World of Warcraft fans eager to see the female pandaren character model can feast their eyes below.

If you’re anxious to see upgraded classic races, I’m afraid you’ll have to close your eyes and imagine.

Mists of Pandaria will incorporate 10 times the skeletal structure in the pandaren facial features, but there will be no new upgrade to the original character models.

In an interview with TankSpot, J. Allen Brack — lead designer for WoW — stated:

“We would definitely like to figure out a way to have the time to do that. One of the problems is our character models are probably one of the hardest things for us to do, because they’re your player, so everyone has a lot of opinions. Some of them are subjective, some of them are objective, and it just requires some of our most skilled artists that we have to do it.”

We saw the issues in Cataclysm when non-endgame content dominated the design and implementation cycle, would upgrading the old models have caused the same problems for Mists of Pandaria?

For more on the revelations from the Blizzard press event, be sure to catch a special Legendary tonight at 8 p.m. Pacific.world of warcraft mmorpg mmorpg     Poly Gone

A veteran MMO player of over 13 years, Scott is a writer, editor and educator with a passion for gaming. He can be found smiling blankly over his guardian in Guild Wars2, lane running in League of Legends, or pulling off audacious headshots in Battlefield 3. Scott is Editor In Chief for ZAM and a regular co-host on GuildCast.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040766471 Belinda Smith

    Meh. Surprised about the model upgrades? I think not. But at least the Pandaren female looks good!

    • MMO_Doubter

      Looks good?

      I think it is sad that Blizzard went with a girl in a furry costume, rather than something that actually LOOKS like a panda.

      We already have lots of good-looking female character models in WoW, We can’t have a fat female panda? Real female pandas are not slim.

      I think if they were making WoW now, they would be making ‘cute’ trolls, undead, and orcs.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.klemeks Joseph Klemeks

         oh hey look your splitting hairs, cause this is totally real and everything. panda…….people…… cause Tauren also totally look like a bull.. lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/EDL123 Evan Lewellen

    Model isn’t half bad though…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Feyd-Darkholme/100000194391744 Feyd Darkholme

    I understand their hesitancy doing a huge update like this because of the negative reactions to the “wasting time” with the 1-60 zone upgrades in Cataclysm. It does need to be done though, sooner rather than later and it needs to be put out all at once… 

  • http://www.facebook.com/silentdarkn3ss Eric Arthur

    personally, i love what they’re doing with this expansion. it seems very interesting and the ideas for it seem to simply thrive. i honestly would love to go ahead and have at the content but, if there’s more that could be done, by all means Blizzard, take your time. i’d much rather have something that is an all-in-one masterpiece, than a collage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1103680651 Dave Jeannotte

    The one constant for every player through all the expansions is THEIR CHARACTER.   When everything else in the game looks great, but your character looks like a South Park reject it feels disjointed.  And I think it also starts detracting from the gear models over time.  You can look at the art panel from the last Blizzcon.  The tier gear sets look amazing in game… but you put them on these nearly 8 year old models and it just diminishes it. 

    Other less successful MMOs have updated graphics/engines over the years (some which have been out far shorter than WoW). I just don’t understand how they can’t feel this is a priority.  I’ve all but stopped playing (locked in because of the annual pass but rarely log in more than 2-3 times a month) so I honestly doubt even this would bring me back. 

    It just seems to me that the longer this game goes, Blizzard has continually put more effort into pleasing NEW people to the game and not the players that have been their longtime subscribers.  “Make it simpler.  Streamline it.  Use less abilities not more.  Less talents not more.  Skip the first 80 of 85 levels to come back and get a truckload of perks while your friend that’s played forever gets a mount they’ll never use.”  I’ve heard it stated somewhere and I can only imagine that it’s true… more people have quit and never come back to WoW than are currently playing.  When will their culture ever change to where it’s no longer “their game” but “our (the fan’s) game”?  Do you even think that’s possible?

