The above graphic was shown during the What's Next? panel without comment. Listed as one of the buildings that can be added to garrisons is Dance Studio.
Is this a joke? Are they trolling us? Or is Blizzard finally delivering on the Dance Studio promise? It most likely is just a fun addition to the UI mock-up. But it's fun to speculate.
Update: Yup! Just trolling us. A+ trolling Blizzard, please troll again. J. Allen Brack said on the live stream interview: "We talked about and developed a whole bunch of different animations and different technology that we could use. We didn't really come up with a really great game system behind it. It is something that we talked about. It is something that we wanna do at some point. But it's not something we're currently working on."
Ghostcrawler tweeted a bit of information in response to some of the angst over new models only being 25% done (people are not happy they're only that far along). In a series of tweets, Ghostcrawler says:
The amount of QQ over "models are ~25% done" is hurting my brain.
The good news is this is something actively being worked on, not a shelved project like dance studio or abyssal maw.
Now the important thing to remember is that last sentence: "shelved does not mean cancelled." There is still every possibility these things are going to happen, just not anytime soon.
Companies commonly shelve things when there are more important priorities for departments to work on. With a graphic / modeling heavy task like redoing all the character models for WoW, that takes a lot more priority than giving people new dances. So personally I welcome this news, I'm glad to see that Blizzard is putting things in this priority order.
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?
Recently, Blizzard addressed rumors that their ultra-secret next MMO, codenamed Titan, had been "reset." Developers were indeed reassigned to other projects as the slimmed-down team made "some large design and technology changes to the game." Since we don't know anything about Titan for sure, despite some compelling leaks, we'll never know what features the game would have had as part of its original design.
The WoW team, on the other hand, has backed away from many different announced features and content additions that didn't work out. This week's WoW Archivist will look at some of the more interesting and infamous canceled or delayed features.
Believe it or not, player housing was briefly tested in alpha. Model viewers showed files going back to alpha in a folder called "playerhousing" (as shown below). Only human houses were ever designed. Blizzard also added a portal in Stormwind as an entrance to an instanced player housing area. An alpha blue poster named Katricia wrote, "Our current idea (which could change) is to extend the cities to have player housing neighborhoods. For example, in the canal area of Stormwind players can see a blue instance portal behind a large portcullis; this is the entrance to the player housing neighborhood in Stormwind."
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.
Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?
Imagine, if you will, a time long ago. A time before we cared about dual specs, Ulduar, Sartharion, and the rest. Back before hard modes and vehicle fights. I speak of that fabled time at the end of The Burning Crusade, when Kil'jaden was reentering the world through the Sunwell and there was something about a girl and some manga ... There was a lot of supplemental reading. Wrath of the Lich King was announced, and we were all excited.
One of the more community-jolting announcements during the Wrath of the Lich King launch trailer related to new character dances. Since then, the Dance Studio has become a legend in its own right, being called everything from the second coming of the WoW messiah to a dumb waste of time for designers and developers who could be working on more "important" projects. Some people believe it will never come, and others still hold onto embers of hope.
Grandpappy Frostheim would probably say that we, the mass of WoW players, have more options, features, sparkly things, humdingers and thing-a-ma-jigs to help us play than ever before -- and he would be right. But I don't believe that should mean there aren't more features and upgrades to our interface and experience that would improve things even further.
Just in the past year or so, Blizzard has added a ton to our interfaces, including an improved built-in quest helper, built-in power auras, and the remote auction house. These all are great "quality of life" improvements for the majority of players. The remote auction house is one of my favorite new features, as playing the AH is as fun as many other parts of the game for me. I had heard rumors before the remote auction house was released that you'd be able to use your crafting professions remotely as well. This would have enabled me to buy on the AH, craft gear or cut gems, and then sell my finished product, all remotely. I'm sure this would bring me a lot closer to being gold-capped. Oh well, I can dream, can't I?
Most everyone has some idea they feel could be added to improve the gaming experience. Are you one of those still hungering for the dance studio, or is there some other feature you think WoW really needs?
The dance studio is perhaps the most enduring piece of vapor ware in WoW to date. First hinted at in the original WotLK trailer and announced in the months leading up to release, it was conspicuously absent from the finished product, however, and now that we're on the final major patch of the expansion, it still hasn't made it in game. The closest we've gotten to any sort of official word on it, barring the dance battle April fool's joke, is from a Curse interview with the developers that suggests the dance studio won't be in Wrath at all.
New tier sets and Arena gear are cool, new 5-man content is awesome, and a new Battleground is almost too good to be true. We're being hit with a flurry of new content it's easy to forget that Blizzard still has to introduce those new dances they teased us with before Wrath of the Lich King was released. I just remembered all of this when the world saw one of its pop icons pass on last week, the inspiration for the unmistakable Night Elf male dance. The King of Pop will be missed, and I'm happy that he at least got an homage in my favorite game.
Just like the Night Elf male dance, many of the racial dances are inspired by some real world choreography -- Tauren males rock out like bananas dancing Peanut Butter Jelly Time; Draenei males do the Tunak Tunak Bollywood-style; Orc males can't be touched while doing the hammertime; Blood Elf females do their intoxicating Britney moves; and Blood Elf males relish every opportunity to display their Dynamite masculinity. As you can see above, the female Night Elf dance is a poor man's version of Alizée's live performance of J'en Ai Marre.
