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Posts with tag character-models

World of Warcraft developer AMA highlights

Last night, World of Warcraft developers Tom Chilton, Ion Hazzikostas, Cory Stockton, and Brian Holinka held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the /r/wow subreddit along with the occasional responses from community managers Jonathan Brown (Zarhym), Micah Whipple (Bashiok), Josh Allen (Lore), and Randy Jordan (Kaivax). Over the course of the AMA, the developers answered questions pertaining to class balance, Warlords features, garrisons, character models, and slight teasers for future content. We'll pull out a few highlights here, but we suggest heading over to /r/wow to read everything. Subreddit moderator aphoenix compiled a handy summary of the AMA to make finding the developers' responses quick and easy -- but remember to read the developers' full responses rather than take the summary as direct quotes.

Flight in Warlords of Draenor
Aedeus asked:
What's the deal currently with your stance on flying, any new developments, or insights?

Ion Hazzikostas: Overall, we're happy with how ground travel in Draenor has played out thus far, and we've heard a lot of feedback to that effect as well, though we of course recognize that there are players who feel differently. We'll have more to announce about our 6.1 patch plans in the very near future, but as the focus of our endgame outdoor content remains in the main Draenor zones, our reasons for disallowing flight in 6.0 continue to apply in 6.1. Whether you're navigating your way to Orumo the Observer in Shattrath Rise, trying to reach a treasure cache atop a column in Spires, or working your way around the ledges encircling The Pit, you're engaging in gameplay that simply would not exist in a world with unfettered flight. It was never our intent to make large-scale navigation of the world inconvenient, and in 6.1 we're going to be improving our flight path system to always take the most direct route between two points, even if you have not discovered some of the intermediate nodes. Please keep the feedback coming – if you're unhappy with the design, some of the most helpful feedback would be specific examples of situations or systems that feel frustrating without being able to fly in Draenor.


Follow along for a few more highlights.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Today is the day of new character models

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.

Adam is your regularly scheduled Queue host today. But I stole it from him. Why? Because I'm super evil. Finally, the truth is revealed!

BapoThe-Paladin asked:

So any guesses on how many times maintenance will be extended? I'm going to guess 3 times.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The Queue: Character models, pirate, and princesses

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.

Today, we pull a bundle of questions from Twitter.

@Ronin_Silegna asked:

Why do you think that certain faces on the new models don't match the old ones?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

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

Warlords of Draenor: New model adjustments in the works

There have been quite a few rumblings online about the new character models, pointing out that the models themselves all appear to have the same facial expressions with little of the variation we're seeing on live servers. Senior Art Director Chris G. Robinson hopped on Twitter yesterday to address the concerns, pointing out that the new models on the beta are by no means final, and of course still subject to change. In the case of the human female model, base animations are still undergoing adjustments to bring them closer to matching the original base structure and expressed emotion.



The base animation is the default expression on a model's face when they are not in any kind of active motion. It's the expression your character has when they are simply standing around in town, or on the character creation screen. Currently, the human female models in the beta are all wearing the same expression while they're standing around. With updates to the base animation, and the tweaks to eyebrows and other facial features as tweeted by Robinson, the models should once again appear just as diverse as they do on live servers.


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

Warlords, models, and performance

We all know that Warlords of Draenor is bringing a much-desired and long-awaited feature in new character models, and understandably, there's concern about the impact on PC performance. WoW Insider reported on EU Community Manager Taepsilum's post on the forums, which has since been updated to indicate that there is no requirement to run the game on Low settings to use the old models. Instead, the toggle which has been seen in the Alpha is set to remain.

Taepsilum's assertions that you won't need a new computer are, perhaps, bold. Gamespot has picked up on them for an article, and asserts that you "probably" won't need a new machine. This is accurate, with the key word being "probably". If you're currently only able to run the game at 8FPS on Low settings, it's pretty likely that Warlords of Draenor will push your system over the edge.

Let's be realistic here. World of Warcraft has pretty amazing performance on older machines. A little while ago I asked on Twitter about players running it on low-spec systems, and it will let you run the game on some pretty archaic specs. Performance is about what you can do with the game, and is subjective. I'm happy with the graphical quality I get out of WoW on my machine, but to friends with higher level systems, it looks awful.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Compare new and old female gnome model animations

Though we saw some brief previews at BlizzCon -- and detailed Artcraft posts on certain races since -- we're still waiting on the official unveil for many of the updated character models coming in Warlords of Draenor. But for those of us who can't stand to wait any longer, Wowhead's model viewer offers previews of female and male gnomes, female and male orcs, female and male dwarves, and male tauren.

But if you're particularly interested in gnomes, like I am, you'll be especially interested in this video preview of the updated female gnome model complete with animations and emotes. Compared side by side, the new animations -- especially the facial animations, which bring a lot of life and personality to the character -- are pretty stunning. Keep your eyes open for more videos from Wowhead -- and more Artcraft posts from Blizzard featuring the remaining races.

Filed under: News items

The Queue: Character models, maintenance, and more

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.

Draenei ladies are wonderful.

SlapHappy asked:

Is it me or does anyone else feel that there is an over-emphasis on the new character models? I mean who really has their camera focus that fine to even tell the difference? Not trying to be contentious in anyway...just saying. All of that design effort could surely be spent in more beneficial ways.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka interviewed in Korea

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka was interviewed in Seoul, Korea, as part of the Press Event that's taking place worldwide this week. The video is above, but some of the key points covered are below. These are in chronological order so it's easy for you to find more information on the video, rather than arranging them by topic:
  • Blizzard is not yet ready to talk timelines with Warlords beta, or release, but are happy with how things are progressing. It's on schedule.
  • The changes to PvP in Mists and Warlords have all been focused on improving PvP participation
  • One of the main reasons why Holinka is so active on Twitter is to be a point of contact for PvPers.
  • There will be a tutorial zone, as discussed at BlizzCon that is to provide a starter experience for all players going into Draenor. The option to use this as more of a tutorial will exist.
  • Garrisons will offer a lot of playability, and are continuing in development beyond 6.0 with potential new features. Garrison PvP is a potential example.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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

Daxxarri asks how you would customize your WoW character

It's hardly confirmation that Blizzard is thinking in this direction -- Daxxarri says the discussion is "just for fun" -- but on the official forums CM Daxxarri has responded to a thread about character customization options asking what players would most like to see.
Daxxarri
Just for fun, if you could pick your top three character customization options, in order of preference, what would they be? For me:

1. Scars/tattoos/warpaint
2. More facial hair options for males
3. Racial 'variants' for those who have them

Is this reason to hope we might get more character customization options -- or even more varried racial skinning options -- in the future? We're not holding our breath based on this thread, certainly, but if more customization is what you're after, hop into the thread to let Blizzard know.

Filed under: News items

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