    TL; DR: Updated character models might just be that one thing that Blizzard said they want to do that will never actually happen because it’s just too “expensive”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/the.gentle.manne.of.leisure Messedup Murphy

      still waiting on those new dances from Wotlk

  • http://www.facebook.com/DKWallaceJr Dana Keith Wallace Jr.

    The character models are coming, they will not be ready yet. The dwarves might be ready for release

  • http://twitter.com/JayShaddix Jei Shadikkusu

     I was looking forward to new character models, but I’ve felt like it wasn’t going to happen.  I’m hoping for a patch to have them implemented, and definitely drop them all at once.  I rolled a female Blood Elf yesterday, and if you zoom in on her face, it totally does look like a box of arse.  It’s actually boxy looking!  Hahaha.  Blizzard need to smooth them out a bit, when they can! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robbert-de-Wilde/1806039882 Robbert de Wilde

    the Female Pandarian looks like Female dwarf with new skin!?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ricky-Ramdas/100001032426193 Ricky Ramdas

    Its time to play guildwars wow is old -.-”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Mitchell/1162696531 Peter Mitchell

    “One of the problems is our character models are probably one of the hardest things for us to do, because they’re your player, so everyone has a lot of opinions.”Your didn’t seem to care about people with druids you ***holes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=822839515 Anders Justin Damlund

    love and agree with the way blizz prioritize game content over shiny

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002603878012 Pablo Lubrano

       Because the appearance of most of the characters that we play all the time aren’t “content”, as opposed to… random NPC boss #137 that we kill for lootz in MoP and never see again once the next xpac.. strike that; once the next major patch is released.

      I don’t understand how so many people can think that playable character models or 1-to-60 leveling zones aren’t “new content”.

      Guys, WoW isn’t just endgame raiding or PvPing.

      • Roger McKay

         When Blizzard puts in an option to skip levels 2-80, it is a pretty clear sign that end game is all that matters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1695057410 Filip Drgoň

    *sob* But they pwomised! *cries*

  • http://www.facebook.com/wFlett William Flett

    my female night elf has Man Hands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/giorgos.deligiannidis George Deligiannidis

    i don’t care about models i care more for how to fix the game and make a better contend and quests and story line

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VBIG5XDWGIH2DKNY2HHZ3A4L2E Charles

    I’ve heard a lot about it, the first thing some people in my guild asked about. Seems like a lot of them care. I play for the gameplay myself. Keeping my fingers crossed for that to be nice.

  • CJ Fravel

    I feel like this should have been done in cata, I know they said that they’re changing glyphs to include more vanity glyphs this time around, why not just do the same thing they did with tree form and allow you to glyph for your old form? In fact they can give everyone that glyph for free to so there really would be no problem, or just make it something you can toggle in the glyph pane so it doesn’t even take dust to remove or a glyph spot. These are updates not entire new races it shouldn’t take to long. 

    • ScottHawkes

       Interesting thoughts CJ, particularly on glyphs — we’ll be going into those more today. I know it does take a while to do the art design, mainly as they want their main folks on the job — the same ones who have done all the character models, environment concepts now going onto raid art etc.
      But yes, things need to be done about the models.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elias.rowan Elias Rowan

    Eh. I agree it’s not something they should have focused on while making MoP. I do think it’s something they need to do pretty durn soon though – especially with MoP dropping. The style and art of the new models vs. the old is just too glaring.

    • ScottHawkes

       My thoughts exactly Elias, they had to avoid the lack of focus on high level content that happened in Cata, but it’s getting too obvious how old some of the models are.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Carrotatheart Timothy Cathcart

      They are still working on the new models, we just wont be getting them at launch. 

  • rhastia

    I’m really disappointed that the old models aren’t going to be updated. I had been planning on making a human monk, but now I’m not so sure. I really don’t like the current model. However, I would prefer that Blizzard gets it right, so if they need more time, so be it.

