle with each other, Blizzard's choice to instead recap the story of Arthas and the Lich King while he summoned Sindragosa worked well and looked amazing.
Unfortunately, Blizzard missed out in the actual game nominations -- for best PC game, the expansion was overshadowed by Fallout 3, Crysis Warhead, Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria, and Left 4 Dead. You can argue amongst yourselves whether that's justified or not. But we're sure Blizzard is happy with the animation nomination anyway -- their competition there is Turbo Dogs, so they'll probably do fine when the awards are announced on April 25th.
Video of the legendary mace coming in patch 3.1, Val'anyr, the Gavel of Ancient Kings, is already making the rounds. The animation is pretty cool, but I remain unconvinced of its overall awesomeness. We can't see any of the particle effects this weapon may have, because none of that stuff is ever built into the model. We won't know what it really looks like until we see it in-game somewhere, or someone digs out the other bits and pieces it all together.
The animation itself, which is the whole point of watching the video, is really freaking sweet. If it's an animation that happens semi-randomly and isn't just a constant thing, I really, really like it. My only concern about the weapon is, again, the particle effects. Something really cool looking is going to need to fill in that gap in the middle. As long as there's something there, this weapon is going to be amazingly cool. If there isn't, it's going to be amazingly boring. A very 'make it or break it' situation, I think. That's just my opinion, though. Do you guys disagree?
My favorite time of the patch day is here – looking at all the bugs! At the time of this writing, we're about six hours after the patch and the majority of bugs have been found. We've counted six of them, and will go over each and when the fix is expected after the break.
Obviously some are more important than others. The Wintergrasp bug that is currently crashing servers left and right needs to be fixed "nao," as people are clamoring about in trade channels. The game is nearly unplayable for most people.
Interestingly there are no bugs about missing mail or other missing items, nor are there reports of extreme lag and other difficulties (other than the severs crashing).
The full list of 3.0.8 bugs, and information about their status, after the break.
Just when I think Wowhead is feature-complete, they go and add something that never even occurred to me. This time around it's animated models in their 3D model viewer (high-quality Java version only). So if you can't manage to bag that elusive Squashling, at least you can see what it looks like, in full motion (be sure to click Java, if it isn't selected already). So far, animations are available for pets, mounts, player models, and NPCs, but items are coming soon (Terestrian's Stranglestaff, anyone?). Not only that, but they're already working on expansions for what sorts of animations are shown. Currently it just shows "idling" behavior; in the future, you should see a lot more, up to and including "/dance" (for player models) and casting animations.
I'm really excited about this (especially with my main computer in the shop, leaving me unable to play WoW at the moment). It lets me gaze at all sorts of interesting things:
Sure, this is hardly the most important change to come down in patch 3.0.2, but anything Furbolg is worth a mention in my book.
Personally, a Furbolg casting is more than enough excitement for me, but you, our readers, are discerning people, and we know you'd like a little bit of insight tailored to your own expectations, so we're going "choose your own adventure" on this one. You can read either one of the next two sections of this post whether you're the sarcastic and cynical reader type or the excited, "can't get enough rumors and speculation" type: Meh: "So Blizzard improved an animation only used by lowbies (Alliance lowbies at that) with an obscure quest item? Is this why we can't have more battlegrounds?"
There you go: either you get a chance to whine that Blizzard isn't working on more important things, or you can extrapolate a ton of rumors from something that probably took a developer a few minutes to do. Enjoy.