Hello, this is Chris Robinson, Senior Artistic Director of World of Warcraft. In this new edition of Artcraft, we will discuss a project that is currently in the embryonic stage of development: class accessories. For a while now, we have thought our character classes lacked customization options for their appearance and the players seem to share this view with us. WoW Hunters let fly arrows that appear out of invisible quivers. Druids speak passionately of mystical objects they call idols , shamans evoke mysterious totems and my Paladin seems to sorely miss his librams.
When, at one point, objects in the Relic slot disappeared, nobody ever noticed this on their characters. We recently reflected on different ways to reintroduce this type of visual class customization to the game with purely cosmetic accessories. And although they will not appear in the game for some time, we've decided to give you an overview of our preliminary artistic concepts and asked Owen Landgren , our item design guru, tell you a little more about how they'll work.
Before I show you the results of our work , we want to emphasize that this is only an initial concept and you will probably not be able to get these accessories in the game until you have faced the Iron Horde. This article is simply to inform you that we are already underway with the development of this feature, which we know is dear to your hearts! So, without further ado, feast your eyes on some of our concepts!
As you can see, there are currently only accessories for the Alliance. We intend to differentiate later by assigning the colors of the Horde or Alliance to items if we deem necessary. Moreover, if we are to create specific accessories for classes which previously used relics, we have equally big plans for all classes. That said, do not hesitate to give us your ideas and suggestions!
After this brief overview of the artistic concepts under development, Owen will explain how the design team plans to integrate the items into the game:
"During Cataclysm and even before, the relic slot gave some classes an extra item, and the accompanying bonus stats. And even then we thought it would be really great if these relics could be seen on the character. Unfortunately , apart from the conventional quiver for hunters wielding bows, the artistic team has never had the opportunity to examine the concept further. We were also faced with unusual challenges in terms of design , especially regarding the amount of visual customization required for each piece of raid or PvP equipment. But, when the relic slot was removed and could be dissociated from equipment visual mechanics, we started to talk again about the possibility of reintroducing them into the game, as part of appearance customization.
These class accessories aim to provide players with a whole new way to customize the look of their character. For example, even if you decide to wear the same armor as your friend, you will be able to choose different accessories to make your character stand out in the group. Are you one of those buccaneer rogues who wears their daggers on a belt, or hidden in their sleeves ? Or a poisoner who never travels without his vials filled with deadly potions steaming and bubbling ? Perhaps this is you: the mysterious figure lurking in the shadows , armed with darts and throwing stars , ready to defeat the enemy from a distance? Each new look will allow you to create your own thematic combination; if you feel the long bow and quiver better suits your hunter visually than a blunderbuss and a pouch, you are free to interchange . Add Transmogrification and the visual combinations are almost endless.
"We would like class accessories to reward players for their feats in World of Warcraft , either for simply gaining a level, completing a major challenge , or defeating a formidable raid boss. Players will have access to a wide range of accessories , but some rare items will require a special effort to obtain them. "
Owen Landgren , Game Designer
Chris here , to conclude. Again, this is all ideas and preliminary concepts, but we nevertheless hope that you enjoyed discovering . We know that many of you are eagerly awaiting the ability to further customize your characters and we will continue to share our progress. Thank you for your attention!
You can follow Chris Robinson and Owen Landgren , and World of Warcraft Game Director Tom Chilton on Twitter.