    As a side note, the same can be said for gear. Now that xmog is a thing, its visually jarring to wear gear from classic along with gear from WotLK and Cata. While updating the character models is much more important, I think they also need to update some of the old gear so it doesn’t suffer from ‘pixelated blob’ syndrome when worn with newer gear.

  • rhastia

    I’m pretty disappointed about this news. I was looking forward to rolling up a human monk, but now I’m not so sure. I really don’t like the current model. While it NEEDS to get done, and soon, I’d rather see Blizz take a little extra time and do it right.

    As an aside, the same can be said for gear. The gear from classing and BC need to be updated as well. Since xmog is a thing now, its easy to see the mismatch in resolution and detail. Wearing gear from classic along with Cata or WotLK gear is visually jarring. While not as important as updating the character models, it is still something that needs to be done, to avoid the ‘pixelated blob’ syndrome when trying to xmog using older gear.

    • ScottHawkes

      I hadn’t thought of that Rhastia, I’m sure quite a few people will avoid making a human monk for the same reason.

    • Old Ben

      In WoW, many gear models actually _replace_ part of the character’s body. In other words, redoing the player models (apart from parts of the body that remain exposed, such as the head) means redoing every piece of gear that is specially adapted to that race.

      Assuming they’ve updated the gear models for the pandaren, those changes can probably be transferred over easily to dwarves (and possibly orcs), but other races will need a lot of manual tweaking, because they have completely different proportions.

      In some ways, the faces are the easiest part to change, but also the one people are more likely to complain about. Blizzard could probably solve that easily by giving people the option to “upgrade” their face at the barber, or keep their current one if they prefer (and this could be done independently of the body / armor updates).

  • http://twitter.com/WadeDMcGinnis Wade D McGinnis

    While people would complain that it is not “new content” they will continue to complain that models have not been updated for eight years. Blizzard should bite the bullet, take the time to update the models for the older races and give WoW a nicer look.

  • Maelwaedd

    I hope blizz realise that the old characters are gonna standout like dogs ballz, if they have put all this work into the background and new foes, it doesn’t look right if an 8bit character is fighting against a 64bit one.(i know thats not the actual bit rates but u get the idea)

    blizz are getting alot of chances from their fans but blizz are pushing an outdated looking game and i feel like not getting the models out with MoP may drive alot of gamers away, i hope they get these new character models down before people find other games with newer updated models, swtor n guild wars come to mind

    im just getting this feeling that blizz is trying to play catch-up after what happened in cata and they r about 12 months behind where gamerz want and expect em to be

    • boarderdog

      +1 to dogs ballz

  • Ross Bone

    Pretty gutted about this news, but at the end of the day once everyone starts getting all their nice shiny gear they will forget that underneath it their toon looks like crap.  I assume the fact that gear covers things up for the most part is what blizz are counting on to postpone this upgrade further.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa-Cartun/662259376 Melissa Cartun

    Yeah I would definitely like to see model upgrades. Every time an expansion comes out the characters/zones/models look like they’re out of place, they don’t match. It’s like wearing a tuxedo jacket with jean shorts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rikko-Lång/1501277030 Rikko Lång

    all the tables in my apartment have been flipped

  • Cliqboom

    Would like to see new models rolled out, but it is a lower priority to me than good gameplay content.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing an update of two races at a time, say Orc/Human, Troll/Dwarf…etc. That way both factions get some love, and it shows they are making progress and gives some of the people that really want new models a taste for what is coming even if it isn’t there main.

  • Cliqboom

    Would like to see new models rolled out, but it is a lower priority to me than good gameplay content.
     
    I wouldn’t mind seeing an update of two races at a time, say Orc/Human, Troll/Dwarf…etc. That way both factions get some love, and it shows they are making progress and gives some of the people that really want new models a taste for what is coming even if it isn’t there main.

  • Cliqboom

    Would like to see new models rolled out, but it is a lower priority to me than good gameplay content.
     
