I always hate it when my fiction turns to time travel for plot devices because it’s so rarely done properly. Blizzard recently revealed its new World of Warcraft expansion called Warlords of Draenor. In a tinfoil hat edition of Know Your Lore, Matthew Rossi delves into what he believes the expansion means for the manipulation of time we’ve seen in WoW. I have a bit of a different take on what the new storyline means and how time travel within WoW works.
Have you ever noticed how much better Guild Wars 2, The Last of Us, and Assassin’s Creed look compared to World of Warcraft? It’s because the artists at Blizzard are lazy! They could have updated all of the old character models by now if they just put in a little bit of effort. I also think we should have advanced character customization similar to Saints Row or Mass Effect. Also, all of the current armor looks terrible, so they should spend a few minutes fixing that, too.
Are you cringing yet? If I were reading that paragraph in a comment, I would be.
Updating the old character models is a monumental task. Last time, I covered the basics of what a model is. Today, I’m going to be telling you about the things Blizzard does that makes a model update more complicated than most players think.
Want to make me cringe? Make a post on Blizzard’s official World of Warcraft forums, or a fansite’s WoW forums, and demand that Blizzard updates the character models for WoW. Say that updating the models is easy and the artists are lazy. Be sure to mention how other games like RIFT, Guild Wars 2, or The Last of Us have much better looking character models. Then, include a wish-list of things you want to see on the updated character models.
I cringe because nearly everyone demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how WoW’s models work, let alone character modeling at large. Updating the models is a monumental task. There is a lot going on under the hood. There isn’t some magic button the artists can click that instantly upgrades everything to a higher polygon count. (Even if there were, there’d still be quite a bit of work to do to get the models ready for use in-game!)
Updating character models isn’t going to be an easy task. First, let me try to explain what a model is. We can get into updating the character models later.
There was a video posted last week (it’s embedded above) talking about a problem with Skyrim. The creator, Mumbles, focused on the Thieves Guild in Riften. In case you do not recall, the Thieves Guild quest line starts when the player visits Riften. They will be approached by a man named Brynjolf, who claims all of the player’s wealth was gained through illegitimate means—stealing, extortion, robbing the dead, things like that.
I’m not going to summarize the problem Mumbles addresses. The video is not even five minutes long. Just watch it; she makes her point pretty succinctly.
Anyway, it’s no secret that I did not like the Thieves Guild quest line. It had its moments and started with a cool premise, but I didn’t like it overall. Compare my articles on the Thieves Guild with my articles on the Dark Brotherhood, and you can see that I was far more enthusiastic about the Dark Brotherhood. It is simply the better faction. The writing was better, the quests were better, the design was better. All well and good, but this doesn’t really touch on why the Dark Brotherhood is better. It wasn’t until I watched Mumbles’ video that I realized what makes the Dark Brotherhood stand out.