MMO-Champion - Developer Interviews, New Character Models, Blue Tweets, Blizzard Holiday Art
Focused Feedback - Act V Difficulty @ Sub-70, Meet Lewt, the Papercraft Treasure Goblin

Weekly News Recap, Weekend Tournament Decklists

Developer Interviews
We are catching up on a few more Blizzcon interviews that we didn't get in our first round, this time from The Sundering and LazyGamer.

  • Garrisons might bring in other players by allowing you to share a crafting skill or loaning another player some followers.
  • There is a dungeon, prop, character, and environment team working on the art for Warlords of Draenor, so art for Garrison upgrades didn't delay the new character models.
  • The team started working on the Warlords of Draenor art and story right after Mists of Pandaria shipped, with concepts being worked on before that.
  • Buffs to class abilities will be given out in a somewhat random order as you level, but by the time you get to level 100 you will have them all.
  • You will get your garrison soon after arriving in Draenor, making it useful as you level and progress through the story.
  • Garrisons will be heavily integrated into the game, making it something that will be hard to skip.
  • The Goblin and Worgen were the first demo of new character models, but the team felt like they could take that even further and created the Pandaren. The Goblin and Worgen aren't planned to have any update right now, but they could be updated after all of the other models are done.


New Character Models Update
Chris Robinson mentioned that we will see some more new character model previews early next year!



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
New Character Models
A little question: will/could we get great and glorious beards for humans and nightelves? (Think of Antonidas or Malfurion)
Agree that would be cool - good thing to think about now while we're adding bones. (Source)

The worgen males 2h animation has bothered me for a long time. Mostly looks bad when used repeatedly
haha, that's funny - I get the translation issue. We typically avoid adjusting established content but I'll bring it up with anim (Source)

When the human models get updated will this also update the human side of the worgen player models
yes, it effects the transform animation/fx as well - all will be updated to match. (Source)

WC3 Dwarf Mountain King had skulls on his moustache. Can we expect that as a possible option for the new male Dwarf beards?
not without breaking the game with pure unfiltered awesome New facial hair combos are on the wishlist - no eta (Source)

Could you imagine some NPC armors being upgraded to keep up with the new models? Some are terribly outdated and yet reused
yes,would love to update a LOT of older armor,race specific armor to replace level up stuff has been discussed. It's give and take (Source)
I loved seeing racial armor in the Draenei and Blood Elf starting area. In Cataclysm I expected to see it for all
yeh, we're all pretty fired up about the vision of racial specific armor (Source)

Will it be possible to have an Orc model like Thrall's? I love the new model, but I'd prefer a straight back rather (cont)
It just need happen - just talk to lore guys, they would be so happy to have real orcs instead that peons...
feel like we took a step away from peon with model update, but realize that upright pose option is desired (Source)

Hey, there! Quick question: Will my orcs finally be able to have full heads of hair like Grom and Thrall do in WoD?
We see Huge RP value in hero hairstyles, ongoing discussions on which to include/how to roll them out. (Source)

We will see, someday, brown orcs for players?
We love the idea of "alt" skins to unlock - Mag'har orcs, dark iron dwarves, etc. - but not a high-priority feature. (Source)
Lot of questions about this - would be a cool option but no concrete plans. It's on the wishlist now. (Source)

Will we be getting more faces for any races in Warlords? Tauren females have only 4 options, human females have 16.
Noted! no promises but I would like to even those counts out. (Source)

Will Draenei have a longer tail (as more often shown in art than not), or will they be stuck with the small ones?
That's a cool idea, no promises but I'll add it to my list. Hard to pull off with current skeleton, but possible with new version. (Source)

Have you guys looked into making collars anchored if tech allows?
Indeed - this isn't my favorite limitation, still working on a solve but it's on the radar. (Source)

Any chance Off-hands could hang at characters' hip? Right now they're not visible unless you unsheathe.
I'll look into this (Source)

Tabards... will they work with robes on the great new character models?
Torn on this, hard to ensure tabard design works well with robe design - like the layering effect though. (Source)

