Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Second Look

Today I intend to take a closer look at what was of interest to me on the second day of Blizzcon. I can say some things pleased me greatly, while others gave me a reason for concern or two. But then again, it is the way of life I guess. You can never have everything. And you can never please everyone, even if you try ever so hard.

I shall start with the Warcraft film. The news that we got, was more than pleasing for all that I am concerned. It managed to calm all my fears and quench all I ever wished for the film. The team on the movie seems really invested, and well aware of what Warcraft is. This made me glad. Somewhere deep inside I feared they would go for it half-heartedly and end up making an abomination worth of Uwe Boll. The story will try to do justice to both sides, with lead characters being Durotan and Anduin Lothar. I am fine with that. They could use Sean Bean for Lothar or King Llane, whoever dies first.

I am happy to say, that they aim to make a gritty, down to earth film with the feel of Gladiator. They aspire to outdo the Lord of the Rings, and wish to capture the essence of Warcraft universe.  Bill Westenoffer made a comment that their aim is live action with CGI, extremely complex, that they like to call it Avatar meets Game of Thrones in terms of overall style. Live-action actors for orcs and striving for even minute detail to get it down. Which is great. What is more though, they are concerned of how to solve the pauldron's size, and the unsheathing of weapons.

My suggestion for both of the troubles is to look at the historical examples. They can see what kind of scabbards other cultures that did not fight with the standard swords used. For example scimitars. What is more, and I can live with this, they will have to tone down all the unnecessary spikes on the blades, that artists at time thought look cool, but serve only to deface the blade and have no real function. As for the pauldrons, the solution is similar. Just look at the size of a pauldron in real life and consider its size in comparison to the size of a person wearing the armour. They just need to remember this is supposed to serve in medieval-esque battlefield and not on American football field.

What is more concerning, besides the time-space travel we will go through, and I will write about that soon enough, is the decision about the new models. As they said, for now, there will not be no free appearance changing. I consider this more of a bad than good decision. I am sure they make enough money with the regular appearance changes to justify this internally.

Yet I wonder if people will just take it, and gratefully say thank you. More likley there is to be an outcry over how Blizzard ruined our characters and now wants us to pay to get something we like. We all know this is how the system works. And there is no win-win situation for Blizzard here. Yes, people are happy about getting new models. They are not happy about being shoehorned into a choice they feel is not of their own making.

The people that decide for appearance change now, are those that are not content with the look they themselves decided upon. The people that would consider the appearance change after the initial launch of Warlords of Draenor, are those that are not content with the new look Blizzard forced on their characters. Yes, Blizzard has stated they want to retain the feel and look of the old models, but just observing the picture above we can see how true this is. The new model is saying, "me know nothing of this", while the old orc model is shouting "What the hell are you doing!".

This is the difference in feel and look already. Do you really expect people just to accept the new models because they have more polygons? This is a bold decision indeed. There is no need to say that to give players a free appearance change per character would generate large amount of good-will. And I understand their concern as well. It would strain the the servers for some time, the option could be abused, by being used on low level characters.

Yet, those are all problems that can be resolved. Limit this free appearance change on the look of the character only, no name changes. Limit the number of appearance changes only on one per day. And most of all, limit the free appearance change for two months of the implementation of the race you are changing. And limit it only on high level characters. Now, what would a high level character be?

Let us say level sixty, it is still in the upper half of available levels, yet some effort must be put in. Not to forget that many of characters at level sixty, were at some point mains, only to be then left behind because of change of faction or class. The memories are still there, and people are still attached to the characters they invested their time into.

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