Written by Arashi
Narration by Tarashi
Hayate as himself
©2013 Petsofwarcraft video
©2013 Blizzard Entertainment (Game)
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Written by Arashi
Narration by Tarashi
Hayate as himself
©2013 Petsofwarcraft video
©2013 Blizzard Entertainment (Game)
The Horde chopper is on its way, and you need to log in now to claim it!
Your votes for Azeroth Choppers were counted, and one faction’s war cry roared loudest: the Horde bike will now be turned into a mount in World of Warcraft! Anyone who logs in to the game between now and September 30, 2014 will automatically have their account flagged to receive the Horde chopper upon the release of the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion. Everyone can (and should!) claim their chopper by logging in now, but as a reminder, only your Horde characters will be able to mount up and take it for a ride.
We’re here with a brand-new Artcraft! I’m your host, Chris Robinson, senior art director on World of Warcraft, and today we’re showing you where we’re at with the female Tauren.
The original female Tauren had a lot of issues with too-angular geometry and stretched-out textures. It’s not her fault—it’s just what we had available to us at the time. Our new process has allowed us to add a lot of detail to her hair, fur, horns, and hooves, to build a far more detailed and expressive face, and to add a lot of definition to her musculature (while retaining her shape and silhouette).
One other change of note: Warcraft character design is commonly known for its stylized long arms, large hands, and big feet, but the female Tauren’s hands were just completely out of control. We brought them down to a more consistent size with the other updated models, and were also able to add a ton more detail and dexterity in the process.
We hope you enjoy her new look—let us know what you think in the comments!
Forged by the brutal hand of the Iron Horde and tempered by hatred, the Iron Skyreaver is a fearsome blend of beast and machine. This twin-headed terror dominates the sky and strikes fear into any foe who dares challenge it. Take the reins of one of these monstrosities for 40% off this week only, but beware—the Skyreaver suffers only the most formidable masters to ride it.
Curse of Naxxramas™ Creeps Out on July 22!
Are you prepared to face the horrors lurking within the dread necropolis Naxxramas? Curse of Naxxramas: A Hearthstone Adventure is just about ready to open its gates to the world. There’s a whole host of undead monsters inhabiting the halls of Naxxramas, ready and waiting to defend their lair against Hearthstone’s heroes. If you . . . somehow . . . manage to defeat them, you’ll be rewarded with ghastly new cards for your Hearthstone collection!
Curse of Naxxramas goes live in the Americas region for Windows®, Mac®, and iPad® on Tuesday, July 22, starting with the Arachnid Quarter, the first of five creepy wings that will be released weekly after the gates are opened. The Arachnid Quarter will be free to play during the Curse of Naxxramas launch event, which will last roughly a month. Those brave enough to step foot into the Arachnid Quarter during the launch event will unlock it permanently for free. Check out our recent blog for further details on how to access the Arachnid Quarter and the subsequent wings of Naxxramas.
Polish up your decks, card-slingers—we’ll see you inside the necropolis soon!
For release information regarding the European region, please go here.
Note : This model showed up in Build 18471, along with the Undead Male, Night Elf Female, and in progress Human Female model.
Welcome once again to Artcraft! I’m Chris Robinson, art director of World of Warcraft. This Artcraft is another quick one, but still packed with goodies. Today we’re showing you our work on the male Draenei. The original was one of the better character models in the game, so it didn’t require a ton of translation—but with higher-resolution textures and more polygons to work with, we were able to bump up his fidelity quite a bit, as well as improve how we convey emotion through a new animation rig.
That’s all for now—thanks again for continuing to follow along as we develop these updated character models. See you next time!
World’s First Butterfly Cosplay – Part 1: Sculpting Monarch Brightwing
“Brightwing like loyal subjects! Bow down. Now.”
- Monarch Brightwing
While numerous people have dressed up as butterflies, how many actual live insects have dressed up to mimic video game characters?
I’m Community Manager Kimberly “Vaeflare” LeCrone, and today I wanted to share with you a unique project I’ve been working on over the last couple months that may very well result in the world’s first butterfly cosplay!*
How It All Began…
From the first time I saw Brightwing snacking on Uther’s corpse, I knew that she was a hero I could get behind. The mix of her sugar-sweet personality with just that *touch* of something dark and sinister amused me to no end, and it was a treat to work on her Hero Week blog and Twitter Takeover!
But as soon as I saw her Monarch Brightwing alternative skin, something clicked.
…because by pure happenstance, I actually raise monarch butterflies!
