Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New World of Warcraft Character Models

Update: Blizz have confirmed that the new WoW Character Models will be released with the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Read more here.

   Most of you have probably already seen this blue post tweet, but I thought I'd talk about it for a moment.
   In the past, Blizzard stated that remaking character models was a risk, because a lot of people make their characters based on what they saw at the time of creation, and that if they suddenly changed the way character models look, then their old and loved characters may not be quite as loved any more.
   But so many people have complained about the massive difference between Vanilla races and the Worgen and Pandaren (aside from a lush coat of fur) that perhaps it's not such a bad idea. I expect Blizzard also felt that the difference was quite large, too, so it was about time for an update.
   Personally, I'm glad they're going ahead with it. Sure, I love how my characters look, but I can't say I wouldn't want an update. But, of course, we don't know just how much will change - however I'm relatively certain that a female Troll won't suddenly be given an extra pair of arms and become five foot taller. In truth, I don't think I'd have much to complain about.

   Their skeletons will certainly change, and that affects a lot, including movement, so with new models, movements like running and (more likely) expressions will be reworked to look more fluid. This also means that their bodies will probably change - that doesn't mean that some races will shrink and others will get fat. It just means that their skin might fit them differently, that some races might become slightly broader and so on. This is all speculation on my part, of course, knowing nothing about how game development works.

Some things I'd like to see changed (but won't cry about not being addressed):

Undead symmetry. I find the rotting on the models to be too convenient. Sure, I guess the knees and elbows would wear away with constant rubbing, given the nature of the areas, but I still think it's too symmetrical. I've never dug up a dead body, but I'm relatively sure that the rotting would be less predictable. What I'd like to see is simply less symmetrical rotting. Though, in an ideal world, there would be an extra customisation option featuring three or four different rotting options, just for that little bit more. Perhaps even some kind of customisation option giving suggestion to how the individual originally died - an obvious stab wound or something like that - though that might admittedly upset roleplayers a little.
Female Troll idle weight shifting. Female Trolls have a few problems. The males are hunched, and the females are not, so it would be nice to see a bit more similarity between the two sexes, and the female Trolls also don't blink at all. But my biggest upset is the female Troll idle animation. They shift their weight, which is very simple, and it means when taking a screen shot of your character you don't have to worry about her suddenly crouching down and looking around herself suspciously. But, they shift their weight very suddenly and very stiffly, as if they're stuck in a very narrow invisible box. Blood Elf females have a similar problem but at the other end of the spectrum, by shifting weight too dramatically. Although, they look bored at the time and I think that's the point. It would be nice to see more fluid idle animations from the females, which I'm sure would probably be addressed anyway.
Hands. Oh God, hands. They're bigger than their faces. I was looking at Atherya today when taking a screen shot, and her hands...I hadn't noticed it before, what with gloves and all, and for some reason I thought it would improve when I increased the graphics, but her hands are so bad! They're far from delicately female and Elven. The same goes, really, for all races pre-Cata. It would be nice to have finer fingers. And smaller hands. *smooshes hand against face* No, my hand is not larger than my face.

   What about the Blood Elves & Draenei? I'm not so certain they'd be included. Death Knights were added in Wrath, rather than a new race (but you did get a few new customising features), which means there's a bigger difference between the BC and Cata races than between Cata and MoP or Vanilla and BC. They do have better skeletons than the Vanilla races, and more interesting (but annoying) idle animations. [Note: I cannot comment personally on Draenei, having never levelled one past level 11].
Blood Elf female faces. I hated Blood Elf female faces. I always thought they looked extremely snooty and stuck up. Night Elves were always this way, but they haven't retained the look. I just feel like Belf females look like total bitches. It probably also doesn't help that (after forming this opinion) I knew someone who then made a Belf and was, in fact, a generally horrible (and insane) person. Sure, Atherya is a Blood Elf, and I chose the least bitchy face I could find without making her look ditsy. It would just be nice to have more of a variation. Most Belf female faces look the same.

Idle animations. Okay, admittedly this isn't something that really needs to be 'fixed' and neither does it have anything to do with skeletons. It's just personal preference, but I'll state it while I'm here: I cannot stand the male Blood Elf idle animation. At the risk of sounding really 90's, I can think of no other word to describe as other than 'naff'. I can't stand that "What did you say? Oh my god, seriously? You cretin." sort of stance they take. It's specifically the middle part of the expression that bothers me. The surprised look. I tried to screenshot it for this post but my computer actually froze on the most annoying part. I didn't even get the screenshot.

   There is another danger to updating models. I was reading a forum topic about models looking outdated. Understandably, as time goes by, graphics get better, and each new expansion adds onto that. But when Vanilla was released, the graphics were probably considered quite good, and the characters were just the same. Time has passed, and each new expansion brought out models with more detailed skeletons, to the point that the Pandaren are the greatest model in-game, and the Vanilla models are outdated. So they're going to fix them. But by doing that, the Burning Crusade models are out dated. And once they're updated, the Cataclysm models will be outdated - though perhaps not to the same degree as the others. I fully agree with the need for new character models - afterall, they're our characters, you literally see them the whole time you play the game - but then where will the expectations end?

   Not all of the things I've listed above will be seen to. The hands likely will, and fluid female troll idle animations, but little annoyances and the like won't be - it's personal preference, anyway! But, if you could change anything about WoW models, what would it be? (please don't say anything about female bodies or anything like that, that's not quite what I'm trying to get at here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for commenting! I read all comments, and they are fully moderated, so spamming here is pointless, since it won't be accepted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...