Here's hoping for better feet for my monk with the new models
New player models have feet fully modeled when not wearing boots - trolls will benefit greatly (Source)

Love your work so far. I hope you dont forget to make distinct faces for each race. Unfortunately all pandas look the same
Working hard to find solution for distinct facial variants with new anim system. Tricky but we have top people on it! (Source)

With models and skeletons being updated are actual skeletons being upgraded? Like the ones after death.
I agree, could use update (Source)

Will the new models fix problems with old armour, specifically hands? Dwarven hands in armour need help
A few potential solutions for this, exploring attachments on hands to help with detail in that area, still in development (Source)

New Ghost Wolf model happening any time soon?
Agree that it needs a face/body lift. No solid eta but on the radar. Lots of new wolf stuff for Warsong clan might be headstart (Source)

Have you and the team ever given some thought to creating female and/or racial metamorphosis forms?
We've talked about gender specific, but we do have racial-like Troll/Worgen/Tauren, cat form. (Source)

Meet Lewt, the Papercraft Treasure Goblin
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
To help celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year, we've put together a fun little papercraft project for our creative community. In true Diablo fashion, this particular papercraft is of a Treasure Goblin, complete with his very own papercraft Treasure Bag.


We call him Lewt.

For the printable designs, assembly instructions, festive photos and more, read on!

Creating your own Lewt is easy. To begin, you'll want to decide how big of a goblin you want. We've offered two sizes for printing: one standard (fits an 8 ½ by 11 sheet) and one large (fits an 11 by 17 sheet). Pick your poison and then proceed to the assembly instructions.

#WHERESMYLEWT:

Lewt is already busy helping us here at Blizzard prepare for and celebrate the holidays.


But what about you?

After you've trimmed, folded, and adhered your way to sweet goblin victory, be sure to send us a photo of your Lewt in action. To do so, tweet us at @Diablo using the #WHERESMYLEWT hashtag. We'll be retweeting and sharing our favorite Lewt adventures on Twitter and Facebook as well as posting more photos of our own throughout the holidays.

Happy crafting!

Happy Holidays!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
From everyone at Blizzard to you and yours, have a safe and happy holiday season!

To help celebrate, we prepared a Holiday Card Gallery, and we’ve also made this year’s holiday card and five images from the children's book, Snow Fight A Warcraft Tale, available as new wallpapers. Enjoy!

This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Interviews, New Character Models, Blue Tweets, Blizzard Holiday Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 42 Comments
  1. Kathranis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by snuzzle View Post
    Problem is we're already seeing the "one face" on the new models (pandaren female, worgen female, and gnome female). I saw a lot more distinction in pandaren male, gnome male and dwarf male. The problem seems to be not one of JUST geometry but the fact that Blizzard seems afraid to add too much detail to female faces atm, because they don't want to make them "ugly" or unpopular.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't they also only shown "one face" for the models so far, period? We haven't seen the other facial textures yet.

    There's two issues with the faces here. First, due to the more sophisticated rigging, the faces need to look a bit more neutral by default. You can't rig up a face with a permanent scowl and angry eyebrows and expect it to play nicely with all the new animations, which are really emotive. You can alter the textures, but that could potential cause odd effects where the texture doesn't match the animation (IE scowling texture with a smiling face) which could look weird.

    One thing they might consider is allowing animations with neutral facial expressions (stand, walk, run, etc.) to have different animation rigging depending on the face, to create characters that have different 'default' expressions. That way they'll still look happy when they laugh, for example, even if their default look is a scowl.


    Edit: Actually, that would be a really cool thing they could just add as an option to the character pane. Selectable facial expressions. Every model could have four or five different default expressions for their neutral animations, and the players could use them at will. Would be a great addition for RP!
  1. stgeorge78's Avatar
    "Early next year" for Blizzard means the reveals will happen in March, Beta starts next May, WoD in Nov/Dec.
  1. Yig's Avatar
    Awesome my tweet to robinson is there

    I love how people are complaining about the fact we're even getting a chance at tons of expanded customization when as I far as we knew all we were getting was an updated version of the current models. But it's always got to be seen int he worst context possible by someone, as per the laws of physics dictate.