    I wouldn’t mind seeing an update of two races at a time, say Orc/Human, Troll/Dwarf…etc. That way both factions get some love, and it shows they are making progress and gives some of the people that really want new models a taste for what is coming even if it isn’t there main.

  • Olikin

    Seriously? It’s gonna be embarrassing how old the game looks next to swtor and gw2. OK the point is valid that taking on the task of updating 1-60 questing zones took a lot away from end game in Cata but I don’t think you can class player models as “old content” they are the one thing that is always on your screen they will always be current content and if anything was gonna keep the game looking fresh and on a level with the newer mmo’s it would be updating the player models.

  • ahnraphel

    So let’s get this straight.  Players for YEARS.  YEARS NOW! Have been clamoring for new character models.  We’ve never requested scenarios, or medals, or whatever else they are adding, and that’s what we’re getting…Blizzard continues to give their PAYING CUSTOMERS, THE PEOPLE WHO PAY THEIR PAYCHECKS what they want!  You make a billion dollars a years and then some off of our backs, it’s plain disrespectful to blame it on “a big undertaking.”

  • Wolfdreamer101

    Dear Blizzard, next time you get it in your heads to do another 4.1 patch where you just rehash 2 old raids for a patch, how about you INSTEAD get these models updated completely.  Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003035095367 Ody Core

    Blizz has spent enough time pointlessly adding stuff to the game that older content can not live up to.
    By not updating the old models and YET doing some amazing (for WoW standards…) job on the models of new npcs/zones is like taking Super Mario’s version from SNES and throwing it over to a Wii game.

  • Krzysztof Kotarba

    i want new undead! <_< i want more detail, more guts, more rotten uglyness… I want my undead look badass not like lame bunch of boxes and crap textures.

  • StigtriX

    And here lies the reason why  I quit WoW: Blizzard has shifted the focus from the fan base to the casual players in order to get more potential customers. Ironically, they started losing more customers than ever after the shift. If they went back to the old mentality and made the game for the fans, and not casual gamers and new players, they would see the subscribers multiplying like Duracell rabbits.

    What do I want?
    – Updated character models
    – Updated old tiers
    – NEW content and not remakes of old content unless they REALLY redo the content – Deadmines was not a good remake. The place still had outdated textures that looked out of place and didn’t really feel new. I hoped for new paths and totally new places, instead they just added new models of stuff in mostly the same places as the old stuff. It felt like an old gift in a fancy new wrapping that wasn’t up to date.
    – Less grinding without real progression. Firelands rep grinding is the most boring content I’ve ever been through. It didn’t even feel rewarding. Blizzard could at least add more phases with varied content. It’s the worst “Kill 10 rats” example I know of.
    – More distinct skills for each class and less homogenization – who wants to play the same way again and again?

  • Jeremy Whallon

    Everyone that still plays sends the message that they’re fine with Blizzard’s indifference every time they pay that subscription fee.

    • MMO_Doubter

       Exactly right. That is the only message that matters. They don’t care if you are happy, just if you pay or not.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Carrotatheart Timothy Cathcart

        Well when I’m happy, I pay. 

    • Bothand_Nether

       ^^^^^ +1 to This.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Carrotatheart Timothy Cathcart

    They are still working on new races, at no point did they ever say they would come with the launch of the expansion. We’re in the same place we were at Blizzcon except that they have confirmed that they are further along now, I’d expect them in a MoP patch down the line. 

    Misleading title and article :(

  • http://twitter.com/Beastingz Bob

    For me, Its A RACE TO THE FINISH!!! I am really big on my characters, and I will NOT play a character if I do not like the way that they look. And so…. There is this game, has something to do with Guilds and Wars, that has awesome character models and customization. Then there is World of Warcraft. If WoW can get better character models announced before GW2 launches, they get my $15 a month for probably another 2 years. If they don’t, GW2 gets my $60. Thats how big of a deal these things are to me. BIG!!!

