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Posts with tag character-model-revamp

Warlords of Draenor: Orc posture updates potentially on the horizon

There are a few really iconic design choices in World of Warcraft that have always been a hallmark of the game. Big arms, huge shoulderpads, that sort of thing. One of the items on that list is orc posture -- orcs have a hunch. They've always had a hunch, unless you happened to be an important orc NPC. Player models have always been slouched over, because for some reason, orcs just don't have proper posture. But there may be some changes to that on the horizon, according to a couple of tweets made yesterday by Senior Art Director Chris G. Robinson.



Robinson went on to clarify that this is not something that will be out at the launch of the expansion -- and it might not be something that makes it to the game at all. But it's something that Robinson definitely wants to attempt to tackle in the future. And although this is one of those things that many players have expressed an interest in seeing, Robinson was quick to clarify that if this change does in fact see the light of day, it will be as an option, not as a default setting. So those who are fond of their hulking hunched brutes can continue to play them just as they are.

It's interesting, however, to see that these kinds of changes are definitely being thought about. And it does make me curious as to whether or not we'll see other options regarding posture or even things like height or body options added in some day, like the ability to create wizards with wizard builds instead of barbarian builds. If nothing else, maybe we'll see the male trolls suddenly discover what their female counterparts have known all along -- life is a lot more enjoyable when you exercise the option to stand tall.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

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

Vanilla alpha models vs. Warlords

Hayven Games over on Youtube posted a pretty interesting video the other day, in light of all of the new character models we're beginning to see. Players may be familiar enough with the models we use in WoW today, but very few players know what the original alpha models from World of Warcraft looked like. In some cases, there were very little changes from alpha WoW to release, and in others, the change was pretty dramatic. In the above video, those incredibly old models from alpha are highlighted -- not just the static models, but how they walk and run. Characters that have already been featured in ArtCraft segments also have their Warlords model improvements on display for a side-by-side comparison.

It's interesting to see how not just the artwork, but even the walk and run cycles for characters evolved from the original days of alpha to WoW's release back in 2004. Human characters look a little leaner with longer legs, gnomes in particular have some pretty terrifying faces, but the most striking difference has to be with the trolls. While the male trolls looked fairly close to release version, the run animation was something else entirely. As for female trolls ... well, let's just say despite the current blank, unblinking stare, today's models are a vast, vast improvement.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Wowhead introduces modelviewer tutorial

The Wowhead modelviewer has long been a useful tool on the site -- players can look up virtually any item in the game, and with the push of a button, see a 3D rendering of the model either standalone, or on a class and race of their choice. Wowhead has recently begun processing mass amounts of information for Warlords of Draenor, and has introduced the new race models to the mix as they become available. Now players can not only look up what armor would look like on their current character, they can see what it will look like on a character using the models introduced with Warlords.

If you've ever wondered exactly what the tool can do, Wowhead has put together a complete guide to using the modelviewer. The guide includes not only a brief overview of basics, but information on how to look up the new character models and animations, and how to view your character using the updated Warlords models. Obviously, at the moment only a few races are available to choose from -- but if you play one of the races that has already been featured, you can get an idea of what your character will look like when Warlords is released. Take a look at the full guide for details, and while you're there, be sure to check out Wowhead's video comparisons of new models vs. the current versions.

Filed under: News items

Female dwarf 3D character model appears on Warlords of Draenor site

We've seen several character models appear lately with just still shots to appreciate them by, while the Warlords of Draenor official site remains forlorn with only the male orc, dwarf and gnome models visible. But now the female dwarf has been added, in all her three-dimensional glory, as Senior Art Director Chris Robinson tweeted.

Fans of Burning Crusade races the draenei and the blood elf will also no doubt be really thrilled to note that there have been sections added to the site to include the updated models for all of those. There are also several new stills for the female dwarf, showing off her emotes. I think she looks fantastic, if a little manic!

You can see all the model images released so far in the gallery below.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Orc female model revealed

The next installment of the Artcraft series has revealed the new Orc female model. We've previously seen pieces on Garrisons, as well as the human female model, adding to the undead male and female, as well as the gnomes, dwarves and male orcs we saw at BlizzCon.

