Facelifts in Azeroth

I must admit, I might actually miss the old face design. I noticed a difference, when I was logging into my druid on the current version of the game. I saw her face on the character selection screen and thought, wow, bid difference methinks! I had been testing out the beta for a few days, trying to get used to the changes to Balance (the way it automatically changes eclipses and no more proxy starsurges is something to get used to), but today as I logged into Pandaria, I saw my mains current face and realized I was getting used to the new face that I saw on the character selection menu in the beta and I actually felt a pang of emotion. I guess you could say it was regret – I’ve played with this character for years and her face was gonna be changed forever in a few months when they roll out the updated models.

Just for the fun of it, I decided to take screenshots of both, sort of a before/after image for myself. I felt like making it when I saw the difference and felt like I’d want one. In fact, when they updated the art of the bear and cat forms and gave then unique coloring based on hair color, I had taken a screenshot of the cat form before the patch was released and compared my old cat form to the new one. I was glad I did at the time. I guess it’s my way of honoring the old art work and welcoming the new.

Now I did notice some news that was datamined recently, saying that you can change your character’s face in the game by visiting the barber in your capital city. This is good news, because the artwork is new and players had been playing the same faces on their characters for years in most cases (best guess). With this new feature allowed, this will give players a chance to see all the new artwork in the game and chose how to make their characters look right from the start of WoD.

Night Elf Face Art

It’s a tradition I do – when new artwork comes out, I take pictures to compare old with new, just to remember what was. Notice how much brighter the eyes are, and the smother hair/eyebrows.

It brings to mind of a feature in Skyrim, where they added a way to allow you to change your face by talking to a face sculptor in Riften, who charges an incredible fee of 1000 septims, which is the same price for a horse, but this allows you to alter your character’s face in the game. Of course, you cannot alter your character’s race or sex in this way, but still, it might be nice to get rid of that scar on your nose, or change you eye colors, or select different war paint.

I think it is nice that Blizzard is giving players the ability to change their character’s faces in game. With the artwork taking such a major change, I can imagine people are wondering what their characters will look like when they enter Draenor for the first time, and wondering what other options are there. This will give players the chance to see all the extra artwork without being forced to make a new character to do it, and it lets them change it on their main characters if they wish. I’ve played Owlaf since the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King (what a story that was), so I’ve grown used to the way my character looks, and int he beta, the most I’ve done was try out new colors and face paint (female night elves have face paint whereas the male night elves get beards instead). I’m thinking when the real thing is launched, Owlaf might race to the barbers and sit in the chair and see what options are available, what new look I might try.

So it seems this time around, when WoD is officially released, I won’t be charging through the dark portal to immediately begin the questing. Instead, I run for the barber’s for some odd reason. Silly me! Hehe.

Although if I have to be a bit of a critic, I guess I better point out one more thing I have to wait for, same for any and all moonkin druids. Blizz is updating the artwork for the characters at long last, and they’ve already updated the bear and cat forms, replaced the travel form (cheetah to stag, with a glyph option to use cheetah if you’re feeling nostalgic), and given the Worgen and Troll druids their own bear/cat/moonkin art. I think the next thing we druids are anticipating is an update to the moonkins artwork. If you notice they way they changed the glowing eyes on my night elf, you can definitely see that they might consider updating the moonkin art to reflect this aspect, not to mention bringing it up to date with the rest of the artwork. True, they did come up with new artwork int he talent tree “Incarnation: Aspect of Elune” but all this does (aside from increasing spell damage for a few seconds) is make it look as though your moonkin is wearing armor made of tree bark. While this is a cool look, it does nothing to the original skin of the moonkin, just adds armor on top of the moonkin for a few seconds.

You can see the original moonkin under that tree bark armor.

You can see the original moonkin under that tree bark armor.

Considering how the character models are being updated (and very nicely I must say), I think, and hope, that all moonkin druids are keeping their feathers crossed. We’d like to have our moonkin’s updated to look just as beautiful, and maybe more unique. For example the main difference in moonkins before the Cataclysm had the night elves moonkin with dark feathers and antlers while the tauren had brown feathers and bull horns. When Cataclysm came, it introduced Worgen who could be druids and it allowed Trolls to be druids. The Worgen and Troll moonkin forms, however, are nearly identical in every way with the Night Elf version with the exception of skin recoloring (especially noticeable in the troll as their moonkins have orange feathers). We might enjoy seeing more variation in their artwork, like maybe have a troll moonkin with bone earrings, or with voodoo trinkets and fetishes hanging around their necks, or maybe tusks coming out of the beaks? What about the Gilneans? The curse that left them as Worgen has seeped into their bear and cat forms, so maybe their moonkins can have more wolfish qualities, maybe fangs curving down from the beak, more menacing looking claws, maybe even alter the shape of their heads or beak to make it more wolf-shaped in some way. These are just ideas of course, but hopefully something might come from it.

No change to the Moonkin art yet, but keep yer feathers crossed!

No change to the Moonkin art yet, but keep yer feathers crossed!

In the meantime, we’ll definitely enjoy the new artwork for our main characters and our alts as we plunge into Draenor.

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