As we’ve known since Blizzcon last November, the character models in World of Warcraft are getting updated across the board to match the breathtaking visuals that Blizzard are able to display in-game, as well as the more recent player races.
The team have been working on the model for quite some time it seems, and they have tried to focus on the warrior-like aspect that you would expect from a female orc. In literature they’re just as fierce and axe-handy as their male counterparts, so no wonder people have felt a bit confused as to why they always look so mundane.
“When we first discussed the direction for this character, I think we all agreed right off the bat that we wanted to focus on her “warrior” side a little more,” says Robinson. “That means moving away from the more doe-eyed version we know now toward a character you would expect to see fighting on the front lines alongside any of her Horde brothers and sisters. We’re still ironing out the fine details, so the art you see here is subject to change.”
Steve Aguilar, their Lead Animator, goes on to say: “The original female Orc’s facial expression is pretty much a blank stare, which sadly doesn’t convey much life or personality. We wanted to give her more of an edge so she would project a confident ‘Don’t mess with me!’ attitude.”
“She now looks and feels more like you’d expect an Orc to.”
“Orcs are one of the most iconic parts of the Warcraft universe,” says Dusty Nolting, the Senior 3D Artist for the WoW art team. “Because she’s so identifiable, it was important for us to use the original female Orc as a starting point”
“The goal was a new model with much higher fidelity, while still retaining that classic look. We want a strong female counterpart to the male, equally battle-ready in appearance, yet still feminine.”
So far the new models look fantastic, and are a welcome update to a group of dated models which paled in comparison to their post-Burning Crusade counterparts. Robinson also states that the team are still “ironing out the fine details”, meaning that it is still subject to change.
If they keep on like this, however, it might be one of the most refreshing features that the new Warlords of Draenor expansion will have to offer.