WoW Character Model Revamp

One of my biggest (and one of my few) gripes with World of Warcraft is that most of the character models look utterly terrible. Bad posture, chunky polygons, low detail, they are starting to look very dated and even their cartoony design can’t save them from looking their age. Considering Blizzard are going to be revamping all of the original content, something I’d absolutely love for them to do would be revamp the original character models whilst their at it.

I’m not talking about a huge change in the design direction of WoW or anything like that, all I’m asking is that they update the original character models to bring them in line with the newer races like Draenei, Blood Elves and the forthcoming Worgen and Goblins. Now, you may not think there’s a huge difference between them all, but next time you see a Draenei or Blood Elf in game, check out how much more detailed they are than the other races. Their polygon count is also a lot higher and their faces sharper. Plus they have decent posture. I’m really starting to wonder if rickets was a disease commonly found in Warcraft lore.

Revamping the character models wouldn’t be as unprecedented as Blizzard’s content revamp – it’s been done before. Everquest revamped all of it’s character models with the Shadows of Luclin expansion back in 2001, only two years after it’s release. I was hugely into EQ at the time and I remember being blown away by the change and exceedingly happy. MMORPGs are an evolving experience that last for years and don’t see why we can’t keep them updated to reflect changes in technology.

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12 Comments

  1. Longasc says:

    I expected a completely new WoW client/engine for Cataclysm tbh, and as they are re-doing the druid forms already… I would say it is almost to be expected that they will make better character models for Cataclysm.

    WoW’s landscapes are fine as they are and look quite amazing at times. The char animations are also quite good, think of LOTRO in comparison.

  2. Jason says:

    “I was hugely into EQ at the time and I remember being blown away by the change and exceedingly happy.”

    I’m pretty sure that puts you in the minority. The Luclin models were awful, and being ugly didn’t do them any favors as they also impacted performance. The problem with model revamps is that while you can sell a new box with new system requirements, its harder to say “Hey, we know you didn’t buy the expansion, but we need you to go ahead and buy a new PC or video card anyway, okay?”

  3. Qutazs says:

    I read somewhere that they were thinking about it.. Just cant find it right now =(

  4. Twan says:

    With Shadows of Luclin I hated the new iksar model so I stuck with the old. I think there was a point in time where you could use the old models still….I think….it’s been a while.

  5. SmakenDahed says:

    They said they were making improvements to the current engine for things like water and they have revamped the druid catform (did they do the bird too? I thought they were remodeling two of the forms?).

    The models look okay to me but they do look a little chunky when no wearing armor, but the druid cat form definitely looks better.

    I suspect the polling of user system information is going to help them decide how much they can get away with (in engine/model revamps) before eliminating some of their customers are really low end systems.

    There is a setting for increasing the model quality (I think it is actually the details on the models) in one of the video setting areas.

  6. Drex says:

    Two years late to the article, but updating characters models is on the drawing board. Sure as hell hope they update the way Male Night Elf use their bows…since the bow string is on the OUTSIDE of their damn arm when idle…and the whole “gansta” firing pose is just across the line of “to much”…seriously.

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