A Plan Takes Shape
In addition to raising monarchs, I also do quite a bit of art and writing in my free time. This personal interest in art is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about sharing the work of our creative community of fan artists, cosplayers, musicians, machinima artists and more. I genuinely love sharing their hard work and ingenuity with other Blizzard players!
In time though, the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be a fun challenge to try and have a live monarch butterfly “cosplay” atop a wingless, scale Monarch Brightwing sculpture, so that the wings of the butterfly could act as the “wings” of the resulting sculpture. I talked to some coworkers about this fun and quirky project, and after getting folks like Samwise onboard, it was time to get to work!
The Amazing Life Cycle of Monarch Butterflies
There’s a lot written about monarch lifecycles online, so I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say, they are a Near Threatened species of butterfly. During the Spring, Summer, and Fall months, these colorful creatures carry on their life cycle on or around a flowering plant called milkweed, or “butterfly weed.” Then as the winter chill draws near, the final generation of the year head off on a great migration to areas in Southern California, Mexico, and Florida where they will stay cozy in various overwintering sites.
Once the worst of winter is over, these winged wonders migrate northward again to continue their lifecycle. Monarch caterpillars grow inside an egg for around four days, and then they munch on milkweed for about two weeks. When the caterpillars have eaten their fill and they’re large enough, they’ll form a chrysalis for around two weeks, and will stay inside as they undergo a metamorphosis into a butterfly. When they emerge, summer generations will only live for about two to five weeks as adults, but winter monarchs will live for as long as seven to nine months. This allows the winter monarchs to complete their full migration cycle, which can entail thousands of miles worth of travel.
During the last year, I’ve enjoyed getting involved with monarch conservation, and continue to revel in raising monarchs and releasing them back into the wild (I’ve successfully released 63 so far)!
As soon as I realized I wanted to do this project, one of the first things I did was to start measuring how large the various monarch butterflies were that I was raising so that I could have a proper sense of scale for the sculpture I was to create. I found that their size varied quite a bit, so I took an average of my measurements and then compared that against the in-game model of Monarch Brightwing. Thanks to the great folks on our machinima team, I was also able to get a few screenshots of Monarch Brightwing to use as references throughout the process.
From there, the hard work began.
A Butterfly-Sized Armature
My next step was to get to work sketching out a scale profile view of Monarch Brightwing. This view was especially important because I would be using it to determine how large each piece of her underlying support armature was to be.
From there, I started assembling her armature using various gauges of aluminum armature wire, aluminum mesh, hot glue, and two-part epoxy. Once cured, the epoxy is incredibly hard, so it allows the armature to carry the weight of the clay that will be put on top of it later. I also like to use the epoxy to form “bones” along the limbs of a creature, so that I’m able to selectively pose a figure along where their natural joints would be, such as a shoulder, elbow, or wrist, without the whole arm bending out of shape.
It was around this time in the process that I began to truly appreciate the stunning complexity of this character, for in addition to having four limbs and a long, curled tail, she also has sixteen fingers and toes, five spines, two antennae, the fin along her back, and an open mouth! In addition, she would need a proper monarch’s jeweled crown and scepter, which was due to be more than a bit of a challenge at this scale!
Rough Sculpting a Faerie Dragon
Next up, I created a mix of Sculpey polymer clays that I felt would suit the detail needs of the project, while still being “buttery” enough to work with. I then took this clay and began to layer the clay over top of the underlying armature. The figure didn’t need to be detailed at this point, instead I was focusing on trying to build up the basic figure and try to get it to “read” as Brightwing from multiple angles. The thought in my process is that I work from bone, to muscle and sinew, to skin and final details.
Brightwing Begins to Emerge
Slowly the figure started to emerge, and I worked to cover up the majority of the remaining mesh and wire and begin smoothing her with some rubbing alcohol. I intentionally left her right hand unfinished as I knew that down the road I would be using the excess wire to help support her regal scepter.
During this stage, I also decided it was time to Dremel out some holes in her armature so that I could insert Brightwing’s new glass eyes! These particular eyes seemed just spot-on for Monarch Brightwing, and having them in place really helped me get a better feel for how the sculpture looked as a whole.
Muscles, Fingers, Toes, Claws, and More!
I continued to layer on the muscles, and began to try to finalize Brightwing’s pose so that she looked natural and interesting from multiple angles. Once I was decently-pleased with her pose, I used some Aves Fixit Sculpt to create hardened claws so that I could get them all into place prior to continuing work on detailing and smoothing the figure with rubbing alcohol.
This was also a perfect time for me to take a few more photos with a live monarch butterfly to see how the sculpture was shaping up!
