Bringing World of Warcraft’s female orc into the modern age

World of Warcraft's female orc revamp

Ever since The Burning Crusade launched in 2007, World of Warcraft’s non-Blood Elf and Draenei population have been looking a little antiquated. Sure, you can hide them beneath ridiculous armour, but when you want to streak through Orgrimmar, the last thing you want to look is dated. 

Warlords of Draenor promises to make that situation a thing of the past, revamping all the vanilla races to bring them more in line with the Worgen, Goblins, Blood Elves and Draenei. Art director Chris Robertson discusses the revamp of the female orc model in the latest edition of Artcraft, touching on the design philosophy and the team’s art process. It’s shaping up very nicely. 

“When we first discussed the direction for this character, I think we all agreed right off the bat that we wanted to focus on her “warrior” side a little more,” said Robertson That means moving away from the more doe-eyed version we know now toward a character you would expect to see fighting on the front lines alongside any of her Horde brothers and sisters.”

The female orc’s facial expressions and emotes have also seen some changes, leaving the blank stare behind, giving her a bit more of an edge. “We wanted to give her more of an edge so she would project a confident ‘Don’t mess with me!’ attitude,” said lead animator Steve Aguilar Now that these new high-definition models have a facial rig attached, the animators can bring to life the personality that has been so sorely missing.”

The goal with these character revamps, Robertson explains, is to build on the existing content. So while we’ll see new animations and high definition character models, there won’t be new customisation options. “Boiling it down to essentials, our primary focus is to upgrade the aspects of player character models that currently exist in-game,” he said.