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Posts with tag model

Warlords of Draenor: Artcraft provides first look at new female draenei

Draenei artcraft
Just the other day Artcraft revealed the new male tauren models--complete with animations and videos--and today they're at it again with a sneak peek at the (real) new draenei female model. This is a quick look, as emphasized in the post itself, because the model has yet to be sent to the animation team. As a result you'll notice her posture in this preview is quite different from the draenei model we know and love. That will change once the animation team gets a chance to properly rig and pose the model, but for now we're getting a glimpse of a work very much in-progress.

At first glance, the new draenei model doesn't seem as different from the old one as the tauren or orc models, for example, but this is to be expected. The original draenei (and blood elf) models, implemented in Burning Crusade, were a significant step up from the models of classic WoW. That being said, there's marked improvement in these previews. The hair, the detail of the leg musculature, and in particular the hands all give our beloved draenei much more depth and finesse in the body. The curvature of her head-tentacles is also much smoother and more realistic-looking. This is a nice upgrade from the current draenei, and I look forward to seeing more.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Artcraft reveals new male tauren model

We had a bit of a sneak peek of the tauren model this weekend thanks to Adriacraft, and now we get the official preview with an Artcraft at the official site. Now, I play tauren quite a bit - they're my favorite Horde race, in fact - so I'm happy to see them get an update. The current model looks good enough in plate, but the years haven't been kind to it as new races with upgraded polygon counts and more points of articulation were introduced. Going from a pandaren warrior to a tauren was an exercise in time travel - the older model looked every bit its age.

As for this model, I think it's already an established improvement just by virtue of not having the mane look like straw heaped onto the back. Clearly, great effort has been made to keep the model true to itself while still looking updated, and although I'm a little iffy on the eyes, I'm hopeful that we'll see some variation in that regard. The video is particularly helpful for getting to see it in action. It's a far, far more effective model for conveying emotions via expression - it's hard to imagine seeing a tauren look this expressive, frankly. Seeing the open mouthed belly laugh alone convinces me that this is a far, far improved model in all regards.

In general, I find it much improved - now I just want to see how they do with the female model.

Head on over to the official site and see the process detailed.


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

Patch 5.4: Hearthstone game board model datamined

Patch 54 Hearthstone gameboard model datamined
The folks over at MMO-Champion have uncovered a Hearthstone game board while datamining the latest patch 5.4 PTR build. With the Hearthstone beta starting Soon, we're wondering how the model will be integrated into WoW. Will it serve as a simple doodad to decorate inn tables or will it play a part in an in-game Hearthstone event? Let the speculation begin.

I haven't had the opportunity to try Hearthstone yet, but from what I've seen so far, I'm definitely excited about the game. And if Blizzard manages an epic in-game tie-in to WoW for the beta or release, even better. Would you participate in an in-game cross-promotion? Even if I didn't give two hoots about Hearthstone, earning a mount or a pet is all the convincing I'd need.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Hearthstone Insider

Patch 5.4 PTR: Datamined NPC, mount, and pet models

Datamined models for 54
Along with the recently released patch 5.4 patch notes, our friends at MMO-Champion have data-mined some new models including armor for tier 16 and season 14 gear. Garrosh Hellscream gets a new look and we get a sneak peek at the latest sha! Everything behind the cut contains spoilers for the upcoming patch 5.4. Click through and view at your own risk!

Please note: This post contains spoilers for patch 5.4.

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Filed under: News items

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Jaina Proudmoore gets model update

Mists of Pandaria Beta Jaina Proudmoore gets a new model
Wowhead News has datamined the latest beta patch and discovered an update to Jaina Proudmoore's look. Her hair has mostly turned white, presumably due to traumatic events and not to age. The hair matches what we've seen in previous art that accompanied the spoilerific Battle of Theramore voice clips. A closer view of her full body, which you can see using Wowhead's model viewer, shows that her robes are rather tattered as well.

Jaina has changed her appearance before. Back in patch 3.3, she went from looking like a random human to getting her own model -- a much-needed change, but no in-game event was the basis for the update. In Mists of Pandaria, however, the events at Theramore seem to have put Jaina through enough to make her look rather battleworn.

The Battle of Theramore isn't officially implemented on beta servers yet. Sapperwix says there will be no new content with today's beta build, only the temporary removal of the Jade Forest, so it will be some time before we see this new Jaina in action.

What do you think of Jaina's new look?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Potential character model revisions in Cataclysm

WoW's fifth anniversary and the interviews surrounding it have ended up providing us with some previously-unknown tidbits of information -- which is a good thing, especially when it comes to stuff we've been wanting to hear about for a long time.

