Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag character-models

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.

Read more →

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!

Read more →

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

The time for variant skins is now

With the upcoming character model redesign for Warlords of Draenor, and with no announcement for any new races or classes, a question I've heard asked a lot is is that enough? And while I think it is enough, considering how massive a task it is and how much it will change the game for people, I do think the focus on character models means that now is absolutely the time to introduce another level of character customization. I don't expect (based on what we've seen) to see many new options like a height slider. So I think the old idea to give us variant skins based on sub-groups like the broken draenei, Mag'har orcs, Dark Iron dwarves, Grimtotem tauren and so on should finally become an option.

In some cases this would be easier than in others. Giving draenei a playable broken appearance (seen above) would require a lot of work - as you can see, the model is outdated and is even on the wrong skeleton for a draenei. (It's built on top of the current tauren skeleton.) But allowing a player to choose a Dragonmaw, Blackrock or Mag'har orc is as simple as giving them more options in skin tone.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft's evolving engine

World of Warcraft's evolving engine
Some people say that World of Warcraft's visuals are outdated. The game's graphics haven't been updated since launch, they say. In terms of some older art assets, I would agree, but the overall picture is a different story. The system requirements when WoW launched were a meager 800MHz CPU with 256MB RAM and a 32MB graphics card. Today, the bare minimum requirements are a dual core CPU with 2GB of RAM and a 256MB graphics card.

Mists of Pandaria requires an expensive computer to run smoothly at the highest possible graphic settings, and yet it will still run on hardware from 8 years ago. Do you know of many other games with a spread like that?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: The Vale, columnists, and more character model chat

The Queue
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.

Farewell, beauty of the Vale. You were gorgeous, but your quests drove many a player to madness. Is your fate deserved? Maybe.

MichaelBarrs asked:

for reasons out of my control I've been absent from Mists since not long after launch. If I continue to quest to level 90 will I get to see the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in its pristine state, before Garrosh went and ripped it a new one or is that something I will have missed out on permanently?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Which updated character models are you most looking forward to?

Updated character models are on the way -- and for those of us who have been playing launch races since 2004, they're well overdue. They looked great in 2004, but these days -- especially compared to newer races -- they're looking more than a little dusty.

So hooray! New character models are coming! When are they going to be here? Tomorrow? Could it be tomorrow? Okay, it's probably (almost certainly) not coming out tomorrow. But we can hope, right?

But now that we know new character models are coming, what are we looking forward to most? Since I'm playing a gnome these days, I'm curious about what the updates bring to my character of choice. I'm willing to bet that most of you are the same, primarily looking forward to a revamp of your favorite race. So tell me, readers: what are you looking forward to with revamped character models?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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 Queue: BlizzCon, daily quests, gnome heads, 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.

Let's go right to the questions!

mikkelsdk asked:

Considering Blizzard has a lot of things on the table currently (Heartstone, Blizzard All-Stars, Titan, Next WoW Expansion, Diablo 3 xpac and probably SC2 xpac) which of these aren't we going to hear about at Blizzcon? Titan is a given but have Blizzard talking about Heartstone, All-stars, WoW xpac, Diablo 3 xpac and SC2 xpac is kinda of a long shot.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: What the biggest graphical eyesore in today's WoW?

Breakfast Topic What the biggest graphical eyesore in today's World of Warcraft
If you'd ever care to observe a WoW player heat up to a slow boil and finally explode in a spectacular, spittle-flecked rage over a minor technical issue, find someone whose favorite character model suffers clipping issues. Most long-term players have a character who can't wear or wield a much-loved item because it does something annoying -– clips through their back, chops off their hair, or disappears into the ground. This is a shoulder-shrugger of an issue to me, but for players who want their favorites to look their best, graphics clipping is utterly incensing.

After eight years, we've had ample time to grow weary of the ugliest graphical glitches that persist in the game. The old character models get cited for a variety of abuses. Night elf hands/mittens, anyone? Creepy. Sometimes, it's their expressions -– the terrifying rictus on a female night elf when she's "smiling." Just look at that screenshot up there. Definitely zombie material. And I know this isn't a superficial issue, because I swim. Ever looked up the skirt of a robe-wearing class while they're swimming? You can see their brains.

Blizzard's deft art direction and over-the-top, cartoon-ish fantasy aesthetic smooths over a multitude of aging and sins, but at some point, rough edges simply refuse to stay hidden. What do you find to be the most appalling graphical eyesore in today's WoW? Is it part of the older character models or landscapes and dungeon textures? Is there some aspect of WoW's graphics that shouts "old and tired" every time you see it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Oveoflod shows old models still have new tricks

I have no idea how the above video managed to escape attention for so long. Originally published on May 4, 2012, the video by Oveoflod -- simply titled Moves -- seems innocent enough at first. It isn't until 26 seconds in that the standard female human model decides to break out of the standard female human model animations and show us her moves, which are nothing like the Macarena.

According to the Youtube description, the video took over a year to make, using MotionBuilder, 3ds Max and Wowmodelviewer to pull it all together. Let's be clear, here: Creating new animations is not as easy a task as you'd think. This tiny, 4 minute video took well over a year to create. However, I still find it pretty astonishing that the old character models can still be taught new tricks. And I still hold out hope that one day, we'll see different dances for all of the races in the game.

Until then, we can go ahead and watch Oveoflod's video and wonder about the possibilities of what could be done, given enough time.

Filed under: Machinima, News items

How we see the World of Warcraft

How we see the World of Warcraft
One of the things I'm leeriest of is the idea of a complete overhaul of World of Warcraft's aesthetic. I've talked about it in terms of character aesthetics, and in terms of the visual set that defines the warrior class and what it all boils down to for me is that when I log into the game, I want it to feel like it's the same game, the same world. This is not to say that the game hasn't seen plenty of upgrades to its visuals over the years, far from it. As Takralus pointed out recently in a forum thread asking if WoW will ever see a major graphical upgrade, the game has seen upgrades, at least one every time an expansion has come out in fact.

World of Warcraft is a game built out of all of these separate elements combined. It's got excellent sound design, both in music and in sound effects (although I can't watch a TV special on dinosaurs without recognizing a sound from World of Warcraft nowadays), which the graphics build on top of to create the world we experience. As such, I'm simultaneously interested in yet afraid of the long awaited character model redesign Takralus mentions. Yes, it's somewhat ridiculous that human wizards and warlocks, if male, have arms like coiled pythons, but by now I'm so accustomed to it I don't know if I could accept a more slender build for a spellcaster.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Pandamonium
The gaming artwork of Jessica Dinh
Mists of Pandaria Raid DPS Analysis
Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition
Death Knight plague epidemic
Mega Bloks: Goblin Zeppelin Ambush
Mists of Pandaria Beta: Ruins beneath Scarlet Halls
Mists of Pandaria: New warlock pets
Female Pandaren Customization