Blizzard has a long-standing record of keeping its mouth shut about upcoming projects until the time is just right, but once a game has officially been unveiled the company usually offers frequent updates and previews leading up to launch. That has certainly been the case with World of Warcraft’s upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion, as the updates continue to roll in a daily basis as the fall 2014 release window approaches.
Earlier this week the development team gave MMO fans a sneak peek at the new expansion’s jungle-themed starting zone and today the Alliance players are in for a treat. One of the major improvements coming to the aging game in Warlords is a series of makeovers for the original playable races. The outdated classic WoW figures will be redesigned so that they look a little more at home next to the Goblins, Worgen, and Pandaren who have arrived in Azeroth since the game’s original launch.
One of most jarring outdated models is the Alliance’s Human. The blocky face looks much more strange on a Human than on an Orc, so many fans have been anxious to see how much of a difference the remodel would make. Thanks to a new update post on Battle.net, players can now feast their eyes on the first screen caps of male Human model…
In the reveal post, Blizzard’s art director on WoW, Chris Robinson, acknowledged some of the most frequent complaints about the Human model and briefly spoke to the strategy for bringing the race into the modern age of WoW.
“As with the previous model redesigns, our goal here was to honor the silhouette and style of the original, while increasing fidelity and fixing some of the big issues we’d identified… The male Human has long been a source of criticism from some of you for his odd proportions and face geometry. We’ve taken great care to ensure we’re not changing so much that he looks completely unlike anything you’d expect, while also correcting some of the more glaring problems. We hope you enjoy the results!”
There are still plenty of race/gender combos left to reveal, but if you have fallen behind you can check out the already spoiled male Tauren, both Dwarfs, and both Gnomes on the Warlords of Draenor character viewer. The new models may be a far cry from what we are seeing in many new-gen games, but they have definitely come a long way from their debut back in 2004.
Time will tell whether or not the combination of new content and the fresh coat of paint will help bring in a new generation of subscribers to the MMO, but it certainly can’t hurt. Blizzard is expected to reveal a new MMO at BlizzCon 2014, but the company will likely take plenty of time before launching the new property, so WoW will still be its primary MMO for at least a few more years.
Do you think the new character models are a strong selling point for WoW or is the decade-old game just too dated to stay relevant in the current MMO scene? Let us know in the comments.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor launches this fall for PC.
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