Friday, 12 September 2014
Free Face Swap, and Newfound Artistic Freedom
Today is a good day for those of us who argued a free character recustomisation is a necessity with the advent of the new character models in World of Warcraft come the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor. We can honestly say, we won. We got what we wanted, as it was revealed that in the next patch we will be getting a new option in the barber shop. We will be able to change the face of our character, and while not free, it costs 32 pieces of gold, which is still not the real money, which was my concern in the first place.
What does that mean for us then? What does it mean for Blizzard? What does it mean for the development of the new character models?
The answer is rather simple. More freedom. While we can freely choose whichever face we like the most for our character, it is the freedom Blizzard gained with this addition to the game that we should turn our attention to. Before they had their hand tied, the character models were required to look as much as possible as the old ones. This was rather complicated task since the old faces were simple, and pretty much alike in most cases. If we translated the same to the new model, then even with sharper lines there would be no actual progress after ten years.
But now things are different. Some might say that Blizzard is not obligated anymore to make the new model's faces resemble the old ones as much as possible. They are able to go in their own directions, like they went with the male Night Elves. While all the old faces are square, the new faces have oval shape, proportions of the body are different, and feel more natural. Sure, forearms are still the size of your average tree, but some things never change I guess.
In general this artistic freedom gives the developers a chance to show us how their artistic vision evolved over the course of time. As we can make the choice for ourselves if we like the current look of our characters, we have the option to actually choose a different look if we do not like the current, or stay with the new iteration of old if we like it.
This in my opinion solves the problem of free character recustomisation. Everybody wins. And that is rare these days. Blizzard has shown that they actually listen to our concerns, and even though they do not communicate it, they do work on the solutions that would keep the playerbase content. Now if only they did something about that no-fly thing they keep mentioning every time somebody asks what is the status of flying. Blood Elf models are still delayed, but I guess I can't have it all.In any case, they garnered a fair amount of good will after a very long time.