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Posts with tag character-models

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

Character models and their impact on system requirements

One of WoW's greatest strengths, in my opinion, is that it will run on a toaster. It will launch on an old laptop I have with a really terrible processor and 1GB of RAM. When I say it will launch, I mean it won't play, I can't use it, but it will launch. I've played it on that laptop in the past, and it's worked. And now, while I have a more powerful machine, I've had to play a bit on the interim laptop, a 2GHz AMD laptop with onboard graphics and 4GB of RAM. And it works. I got this laptop in 2009, and WoW runs on it. Not just that, but it runs raids. Sure, my framerate isn't brilliant, and I'll sometimes have to point my camera at the floor, but it runs, and I can perform in whatever role I'm in.

But with graphical upgrades come greater strains on older machines. And Community Manager Bashiok has weighed in, addressing player concerns on the official forums. The answer to the questions raised, as you can see after the break, is that the devs just don't know the full impact of these upgrades just yet. You can tell the difference between Cata and Mists as far as the performance of older machines goes, and Warlords may be another step away from "backwards compatibility" for older machines. But bear in mind what else will run on these old, old machines. My interim laptop, as I call it, will run WoW and little else. What can you play WoW on? Hit the break for Bashiok's full post.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Do we need a free character re-customization for the new models?

The recently announced new character models are causing quite a stir, with varying opinions appearing. The reactions to the new female human model have been largely positive, but the question I'm interested in today is whether you think we need a character re-customization after the models are added to the game.

On the one hand, I can see that the developers' objective has been to stay as faithful as possible to the original models, and as such they may not really see the need for it. But although I think there has been some great work done in this area, they haven't been entirely successful with the fidelity to old models. Indeed, that is a very subjective assessment, too, and what you liked in your character's old face might not be evident in a new face. Depending on the skintones available, given that Chris has teased potential others, you may want to alter that too. Hair style and color can, of course, be edited in the game.

Do we need a free character re-customization for the new models?
Yes7197 (82.5%)
No616 (7.1%)
Not sure/don't know yet912 (10.5%)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

New human female character models revealed

Blizzard Senior Art Director Chris Robinson has been teasing us with heavily cropped images for a couple of weeks now, and the blog post he was alluding to has finally arrived, revealing the female human character model.

It's a sterling piece of work, you can really see how they've done their best to retain the look and feel of the original character, while removing the blockiness of the old model. And it looks to me like this is the best job they've done so far. The model has not changed in size or overall shape at all, with the exception of some slimming in the legs. This, frankly, makes them look more natural than the older shape. Instead, the original shape has been smoothed, and contours added, making it look so much better. The look of strength remains in the arms, she hasn't been given a super-flat belly, nothing has really changed.

And the face, which is where the greatest difficulty surely arises for the art team, is a faithful simile. While it's a highly subjective matter, it seems that they have managed to simultaneously maintain the shape and style of the original face, while bringing it up to date with the rest of the character models we've seen so far. The hair looks fantastic, as we've become accustomed to with the new models we've seen so far, and with Chris Robinson teasing that new hairstyles may become available at some point, it's exciting to see what they can achieve.

If you're curious about the other models, or want to see them all collected in one place, do have a look at our gallery, and hit the break for more human female images!

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

New skins and hairstyles planned for Warlords character models

Senior Art Director Chris Robinson has been tweeting today about the coming updates to show players the new character models that are ready for public airing, and the current stages of the process. Within the series of tweets, Chris also slipped in a sneaky mention of the designers' future planned features, mentioning new skins and hairstyles:
While these are only plans, not confirmed new features, and there's no timeframe on them at all, it's pretty exciting to read. The new models we've seen so far have been amazing, and new hairstyles and skin tones or even things like the recent fan mockups on imgur would be fantastic additions. It's always great to learn that designers are listening to the community!

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

What do you want out of new character models?

We knew that updated models were coming for vanilla-era races in Warlords of Draenor, for which (we're pretty sure) anyone playing those races is thankful for. But we've recently heard that both blood elves and draenei will also be getting updated character models, which will hopefully get all of the game's models up to the same visual level.

So knowing that new character models are coming our way, but we don't have a ton of detail from Blizzard on what to expect -- so let's talk about what we want out of them. Our own Matthew Rossi has said this would be an ideal time to add variant skins for races, but for my part I want better hair. Hair that looks more like hair and less like an experiment in geometry that used far too much hair gel. But what about you, dear readers? What do you want out of updated character models?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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