This particular tidbit comes from the Warcry network interview with J. Allen Brack and Samwise Didier about the game's anniversary, and it's about a subject near and dear to our constantly-complaining hearts: new character models. They might even be coming in Cataclysm.

Says Brack:
"Even though things would be better with new (character) models, we'd probably spark a lot of player outrage. So we've talked about giving players a choice between the classic models or the new ones, but it might not be something we want to take on at the same time as we remake Azeroth."
That's pretty big news.

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Filed under: News items, Expansions, Interviews, Cataclysm

A WoW player's guide to microtransactions

Well Blizzard has finally done it. After charging only for out-of-game services like faction changes and character customization, with the release of in-game pets on the Blizzard store, they've finally moved on to selling virtual items for real money. And there's a word, dirty in the mouths of some, that's floating around that some of you may not have heard or understood before: microtransactions. We wouldn't blame you -- some of our own staff didn't even know what they were just a little while ago. But with the decision to sell in-game items for straight cash, Blizzard has entered the fascinating and treacherous world of microtransactions. And if you're going to follow them off into this world, you might as well at least know what they're all about.

And so, we're here to help. Whether you've never heard of microtransactions before, you're convinced that they're the devil and that Blizzard has grown too greedy for their own good, or you can't wait to open up your wallet and get a Pandaren Monk to follow you around, let's take a second and look at the history of the microtransaction model, what it means that Blizzard made this decision, and what might happen to the game in the future.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

New WoW Model Viewer available


Yes, I went out and made a screenshot of a Worgen with two wolf-headed fist weapons. I did this via the latest iteration of WoW Model Viewer, freshly updated this Saturday, September 5th to work for patch 3.2. While it has a posted warning use it at your own risk which I thought I should mention, I should also mention I've been using it for the past half an hour with no harm and no foul. I've even been able to play with Trial of the Crusader loot. Go behind the jump to see a Worgen dual-wielding a Justicebringer and Reckoning. Not that I'm obsess with Titan's Grip Worgen or anything. Okay, so I totally am. At any rate, so far as I can tell, this version of the Model Viewer is stable and working with all current models.

This update by Chuanhsing even fixed the issue I was having where all my models came out textureless. I have no idea what it was happening in the first place, but I'm glad to see it gone.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, News items, Add-Ons

BlizzCon 2009: Hands-on with Creative's World of Warcraft headset


When they stopped by the WoW.com meetup last Thursday before BlizzCon, Creative not only brought along a prototype of their upcoming World of Warcraft headset to show some readers in attendance, but they invited us by their booth at the show to hold it in our hands and see just what those lighted glyphs on the earcups were like. We happily obliged, and as a result, we're also happy to bring you the first look (along with some exclusive prototype photos) at what Creative's new headset will be.

Keep in mind that they're still in the prototype stage right now: Creative's Ryan Schlieper told me that the way it works is that they make a mold and a prototype first (which is what we held -- not a fully working version, but a 1:1 model with the exact weight and size of the final version), and then make 1000 of those in a fully working version to test. If those 1000 work and are right, then they go on to production, and if not, then they go back to the mold and start over again. Schlieper says they're in the prototype stage right now, and once testing is done (including Blizzard's approval), then they'll roll out the final headsets. So how did this prototype look and feel? Hit the galleries below to see pictures both on the floor and of Creative's 3D designs, and check after the break for our very first impressions.



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Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, BlizzCon, Hardware

YouPlayorWePay opens up a new month, plans to add EU realms soon


We haven't heard much from the folks at You Play or We Pay lately, but maybe that's a good thing for them -- after all the noise from their initial launch, it seems like things have calmed down over there. They're giving out "Compensation Credits," it looks like they've started running a few ads, and it seems like they've finally settled on a model that works for everyone -- both the founders of the site and the people who sign up for compensation. While we heard the first month of slots filled up pretty fast, the second month seems to be going a little slower -- they've still got about half the slots for March still available as of this writing. But as you can see from the picture, they're promising some real items in exchange for those Compensation Credits. With 150 slots in March and about 100 credits given out last month, you may be waiting over a year to save up the credits to buy a 30-day game card, but the site is working the way they planned: you can sign up for free and eventually get something back for your realm's downtime.

And they're planning on expanding soon -- the site reports that by the 15th of March, English EU players will be able to sign up for compensation on their realms' downtime as well. This site caused a lot of controversy when it first opened up, but we have to give it to them: it looks like they've worked out a way to do what they want to do.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money

Tier 8 Ulduar weapon models previewed, Val'anyr included

3.1 and Ulduar are coming soon. No doubt a lot of you have been looking forward to seeing what your reward for hacking apart a variety of priceless Titan artifacts and servants of the Old Gods would be. MMO-Champion, as always, has your back! They've released a preview for the weapon and accessory models that'll be in Ulduar, and they look fantastic. The theme of the instance seems to carry through into all of its gear, and I'm going to love just how good my guild and I will look after a bit of time in there.

