Thursday, 23 October 2014

WoW: Minor Visual Alternatives

Awhile ago, Chris G. Robinson, Senior Art Director at Blizzard mentioned on twitter how orcs will be getting straight backs as the alternative to the hunch they currently have, some time in the future. In the language Blizzard speaks, that probably means something like Soon™. And therefore closer to never than ever. Personally I am thrilled about this piece of information. But what I am wondering these days, is why stop at orcs? While being able to choose if your orc will walk around the globe all hunched or straight as an arrow is nice, there are other races that would probably welcome a visual alternative in regard to their current state as well.

What needs to be clear, is that the changes I suggest here are based upon my own personal preference. The changes I suggest as alternatives to what we currently have are the changes I feel would help the immersion and the game overall. They are all simple visual changes that would not bring any significant amount of work to the development team, but then again, paradox of the heap is built on grains of sand if you know what I mean.

It is one thing for hobbits to prance around barefoot, and an entirely different thing if jungle trolls, and worgen wearing full suits of armour are doing the same. An alternative version where trolls and worgen wear shoes would be appreciated. Don't start with the realism here. If they can change from a human to over two meters tall monster without destroying their armour, they can keep on their boots. Same goes for the trolls. They might be savages from the jungle, but if they wear full armour, they are doing so because of protection, not because it looks cool. And while we are at the rule of cool, you know what is cool? Shoes, so please give these two races a pair of shoes.

While we are talking about trolls, can we get some facial hair for them? They had it in Warcraft 3, and even Vol'jin has it ever since he got his new model. So there is no reason why the rest of the trolls would not have beard, and maybe moustache as well. I still remember Rokhan sporting a magnificent beard in the Frozen Throne.

Next are forsaken. I find it really sad that every new suit of armour any forsaken decides to wear deteriorates in an instant around their joints, and cracks on the back where spine protrudes through the armour. Fortunately for us, the alternative is already in the game. In China they have "censored" forsaken in a way, so no bones are visible. What that means, is that once you wear an armour no bones will stick out, and ruin to look of the armour. This would help with the illusion that no matter how the forsaken itself is doomed to deterioration, as long as he or she wears a new armour, it will hide its flaws. Think of Forsaken in a new armour, as venerable old lady still wearing make-up. We all know it doesn't hide her age, but it at least makes her feel better about it.

Also, it is about time for blood elves and the forsaken to grow some serious facial hair. In case of the blood elves, moustaches are in order, while in case of the forsaken there really is no reason why they would not have their beards when they died. I mean undead vrykul kept their beards as well, and so would the forsaken considering that humans of Azeroth quite like their facial hair. One might even say that in the northern parts of Eastern Kingdoms, they might have proffered their beards and moustache to keep the cold winds at bay. As for blood elves, just short variants like imperial, and van dyke. In contrast the forsaken would get what humans have only more messy, and damp.

The last alternative I would like to see given as an option to all the races, is to pick their main hand. Left or right. As we could see in the recent release of in-game cinematics of Warlords of Draenor, different characters such as Thrall, and Maraad are seen wielding their weapons once with their left, and other time with their right hand. As they are wielding only one two-handed weapon at a time, and neither of them is a Fury Warrior, we can be certain that the technology is already in place. Why not just give it to us, and be done with it? I want to wield my greatsword with my left hand, and as it does not affect the game in the least, and the technology is already in place, there is no reason not to include it.

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