The detail phase continued, and soon it was time for the next big challenge: Monarch Brightwing’s accessories.
Accessorizing a Monarch
Due to their painfully-small size, I decided to work on Brightwing’s accessories separate from the main sculpture. The first order of business was to determine their overall size, and from there I started hunting for gems that best reflected the sizes and colors of those seen on Monarch Brightwing’s model. The smallest of these were barely larger than the tip of a pencil! At this stage, I was sculpting using the smallest tools in my arsenal.
Next, Monarch Brightwing got her first bake in my oven. This made it so that I would be able to attach her crown and scepter without risking damaging the work I’d already done on her.
I sculpted the crown in my Sculpey mix, but I opted to sculpt the scepter almost entirely in Aves Fixit Sculpt since it would be particularly precarious to support. Once I was nearly done with the scepter and all its tiny gems, I attached the scepter to the wire I’d left exposed on Brightwing’s arm. After that, I sculpted the hand and claws around the scepter so that it appeared as though Brightwing was holding it.
Baking, Patching, and Sanding Her Majesty
Next, Monarch Brightwing underwent her final bake in my oven, and then it was time for a bit of touch-up work! During this stage I patched some areas I wasn’t completely happy with using two-part epoxy, and then helped give Brightwing a smooth finish by going over her with wet/dry sandpaper, followed by fine steel wool.
Masking and Staining
Next I planned to cover Monarch Brightwing in a sandable-primer, so to protect her eyes and gems from the spray paint, I masked those areas with clay before spraying her. Shiny!
During this stage I also began drilling, patching, sanding, and staining her final base in the hopes that it would be ready around the same time the sculpture was!
Monarch Brightwing all Primed and Ready for Color!
But Monarch Brightwing wasn’t yet ready for her butterfly cosplayer (or world domination), because she still needed her luxuriously-colored coat and regal accessories! In the next blog covering this quirky project, you’ll be witness to the next colorful stage of this sculpture’s inception!
Do you have any questions about sculpting materials, the sculpting process, or raising monarchs? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you working on any Blizzard fan creations or Heroes fan art? Make sure to tell us all about them over in our Community Creations forum!
*- As far as we know!
For more Pictures please read the full blog and comment on Vaeflare Blog post on the Heroes of the Storm main page. You’ll find the full article here!
Please follow Vaeflare on Twitter here @Vaeflare
And don’t forget she has a DA page with DEATHWING here!
I can’t wait to try this Hero. The Spirit Darter was once an Alliance only pet. You would get it as a quest reward. Now, hordies can farm Spirit Darters in Dire Maul. The pet has a 1% drop chance… so… be ready to stay there for a couple of days…
As previously announced, we’ve been working toward connecting realms to increase the number of players on low-population realms. Here’s a continuously updated list that contains currently planned connections, future plans, and completed realm connections, all in one convenient location.
*Please note this list does not encompass all potential future connections. Please check back for further updates.
We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, June 26 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PDT through approximately 1:00 p.m. PDT. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.
We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, July 3 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PDT through approximately 1:00 p.m. PDT. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.
We do not have a date for the following realm connections, but will update this post when we do.
*Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.
Glory. Power. Victory.
The daughter of Draenor stands ready to achieve all three, thanks to new visual and animation updates we’re making to the female Orc model in the next World of Warcraft expansion.
In making changes to the model for Warlords of Draenor, the World of Warcraft art team wanted to evoke the spirit of the original while making sure her new representation felt even more alive and vivid than before. But don’t just take our word for it—see for yourself! We’ve updated the character viewer on the Warlords of Draenor website with the new female Orc model and new emote screenshots. We hope you enjoy them!
As development continues on Warlords of Draenor, we’ll show you even more of the updated character models. Let us know what you think!
We’re in the process of bringing down the Alpha realms while we work to resolve this issue. Unfortunately, it’s going to require an updated build, which we won’t be able to finish today. Realms will remain offline over the weekend while we get everything ironed out. We hope to be able to bring the Alpha back up on Monday, June 23rd.
Again, we greatly appreciate your patience during this time. We’ll get you back to Draenor as soon as we possibly can.
Hidden under a shroud of perpetual night broken only by bright starlight, the lush idyllic forests of Shadowmoon Valley are home to a majestic draenei tomb and sanctuary: Karabor. While many of Shadowmoon’s denizens study prophecy among Karabor’s ancient stone circles, plotters with darker ambitions lurk in the valley’s vast underground cave network, gazing greedily at the sacred temple.
