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  1. #1
    Banned JhanZ's Avatar
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    Why I Think Character Models Are Taking So Long

    (This is my opinion and most of the stuff here could be very wrong, take it with a grain of salt, just wanted to put my thoughts down in text)

    Obviously, anyone would think it's a very big undertaking. But to be honest, it's probably the biggest ever that they've done. Far, far harder to craft than even a few raids. It means that we'll have to wait a good while and also that there's more reason to be excited for them... well, and lastly, that the controversy has potential to be really big. Which ain't good.

    It's not just about a simple aesthetic facelift. Trust me, if that was the case, they would have arrived far earlier. That's easy enough. I'll try and list all of the changes I think they are going to make:

    #1.) The polygons are going to be increased by quite a bit, at least to the standard that they are putting out now with the new race NPCs. That's a given, I think.

    #2.) I think they are going to tweak our animations a bit and give us some new ones. It won't be that drastic though, because Blizzard has said that there's a fine line between changing for the good or for worse. They also said (in a tweet, I believe) that people are really attached to the way their character moves, so not too much change. Undead are probably still going to make a low seeping motion with a 2-hander, for example.

    However, I think they're going to be adding more than 1 animation for a special. I think they'll want to give 2 to 3 in total that randomize each time you swing your weapon (when pressing a special attack, e.g. Mortal Strike), just like white attacks. I also think they'll start giving some new unique animations to some abilities (where there's only 1 animation all the time, like Slam) like Eviscerate, for example.

    #3.) The spells. I think they are going to update spells soon after the characters are re-done. It's going to look awkward casting a spell likely developed in 2002-2003 before WoW retail even shipped (There's still spells like that out there) on your new toon. It won't happen right away but I can see it happening at an increased pace, possibly a bulk being done for the upcoming expansion.

    Maybe they are crafting the new character models to suit what they want out of the upcoming spell visual upgrades. Maybe they want the character to catch on fire at certain parts of the body when he's hit by a Fire spell, possibly leave burns until combat ends, who knows? That would be pretty damn cool.

    #4.) Gear. Of course, the gear we are getting has been more and more visually impressive since the start of the game. The art and quality of it has definitely improved. Look at Tier 1 Might set vs. the Challenge Mode set, for example. Drastic improvement. However... it's still severely limited in terms of creativity. We have about 4 base boot models. Here they are (aside from the ones that look like socks):

    http://www.wowhead.com/item=66967
    http://www.wowhead.com/item=63810
    http://www.wowhead.com/item=62418
    http://www.wowhead.com/item=71029

    And that's all there is to it. Same with glove models, etc. They could do so much more to them. Take a look at the new Mar'li model on MMO-champion or WoWhead. They really could be more creative, but probably there's some limitation with the current character models.

    Capes. They've been awful since forever. I don't think people can really say they haven't, almost no one actually displays them, only a very small percentage. I think Blizzard is sorely needed to improve this part of gear and make them more like the Lich King or Sylvanas' cloak. Possibly create some real tattered looking capes as well.


    Optional changes:

    - They might upgrade the polygon count on our racial mounts go along with the updates. Possible that the Gryphons and Wyverns in 5.1 could be a sneak peek.

    - What would be really cool, is that they give everyone a free race change.


    That's it. My thoughts. Comment away.

  2. #2
    I believe you are giving them too much credit on what they are going to change.

    I imagine that they just don't have a lot of staff working on the character models, and those that are probably are doing so in a limited time or their spare time.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Doozerjun View Post
    I believe you are giving them too much credit on what they are going to change.

    I imagine that they just don't have a lot of staff working on the character models, and those that are probably are doing so in a limited time or their spare time.
    GC already stated new character models are a priority to them, so I doubt everything you just said.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Doozerjun View Post
    I believe you are giving them too much credit on what they are going to change.

    I imagine that they just don't have a lot of staff working on the character models, and those that are probably are doing so in a limited time or their spare time.
    This right here.

    The guys doing the character models are also the ones doing all the new NPC models for all the new bosses and NPCs for 5.2 (and beyond). They have to divide their time between what needs to be done NOW and what needs to be done "soon".
    Games are not necessarily "easier" today. You are just a better player.
    It takes more now to impress many gamers than it did 2-5 years ago, because so much has already been seen and done.
    Many players expect to be wow'd with every release of a beloved franchise.
    These are generally NOT the fault of the developers, but the fault of many players over-hyping and/or setting expectations too high.

  5. #5
    The Unstoppable Force N-aix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wartide_ysera View Post
    GC already stated new character models are a priority to them, so I doubt everything you just said.
    You believe in everything GC says?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Wartide_ysera View Post
    GC already stated new character models are a priority to them, so I doubt everything you just said.
    So, they are priority over making new models for the next tier of content (Raid or otherwise) that has to be delivered more immediately, than something that will just be included in a patch, a feature that doesn't impact gameplay or storyline at all and is purely aesthetic?
    Games are not necessarily "easier" today. You are just a better player.
    It takes more now to impress many gamers than it did 2-5 years ago, because so much has already been seen and done.
    Many players expect to be wow'd with every release of a beloved franchise.
    These are generally NOT the fault of the developers, but the fault of many players over-hyping and/or setting expectations too high.

