Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Final Countdown (Day 23) :: Wishing (If I had a Photograph of You)

Question from Wow Insider's The Queue, October 13th 2013. Mike Sacco is your host...

I think it would be fair to put quite a lot of significance next to the 'redesign' of character models in game. So much so, I can see it as being a replacement not simply for a new class, but a new race to boot once Blizzcon begins. Certainly using visuals of each new race (in some kind of dance music video, don't tell me you're not going to Blizzard because I KNOW YOU BETTER) as a way to start proceedings would, I think, whip the assembled masses up into a suitable frenzy, especially as Blizzcon is famed for its Dance Contest. You wanna know where all those people they pulled off Titan production went to? I reckon they're frantically putting the finishing touches to the animations. That figure of 25% complete that was wafted around in August? DELIBERATE SMOKESCREEN.

Either that, or they really are pushing the boat out.

In all seriousness, the redesign of not simply characters but the character screen was already begun in Cataclysm, and I can expect that as part of the game EVERY SINGLE PLAYER will be given the chance to re-customise not simply their look, but quite possibly new features to boot as part of their Expansion package. What else could we expect when that happens? How about body shapes?

The possibilities are, of course, endless. The only restriction is TIME...

Although some of us would love to see more diversification in body shapes, there are those people for whom Blizzard knows change could have the opposite effect. In fact, the cautiousness with which designers have addressed these changes makes me think that they're going to be VERY careful when they introduce the new models. A dwarf, for instance, will initially have to look pretty much identical to an existing dwarf, just with more detail. After that, if we use the Garrosh 'model' as an example. you could theoretically give us a choice of a couple of Orc templates for whom the animations scale. The male models are, I will say, of little importance to me. The female models are of significantly more interest, and I find myself hoping Blizzard don't do anything stupid in the redesign process... and by that... well, I reckon you know what I mean without going off on a tirade. That could be a major problem, and I hope someone's borne all the (potential) body shape issues in mind whilst the redesign has taken place.

No Dwarf Druids. WELL DUH.

There's also the possibility Blizzard could pull a few unexpected moves from the Great Big Bag of Surprises this time around. Many people fancy Gnome Hunters with a mechanical pet for starters... how about removing class restrictions from everyone so you could have a Dwarven Druid if you so desired? The game could allow a Dwarf to specify starting in the Draenai Starting Area for variety too... there are a number of possibilities to mix up the 'traditional' character creation experience. The icing on the cake of course would be to allow people not simply to change their appearance but also their sex, which is part of currently-offered paid services at present, so you could feel as if you're being given something for nothing, which is always a bonus.

I've said it before and I'll say it again here: I think people would be prepared to forgo not simply a new race but a new class if Blizzard get this part of the game experience retooled, and part of me thinks this is a big selling point the the designers are betting on for success. The bigger question then becomes, will it be finished in time?

We don't have long now to wait to find out... ^^

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