In Warlords of Draenor, Shadowmoon Valley serves as the starting zone for Alliance players once they’ve endured the initial rigors of Tanaan Jungle and survived their first encounter with the Iron Horde. To take you on a journey through Shadowmoon’s forests, temples, and secrets, we’ve tapped one of the creative minds behind the zone, Senior Designer Helen Cheng.
What’s the story in Shadowmoon Valley?
Helen Cheng: After a daring escape from the Iron Horde in Tanaan Jungle, Alliance players crash land on the northern shores of Shadowmoon Valley.
The valley is tranquil and serene. Rolling green hills give way to lush, violet forests. Draenei temples stand proudly beneath a star-studded sky. Here, the draenei have built wonders of their civilization—the town of Elodor with its majestic Altar of Sha’tar serves as the proud home of the great Exarchs, while the shining Temple of Karabor acts as the font of all holy learning. Under Prophet Velen and Exarch Akama’s watch, all is well.
But times are changing. The Iron Horde have called the native orc clans to join their ranks. The Shadowmoon Clan, led by Warlord Ner’zhul, yearns to prove itself worthy to Grommash Hellscream. Beneath the valley’s bright moon, a dark star hangs in the sky. For centuries, the Shadowmoon have been forbidden to tap its void-touched energy . . . until now. Will Warlord Ner’zhul succeed in harnessing the star’s power to destroy the draenei and the Temple of Karabor? Or will Prophet Velen, aided by his disciple Yrel—and a few fearless heroes—be able to stop him?
Meanwhile, trouble brews amongst the Exarchs, the most powerful and influential draenei heroes. Even as they debate the future of the draenei on their adopted homeworld, there is growing evidence of a traitor among their ranks. Who can be trusted?
The night elf Wardens sense a demonic presence in the northern woods of Shadowmoon Valley. As they hunt for the source of the fel energy, a sinister truth is revealed: Gul’dan, the Destroyer of Dreams, has returned.
Most importantly, as a proven champion of the Alliance, you are charged with establishing the Alliance foothold on Draenor. The land is harsh and unforgiving, and the Iron Horde has amassed an enormous army without equal. Before you can hope to defeat them, you must build a stronghold—your Garrison—from the ground up and gather allies to face this indomitable foe.
What are some of your favorite places within the zone?
Helen Cheng: Shadowmoon Valley is one of the most beautiful places on Draenor, with a breathtaking variety of stunning areas. I would say that the two most striking aspects of Shadowmoon Valley are the draenei and Shadowmoon orc areas.
The draenei architecture in Shadowmoon is really impressive. You get everything from a merchant town in Embaari Village to the valorous training grounds of the Exarchs in the north to the crystalline dome that is Teluuna Observatory. The draenei are cultured and sophisticated. Theirs is the pinnacle of an advanced society, and their towns and cities reflect a perfect balance of beauty and function. I really love all of the draenei locations—and there are more in other zones—but the Temple of Karabor has to be one of my favorites. The sheer size and scale of the place is incredible, and it’s remarkable to see it in its glory before the events of The Burning Crusade, which turned it into the Black Temple under Illidan’s control.
The Shadowmoon clan structures are impressive as well. The Shadowmoon were once a wise people, with a deep respect for the elements and a natural curiosity about the stars. They are natural-born leaders with a strong affinity for magic. However, since they joined the Iron Horde, Ner’zhul has strayed from the ancient ways. You can see this gradual decay reflected in their way of life. The Burial Fields is a place where the Shadowmoon traditionally bury and honor their dead. That place has become defiled and corrupted with void magic. Their ancestors, whom they once revered, are now being brutally tormented. Ner’zhul’s stronghold, Anguish Fortress, is an open-air ziggurat with a sacrificial pit in its center. In a nearby dungeon, players will see that there are more dark secrets hidden beneath this compound.
Tell us more about the Alliance garrison!
Helen Cheng: Nestled near the northern shores and with a commanding view of the main road, the Alliance Garrison location is of immense strategic importance. Prophet Velen will give the land to players as a thank-you for their deeds in the jungles of Tanaan, the intro zone. But there isn’t much time to rest—as great as the Prophet is, he needs your help. Your Garrison is awfully close to Shadowmoon territory, so be prepared to defend it.
Your Garrison will start as little more than an outpost, and your laborers will quickly run into trouble as they discover that even the forests of Draenor can be their enemy. But before long, you should have a comfortable Town Hall to call home and a Barracks that you can use to train new recruits. One of the perks of having your home base here is the ability to sound a “call to arms” anywhere in Shadowmoon, and Alliance troops will rush to your aid.
Kick your feet up – after all, the Garrison is all yours.
Could you name three of your favorite locations players should check out on their journey through the zone?