If and when Blizzard does manage to put out those dance studios, what new dances would you like your characters to learn? Maybe something from Ok Go? How about some modern dance as a nod to celebrated choreographer Pina Bausch who recently passed on? Too avante garde? Perhaps Chubby Checker's twist deserves an homage, too. If that April Fools joke wasn't so downright silly we might even see some Azerothian Jabbawockeez. Share your thoughts with us, and even if you're not all that interested in dance, you have to admit that French pop isn't the worst way to start the day.
April Fools' Day came and went, and as expected, a lot of jokes popped up all over the 'Net. Of course, among the jokes we looked forward to (or dreaded, as some of you curmudgeons ranted yesterday) were the World of Warcraft-related jokes. However you might feel about April Fools', I think we all eagerly awaited Blizzard's April Fools' gag, a long-standing tradition. The European World of Warcraft site had theirs -- a Pimp my mount feature -- launch earlier than the North American gag, an RP-ization of the forums and the new Dance Battle System. Not bad, but definitely not their best prank.
Actually, the Dance Battle System was less funny to me if only because it reminded me of the one promised feature they still haven't delivered on. Remember the dance studios that were supposed to come with Wrath of the Lich King? They pruned that feature away even before Beta, but it doesn't mean we've forgotten all about it. In fact, this latest gag might've been Blizzard's way of poking fun at themselves for failing to deliver on their promise.
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
In yesterday's edition of The Queue, my partner in crime Adam Holisky did some speculation about Battlestar Galactica that was taken as a huge, massive spoiler. As far as I know, it wasn't actually a spoiler. I'm here to fix that. I'm here to give you a real, true spoiler. Are you ready for it?
Okay, so we've been hearing this for a while now. The Dance Studio is coming at some point during Wrath, it's just been delayed. There's been no word about that beyond it though. We're not even sure if they have a rough target patch for it. It's just sort of out there, that unanswered question: Dude, where's my feature?
Zarhym spoke out on it again the other day, and while on one level it's more of the same "it's coming when it comes" type of talk we've heard before, he does say that the art team is "hacking away" at it when they aren't faced with more looming deadlines like Ulduar. This is probably the first time that I can recall that we have had someone from the Blizzard team saying that yes, it is being actively worked on.
Now admittedly, this still isn't a release date, and I'm still not expecting it until at least 3.3, but it's out there, which is the good thing. Here's looking forward to the day when I can have my Human Death Knight start dancing the Matt Dance.
Yep. Ask a Beta Tester is officially The Queue. It's kind of a joke, you get it? Get it? You know, queue, like you wait in line for an answer? An A to your Q? Q? Queue? Hahah! Get it? Get it!? Hahahah! Ugh. Queue queue.
Anyway, The Queue is now our daily Q&A column, where the WoW Insider staff answers your questions about the game to the best of our ability. Previously limited to Wrath content, we'll now happily answer most anything about the game if we're able. Today is obviously no exception, so we're going to start with a question from Andostre...
TBC saw a rise in the necessity of Hit Rating. Is Hit as important in Wrath? I ask because Hit isn't nearly as fun as Attack/Spell Power or Crit rating.
Curse is running an excellent story about their time spent last evening with Blizzard developers Jeff Kaplan and Tom Chilton. There's a few things we didn't know before that are in the article. The major ones are:
Patch 3.1 is already done (says Kaplan). Will release Ulduar 10-man and 25-man raids.
Patch 3.2 will contain a yet to be announced raid instance. Hopefully more on this over the next two day. Release date / timeframe is unknown.
Patch 3.3 will continue the Ashbringer storyline. Release date / timeframe is unknown.
Dance studio to be released after WotLK.
Guild ratings, where guilds get a rating based on PvE/PvP achievements. The idea is being "tossed around."
The other interesting note is that the development team is three patch cycles ahead of the live game. That's amazing, in my opinion. And beyond that, they're also working on the next expansion. Doesn't that raise your eyebrow just a bit? Perhaps we'll hear something major in the next few hours... Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen. In a sign that Wrath of the Lich King is quickly moving toward release, Eyonix officially announced today that we will see a new content patch "in the coming weeks."
This patch will introduce a good portion of the old world Wrath-related content and UI improvements, and will probably start the pre-Wrath opening event (If you don't mind spoilers, you can get some info on what that event may entail from us). Check out Eyonix's list of what is being implemented and what it may mean after the break.
Being a roleplayer, I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters in the context of the world, rather than just pumping their stats. Sometimes I regret making certain characters a certain class. Sometimes I wish I had picked a different race for them. Other times, I wish I could just display things on the character that we currently can't.
For example, I would probably give my Paladin a more 'angry' expression if I could go back and change it, rather than the more neutral, aloof expression they have now. I would change my Priest's hair to make it longer, since she's kind of grown out of the cutesy short hairstyle. It doesn't go very well with Absolution. One of my friends wishes their Human Mage was a Draenei instead.
The dance studio and barber shop in Wrath will help some of this, but there's still quite a bit of character customization that we don't have. And sometimes, you just plain feel like you made a mistake 30+ levels after you rolled your character, and you feel like it's too late to turn back. Have you ever felt this way? If you were given an opportunity to change one thing about your character, anything at all, what would it be?