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BlizzCon 2011 World of Warcraft Art Panel

I know that the World of Warcraft preview and question-and-answer sessions always tend to attract the most commentary at any given BlizzCon, but for my money, the most interesting ones in the long run tend to be those concerned with the game's artistic and technical sides. Seeing how developers got the game to look the way it does, and the reasoning behind the design of different races, zones, and items gives you a much better appreciation of the game while you're in it. The gorgeous Uldum sky didn't get there by accident.

As you'd expect, the art panel contained a number of previews of the characters, locations, dungeons, and props we'll be seeing in Mists of Pandaria. If you're only interested in a peek at the male pandaren's model and animations, well, you can get that here, but there were a number of interesting observations made. Two of the things that really jumped out at me:
  • They're experimenting with tier and item set models. Rather than pasting a design onto the standard-issue flat chest and leg pieces, for example, we may see swinging chains, ribbons, and other three-dimensional objects on more gear in the future.
  • Technical advances in very recent months have made it easier and faster to add more detail to the environment. New texture tools have made it possible to add snow or lava between cracks in a road, or pooled in the nook of a hill, much more quickly than they could earlier.
We'll have a full gallery of the panel up later!

The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

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