Zaralek Cavern Biome Thumbnails - David Harrington
Zaralek Cavern Biome Key Art Crystal & Biome Key Art Main - Gabe Gonzalez
Niffen Houses Concept & Niffen Stalls Concept - Catarina Pulli – Visual Development Artist
These concepts are part of the visual development done for the Niffen, a group of ingenious little mole folk living underground. Being poor in sight, the Niffen have always relied on their other senses to thrive in their environment. With a keen sense of smell and powerful large paws, these creatures collect the soil, minerals, and stones all around them to not only sculpt and carve their homes, but to create intricate scent trails. By crushing and burning the minerals around them, the mole folk create and contain distinct scents for specific structures, helping them navigate throughout the underground and their own village. A Niffen can always smell their way back home!
Niffen Creature Concept - Kenny McBride – Lead Character Outsource Supervisor
When designing the Niffen, we wanted to create a friendly and neutral creature culture. It was fun exploring various features like claws, noses, and teeth for their unique mole-like look.
Zaralek Cavern Creature Concept - Dave Greco
Lava Hydra Boss Concept - Daniel Hiew
Elementium Dragon Boss Concept - Paul Lam – Associate Concept Artist
Because the Elementium Dragon is a prototype for Deathwing, there was an opportunity to give it this backstory of being a subject of experimentation.
Shadowflame is used to reanimate this black dragon, so underneath the bones and flesh is that shadowflame energy that's holding the body together. The main area of the FX is clustered around the wings and chest for some opportunities to spew out shadowflame during the fight.
The armor is designed to be able to break off in sections for the fight, so they were mainly grouped in sections. The armor is meant to feel like it’s prison, and as we break down its armor in the stages of the fight, it reveals more of the tragic nature of the dragon. There was also a funny balancing act of making the armor feel like Deathwing, although probably not as powerful feeling as Deathwing, but still cool and iconic in its own right.
Black Dragon Outdoor Armor Concept - Paul Lam – Associate Concept Artist
(Plate | Mail | Leather | Cloth)
Our character Lead, Kelvin Tan, had initially created some sketches for the Black Dragon outdoor sets. We took those concepts and pushed the theme of the black dragon kit, with its aggressive, swooping, sharp shapes. Incorporating the dragon elements throughout the sets was really fun: the huge heads on the plate, the gnarly jaw shapes on leather, and the wings that make up the drapery in the cloth. The mail set was definitely a challenge—there's this idea of a dragon's body wrapping around the shoulders, but we also still wanted it to feel like functional armor. We approached this by having the shoulder pieces be symmetrical in their overall shape, adding the asymmetry on top with the pieces of the dragon head, and then having pieces that trail off, the claw gripping the arm, and the tail coming off the other shoulder.
Black Dragon Outdoor Weapon Concept - Thomas Yip – Senior Character Artist
These weapon concepts work in tandem with the awesome dragon infused armor designs that Paul Lam created for the Black Dragon outdoor theme. I also drew much inspiration from the bold shape language of Ashkandi and Crul'shorukh from the Blackwing Lair raid. Developing ideas for this theme was a great opportunity to combine classic sensibilities with a flash of contemporary flair. Sharp and dangerous!
Aberrus Main Concept - Lianna Tai
Aberrus Test Tube Concept - Alex Winkler – Visual Development Artist
These are some early explorations of what some of the larger test tube props could look like. The idea was that these were the results of failed experiments to create the Dracthyr. We wanted to push the more macabre side of that process to make it feel a bit scarier, hence the creepy malformed beings inside the test tubes!