Blizzard Entertainment today revealed the World of Warcraft female Orc character revamp, showing off what the popular character will look like when the Warlords of Draenor expansion arrives. It is the second character revision Blizzard has showed off to date, following the female human.
World of Warcraft senior art director Chris Robinson explained in a blog post that the new character model focuses more on her "warrior" side.
"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," he said.
Lead animator Steve Aguilar said the original female Orc's facial expression is "pretty much a blank stare" and that had to be changed. He said the female Orc should now have more of an "edge" and you should be able to feel her "Don't mess with me!" attitude.
Character artist Dusty Nolting explained that Blizzard began by using the original female Orc as a starting point to make sure that her silhouette and proportions remained intact. The overarching goal for the new model was to update her look with "much higher fidelity" while retaining her classic look.
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Finally, Robinson pointed out that Blizzard's goals for the World of Warcraft character revamps is to upgrade the aspects of player character models that currently exist in the game. This approach means you shouldn't expect drastic changes, but rather visual improvements and new animations. That said, Robinson explained that Blizzard reads fan ideas and did not rule out bringing some of the "coolest ideas" to the game someday if possible.
Blizzard announced during BlizzCon in November that it plans to update all eight of the original World of Warcraft races, as well as Draenei and Blood Elves. To achieve the level of graphical fidelity Blizzard is aiming for, developers are increasing the polygon count significantly (in some cases this means going from fewer than 1,000 to over 5,000), doubling texture resolution, increasing bone count, and retouching almost every animation. Some of the new character models will be available when upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor launches, but Blizzard hasn't yet said which will be ready for release.
Warlords of Draenor is World of Warcraft's fifth main expansion, following The Burning Crusade (2007), Wrath of the Lich King (2008), Cataclysm (2010), and Mists of Pandaria (2012). In addition to the character model revamps, the expansion introduces seven new zones, raises the level cap to 100, and allows you to boost one character automatically to level 90.