    Robinson also said a bit more about orc backs they neglected to show, upright orc backs are "on the wishlist". Can't wait to see what we have visible to preview 3 months from now.

    Also, hero based RP hairstyles like Thrall and Grom!?!?!?! Bigger beards! Awesssssome. Illidan's hairstyle too I hope, and black hair for elves. And a new updated model for Furion,... and ten million other things,...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by stgeorge78 View Post
    "Early next year" for Blizzard means the reveals will happen in March, Beta starts next May, WoD in Nov/Dec.
    Not if the rate of patch releases for MOP was any precedent. But keep on perpetuating the same old canards, they are as comforting as carols at Christmas.
  1. ihyln's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainArlong View Post
    When you wear robes, you tuck the tabard in, you don't let it hang. People need to stop asking for such an ugly looking thing.
    it's rare for blizzard to nail a new feature 100%. Wait it's not even a new feature, it's gardening 2.0

    they change things for the sake of changing and then go back on it.
  1. Seabee's Avatar
    Can't wait to see Human and Draenei models.
  1. Stoical's Avatar
    ATTN Boub or whoever compiles the tweets:

    I love seeing the different developer's viewpoints as a replacement for GC, but could you guys somehow distinguish between the authors? I found myself reading some of them then looking at who wrote it and reading it again since they seem to be organized by topic rather than author. I realize sometimes two devs are sometimes part of the same conversation but labels by who wrote it or maybe different colors or something would help.
  1. Heldamon's Avatar
    They should fix the weapon size on female belves and draeneis
  1. lavafoxx's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Heldamon View Post
    They should fix the weapon size on female belves and draeneis
    Just fixing the shoulder armor would be good enough for me.
  1. bregtann's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Deusfox View Post
    Agreed 100%. It sounds like so far the bare minimum is being done (literally just updating the current faces/hairstyles etc) and nothing more. Which is a shame as so much more should go through this re-design, which people seem to have thought of, and Blizzard are only reacting to this. Like youre working on new player skeletons but hadn't thought to update the 8 year old dead player skeleton, really?
    Sounds like you'd favour a "let's fix EVERYTHING AT ONCE" approach, even if it means it would take them 12 years to complete such an overhaul.

    Luckily for us, you are not in charge of development strategy at Blizz.
  1. snuzzle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathranis View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't they also only shown "one face" for the models so far, period? We haven't seen the other facial textures yet.
    Officially? No. However, in some of the demos Blizz has shown (and some of the player demos leaked from Blizzcon) we've seen at least four or five of the faces for each of the displayed races (male orc, gnome, and dwarf). Granted we've only seen one of the female gnome faces, but it doesn't match any of the faces we've got in game right now, and from the tweets it seems that their current focus is "get current faces out first, then fill out with more options later".

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathranis View Post
    There's two issues with the faces here. First, due to the more sophisticated rigging, the faces need to look a bit more neutral by default. You can't rig up a face with a permanent scowl and angry eyebrows and expect it to play nicely with all the new animations, which are really emotive. You can alter the textures, but that could potential cause odd effects where the texture doesn't match the animation (IE scowling texture with a smiling face) which could look weird.

    One thing they might consider is allowing animations with neutral facial expressions (stand, walk, run, etc.) to have different animation rigging depending on the face, to create characters that have different 'default' expressions. That way they'll still look happy when they laugh, for example, even if their default look is a scowl.

    Edit: Actually, that would be a really cool thing they could just add as an option to the character pane. Selectable facial expressions. Every model could have four or five different default expressions for their neutral animations, and the players could use them at will. Would be a great addition for RP!
    Trust me, I get all that. The problem is... they're not. Female gnome's idle face is far from neutral, and that's the main problem. She's got this goofy grin on her face which, while cute, completely goes contrary to a few of the current faces we have which look stern or neutral. Same issue with female pandaren being given the perma-grin, and female worgen the perma-snarl. I 100% agree that neutral idle expressions are best, but Blizzard isn't going that route, and that's a problem when the current face options for the races run the gamut of emotions from cheerful to wizened to stern to downright angry.

