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Redone Models (Cataclysm Spoiler Graphics)

May 6, 2010

Just as a reference, I will be from now on marking posts that have lots of information or pictures from the upcoming expansion with (CS) in the title. I only didn’t today to avoid problems. I will also tag it ‘Cataclysm spoilers.’ I’m not a lore spoiler, by the way, but there’s a few images coming out of MMO champion that just make my heart glow. And I know a couple of purists want to know NOTHING about the expansion, so this is their warning. Oh, and so I don’t have to say it every time, every picture of new things is credited to MMO champion.

A bundle of pictures and files seem to have fallen into MMO Champ’s hands. The majority of which, so far, seem to be either new or redone models. Now, I’m all for seeing new monsters roaming the lands of Kalimdor. Hip hip hoorah. But still, if a high rez, high polygon murloc is winding his way in-between Surf Crawlers and so on that haven’t been updated since Launch… well, it might look a little bad. Hence them doing amazing stuff like this:

If you compare Mr Cataclysm crab to Mr Vanilla Crab, which I certainly have done given my affinity with them, the model looks way less cartoony. Or… does it? If you look, the claws are still outsized. The back is covered in cone-like spikes, not the spines of a deep ocean dweller or the sharp points of a puffer fish, but large simple cones. The face has been made to look a little evil, in my opinion, but I think the model has made the transition from outdated and clunky to pretty damn cool. Given the different body shape there, I’m wondering if it uses whole new animations. I don’t know if this new model will be retro-fitted throughout Azeroth, or if this is just some obscure pack of mobs in Sunken City. I’m not sure which I’d prefer.

This next example is of the Crocolisks. Another old model that has its flaws, none the less one that’s featured in every zone with a swamp, jungle coast or desert. The skeleton movements are also used in the Basilisks. These pictures suggest to me that whilst the model has had a revamp, and now looks pretty slick, this almost definitely will be retrofitted. Nothing MAJOR has changed other than it looking like a mob from this expansion of WoW instead of an early Tomb Raider enemy.

But if I’m impressed by the changes wrought to the humble crab, and pleased at the refit of the Crocolisk, then it’s nothing to the joy I experience seeing the work they’ve done on the Kobolds. I’m sure EVERYONE reading knows what a Kobold is, but if by some chance you never played a Human or raided at 80 or went to Storm Peakes or any ALLIANCE LEVELING ZONE, Kobolds are short humanoids that grunt unpleasantly and spout a litany on how reprehensible it’d be for you to take the candle they affix (or grows?) on their heads. It was among the earliest models made, and barely a step up from WC3 Graphics.

This was just one Variety of the files labelled ‘Kobold’, and the only one that seemed to have anything like their beloved candles. Here’s a perfect example of a complete redesign. Maybe Kobolds have been sneakily evolving all this time, or breeding with Gnomes on the side, but this new one looks a lot more humanoid. Whilst still looking ugly and knobbly, it has a much less ‘feral animal’ look now. It’s quite impressive.

I love stuff like this. I wont be going out of my way to document everything that’s going on in the Alpha, or the Beta when it hits (unless I get a key, boy-o-boy will I go to town then!) but things that interest me, I’ll post about. Here’s to spiny crabs.

-Zal

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