As a child I used to watch a lot of Transformers cartoons on television, I’d like to think that’s what led me to my eventual decision to play a Druid. A silly treant for healing, a giant ferocious bear for tanking, a kitty-cat for shredding a target to pieces with its claws and a giant…. Owl… thing for spell casting.
So then comes the decision in Warlords of Draenor, where you look at the changing character models and seriously get jealous of those lovely, cuddly Tauren and all their fluffiness. I play a Troll druid for a reason, the forms I change into were relitively recently updated in terms of comparison to the Tauren and other races, bar that of the Worgen whom also have a recent graphical pass. Yet the Original races of the Vanilla game that could be of the Druid inclination, all have rather low resolution, low poly textures and poor animations. Druids are not alone with this issue either, with the Shaman Ghost Wolf ability form looking like a drawing of what a wolf could look like, traced onto cardboard and given fewer pixels than a tree in MoP.
A rant this is not, far from it in fact. I do love the fact that instead of the initial changes to only a few of the races, Blizzard are now confirmed via blue posting, re-working all of the original race models for Warlords of Draenor. My only thought sat here contemplating whether to stay a Troll female with the one young looking face on the selection menu, or to re-originate my character as a giant fluffy, cuddly cow. The deciding factor for me at least is the druid forms, being a druid means that more often than not, depending on specialization you spend the majority of your time in a form for a specific role than you do as your race equivalent.
Blizzard will not be (as of this post) re-working the druid forms for this expansion it would seem, and I’m extremely interested in what that will look like in WoD. A druid buffs his raid team with Mark of The Wild, he’s required to go Bear for this fight because the diversity and gear changes in the expansion allow him to and the current fight requires three tanks. He steps up in all his glory, his beautiful furry mane swishing around in the dungeon light, kneeling as his transformation magic begins in slow motion. Suddenly with a ‘POOF’ of magic, he turns from a 16 billion polygonal race model, into the familiar 20 pixel bear he’s known and loved to some extent for the last 10 years of WoW.
Time is a factor in any change, and usually Blizzard would take separate time to work on other character models and graphical changes, not during the creation of the next WoW expansion where the actual world we will be spending the next year in-game is much more important and demanding of their time and resources. The fact they decided to re-work ALL of the previous original models from Vanilla and TBC, was somewhat shocking to hear, especially if you think about it from a completion standpoint and where they must be in the development process for the scheduled yearly release of content for the game. To find time to make this alteration must mean that there was arguably less for them to do that they envisioned, and that now they have the resources to quickly introduce vast changes to the graphical elements within the game. So then, my question returns. If indeed they do have time to change plans for changes to only specific races to then change all those that haven’t changed since day one of the game, then perhaps the time could be found somewhere soon down the line to possibly change the druid forms, and bring them in line with other graphical elements of the game.
Hopefully sometime soon we can expect an announcement to do with druidic changes, and new art for our aging class, but until that day we all just have to sit and wait to see what happens, humming the Transformers theme and making the static transformation sound effect whenever we change forms. Perhaps that’s just me.
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