    I'd love to be able to set a "mood" emote that would stick until I changed it, as it would solve a lot of the problems I have with the newer models. Unfortunately, that might be too much work for Blizzard to implement, and I think the best we can hope for is "That sounds cool and we'd like to do it if we get time!" Like a lot of cool ideas that we'll probably never see.
  1. Thaladhrun's Avatar
    If it took them 12 years, they should go into another line of business.
  1. Kaleredar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryos View Post
    It wasn't the skeletons that crashed the server it was the thousands of players with all their equipment and other graphics and stats on one spot. When they left and the island looked like this
    I don't recall there being an exorbitantly high number of players in the actual area attacking Oondasta (far less than 'a thousand,' that's for sure.) But I certainly do recall the server up and breaking after wiping a good ten times.
  1. Amithyst's Avatar
    Facial hair for Trolls? Please... please!?
  1. Fool's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by snuzzle View Post
    "Will we be getting more faces for any races in Warlords? Tauren females have only 4 options, human females have 16.
    Noted! no promises but I would like to even those counts out. (Source)"

    This makes me so happy I can't even.
    Female pandaren have like 22 "faces" all of which look exactly the same, i don't think the sheer number is the problem here.
    I'd rather have 5 distinguishable faces than 20 variants of the same face with different markings/wrinkles.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathranis View Post
    Edit: Actually, that would be a really cool thing they could just add as an option to the character pane. Selectable facial expressions. Every model could have four or five different default expressions for their neutral animations, and the players could use them at will. Would be a great addition for RP!
    I had the same idea after reading his response and even asked Chris Robinson about it, he said it's not exactly how they are going about it and it's hard to explain through Twitter.


  1. snuzzle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fool View Post
    Female pandaren have like 22 "faces" all of which look exactly the same, i don't think the sheer number is the problem here.
    I'd rather have 5 distinguishable faces than 20 variants of the same face with different markings/wrinkles.
    Haha, might want to read what I said directly above what you quoted... :P
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stoical View Post
    ATTN Boub or whoever compiles the tweets:

    I love seeing the different developer's viewpoints as a replacement for GC, but could you guys somehow distinguish between the authors? I found myself reading some of them then looking at who wrote it and reading it again since they seem to be organized by topic rather than author. I realize sometimes two devs are sometimes part of the same conversation but labels by who wrote it or maybe different colors or something would help.
    This. I am on the hunt for a new developer to hate. There must always be a dev king.
  1. Kaleredar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    This. I am on the hunt for a new developer to hate. There must always be a dev king.
    "For they are not the developer the community deserves, but the developer the community needs."
  1. Agoonga's Avatar
    Can't wait for the new models, I like this dude. He seems down to earth.

    I personally want to see the updated Night Elves and Humans even though I'm mainly Horde.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heldamon View Post
    They should fix the weapon size on female belves and draeneis
    You mean fix the weapon size on Human Females? Daggers look like 1H swords, 1H swords look like 2H swords, and 2H swords look like "wtf?", if it just stayed the same size when they unsheathed it, it would look fine. For some odd reason when the Human Females unsheathe their weapons they magically grow.

    But I think Draenei/Blood Elf weapons look more accurate.
  1. Ausr's Avatar
    I... actually really like who answered the Twitter questions today. Upbeat, fun and took in suggestions willingly to see what's up.
  1. JoeShmo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by demonik View Post
    you know for this being one of the big new features coming out with this expansion it feels like they're doing the most minimal of changes. I don't mean because they're lazy or anything like that, i mean i think they're being too conservative about it. like the alternate skins for races like brown orcs, adding distinct faces, more hairstlyes. instead of "working on it" or "trying to do that" type of answers they're all, "its on the wish list" "good idea, it's noted". i guess all i'm saying is since this is a big update to something many people have wanted maybe they should be more open minded about it. after all their main concern is making the player like the new models and it seems like many are telling them these ideas that they want.

    like the distinct faces option, i remember hearing people say that they were concerned about all the new models having just one face and i thought no way they'd do that but, it looks like that it might happen. oh well all and all i really do like the new models and and happy they are doing this when they could just not do it.
    This is how blizzard responds to "needed features". They just want to do the bare minimum, without making it "look" like they didnt try (like how they are working really hard on making the initial face look "great!", and then they can just "blend" the rest of the facial features in as "customizable" and itll be non the wiser.

