Although she became the butt of Blizzard's April Fool joke last week, the art team have made up for it with not one, but two updates in their Artcraft blog series - one revealing the new look one half of the blue-skinned children of the Naaru, the Draenei Female.
Whilst all the currently revealed updated Character Models coming alongside the release of Warlords of Draenor have show drastic changes, what surprises most about the Draenei Female is just how little actually needed doing to the original model. Although only two years younger than the Vanilla WoW races, both the Draenei and Blood Elf models introduced with The Burning Crusade were already significantly better than the original batch of character models. All Blizzard have done is add a fresh layer of detail and a few changes here and there, but out of all the revamps, the spirit of the original design is easiest to see here.
Although not animated into any of her poses yet - hopefully her default stance is a lot less spine-breaking than her old one - there have been some significant changes to the Draenei Female's body structure as well. Although still quite well... endowed, shall we say, this Daughter of Argus looks a lot less likely to smack you in the face with her chest the moment she turned around than her previous form was, and changes to the musculature and definition of the Space-Goat legs that were previously toned down in comparison to Draenei Males give her a much more athletic, albeit idealised, appearance overall. You can read more about the Art Team's decisions behind the update in the full Artcraft blog post linked below.
The Draenei female isn't the only behind the scenes look at characters we got this week, with the release of a full post detailing the animation team's work on the characters. Blizzard animators already proved that they're some of the best in the business with the release of the Pandaren race with Mists of Pandaria, whose character models, particularly the faces, have an amazing depth of animation - so to see these details applied to the new models (in this example, the Tauren Male) breathes a whole new life into the updates. It's amazing that the team have gone from one facial animation in the old models - flapping the mouth open and closed like a puppet - to animated eyes, lips, brows, facial adornments, even teeth and gums! It's a shame that some animation wasn't included for the Draenei Female reveal too, as it's fully evident that these new models look even better in motion. If you've ever been interested in computer animation, the post is a must-read full of interesting insight.
Not going to lie, that Tauren casting animation almost made me go and roll a shaman there and then, despite the models not coming out until the Autumn!
(Tauren Emote .gif via Kotaku)