Blizzard is again doing sterling work in staying true to the original model, and I am glad to see that her body shape has not changed dramatically. The strong, powerful-looking orc lady is by far my favorite model in the game, so I'm glad to see that her musculature remains largely unchanged. There are some minor alterations to her posture, though, and her posterior looks somewhat altered, without wishing to be unkind. I can't help thinking her head looks smaller in some of the images too.

But the face and hair look fantastic. There is some slightly odd shading where I had always assumed she was bald before, around her ponytails and the like, but I'll assume that's optional. The face is wonderfully expressive, as we've come to expect with these models, and the hair looks great.

Filed under: Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

What race needs new character models the most?

Breakfast Topic What race needs new character models the most
Over the weekend at Gamescom, Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton revealed that new character models for the older races are currently in development and are about 25% done. Chilton also added that he wasn't sure if all the new models would be launched at the same time, or if Blizzard would opt to release them over several patches as they are completed. I'm in favor of the latter myself, though I can see that resulting in an unbearable amount of QQ from players whose characters didn't initially receive model updates.

The whole thing makes me wonder which races are likely to get updated first. It's possible the developers will go after the most popular races first (humans and blood elves) since that will appease the largest number of people. It's also just as possible they'll work in order of which races need new models the most. That raises the question though, which race is in the most dire need of a character model update?

If I had to pick one I'd probably go with dwarf, specifically the female dwarf because so few people play it. Granted, I don't think female dwarves necessarily suffer from the worst looking model, but they're somehow still one of the least popular choices among players. That alone makes me feel like the model needs some time and attention to not only update it, but to broaden its appeal somewhat. Mind you, female dwarves don't need to have the same appeal as blood elves or humans, but they certainly should have more than they currently do.

Which race do you think needs a character model update the most? Tell us why.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Character model rework 25% complete

Character model rework 25% complete
Speaking to Tom Chilton and Cory Stockton this morning, the question came up of the character model rework. Unusually, these guys actually seemed happy to give us quite a lot of information about where they were going with the character models. Most notably, when pushed, they let us know that the percentage completion of the new character models was as follows:
TC: "Um, 20% maybe?"
CS: "Yeah 25%, maybe 25. That could be a safe number."
TC: "But yeah, there's a long way to go. And I also don't know that, when we launch the new character models, I don't know that they'll all be done at the same time. We'll probably have a good number of them done, and we'll launch those, and we'll continue to update more throughout the patch cycle. We figure players would rather have some earlier than wait forever until they're all done. Not forever but, a longer time. Might feel forever. Blizzard soon."
Tom and Cory also went into quite some detail about the reasons why the process took so long, and brought up the importance of maintaining a character's identity while also updating the models. They recognized how important that was to players, and how many players identified heavily with the look of their characters' models.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

The aesthetic consequences of new character models

This is neither a post excoriating nor exulting but rather simply contemplating the process of updating character models in World of Warcraft. I got to thinking about this when I realized that I'm always happiest when I get Well of Eternity because I like the night elf model. Tall, spare, muscular, it looks excellent in plate. There are certainly flaws to the model, but they're concealed entirely by my gear. Night elf males have large hands, but those hands look just fine curled around a weapon, and the faces are entirely concealed behind my helmet. As you can see above, the night elf male does an excellent job of showing off the textures and details of my armor set, especially the plated legs.

Redesigning these models will have a variety of effects. As a long-time player, I have my own stylistic loves and hates. Human females look astonishingly vapid and nigh-idiotic, and their animations in melee look ludicrous to the point that I expect them to fall over every weapon swing, while gnomes and blood elves have excellent combat flow. Female undead melee are awesome to watch, but I can't stand the bones poking through my gear. That's part of the complication here. The models you love, someone else hates, and the models you hate, someone else loves. That's often viewed as a cop-out -- but man, if you screw up my tauren, I will burn your world. (Note: Will not actually burn your world ... too lazy.)

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

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