    I severely doubt that blizzard will take the effort to do a second pass on the models , including adding "additional" features like better beards, new colored skins, etc. after the initial models and such get released. Theyll continue to say "its in the works" , but realistically the teams will get integrated back into the rest of the game. A prime example of this is how they "really wanted" to have in game voice chat for WoW. They spent the better part of a year working on it internally, had one of the longest PTRs because of it not functioning correctly, and it still came out subpar in comparison to its competition *coughSomehowDDOgotItRightThoughcough* . They never once put in a second attempt at it, to clean it up and fix / update the issues it had, especially now with how solid sound technology is, including software based.

    "Hey, Diablo 3 has a really nice robust system for transmog coming in RoS expa...." "Sorry we already did transmog once!.......but well pass it along."
    "Hey, about sending mail..." "Sorry we already did it once!"
    "About the whole guild system..." "DID IT ONCE!"
    "UI updates...like Action Bar..." "MOD IT!!"
    "Path of the Titans? /duck " " !!!!! ....we actually didnt implement that." "Does that mean that you cou..." "New Pet On Our Store!!!"

    In fact, the only time blizzard has "taken a second look" at something, was because it was never fully implemented at the time, like LFR, BoA (including mailing BoA), server imbalance / population , flying mounts.....being a permanent thing, monk animations for the non pandarean races, flight-paths, currencies....currencies....currencies (though...that could just be justified as "blizzard cant make up their mind" ), etc.

    In hind-sight , or rather..a premonition, Im afraid that the new character models may suffer from the same faults that the old models do; like asynchronous fighting animations that mirror the old ones (to keep the "style" the same"), improper model sizes (like weapons for some of the female races, or shoulders for most of the races - like male undead tiny shoulders, or horrible clipping / design issues with helms / boots / shoulders , etc. ) , "all the clipping in the world" , and awkward npc animation usage for quests and/or scenes.

    As much as im glad that they are doing the update, im pretty sure that it wont be "par" with what an update should be (like moving orcs away from peon models, removing the night elf male "popeye" forarms, caveman human and dwarf designs, awkward spines on draenei, hugely uneeded bone protrusion for forsaken [At least as an option], etc. ), and it wont "enhance" what we already have customization wise; hence we will still have limitations (like mentioned above with the difference in faces between a female tauren and a female human), and there wont be an increase in new options (like the "kinda" update we got with hair styles when they let races use another races hairstyle for themselves).

    I dont feel that a "Garrosh" update to all of the player models is significant enough to be considered an actual update to the models. Its kinda like saying "we now support advanced rendering options" ...and all they did was add an 2x , 4x and 8x AA option, leaving out AF / sampling / texture size / shading - lighting / AO / Physics / etc. . Yes the skeletons get updated too...and the faces do look quite a bit better on some of them, namely the female gnome and male undead .... , but unless they do something much better with the combat animations they have shown already, and improve the models themselves (not the hi res texturing ) so that they dont look just as clunky as the old ones, I just dont feel confident enough that its an upgrade. When you take into consideration that these "new models" will just be covered in "old modeled armor" ....it may not feel like it was improved much or at all.

    I applaud the effort (as much as im giving them the benefit of the doubt they are actually really trying now to work on them), and im very hopeful that they do live up to the hype, but im skeptical as per blizzards track record; and from what weve seen thus far with the models and animations.....I dont believe they are really going all out at all. If they dont "nail it" for everyone...or the majority, on the first try, I dont believe we will get another chance at it in WoWs lifetime to fix them up. Its pretty much going to be either really improved...or a shiney new coat of paint, and well just have to live with the result.

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