The image above is a paladin holding one of the Ulduar shields and the much-touted Val'anyr, Gavel of Ancient Kings, and that's just the tip of the iceberg from MMOC, who promises a video of it in action very soon.

Bear in mind these are still tentative models and the art may change, but even then, what are you waiting for? Santa won't get mad if you peek. Go go go!


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.

YouPlayorWePay goes free with a new plan

As promised, YouPlayorWePay has returned, and they've got a whole new plan in place. Originally, as we reported earlier, they wanted to create a site where players would pay a fee for the opportunity to get reimbursed for lost playtime in World of Warcraft, but after outcries from the community, they have outlined a whole slew of changes on the site.

And the biggest of these is that the service is now free. Instead of charging users, they plan to support a limited number of registrants (for March, when they begin, they're opening up 150 spots), and when downtime or queues occur for those registrants, they'll be given "YPOWP credits," which apparently will be used either towards compensation or towards "contest prizes," which will update every month. They've got some new stats on the front page, too, including the realms with the most calculated downtime, and how many compensation and contest prizes they've given out every month.

Very interesting. From the beginning, the founders have made it clear that they didn't want to scam anyone (they told us as much in our interview), and they now say that not one person has been charged a cent for compensation. This new model, however, seems much more fair -- there's no cost up front for people who register, even if the "compensation" might not be worth as much as the cash they originally promised. What do you think of the new plan?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Realm Status, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Contests

World of Warcraft as evolutionary model

This must be the time of year for zany social theories about videogames. First, we heard that World of Warcraft might quality as being a religion. Then we heard that it might make for better citizens. And now, in an essay over at Gamasutra on the event of Charles Darwin's birthday, Noah Falstein suggests that games like World of Warcraft are actually models for evolution -- as we level up with experience points, our characters get stronger and more evolved, and we feel comfortable with that because that's exactly what we see happening in the world around us.

Technically, of course, you can't model Darwin's theory of evolution with a single character -- evolution isn't about one individual getting better, it's about a process of natural selection in a species over a period of time. To really model evolution, you'd have to play hundreds of alts, and quit them each time you ran into a problem, leaving you with just a few characters that worked really well. Wait -- maybe some of you are already doing that.

But Falstein makes good points in saying that certain elements of what Darwin described as evolution have shown up in game design as well -- the idea of specialization for certain character classes, tribal and national allegiances, and even the idea of memes (which are certainly widespread in WoW -- anyone ever heard of Chuck Norris or Leroy Jenkins?) are all drawn from Darwin's thinking and definitely embodied in the game we play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Forum post of the day: Serious business decisions

WoW has changed considerably over the years, often for the better and sometimes for the worse. Better and worse are, of course, a matter of perspective. Slovotsky of Turalyon is getting fed up with people complaining about the easing of raids. He's confident that Blizzard made the choice to lower the difficulty on raids because more of the player base can now have a chance to experience them. He disagrees that casual players have ruined the game. Familiarity may also lead to boredom. Some of the guilds that have progressed through Naxx have already done so either in the Pre-BC era or on the PTR.

As some pointed out, Blizzard is a for-profit business. The company's job is to sell a product, not to rule with a heavy hand or coddle the incompetent. The switch to an inclusive raiding environment was most likely a marketing decision. Caydence of Draka drove this point home, to rebut the argument that players will quit WoW because it's easier. It is simply a better business decision for Blizzard to alienate the "hardcore" players who make up a small minority. She suggested that the subscriber base has grown with each ease in difficulty.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Yes, that 2H mace makes you look fat


Important news for all 20 of you playing female Tauren out there (of whom Robin Torres and I are two, so I guess it's for the other 18); beware the port to Lake Wintergrasp from Dalaran when your faction controls the fortress. Our reader Amalline wrote in to let us know that an unfortunate bug from the beta concerning the room you're ported to has made its way to the live realms. And by "unfortunate bug," I mean "hilarious joke for all those of you not playing female Tauren" -- you can't get out the door.

Those who have played female Tauren since World of Warcraft classic will recognize this as the latest iteration of the old and equally annoying "I can't get into Molten Core!" bug. Now, while I personally have no intention whatsoever of entering Wintergrasp (which, given my previous track record on such resolutions, means that one of my more sadistic friends will make sure I get stuck there within 2 weeks), I realize that there may be people among the remaining 18 worldwide players with an itch to go an ungainly killin' spree. If I were you, I would plan on being solidly part of the defense for the time being.

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Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, PvP, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds

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