Chris Robinson, senior art director of World of Warcraft, has revealed the human female’s character remodel that will be introduced as part of the game’s Warlords of Draenor expansion.
Announced at Blizzcon, these updates will increase the polygon count of the original base World of Warcraft race models by as much as five times. “We’re looking at these model revamps as a sort of “spiritual update” to the art content that currently exists in-game—except we’re completely redoing them from scratch,” Robinson explained.
“That includes the base model, skin tone variations, customization options (e.g. wrinkles, scars, moles, earrings, etc.), hairstyles, and any skin variations for NPCs you see out in the world, like Iron Dwarves or Leper Gnomes.
“With the revamp, we’re completely overhauling every aspect of the player models, but our goal is to do so while retaining the core look and feel that has always made them your character. We’ll feel like we’ve succeeded if you see the updated version of your character and it still feels like you’re looking at the character you’ve been playing for the past however many years—only someone has finally focused a lens.”
As part of the update, the development team will be doubling the texture resolution, increasing the bone count, and redesigning approximately 3600 animations.
“Everyone is pretty familiar with the Human character models in WoW, but working on these updates gives us a chance to embellish and fill in the blanks,” added Joe Keller, a senior character artist. “For the Human female this meant we could give her more muscle definition and personality in the face while still staying true to the overall look and spirit of the original. Hopefully this will also help show her as more of the capable fighter that she is.”