The Art of World of Warcraft
The art team sits down to discuss the art and models in World of Warcraft.

Kul Tiras
  • Team wanted Kul Tiras humans to look more battle hardened and robust.
  • Clothing is made for harsh weather (high collars)
  • Elegant weapons with nautical themes

Drustvar
  • Lots of creatures that utilize death magic
  • Wanted to combine death magic with druidic feel

Zandalar
  • Troll style influenced by Aztec culture
  • Dinosaurs and gold
  • Brotosaur (long necked dinosaur is used as a mount)
  • Blood trolls worship blood Loa and use blood magic. This magic corrupts the creatures around them and turns them into blood beasts.

Total War
  • Lots of faction inspired gear to wear including what was shown in the Warfront preview

World Building
  • Team used what they learned in Suramar to build the new zones and dungeons
  • Freehold
    • Features a lot of drunken citizens and beer
    • Rogues and pickpockets hanging out on walls and ledges
    • Town criers
  • Nazmir
    • Bound captives, blood magic, dark rituals and chanting

Spell Effects
  • Using layers to create visuals on abstract shapes
  • Warlocks are on the way
  • Even more new spell effects for ones that were updated already.
  • Drustvar
    • Ancient druidic death magic spell effects for witches
    • Wanted to incorporate spirit magic in the feel of the creatures in the zone as well.
  • Blood magic will use a lot of new spell effects

Environment Art
  • Nazmir
    • Zandalari abandoned the zone because of rampant blood magic.
    • Wanted to create an experience where the player goes in and our of light and dark spaces
    • Inspired by swamp marshes
    • Open spaces have low foliage with giant dinosaurs
    • Trees in the zone are based on actual growth in swamps
    • Ancient trees and huge root systems in the swamp areas
    • Strangler figs were added to make the space feel intimidating
    • Important to make sure the water seemed gross in the swamp.
    • The Necropolis is a large temple in Nazmir
  • Kul Tiras
    • Environment is very cold and harsh and surrounded by water.
    • Buildings needed materials that could withstand extreme weather
    • Connection and pride with ships - Buildings are inspired by ships
    • Oxidized green and earthy tones were used in a lot of the architecture with nautical designs

Prop Art
  • Make what the characters would make
  • Set decorations
  • Make the world feel more lived in and tell a story
  • Guide a player's eye to points of interest
  • Zandalari Trolls
    • Ancient and colorful but thriving
    • See a lot more of troll culture in Zandalar
    • Dinosaurs are huge part of culture - shown in carvings of wood, materials and food
    • Aztec influence is a lot less subtle this time around

Holiday Art
  • Makes it feel like time is passing
  • Brings community together
  • Art can be sillier than normal as it's not permanent

Q & A

Q: Are we going to see heritage armor for the older races?
A: Nothing planned for now, but maybe in the future

Q: Will the new idle animations shown in the trailers be given to player characters?
A: The npcs are a test for now and maybe in the future it will be given to players as the animations are on the player models.

Q: What kind of improvements were done to Zandalari armor?
A: Dinosaur leather and gold chain mail are iconic in the new armor

Q: What slows down the re-imagining of magic?
A: Working to make sure each class uses magic differently. Want warlock shadow magic and priest shadow magic to feel different. Takes a lot of work.

Q: How do you breathe life into the models in game?
A: Team looks at a lot of real life creatures with similar anatomy. Things like murlocs are more idea orientated and comedic.

Q: When are we getting hunter quivers?
A: Jumped the gun on the announcement. When artifact system was decided, idea was put on hold. The conversation to move forward with it is happening now.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration for Kul Tiras?
A: Variety of different cultures and port cities

Q: Is heritage armor usable for all Allied races?
A: Each Allied race has their own unique heritage armor models

Q: Will there be more "plate-kinis?"
A: Many people see them as inappropriate but if it makes sense they might add more similar armor looks

Q: Will head slots/hats be wearable with all hair styles?
A: Too much of an undertaking to make all hair styles work with hat models

Q: Will other races get Allied races that stand up straight?
A: Upright standing orcs are coming! Players will be able to toggle between classic hunched orc or straight standing

Q: Where are worgen/goblin model updates?
A: Right now not ready for Battle for Azeroth launch but definitely planned. They are being worked on!

Q: Any new druid forms for the new Allied races such as moose for Highmountain or Zandalari trolls?
A: New druid forms on the way!

Q: Will the Allied races new body silhouettes transfer into character creation as well?
A: Yes, making its way to character creation in Battle for Azeroth

Q: Any other classes getting new colors for spell effects like green fire for warlocks?
A: No, new spell animations fill this spot

Q: Will mail on gnomes be altered to look normal?
A: Something we are always looking into

Q: Will old world zones get face lifts?
A: Updates will be made where they make sense. High fog is being added and lighting tuning

Q: Will there be a glyph for old priest shadow form?
A: No plans as of now but if it's something the community wants usually it's looked into

Q: Any improvement to riding animations?
A: Very challenging but looking into it

Q: Will there ever be an armor dye system in the game?
A: Maybe someday but not planned as of now

This article was originally published in forum thread: The Art of World of Warcraft started by Stoy View original post
Comments 66 Comments
  1. Jshadowhunter's Avatar
    So basically Kul Tirans are Slavs?

