BlizzCon 2013 - Shape the WoW Art Panel

General Discussion
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The animations of monks are so diverse compared to that of all of the other melee classes. Will we ever see some variety in physical animations added to the melee classes in par with monks?

I ask this because it's just so apparent how repetitive the special attacks are for current melee classes. It didn't stand out as much when there weren't as many abilities, but now it's painfully obvious. Especially for the races that has special attack animations that makes them flip in the air and leap forward by a foot *cough worgen cough*. And one more question:

How difficult and time consuming are attack animations to make, especially with the daunting task to reanimating the newer models for all of the vanilla races, as well as adding them to the more recent races?
First: What is the process for the design of a faction leader and their armor?

Second: What determines a faction leader getting a unique model? Is it to showcase the new player models (like troll models are done so Vol'Jin gets an update) or those leaders central to the story (for example Thrall's update in Cata)?

Third: The mobile armory allows players to change the background for their characters, is something like this doable on the character selection screen?

Final: When Classic WoW came out there was a set model for the npc worgen and a set model for the npc goblins. When Cataclysm came out those npc's were changed to reflect the newer player models. Now we have Mist of Pandaria which changed a great deal of the animal models, (tigers and frogs) and for that matter some models for mounts (any of the Vicious PVP mounts). However many of the npc's this time around remain untouched. Is this something that the art team is interested in tackling?
What would be the chance of getting a "super high end" version of all the art for people with very good pcs? Could still leave the version we have for everyone still on win95 but then others could toggle it over
I was curious as to what limitations do you encounter when designing armor. I ask this because it seems all belts are designed strictly along the horizontal axis, as opposed to hanging off of the hip.
Lots of the races or nations in World of Warcraft have architectural and armor/weapon styles inspired by real-world cultures. Stormwind and Lordaeron have a western Europe feel to them, the Tauren seem inspired by native American culture, and Uldum is certainly very ancient Egyptian.

- Are there any real-world cultures that you would like to see inspire an in-game faction's art and architecture in the future?

On the other hand, there are plenty of factions in Wold of Warcraft who employ architecture and tool design quite unlike anything from reality. Orcish buildings look rather odd, Burning Legion and Draenei/Naaru architecture and weaponry are definitely out of this world, and the designs of the three arthropod empires (Qiraj, Nerubian, Mantid) all look appropriately creepy.

- How difficult is it to create an alien art and architecture style from scratch, and what influences your choices for never-before-seen culture motifs?
Silly question... Moonkin: sexiest model in the game or sexiest model in the universe?

Serious questions... The visual art and music of each zone work so well together. Which comes first? Does the art team get the music to inspire their drawings or do the composers get the concept drawings to inspire the music? Or are you all inspired by the story and magically come up with cohesive ideas?

How much time goes into set dressing? Are the designs of interior spaces driven by the "owners" of the establishment and their culture? Or the zone they're in? Or a combination of both?

How many models of candle are in the game?
Just something that's always bugged me, why is it that so many NPC races are completely lacking in female models, even when it would help improve immersion and lore? Is this a conscious decision, something mandated from higher up, or just a lack of time and "importance?" A lot of these races don't even seem to have concept art for the females, which is kind of a problem.
Are there any races that have concept art for females that we haven't seen, and they just didn't get their own models?

Which races did you guys have the most fun designing, did you get to go really crazy and just make them look however you wanted without a real basis on anything pre-existing?
Great idea! Though speaking as someone going to blizzcon, I hope you still allow some people to ask questions at the end of the panel in person!

So some questions that a quick search didn't show...

I remember reading that you don't use normal maps for WoW. Is this true? And if so what are some tips/tricks/ways you get around but still keep the "low" poly counts? Like will you make higher poly versions and use that for texture creation?

With more and more power behind computers and consoles now, I've been hearing talk that poly count (to a degree) isn't as big an issue anymore. So long as they make sense and aren't there "just because" you can use more polys on things. Is this something you agree or disagree with, especially for next gen games such as Titan.

While at it's core, it seems like games such as Diablo and WoW are modular (in that they re-use a lot of similar assets to populate zones) how often do you find yourself making more "one-off" type things? Like an awesome prop/room/something for a boss.
  • Will casters ever have animations - or is it on the table to think about - to use their weapons when casting a spell? The closest thing I've seen to this is a warlock in meta form fighting Elegon. Spamming touch of chaos, they swipe their 1h/staff in a standard attack... but it's still neat to see weapons and offhands that normally wouldn't be involved.

  • Who decides what model is okay to become a mount? and how do they deicde on what armor and colour armor - if any - to use? Like Mushan have all the spines down their back yet their armor flattens that out.

  • What goes into designing a completely new mount (yeah it used the same rig as other models, but not everything in the game has to be 100% unique :p) like the echanted fey dragon or skyscreamer?
  • Why was Tyrande's hair changed to green? It's been deep-not-dark blue since WCIII, and even for the War of the Ancients TCG box art (, we see her current design, but blue hair. And why the half-up beehive as a design choice? A change in style would be one thing, but a 'do that's out of character (Loose, disheveled , and now hair that would take an hour) and impractical for a warrior-archer-priestess?

    On a less fannish note, with the character updates, will there be updates on old-world and BC armors to just have higher polygons and not look out of place? Will the bones for robes, cloaks and other flowy armors be updated, maybe to not to flow as beautifully as [certain non-blizzard tomb pillager]'s hair, but not look stretched cylinders or chunks of wood?
    "I know this is a noob question, but is Blizzcon always in the same place every year, or does it move around?"
    09/20/2013 08:16 AMPosted by Draenybrit
    "I know this is a noob question, but is Blizzcon always in the same place every year, or does it move around?"

    That's a really good question for the Art Panel :)

    /shy smile


    "I am an Artist, but I can't travel far, or spend much. I was hoping the Con would, someday, come closer, so I could enjoy joining the Artistic fun."
    OK. Fair enough. Con is always in SoCal. And about the same time of year.



    "SoCal you say.......THAT just MIGHT be doable one of these years. Thanks."
    "Lets see if I can more properly word that last question........."

    "I would love to see the New Models for the Forsaken Female. Are you considering giving us the option to have our missing skin replaced? They are my favorite Avatar, except their gear is always falling apart, no matter how new it is. I would love it, if you could change this, please."

    ("Was that better? I am new at this.")
    Will we EVER see the return of the full-screen bloom graphics option? I notice that SSAO (screen space ambient occlusion?) adds a drop shadow around me...which is just not as eye-candy.

    "This is not a question. It is something I would like to share with the Art Panel, as a way of saying Thank You, for all your hard work and dedication......."

    "Reality, Resanity, Recycled"
    'By Cyndi Lou Marris Hue of Whisperwind'

    "Reality and insanity, where is the balance of trust?
    In reality, you understand insanity,
    And through insanity, you learn to appreciate reality.
    So where is the danger of surviving in both?
    Reality you need, insanity is a pleasure.
    Reality is survival and insanity makes it bearable.
    So both can aid to life.
    Where would this world be,
    Without imagination, fantasies and dreams of rainbows.
    Where would we be if everyone said,
    "That's crazy!", instead of, "That's possible!"
    To the ideas of time?
    Where would we be if there was no imagination,
    To release a smile?
    Nor fantasies to build dreams on?
    So, hello mind, let's talk awhile.
    Let's see what dreams we can pull from the cobwebs,
    And build into a reality."


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