  • http://twitter.com/c3o5nnect J

    I’ll take a Charr over a Tauren any day of the week… WoW had its run.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carlos-Moreno/100000967473108 Carlos Moreno

    They Can do it , but they probably don’t want to make the expansion take longer since they put a timeline that they have follow ( an expansion each year). And If they made leveling take longer than a week or so every new expansion people would probably not eat up all the content at Max level.

  • Keigh

    Blizzard just needs to go ahead and make new models for the players, I was ok with no updates for BC, WoTLK but with CATA and MoP models I cant help but always go “Maybe my character will look that good one day”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/theoleander Andy Mayfield

    It’s getting to the point where it will no longer be optional for Blizzard to implement new character models.  Even a Belf is looking a bit outdated and under-animated compared to MOBS in MoP.  It’s getting past the point of ridiculousness.  I understand the attitude of not wanting to alienate the long-time fan base.  Give us the option (in the barber shop, or by a transmogifier) to revert to the old character model if we choose to.  Keep them in the game, but allow us the updated character models please.  It’s long overdue, and more of Blizzards resources need to be refocused in that direction.  How many people are going to want to pick up this game that looks as aged as it does?

  • http://twitter.com/bloodglas Andrew Baillarge

    The sooner Blizzard just goes and updates everything the sooner people will be able to get used to their years-old characters looking a bit different.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Maziel Mark Neale

    I used to care Mike, but I no longer care. Blizzard has taken too long. 

    I was expecting new character model updates in Cataclysm.
    I do believe that Blizzard could delay the release of Mists of Pandaria and work on updating all their models.

    So long as they drop a new island, raid, dungeon, etc a patch 4.4 to keep the player base entertained whilst they are working on it, I think it would be fine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-M-Harris/1057701572 Justin M Harris

    I really really would like to see an update to the character model and graphics engine of this game. DAOC did it multiple times and it worked out. However I am a firm believer in the fact that graphics are not what make the game. If they did I would be playing rift. 

  • http://twitter.com/Kinyoku Jessica McClain

    I would love my characters models to be updated, however I dread the thought that the characters I have played for 7 years could be changed so drastically that she doesn’t look the same anymore. I can very much understand the reason for their hesitation, because the people crying “Changes now” will be the same crowd screaming “WTF Blizz! What did you do to my character?! F***it I’m outta this S*** hole.” and leave the game because of the changes. At the very least I want them to take their time and get it right so they don’t mess them up.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.klemeks Joseph Klemeks

       very much so, i know half of the people complaining will be mad at what happens after, for this reason i generally avoid the WoW forums… the way some people act makes me angry, id like them to take their time as well.

  • http://twitter.com/Kinyoku Jessica McClain

    I would love my characters models to be updated, however I dread the thought that the characters I have played for 7 years could be changed so drastically that she doesn’t look the same anymore. I can very much understand the reason for their hesitation, because the people crying “Changes now” will be the same crowd screaming “WTF Blizz! What did you do to my character?! F***it I’m outta this S*** hole.” and leave the game because of the changes. At the very least I want them to take their time and get it right so they don’t mess them up.

  • Wuzupyo

    Blizzard doesn’t seem to be trying to deny any criticism, given that they just approved this fan art, haha.

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/media/fanart/?keywords=&view#/fanart-1254

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shane-Griffin/100000111836878 Shane Griffin

    im just hopeing that they will do it in a patch

  • http://twitter.com/Nathiest Nathiest

    I hope it’s not another lie and they do, do character model updates via MoP patches like they said that they would. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IL7J7A3V2ZNIXCQ7LSOJGTH5RY Rizen

    Im sure they could easily rescale the panderan’s into the other races, but lets face it, the entire engine is garbage.

    • Brian Koskovich

      Actually, they’re pulling a lot from this engine. I’ve heard the reason they’re keeping the it is because of accessibility to the customers. If they switched, then they’d lose a substantial part of the fan base if people couldn’t run it because of system requirements.

  • http://www.facebook.com/semhamblok Sem Hamblok

    new mmodels now plss