Helen Cheng: Once you’ve settled in, you should take a quick jaunt over to the town of Elodor, home of the revered Altar of Sha’tar with its stunning view of Karabor and the surrounding ocean. There you can meet the five Exarchs who act as the hand of the Prophet, guiding draenei society, and you can witness their own internal conflicts as they argue about their place in this savage land. Don’t miss the nearby Rangari Enclave, where the elite scouts of the draenei train—you won’t see mushrooms that size for another 30 years!
If you’re the adventurous type, try spelunking in Bloodthorn Cave. Don’t mind the flesh-eating pale orcs—they only kill you when provoked. Also, don’t eat the local mushrooms. They can be rather . . . potent.
We’ve heard mixed reviews about Gloomshade Grove. Some folks rave about the pristine beaches, while others are just never heard from again. If you see anything that looks like a flower, makes a sound like “mawarwaawa,” and has very sharp teeth, run away! Though it’s probably too late for you, so oh well. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
You’re probably wondering if there are any creatures on Draenor that won’t bite your head off. Try heading over to the Shimmering Mor. This enchanted forest glade is home to wild faerie dragons. Awww, they’re just so cute! No, you can’t take one home . . . oh, who are we kidding? You’ll probably find an egg or some-such to raise eventually.
Finally, don’t forget to stop by Embaari Village. This draenei merchant town is known for its delicious food and exotic wares. No trip to Shadowmoon is complete without a tasty meal and a mug of honey mead.
As with all places on Draenor, Shadowmoon Valley is filled with sights to see, adventures to be had, and savage enemies to destroy. Enjoy your journey!
Next, our voyage will take us north into the Horde starting zone of Frostfire Ridge. Stay tuned for more!
Pet Battle Changes
These are the new Pets found in the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.
The Menagerie is a building that develops and enhances your pet retinue. Not much is known about the Menagerie yet, but there have been tweets about a rare pet vendor and pet trainer teams that visit the Garrison.
On the Menagerie:
– Mumper (@mumper) May 28, 2014
– Mumper (@mumper) February 10, 2014
– Mumper (@mumper) January 18, 2014 On a potential Garrison trainer:
– Jonathan LeCraft (@TheCrafticus) March 24, 2014
– Jonathan LeCraft (@TheCrafticus) March 28, 2014
– Mumper (@mumper) April 17, 2014
– Mumper (@mumper) May 29, 2014
– Jonathan LeCraft (@TheCrafticus) March 7, 2014
– Jonathan LeCraft (@TheCrafticus) April 4, 2014
On seeing more diverse Wild Pet types at WoD’s launch:
That’s the plan. — Jonathan LeCraft (@TheCrafticus) May 18, 2014
They watch. They report. They discuss. They are . . . WoW Insider. Join us to learn a bit more about the personalities behind the page and what the site can do for you—and if you’re not familiar with WoW Insider, perhaps we can help acquaint you.
Captained by Editor-in-Chief Alex Ziebart, WoW Insider hosts a variety of articles and features, including the latest World of Warcraft and Blizzard news, opinion pieces, fun community creations, and guides to help you get the most out of the game.
What really sets WoW Insider apart are the unique personalities you’ll find among the site’s contributors. We thought this would be a great time to introduce you to some of them.
Matthew Rossi: The self-proclaimed “old man” of the site, Matthew Rossi is one of the editors on WoW Insider. He’s one of the “go to” guys for Warriors and happens to have a couple of his own . . . or three . . . or more. (Many more.) He’s also roams through the intricate annals of Warcraft lore and lends his insights to the Know Your Lore column along with partner in crime, Anne Stickney.
Anne Stickney: Her uncanny insights into the World of Warcraft story make us wonder if she’s secretly a member of the Timewalkers. Anne serves up a veritable buffet of Azeroth knowledge and puts it all into perspective for lore neophytes and aficionados alike. Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney’s encyclopedic Know Your Lore series is a great way to get the lowdown on the places and people you’ll encounter in Azeroth and beyond.
Adam Holisky: Jack of all trades and posts, Managing Editor Adam Holisky keeps his finger on the pulse of many topics. His body of work include news updates, patch release information, and The Queue, where WoW Insider contributors answer questions from the World of Warcraft community.
Elizabeth Harper: If you’re looking for something to discuss over your morning meal, you may want to check in on Elizabeth Harper’s Breakfast Topics. She also covers various news items and throws in a bit of Hearthstone coverage now and then for good measure.
Sarah Pine: A grand prize winner of the Blizzard Creative Writing Contest, Sarah has not only written several short stories for Blizzard (including her winning entry In the Shadow of the Sun), but also lends her voice to the site as a content editor.
