Friday, 28 February 2014

Thoughts on female Orc and Dwarf models

Previous week there were two updates concerning the new models that will grace us with their presence come Warlords of Draenor. I must say, maybe it was too much information but I was not impressed by the facelift the new dwarf and orc female received.

I tried to reconcile this with the fact that I do not really play any female characters in World of Warcraft. The only female character I have is a blood elf mage that was supposed to be my bank alt, but due to her professions and all the vast amount of cloth I possessed, she ended up somewhere in her fifties. But it did not help, the dwarf model still appears to me so unnatural, fake.

What I thought next, was that I have pretty clear picture of what each race is, and where it draws from when it comes to males. When I see an orc I know he is  based on an ordinary Grunt from Warcraft III, human is based on a Footman, dwarf on a Rifleman, and so on and so on. All in all, I know what to look for, and what to pay attention to. So until now, all the models shown felt as a major improvement over their old ones.

It is not that I dislike them, the orc and dwarf female models. Well, I do dislike the new female dwarf model. It looks uncanny, her expressions seem freaky. I know the female dwarves are one of the least played combinations, but I doubt the new model will change that in any way.

Thinking about the orc female, I came to the conclusion that it might be a good thing not to be impressed. I mean, this could be simply a sign that they are staying true to the old models, and the changes are only visual, while retaining the feel of the old models. Something the developers said on multiple occasions is their primarily goal.

In the Artcraft update they talk about how they wanted to make the new female orc appear more warrior-like, which by the looks of it they accomplished. They hint to the new options in character creation, mentioning brown skin. While I understand that some people wish for brown orcs, I think it is just unnecessary. But to each their own I guess, if it gets me a moustache on my blood elf I can live with it.

The new orc female appears more robust, decisive, and stern. In comparison the new dwarf female appears hysterical, insane, and crazy, even possessed. The screenshots are not doing her any favours. The model itself seems as it would be without any kind of emotion just staring at some blank point of nothingness. If you look at the other models, there is at least a vibe of a feeling if not a feeling itself written on their face.

The orc appears angry, the dwarf tired, and the gnome inquisitive. Even if their stature appears neutral, they still show some sort of emotes. The dwarf female in comparison appears as if it is from a different era staring at something she does not quite understand and something nobody but her can really see.

On the plus side, the blood elves and draenei icons were added to the model preview, so now it is official, they will be getting the facelift as well. Even if they are probably going to be last on the list. As they say, leave the dessert for the end.

 Currently the models I am most interested in besides blood elves, are the forsaken. There were some sneak peaks of their models as work in progress but what I hope to see is that the bones do not penetrate through armour any longer.

It is quite silly seeing bones poke out of you brand new level quadrillion armour that can stop blows from the mightiest foes Warcraft can offer, but cannot do its job against a pair of ribs, knees and elbows. If not removed, I hope it at least becomes optional.

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