    Oh, and there's Slavic influences in general for the zone.
  1. Theoris's Avatar
    "Practical weapons one could use in real life."
    I'm not sure how practical a blunderbuss with a massive blade attached to it would be.

    On a serious note, the animations and armors/weapons for BfA look amazing.
  1. Aquinan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jshadowhunter View Post
    So basically Kul Tirans are Slavs?

    Oh, and there's Slavic influences in general for the zone.
    Why not, one culture they have not used yet IRL.
  1. Jshadowhunter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinan View Post
    Why not, one culture they have not used yet IRL.
    I'm glad for it. I'm a Slav and I kinda got tired of Nordic stuff. =P
  1. Cronoos's Avatar
    I think it looks just like the Gilnean style. Don't see what would make it slavic? If anything it'd be like European 19th century or something.
  1. Hugnomo's Avatar
    Will mmo-c post pictures of this presentation? I really hope so.
  1. Easo's Avatar
    I am very sure the three witches and the woody druidy guy they showed are inspired by Witcher 3. Not a bad thing, imho.
  1. Jshadowhunter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cronoos View Post
    I think it looks just like the Gilnean style. Don't see what would make it slavic? If anything it'd be like European 19th century or something.
    The people themselves. Slavs are hardy people, but also very religious compared to the Western Europe (if you've seen the panel yesterday, one of the Kul Tiras houses is hardcore religious).

    And even then, there's Slavic folklore, especially the crones and the spirit possessed nature construct.
  1. Escepticus's Avatar
    Inspiration in Slavic and Aztec cultures, good!
  1. Rukario's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Easo View Post
    I am very sure the three witches and the woody druidy guy they showed are inspired by Witcher 3. Not a bad thing, imho.
    Without a doubt, it was the first thing that came to mind when i saw them yesterday.
  1. Sonol's Avatar
    Art, models, effects, textures, polygons, skeletons etc. What about a new, modern game engine that is on par with modern hardware to distribute tasks more effectively on multicore processors? Graphics look neat, beautiful and unique, all respect to the art team. However they still don't use most of the modern graphic effects, just models, textures and lights, not even gravity, motion capture or ragdoll effect.
    The game doesn't even needs them, it's fine and beautiful, but at the same time it consumes so much resource while running, that it overloads most of the systems on higher settings unreasonably.
  1. Mongoloid's Avatar
    Straight back Orc hype!

    New Druid forms hype!
  1. Theoris's Avatar
    Upright standing orcs are coming!
    They better!

    edit:
    I wish people would check the BfA alpha before asking their questions. We already knew allied races would have unique druid models (for reference, Highmountain tauren druids have giant antlers in their animal forms).
  1. Seja Victrix's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jshadowhunter View Post
    So basically Kul Tirans are Slavs?

    Oh, and there's Slavic influences in general for the zone.
    Seems more like Venetians. Middle-ages Venice was a mercantile trading republic with a powerful navy.
  1. Snes's Avatar
    Mechagnomes please.
  1. Rukario's Avatar
    "Q: Any new druid forms for the new Allied races such as moose for Highmountain or Zandalari trolls?
    A: New druid forms on the way!"

    Oh boy, pls let those be dinosaurs!!!!
  1. Cronoos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jshadowhunter View Post
    The people themselves. Slavs are hardy people, but also very religious compared to the Western Europe (if you've seen the panel yesterday, one of the Kul Tiras houses is hardcore religious).

    And even then, there's Slavic folklore, especially the crones and the spirit possessed nature construct.
    I mean, "hardy and religious" could describe any European country during the 19th century. It's nothing that stands out in the slavic culture.

    Crones and spirits are common in every folklore. Just open up a book in Swedish folklore and you'd see the same. Even the devs said in the art panel that Kul Tiras is based on a lot of different marine cultures.
  1. Yarathir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukario View Post
    "Q: Any new druid forms for the new Allied races such as moose for Highmountain or Zandalari trolls?
    A: New druid forms on the way!"

    Oh boy, pls let those be dinosaurs!!!!
    Zandalari Dinomancers and Highmountain Tauren travel form being a druid moose hype.
  1. bjoorp's Avatar
    No worgen updates, seriosly blizz?!

    Even more dissapointed in this washed up expansion
  1. Deuse's Avatar
    WHY IS THERE NO VOID ELF DRUID???!!!

    You make new models for Highmountain and Zandalar trolls but we can't get love on Alliance? BAH

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