Elizabeth Wachowski: You can join Elizabeth for her series of Around Azeroth articles, which feature unique and interesting screenshots submitted by the community, along with insight and commentary from the folks who snagged them.
If you’ve got questions, then you might find your answers in their Warlords of Draenor guide—it’s an easy way to stay up to date on what’s happening with the upcoming expansion.
Podcast fans can also catch up on the latest WoW news and thoughts from the staff by checking out the WoW Insider Show live podcast each week with regular hosts Anne Stickney, Michael Sacco, and Matthew Rossi. You can catch the stream on Twitch or subscribe to the show on iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. There’s always a link to the latest show on the front page of the site as well.
If you’re looking for a helping hand in your adventures, WoW Insider puts together some top-notch guides, such as Elizabeth Harper’s Rookie Guide series that helps new and returning players become acquainted with World of Warcraft.
The guides on WoW Insider run the gamut of game content, including a full overview of Mists of Pandaria, as well as articles that reach back into World of Warcraft’s past.
There’s much more the site has to offer, and your best bet is simply to visit WoW Insider and take a look around for yourself. There’s sure to be something of interest to you.
Are you a frequent WoW Insider visitor? If so, what’s your favorite feature? Who’s your favorite WoW Insider writer?
Let us know in the comments!
Hi, I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director of World of Warcraft, and welcome to a special edition of Artcraft focused on an idea that’s still quite early in the inception phase: class accessories. For a long time now, we’ve felt that our character classes could use some more visual customization options, and we’ve heard you might be thinking the same thing. When I play WoW, I see Hunters pulling arrows from thin air, firing shot after shot with no visible clue as to where that ammo is coming from. I’ve heard Druids speak fondly of mystical objects called Idols, and listened to Shamans talk of Totems. And my Paladin seems to have developed a strange hitch in his gait due to the lack of a Libram at his side.
While some of those items once existed in-game as gear for the now-retired “Relic” slot, you’ve never been able to actually see those items on your character. We’ve been cooking up some concepts for how we might be able to bring that sort of class-specific visual customization back in the form of purely cosmetic class accessories—and while we’re not here to herald their imminent arrival, we thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peek at what we’re conceptualizing from an art perspective, and have our item-design guru Owen Landgren give you some insight into how they might work.
Before we show you the goods, keep in mind these are still way early in the design process, and getting them into the game will likely need to wait until after you’ve faced off against the Iron Horde. But this is something that’s been requested so frequently, we thought you might appreciate knowing we’re working to make it happen (eventually). So without further delay, here are a few concepts for you to take a look at!
As you can see, these concepts are all somewhat Alliance focused, at least for now. We’re thinking we’ll have Horde and Alliance color schemes for accessories whenever it makes sense. And while we’re planning on creating the “obvious” accessories for the classes that once had Relics, we have a lot of ideas for accessories we think would be awesome for all of the classes. Don’t let that stop you from sharing your own ideas with us, though!
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse at what we’re working on in the art realm, here’s Owen to explain the designers’ early thinking on how these might be worked into the game:
“Back in ye olden days of Cataclysm and earlier, the Relic gear slot provided some classes with an additional item that would impart character stat bonuses. We always thought it would have been cool to show these Relics on your character, but aside from the generic quiver for Hunters wielding a bow, the artists just didn’t have time to do the concept justice. We were also faced with some unique design challenges, including questions about how much additional unique artwork would have been required for each new tier of raid and PvP gear. However, once the Relic slot was retired and the visuals could be divorced from gearing mechanics, the idea of bringing these back as a character customization feature became something we talked about more and more.
Our goal with these class accessories is to offer players a whole new path to customizing the look of their character. While you might decide to wear the same armor as your friend, choosing different accessories allows you to communicate something extra about your character. As a Rogue, are you the swashbuckling buccaneer with daggers on a bandolier and stashed up every sleeve? Or are you the poisoner, carrying bubbling, smoking vials filled with terrible concoctions? Perhaps you’re the shadowy figure that lurks in the dark, replete with darts and throwing stars to fell your enemies from a distance? As you obtain new looks, you’ll be able to mix and match thematically—if a particular Hunter gear set looks better with a longbow and quiver than a blunderbuss and ammo pouch, the option is yours. Mix in Transmogrification, and the visual combinations are nearly endless.
“We envision that class accessories will be rewarded from a variety of accomplishments in World of Warcraft. These could be as simple as attaining a new level, or as monumental as conquering a vicious raid boss. We want each player to have access to multiple accessories, but have some rarer accessories that take more effort to obtain.”
