Since World of Warcraft was released years ago, it’s received updates improving its aesthetic appeal, and while its art style and environments are wonderful, you might be wondering what they could become rebuilt with a graphical overhaul. Now you won’t have to imagine – creator and YouTuber Daniel L has posted a video showcasing some of the MMORPG’s zones realised using the mighty Unreal Engine 4. And they look spectacular.
In the video (via Kotaku) which you can check out further down the article, the creator gives viewers a compilation of his work, with panoramic and sweeping shots of Grizzly Hills, Elwynn Forest, Duskwood, Westfall, and Durotar. They retain much of the iconic look and feel the game is known for – like Amberpine Lodge, which still has that rustic, gorgeously crooked appeal – but the recreation adds a rich level of detail and light, giving them a realistic vibe.
It’s evident in the video that the modder’s spent years working on them, with so many small details and items given a fresh new look. Check out the inside of the tavern at around the 2:51 mark and see for yourself.
If you’ve seen the video below and can’t wait to get stuck in, unfortunately it’s not clear if or when the overhauls might make it into the game as a mod for players. In the description for Daniel L’s Westfall video from 2016, he says “the plan is still to make it available for everyone when VR start[s] becoming a thing”, but adds “note: this is just a hobby project!”.
There is a question, however, about how viable a graphics change like this might be in practice for players at the moment, with user Crepe on developer Blizzard’s forums saying earlier this year that “the Unreal demo is pretty neat, but it’d kill pretty much any computer running it should Blizzard try and do that. We just don’t have the horsepower”. Perhaps so, perhaps not – but it is exciting to see a glimpse of what’s graphically possible.
Whether the Unreal Engine 4 graphics recreations will become available for players, we’ll just have to wait and see. But in the meantime, you can enjoy the video, and also check out some other mods that are available, such as this World of Warcraft addon that lets you achieve your dreams of becoming a bard. Huzzah!