  7. #7
    Moderator Alysmera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doozerjun View Post
    I believe you are giving them too much credit on what they are going to change.

    I imagine that they just don't have a lot of staff working on the character models, and those that are probably are doing so in a limited time or their spare time.
    Yes and no. I can see updates with casting animations - though small tweaks. Perhaps added animations.

    I also think they may also be considering customization options. This is their chance to add new ones - so why not? But then, there's also the problem of adding new skins etc - do they give all players of that specific race a "free" character customization (minus the name change) and take the financial hit? Or not? (I think they'd be more likely to take the financial hit - I compare it to talent refunds when they used to do major changes to talent trees).

  8. #8
    Yea I don't think people truly grasp the undertaking of new race models. Not to mention they need to make sure the new ones are good enough for the people who like the way their characters look now but are new enough to keep them updated to match the rest of the game. That's probably the hardest part.

    If you look at EverQuest, when they updated Ogre and Troll models to something completely different, it killed a lot of peoples' interest in their character. You could however turn off the new models, but if someone else had them turned on they would see your character differently. I don't think this had a good feel.

    They need to strike the perfect balance, and if what we've seen with Vol'jin is a representation of where they are headed, it looks like they will succeed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Extremity View Post
    I like turtles. I would like turtle-based tier sets. I would like a turtle shell helmet, and perhaps a cheeseburger backpack and a chestpiece that simply places a red gemstone on my bellybutton.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Wartide_ysera View Post
    GC already stated new character models are a priority to them, so I doubt everything you just said.
    Dev speak. I mean perhaps you are right and they actually making a top priority for them. But I've seen so many devs from many different games and genres say similar things that just don't pan out.

  10. #10
    Talent refunds is just in game currency though. Race changes they can charge real money for, which they probably will.

  11. #11
    Warchief Voyager's Avatar
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    The biggest risc is pissing off players by changing the models or animations too much.

  12. #12
    If the new troll models for 5.2 are any indication it seems like they are on the right track.

  13. #13
    Pandaren Monk gypsybob's Avatar
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    I believe character models are taking so long because they really can't afford to mess them up. Blizzard do take pride in their work and as this is such a major change they will not be cutting corners here.
    Last edited by gypsybob; 2013-01-10 at 08:41 PM.

  14. #14
    Warchief Voyager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsesis View Post
    If the new troll models for 5.2 are any indication it seems like they are on the right track.
    If the worgen models are any indication it seems like revamped female models will look horrible.

  15. #15
    Bloodsail Admiral Rivyr's Avatar
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    I imagine you will see alot of new NPC's released over time sporting new models so they can guage reaction to them. For example, The new thrall/garosh and Voljin/random troll female

    Id be willing to bet that Voljin and the new troll female are variations of the new troll model gender/skins that will be available for use. I say this becuse the troll female was said to be a boss but she seems a little to generic to be a boss.

  16. #16
    Warchief Voyager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivyr View Post
    I imagine you will see alot of new NPC's released over time sporting new models so they can guage reaction to them. For example, The new thrall/garosh and Voljin/random troll female

    Id be willing to bet that Voljin and the new troll female are variations of the new troll model gender/skins that will be available for use. I say this becuse the troll female was said to be a boss but she seems a little to generic to be a boss.
    Imagine the outrage if they attempted to turn all orcs into that abomination of a model that Garrosh is, he looks like the result of an Ogre crossed with an Orc.

    New Thrall looks kinda like a monkey, his old model was miles better.

  17. #17
    Scarab Lord Azalu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gypsybob View Post
    I believe character models are taking so long because they really can't afford to mess them up. Blizzard do take pride in their work and as this is such a major change they will be cutting no corners here.
    They're models that are used for thousands of NPC's

    This isn't just giving 1 NPC a new model, it's a huge undertaking.

    He's right, if they mess this up it'll take ages to fix

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Darsithis's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the OP. Changing character models is a lot of work and they likely want to update everything related to each race model: the gear they wear to fit some of the new joint positions, how spells are moved from the player's model (hint, you would like them to actually leave your hand), weapons and clipping, and finally the animations.



  19. #19
    Blizzard definately is saving them for next expansion. They will stall with bs like 'it's so haaardddd' for a year more.

  20. #20
    i think the main reason is just that they have to match what people expect their characters to look like. they know they have to tread carefully since for alot of people the aesthetics of their avatar is just as if not more important than things like ingame content.

    im sure they mustve gone through tons of different variations and edits trying to get certain races "perfect"
    "I was a normal baby for 30 seconds, then ninjas stole my mamma" - Deadpool
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