BlizzCon 2013 - Shape the WoW Art Panel

General Discussion
In Wrath of the Lich King, we got a new boot model, pants model, and a belt model. In Mists of Panderia, we got even newer and better unique belt models that makes the armor seem a lot more 3-dimensional.

Will we be seeing more new armor models in the near future?

*Rambling beyond this point, feel free to ignore.*

Gauntlets could stand to have another unique model or two at this point. Robe skirts with armor depicted on the sides need the same kind of model that some of the pants leggings have adding some 3D aspects to really show that there's armor plates hanging off the side.

Head pieces with collars on it also needs to be anchored, it looks off when the character moves their head and the entire collar moves with it, making to a very disjointed look to the collar itself. I assume it's a tech issue, but its bad enough to the point where I personally can't use those kind of head pieces.
I'd love to see more detail on designing the kits for a new dungeon or raid, the equipment from there and specific denizens of that location. Specifically seeing the process from reference gathering through iteration on the concept design through to the creation of final in game assets.
Have you ever considered expanding the cinematics department to produce end-of-xpac cinematics in the same epic aesthetic and quality of your xpac teasers and the cut-scenes in Starcraft 2 / Diablo 3?
There's a few features I've been wanting bad.

Firstly: There are probably a few of us poking around that have a mix of Ally and Horde toons. In the character select screen, could there be a toggle ability that lets you see only horde and only ally toons on ones list?

Secondly: You guys mentioned the preview armor, sometime this expack, being available, but have not delivered, why?

3rd: Would it be possible to make costume item, one where you can wear like a shirt, that lets you turn in to critters? Many wanna be merlocs or naga, etc, but their models don't support the possibility of being a playable race or are just silly (I hate merlocs :p).

4th: Any possibility of lowering the cost of heirlooms and for the love of the gods a chance to recover the gold if you accidentally buy doubles? You can do it for the justice ones and I've made this mistake to my endless sorrow...

5: Cloud serpents. They are beasts, can those of us hunters that get exalted with order of the cloud serpent be allowed to tame these wonderful beasts?

6: Its been said that you guys want to make individual specs unique, have you thought about class upgrades? Ie, Survival hunters becoming Rangers with a host of new talents, glyphs and attacks mixed in with the old. Beast masters being beast lords, marksman being snipers? That sorta thing? Naturally this wouldn't apply to just hunters, but you get the idea. This way when you become say...level 100 the class upgrade can reset your level, you could even get new type of gear perhaps. A level one Ranger can't be confused with a level 86 sur hunter.

7: Is there ever gunna be a way to get rep easier for the out dated factions? I would love to do the argent tournament in Northrend, but its bloody painful. I know you hate tabards, but what about for these types of things? I can see it being feasible for allowing tabards as the rep no longer is important.

8: Can we please be allowed to run our guildmates through high dungeons to help them level? This used to be allowed and it would help people level their alts faster. Yes, I know that double-boxers will make endless use of this and yes, newbies will complain and wanna be lazy, but the rewards are far greater than that. However, you can put a cap on it, say, you can only do it 25 times a day or something. If not that, what about giving toons of lower level 100% xp when they are in a group with a max leveled character? This way people still gatta work, but don’t abuse dungeons.

9: If you guys do updated character models, does this mean the possibility of Worgans getting tails? Does this mean the females finally get to lose that freakish mix of cute and angry? Cuz seriously, its disturbing.
As a lover of transmogrification I was wondering if unavailable parts of the many incomplete armor sets, or unavailable color variations of armor and weapons will ever be available to players?

Also, will additional hair colors be available when player models are updated?
Is it possible that we'd be able to see the early iterations and concept work of tier, pvp and challenge mode sets?

Also; New character model progress. That's an obvious one.
A couple of questions:

The art style of armour has tended towards the larger and more ornate, resulting in characters that sometimes look top-heavy with pauldrons like mountains. Are there any plans for a simpler set like the Overlord set (my transmogrification set) that just has clean, realistic lines? I know that would seem like a step backwards to some, but it really focuses the eye on the finer details in the gear. It's a more subtle set.

The Blizzard art style seems (in part) to be about cleverly using textures to avoid polygons. In many companies that doesn't work well, but the texture artists at Blizzard do an amazingly good job and for the most part, the detail tricks the eye.

Hang on, that wasn't a question but a statement. Perhaps a question for that is how the model and texture artists work together.

Last question - many of us use 3D cards with amazing rendering abilities. The game's 3D engine shows its age here more than anywhere else, with low polygon models and very limited materials. While the polygon count is a work in progress, will we ever see an option for material rendering, so the fur on my hunter's wolf looks more like fur than cardboard? I still remember seeing that shot of the original WoW cinematic with the Dwarf hunter and his bear, the bear's fur rippling in the wind. Back then it had to be pre-rendered. These days we can do a lot of that inside an engine. Have Blizzard experimented with that sort of thing?

Right now, most of us would have to turn that down a bit to run, or limit it to the player model only (could be a good option), but in a few years it's conceivable that we could render the characters in a city with this level of detail.

Okay, one more - when an expansion or patch ships, how do the artists celebrate? They deserve a party at the least. Their work is viewed by millions of people in a way that few other works of art are, and people develop emotional ties to the art. I still remember that first boat ride to Northrend, the sands sweeping across of Uldum, the lush forests of Pandaria. These moments last in our memories, long after we stop visiting the places. The artists well deserve any celebrations they receive.
Let me see...