—Owen Landgren, Game Designer
Hey there—Chris again. As we mentioned, these are still just some early ideas and concepts, and we hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse behind the scenes. We know a lot of you are excited about the idea of having new ways to customize the look of your characters, and we look forward to sharing more as we continue to make progress. Thanks for reading!
I think it’s time to take things up a notch. You’ve been doing pretty well against Master Pet Tamers who are still a little wet behind the ears, but as you work your way up to more experienced individuals, things are gonna get tougher! Are you ready?!
Granted, your next challenge isn’t too much of a leap from previous challenges—but that’s because you’re still wet behind the ears, too. Your look of disapproval means nothing to me!
Steven Lisbane is a hulk of a man with a deceptively polite demeanor. He resides in Northern Stranglethorn along the road between the Kal’ai Ruins and Lake Nazferiti, where weary travelers heading to the Cape or attempting to escape a Murkgill Warrior will often encounter him. Steven relishes a spirited duel; he also likes to eat live snakes using a knife and fork with his pinkie finger extended. Such exquisite manners! I think I just grossed myself out!
You’re up, Mr. Pug!
Crithto: The word from our scouts is Steven Lisbane might seem like a nice fellow, but he also enjoys doing things that are pretty heinous when no one’s looking. In fact, during a recent trip he took to Stormwind, he kicked me in the shins—so pardon me if I seem overly eager to watch you take him and his team down. You’ll face Moonstalker, a level-9 Beast; Nanners, a level-9 Beast; and Emeralda, a level-9 Magic. We don’t want you to walk all over him, so your team will consist of a level-8 Humanoid, a level-8 Critter, and a level-9 Dragonkin. Like they say, “Roses are red, your team is blue,” and that’s all I got!
While you’re down there, you might want to try hunting down a Razzashi Hatchling. According to my friend Amelia, they’re super cute . . . whatever that means.
D’AWW . . . BEAT IT!!
Come join the discussion about this encounter in our Pet Battles forum. You can also learn more about Steven Lisbane by visiting Wowhead.com.
Artcraft – Huntress of Teldrassil
The new Night Elf Female character model is here!
This is a good opportunity to talk about the iterative process we go through with all of the art we create, especially with the updated player models. We don’t call anything truly “complete” until it’s in the game and fulfilling all of our (and your!) expectations. This means that when it comes to concept art, modeling, texturing, rigging, and animation, everything is always up for debate and change, and we’re rethinking and revising continuously. Creating these updated models is a huge team effort, and we’re constantly considering feedback and suggestions on what we can do better. We’ve committed ourselves to this process, and the female Night Elf provided a unique opportunity to put it into practice.
The female Night Elf was actually one of the first models we started, but as we began to develop our other character models, we also wound up refining the overall look we were going for with the models and our processes for creating them. Ultimately, we felt that in order to do the female Night Elf justice, we needed to revisit her model with fresh eyes and continue iterating based on what we’d learned from working on the other models. The Night Elves have such a distinct but subtle character, and we spent a lot of effort in trying to help that come through.
As with all of the updated character models, our goal is to keep everything the original model accomplished intact, while using the additional fidelity to realize characteristics that we weren’t able to fully represent with the lower polygon counts and texture resolutions. Overall, we’ve made her new model a little more defined, made some of her proportions a bit more realistic, and added a bit more muscle tone. We wanted to visually communicate that she is a fully capable warrior huntress, and small details like muscle definition help highlight that. We also put additional focus on her hands and fingernails, giving a very slight point to her nails to provide just a hint of a more feral nature.
Last but not least, the all-important Night Elf ears. In the original model, these were quite literally separate pieces of geometry effectively tacked onto the head of the Night Elf. In the new models, we’ve taken care to fully integrate the ears into the geometry, which leads to a far more natural and high-quality look.
I’ve asked Tamara Bakhlycheva, who also worked on the female Night Elf model, to add a few closing thoughts.
Hi all, I’m Tamara from the World of Warcraft art team. Being able to work on the female Night Elf has been a great experience, and the team has put a lot of effort into preserving the iconic Night Elf look—beautiful, wild, and dangerous. I hope you’ll enjoy playing your new Night Elf as much as we’ve enjoyed creating her.
Chris here again; thanks for reading, and we look forward to sharing more about the ongoing process of bringing the art of Warlords of Draenor—and beyond—to life. Thanks!
