Sunday, June 29, 2014

BETA :: If Looks Could Kill

Dwarf vs Dwarf

As I couldn't get into the Beta yesterday without everything going utterly Pete Tong on me, I have spent a bit of time playing with Wowhead's excellent Model Viewer. Having finally called up a comparison between the P I know and the P I will become... as you can see above, there's a wee bit of an issue. It's something Blizzard are already well aware of: the issues with the Beta client and the new models facial 'restrictions' are a concern for many people that is already being dealt with:

The most pressing issue, at least for me, is being able to find a way to reconcile the past 'look'and the present 'change' with a measure of satisfaction. I'm seeing increasing numbers of people who are looking at their models side by side and getting a shock at what they are provided with. However, when you consider the improvements in how armour looks on these new frames as opposed to the old ones... there's a part of me that wouldn't begrudge paying for a change of look in facial features because of the improvements to the way costumes hang on the new models. Because, undoubtedly, there is always a toss up to be made when you move forward.

Woo is wearing a sub-L60 robe, and suddenly it looks infinitely better on a small frame that is now far better proportioned. Shoulders sit more naturally and the entire outfit just feels more normal and less compressed, and for that alone I am very grateful. What is very apparent is that the amount of work that's gone into getting the Gnomes (and everyone else) this far is substantive. Some might argue it is one of the reasons why Blizzard is now having to make some hard choices about what stays in and what is left at the wayside in Beta 'development' (working on the assumption that this art is covered at least by some of the same people who 'do' some of the external 3D modelling) Of course, I have no idea whether this is actually the case or not. What I can say with a measure of certainty however is that the Artcraft feature that Blizzard have run to 'showcase' the new looks perhaps haven't been approached in the most optimal fashion in terms of preparing players for what to expect.

Pick the best pictures ^^

There is really no doubting the need to upgrade the character models in game, and I'm still a strong advocate for this change. However, whenever the Artcraft people do a blog, they can pick and choose the 'views' of each character model that best demonstrates the changes they've introduced. It's only the equivalent of me taking half a dozen selfies and deciding which ones get kept in my Pictures folder on the PC. The problem comes when players get access to the client with their own characters for the first time, which will begin to happen with increasing frequency as the Beta kicks off.

Better dress, lesser features?

All I can do now is wait and see what Chris Robinson is going to provide in terms of explanation and if there will be an option for a free 'makeover' come the new Expansion. I'm hoping therefore that the changes/explanation is coming sooner rather than later...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate this post. The first thing I noticed was when you scroll through the faces to create a new character, there really isn't variety with the new models' faces, at least with the females. I hope they look into that, or at least allow us to change our race and/or features to one we like better. I thought the changes to the models looked nice when they presented them, but when all your characters look the same now... ugh.