- Considering the current state of the Worgen Female model, bugs and the fact it was "rushed", are there any chances the art team have been working or thinking about possible ways to fix it? As in, allowing the Alpha head as an option or simply working a little more on the current model to balance the model and fix bugs.

- Does the art team have ever considered making "better" Metamorphosis models? Have they ever designed a few scraps of the possible new models? If so, it would be interesting to see their thoughts on a possible female Meta, Meta based on race and gender or a more "vague" model, which seems like a shade and less like a specific kind of demon or Illidan.

- Have they ever done something, like 3D models and concept art, or thought about female/male models on Warlock demons?

- Considering the lore development in Mists of Pandaria, like all Dwarven clans coming together, Vol'jin becoming leader of the Horde, different kinds of Orcs getting into the Horde, what are their thoughts on more customization, as sub-races, in WoW?

I think it would be interesting to hear or see whatever they have in store about these matters.
1. With the rumored ramp of the races models are they going to matinee the same silhouette or are they going to be adjusted a bit to make them more functional? (like taurens having less of a hump in their neck or the females really long shin leg bones)

2. given also that most of our characters will be covered in armor most of the time will we see any adjustment made to old armor sets?

3. Will we see more unique armor models appear in the coming expatiation? (concerning all gear out side of head, weapons, and shoulders)

4. will there be more customization options? (more hair colors more hair styles more face styles)

5. will there be more customization available? (such as ear rings, face panting)

6. will a tattoo system ever be put into the game?

7. will we be able to effect the sounds of our characters and pick different voice options?

8. will there be new animations and more emotes coming?

9. has the art work gotten easier, harder or remains about the same as new tech has come along?

10: what do you think will surprise fans the most?
Was wondering how the team decided which biomes would represent the new zone content and what those decisions were based on. For example we have a jungle temple zone (Stranglethorn) but we saw another quite different one in Krasarang. (Also Temple of the Red Crane is one of the most beautiful structures I've ever seen.)

Curious what brought the cosmetic decision to make nights lighter, and any insight on the sudden disappearance and re-appearance of our second moon.

I was curious if we could see something like some other games have had with different /sit1 /sit2 /dance1 /dance2 animations that helped keep things interesting. I'd ask about chairs and benches and how many can't be interacted with or shove a character into the table but I imagine that's so low on the totem pole it's not something we'll be seeing a fix for soon/ever.

4. will there be more customization options? (more hair colors more hair styles more face styles)

5. will there be more customization available? (such as ear rings, face panting)

A thousand times this ^
I make $60 purchases JUST to play around for 10 hours creating characters in MMOs I have no interest in playing. Can we please have more options to make our characters look and feel unique?
Hm, hopefully this fits into the framework of an appropriate question:

-Is it possible, or has it been considered, to allow players to choose different models for their toons?

To clarify, the new Garrosh model is great. But, I also like the Thrall model. If I rolled an orc warrior, I'd want him more to look like Garrosh, but I'd prefer the more erect posture Thrall sports with an orc shaman, mage, or warlock.

Likewise, there are lots of different troll models I'd like to have access to (even if I had to unlock them, purchase them with in-game currency, etc).

2 other questions, since I <3 character customization:

- Lots of gear models have been removed from the game. Cata did this a lot despite the introduction of transmog (pvp gear, short capes, and other vanilla gear). Will we ever get to see those gear models return?

- Burning Crusade offered a lot of gear that was an alternative coloring of old favorites (purple Judgment for ex). Any chance we'll get to see more of that treatment?

I absolutely love the armor sets you guys make. I was wondering how you balance the look of your armor sets. For example, how did you go about making the Firelands Paladin set look like it belongs in that tier while still keeping the overall "Paladin" feel.

In other words, how do you create a set with the theme of the tier while still keeping the overall class theme? Do you constantly check if both are balanced?
Is there any chance that worgen will be able to choose Cataclysm Alpha/Beta appearances when older races get their models revamped? Seeing as a lot of people seem to prefer the old worgen appearances, it certainly makes sense. I'm really not all that fond of the perma-snarl.
Will we ever get more hairstyles?

I'd love to see how you guys design them... & yes I still want pigtail hairstyles for human females. >_>
Will we have a small Pandaren-Town in a capital city? like a noodle shop or something.

Are there any plans to add a second or third Transmogrification tab?

Any plans to be able to revisit the Wandering Isle and Kezan (maybe just for exploration)?
Since we hit Ghostcrawler up about this all the time: What does it take to create a character model? Using the pandaren as an example. Does one artist make a hand and everyone votes? Are there 30 models developed and votes cast? How fine of detail are they drawn up to because the newer character models look way better than the original ones. How are the actions made?

In a nutshell: What was the process of making a pandaren or character model?
I've seen a few questions about the new character models themselves, but I'd like to see the actual process in revamping one of the races. Which parts of the revamp, specifically, were problems when thinking about the new looks? Are all of those problems just aesthetic issues or are were there also technical limitations? What turned out to be easier than you thought it would be, if anything?

As a lover of transmogrification I was wondering if unavailable parts of the many incomplete armor sets, or unavailable color variations of armor and weapons will ever be available to players?

I would also like to expand on this question. There are several pieces of armor transmogrification sets that were only available through quests that many people (myself included) likely deleted over the years for whatever reason. Is there any way some of those could be made available again? The specific piece that I always lament deleting is the leg armor for the purple mageweave recolor that was begotten through a quest in Hellfire Peninsula as an example.

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