Blizzard Entertainment 5/5/2014 18
In the recent Dev Watercooler: Raiding Azeroth Part 3—Warlords of Draenor, we discussed some of the raid changes coming in the next WoW expansion. Before Warlords of Draenor launches, players will have a chance to experience the new raid structure firsthand in the Siege of Orgrimmar.
In the upcoming Patch 6.0, the pre-expansion “systems” update planned to go live in the weeks leading up to Warlords of Draenor’s release, we’ll be converting Siege of Orgrimmar to use the new Normal, Heroic, and Mythic difficulties. Both Normal and Heroic difficulties will support flexible raid sizes and our cross-server Group Finder tool, while Mythic will be a fixed 20-player size. At the same time, “stat squish” will be in effect, the new class changes will be live, and Hit and Expertise will no longer be stats on items, so those will be replaced with more useful ones on all existing items. The raid as a whole will be retuned for the new numbers and scaling size—overall, it should prove no more difficult than it is currently, and will likely be easier in many places.
With the end of an expansion and a raid tier, along with introduction of a new level cap, we’ll also be retiring a handful of rewards. We want to encourage everyone to enjoy one last hurrah in the Siege of Orgrimmar before your adventure on Draenor begins.
In addition to the above changes, when Patch 6.0 arrives:
When Warlords of Draenor is released and players are able to head to Draenor and level past 90:
All other loot, achievements, and cosmetic rewards (e.g. the Kor’kron Dark Shaman transmog set, rare battle pets, etc.) will remain unchanged.
Li Li is the niece of Legendary Pandaren Brewmaster Chen Stormstout, and she enjoys exploring strange new places, meeting new people, and kicking bad guys in the face! She hails from the Warcraft universe, and in Heroes of the Storm, Li Li takes on the role of a positional Support that protects her allies by throwing out healing brew and blinding enemies. This spunky Pandaren has more than a few tricks up her sleeve, so you’ll want to stick close by her on your adventures in the Nexus!
Li Li’s starting skin in Heroes of the Storm is bright and full of spunk, just like she is!
The newest Li Li alternative skin we’re revealing is one that any worldly explorer (or insect-catcher!) is sure to appreciate!
The original concept art for Explorer Li Li!
|“Li Li” by Primmly||“Not Sleepy Uncle Chen…” by Sara ‘Lavannah’ Thorsten|
|“Li Li Stormstout and the Brewbender” by Ghostwalker2061|
|“Stormstout and Cloudsinger” by SketchyBailey||“Welcome to the Valley” by Karn Kirk Ratanasin (kkr22)|
|“Let’s Drink, No War” by Breathing2004|
Li Li’s curiosity and thirst for adventure and has had a profound impact on recent events within the Warcraft universe. If you’re interested in learning more about Li Li and the fantastic world she inhabits, make sure to check out the following related content featuring this spunky Pandaren:
You can check out some official art and screenshots featuring Li Li Stormstout below:
“You can say uncle all you want, but Chen won’t save you!”
We hope you’re enjoying Li Li week! What’s been your favorite part so far, and what else would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below!
Steel thyself, O mortal realm of Anaheim! The eighth BlizzCon is coming to your Convention Center this Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8, 2014. Prepare for two relentless days of Blizzard gaming and fellowship, including in-depth discussion panels with Blizzard developers, hands-on opportunities with the latest Blizzard games, and intense eSports tournaments featuring top pro gamers from across the earthly plane.
Tickets for BlizzCon 2014 will go on sale in two batches, one on Wednesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. PT and the other on Saturday, May 10 at 10 a.m. PT, through the online event ticketing service Eventbrite, priced at $199 each (plus applicable taxes and fees). In addition, a limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner will go on sale Wednesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. PT for $750 apiece (plus applicable taxes and fees; BlizzCon admission included), with proceeds benefitting Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Check out the BlizzCon Ticket webpage for more information—we’ve made some changes to how ticket sales work this year, and fortune favors the prepared!
If you can’t make it to the show in person, the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket is the next best thing, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multichannel Internet stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.
See the full press release or check out the BlizzCon Ticket page for more information, and be sure visit www.blizzcon2014.eventbrite.com at the dates and times above for a chance to purchase a ticket to the show. See you in Anaheim!
Wow, just in time for World of Warcraft 10th anniversary!
We have no clue what bonus goods this Blizzcon holds for attendees and digital viewers. I’m sure it’s going to be Merloc related, but it can’t be a simple Merloc with a 10th Birthday flag… That would be too easy, and I expect more from the Artists at Blizzard. My guess it will be a Iron Horde Merloc or a Zelnaga Merloc. Hmmm… Iron Horde Merloc?! Sounds GREAT if Warlord of Draenor isn’t out…