Hi, I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director of World of Warcraft, and welcome to a special edition of Artcraft focused on an idea that’s still quite early in the inception phase: class accessories. For a long time now, we’ve felt that our character classes could use some more visual customization options, and we’ve heard you might be thinking the same thing. When I play WoW, I see Hunters pulling arrows from thin air, firing shot after shot with no visible clue as to where that ammo is coming from. I’ve heard Druids speak fondly of mystical objects called Idols, and listened to Shamans talk of Totems. And my Paladin seems to have developed a strange hitch in his gait due to the lack of a Libram at his side.
While some of those items once existed in-game as gear for the now-retired “Relic” slot, you’ve never been able to actually see those items on your character. We’ve been cooking up some concepts for how we might be able to bring that sort of class-specific visual customization back in the form of purely cosmetic class accessories—and while we’re not here to herald their imminent arrival, we thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peek at what we’re conceptualizing from an art perspective, and have our item-design guru Owen Landgren give you some insight into how they might work.
Before we show you the goods, keep in mind these are still way early in the design process, and getting them into the game will likely need to wait until after you’ve faced off against the Iron Horde. But this is something that’s been requested so frequently, we thought you might appreciate knowing we’re working to make it happen (eventually). So without further delay, here are a few concepts for you to take a look at!
As you can see, these concepts are all somewhat Alliance focused, at least for now. We’re thinking we’ll have Horde and Alliance color schemes for accessories whenever it makes sense. And while we’re planning on creating the “obvious” accessories for the classes that once had Relics, we have a lot of ideas for accessories we think would be awesome for all of the classes. Don’t let that stop you from sharing your own ideas with us, though!
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse at what we’re working on in the art realm, here’s Owen to explain the designers’ early thinking on how these might be worked into the game:
“Back in ye olden days of Cataclysm and earlier, the Relic gear slot provided some classes with an additional item that would impart character stat bonuses. We always thought it would have been cool to show these Relics on your character, but aside from the generic quiver for Hunters wielding a bow, the artists just didn’t have time to do the concept justice. We were also faced with some unique design challenges, including questions about how much additional unique artwork would have been required for each new tier of raid and PvP gear. However, once the Relic slot was retired and the visuals could be divorced from gearing mechanics, the idea of bringing these back as a character customization feature became something we talked about more and more.
Our goal with these class accessories is to offer players a whole new path to customizing the look of their character. While you might decide to wear the same armor as your friend, choosing different accessories allows you to communicate something extra about your character. As a Rogue, are you the swashbuckling buccaneer with daggers on a bandolier and stashed up every sleeve? Or are you the poisoner, carrying bubbling, smoking vials filled with terrible concoctions? Perhaps you’re the shadowy figure that lurks in the dark, replete with darts and throwing stars to fell your enemies from a distance? As you obtain new looks, you’ll be able to mix and match thematically—if a particular Hunter gear set looks better with a longbow and quiver than a blunderbuss and ammo pouch, the option is yours. Mix in Transmogrification, and the visual combinations are nearly endless.
“We envision that class accessories will be rewarded from a variety of accomplishments in World of Warcraft. These could be as simple as attaining a new level, or as monumental as conquering a vicious raid boss. We want each player to have access to multiple accessories, but have some rarer accessories that take more effort to obtain.”
—Owen Landgren, Game Designer
Hey there—Chris again. As we mentioned, these are still just some early ideas and concepts, and we hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse behind the scenes. We know a lot of you are excited about the idea of having new ways to customize the look of your characters, and we look forward to sharing more as we continue to make progress. Thanks for reading!
You can follow Chris Robinson and Owen Landgren, as well as World of Warcraft game director Tom Chilton on Twitter.
It's wonderful! I want get me a big grimuar with demon wings or with skull for my warlock :)
Can't really do much here with warriors.
This is exciting!
Will these be out on Warlords of dreanor?
"... you’ve never been able to actually see those items on your character."Not 100% true. I remember my hunter making quivers years ago, and they'd show up on his back.
I like where they're going with this.
Class Accessories: Approved.
Excited about this!
My best guess for what each class would use...Warrior = BannerRogue = ThrownDruid = IdolDeath Knight = SigilShaman = TotemPaladin = LibramHunter = Quiver/ Ammo PouchMagi = Wand or some magic channeling objectWarlock = GrimoirePriest = Holy RelicsMonk = Chi Talismans
ah, this im looking forward to! i think this would be a really great idea to bring into the game. cant wait to see how it turns out!
Make these crafted vanity items, with recipes ranging from easy to obtain mats for mundane looking models to rare mats for insanely awesome looking models. Here are some off the cuff ideas, the items are listed with the professions that would want them but not necessarily the professions that would craft them. BOE can be equipped by any character, BOP could mean "requires ______" instead.Alchemy:BOP Flask/Vials (3d belt accessory)Blacksmithing:BOP Smithy Hammer (3d belt accessory, replaces Blacksmith Hammer)Enchanting:BOP Dusty Fingers (hands sometimes poof with dust or flash with essence)Engineering:BOP Utility Belt (transmoggable belt, replaces all required tools, does not need to be equipped for benefit)Inscription: BOE LibramsBOE Hair Dye (dyes a colored streak in the user's hair like pandaren females have)BOP Quill (3d belt accessory)Jewelcrafting:BOE Earrings/Face Jewelry (Tauren nose rings, eyebrow rings, studs, etc)BOP Blingbuckle (3d belt accessory)Leatherworking: BOE Quiver/Bullet Box/Bullet Belt/Bandolier (changes to appropriate piece with equip/transmog)Tailoring: BOE Embroidery (cloak border overlays with unique designs)BOP Shimmerthread (cloak sometimes pulses with whisps of magic energy)HerbalismBOE Corsage/Boutineer (flower pinned to wrist or chest)BOE Floral Beret (flower behind ear)BOP Herb Pouch (3d belt accessory, +10 herbing)Mining:BOP Headlamp (3d head accessory)BOP Pickaxe (3d belt accessory, replaces pick, +10 mining)Skinning:BOP Bowie Knife (3d belt accessory, replaces skinning knife, +10 skinning)Archaeology:BOP Rolled Map (3d belt accessory)First Aid:BOE Battle Dressings: Head, Chest, etc (bloody bandage head accessory, shirt, etc)BOP F.A.K. first aid kit (3d belt accessory)Cooking:BOE Camp Stove/Hibachi/ Forge Goreman's Ubergriller 9000 (placed object, instant cast, +10 cooking in bag)I'm copywriting Forge Goreman, btw ;)Fishing already has a bunch of fun vanity items, it doesn't need more.
I believe a good cosmetic could be a battle standard that goes on your back, sort of like the argent grunting pet or the horde blademasters. They can even make it to where your reputation with the factions races decide which flag you can display. Mages could have a familiar that gets more complex or a a spellbook that gets thicker the higher the level.
Great idea! Next on to-do must be coloring your armor/weapon.
LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIBRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMS!The Light is with us!
Nice. Having my hunter pull an arrow from behind him like a cartoon character is a but funny. (kept waiting for him to pull a kitchen sink)
This will probably give a lot of increase in the game quality.I think that these little details are the really difference between a good game and a great game.
The fact that this is STILL in the concept stage or drawing board stage does not bode well for blizzard. Time to get off your ass and get this done guys.
Yeah and as a purely cosmetic customization, it will be purchasable with money I bet. That would make me mad.