Edited! See bottom for details.

As long as I’m thinking about it…

Remember when we saw the Blizzard World Wide Invitational conference notes, and the statement that there would be a Dire Cat form?

Remember how excited we all were?

And then it vanished.

Well, that was disappointing, sure, but we had some hope that when Inscription went live, we would have some Minor Glyphs that we could use for cosmetic changes, such as a Glyph to let us look like a Polar Bear or a different kind of Cat model when we shift. 

We weren’t promised that, but it sounded like it could happen.

At the time, some folks were very excited at the idea, some folks were irritated at the thought of everyone using the same ‘flavor of the month’ Glyph and still looking the same as everyone else, and still others were irritated at the idea of ‘wasting’ a Glyph slot that could be used for a game mechanic-changing Glyph, just for a graphic change.

Interesting points, all of them, and there were some nice discussions in the WotLK forums about it.

The Devs have said quite a few times though, that they would love to do some kind of reskinning or give us options for customization, but they still aren’t sure of the best way to do it.

Sadly, we know we’re not going to have new skins in time for the Wrath of the Lich King release.

But we have been told we deserve new skins (which we knew), and the welcome news that we will get them soon, and the bar they are setting is the one they raised when they designed and implemented the Swift Flight Form.

Now, that’s awesome. It really is.

The one question I have… continuously…

Why do they keep complaining about the difficulty of designing the skins to look right, when Andrige already did it? It’s in the can, man!

Is it simply some level of pissiness, that if they didn’t do it, it must not be worth looking at? Or do they honestly think Andrige’s stuff isn’t good enough?

I mean seriously, look at his Night Elf Tree of Life form design!

nightelf_tree_of_life_form_by_andrige.jpg

/sigh. Simply beautiful.

Or take a look at his other form skins, in such a lovely format

Like the kitty skins!

andrige-catpreviewbothraces.jpg

Is that incredible? Huh? Aren’t they?

Oh, well.

Regardless, we can hope that sometime in the future, someday, we will get to have some new appearances in our forms. Even if it’s not as gorgeous as Andrige’s work.

Ghostcrawler has said they really, really, honestly and for true want to do something.

We just won’t get it in time for Wrath.

How long after? Right away? The next content patch?

I can only hope.

Maybe.

At this rate, anyone laying odds we’ll see new form skins just in time for the Emerald Dream expansion in two years?

EDIT!

To follow up on Pixiedarks’ comments, the three Glyphs that Wowhead added are;

That is all I know! No idea where Wowhead got these. Might just be stuff pulled out of datamined files, that were left over from the Beta testing. So please, don’t jump to conclusions just yet, my friends.

Oh, and edited again, for the heck of it.

As far as the issue of using a Minor Glyph for different cosmetic appearance changes.

As far as I’m concerned, I think the first step should be a cleaned up, freshened skin for each of our forms. A new baseline. And yes, I absolutely feel that there should be distinctions between male and female forms, in mane design and general aesthetics. More distinction between Horde and Alliance, in each form, and male and female versions. Baseline.

Once that is done, which is I think the core issue that has been ongoing for years, THEN we could realistically expect to see cosmetic changes to our forms, as voluntary modifications in the Barber Shop for straight gold, OR from equipping a Minor Glyph.

As it is purely cosmetic, I think that using a Minor Glyph is perfectly justifiable on Blizzards’ part. Mages, after all, have the Minor Glyph of the Penguin, and most of the ones I know use it, and if that’s not a cosmetic choice for pure fun, I don’t know what is.

What I would PREFER, would be a ‘Pet Salon’ addition to the game, alongside the Barbershops, that would allow you to take your Hunter Combat Pets and your Druid and Shaman shapeshifted forms, and give them cosmetic tweaks there.

Oh, come on.

Tell me you honestly wouldn’t like to be able to take your pet Core Hound, Fluffy, to the Pet Salon, and fit him out with your own choice of studded or spiked collars, dog tags, or even seasonal costume.

Okay, maybe the seasonal costume is going too far. I saw one of those ‘pet dogs in halloween costume’ emails going around the office today, and each pet looks sullen, angry and bitter. So okay, I’ll pass on that.

But yes, I do think that, as a very small, but very cute addition, taking our Pets and Forms to the Salon for a bit of customization would be a fun thing. 

I’m Big Bear Butt, and I approve this message.

31 Responses to “When, oh when will I get new skins?”
  1. Felkan says:

    I could care less about new skins (I’d be happy with a big green arrow), but to me Blizzard seems down right lazy regarding this issue. I just can’t believe it takes that much time to develop and deploy new skins. They have had plenty of time to work on it over the past 12+ months and it seems like they did do some work (glyph version), but then bailed on the idea. I feel for those that want new skins…

    Maybe if we got rouges to QQ about our forms we’d get them changed faster.

  2. Andrige says:

    Thanks for the feature,
    and I’m honestly annoyed that its taking them this long to get our skins. It’s not even guaranteed we’ll get it in 3.1 patch, I think by now we deserve to be set a deadline… not the “in a not so distant patch” crap.
    The pack is broken atm though, Tauren Catform can’t be changed currently for example, the one that needed the modelchange the most >_<
    Also on the wallpaper on the Nightelf Tree of Life, it looks great as just a wallpaper, but in-game and from commenters I have heard some complaints that it isn’t in line with what a Resto Druid should look like ( can’t blaim them ) so not the best example to bring up :p

  3. Tigerfeet says:

    As much of a pain as I know re-texturing, re-modeling, re-rigging is, Blizzard has had time and more than time.

    The thing is, they don’t even need to re-make the animations. You can copy animation from one skeleton to another. It’s simple to do with a custom bone rig (the kind I like to use) and even more ridiculously simple to do using Character Studio. It’s also something they’ve done before, you can tell. Wild bears have the same animations as druid bears, same for cats, it’s a shortcut that’s been used before so there’s nothing stopping them from using it again.

    I just don’t particurlarly understand it, and I’m known for my patience with Blizzard updates. One thing to remember, an asset artist is not a programmer is not a customer service rep is not a systems engineer is not a class-balance guru. If all the wrath assets aren’t created yet, and artists are still working on that then we won’t get our forms :( I think from what I’ve seen that Blizzard must use stand-in models quite heavily in order to give asset-creation artists (these are your modelers, riggers, animators, texture artists, effects artists, environmental artists) more time to do their thing.

    Yeah, it takes a while, and I know that, but it’s a big enough company that I’d think they would be able to spare one or two (that’s all it would take) artists to hammer this out. I guess I don’t really have a point, just that I’ll keep waiting.

  4. Kelathos says:

    Ghostcrawler makes me cry with his lies about the paladin ret spec. =(

    Anywho, I like those skins, they look awesome. The tree of life one looks like a corrupted treeant. WTB Dark paladin form…oh wait…thats death knights. =P

  5. Eggo says:

    WTB tree with boobs

  6. Lazaros of Llane says:

    From some of the dealings I’ve had around other IP, there’s a lot of legal issue around using a fan’s custom creations, even if said fan were to flat donate their work. It’s a big, messy issue.

    I fully agree that models need to be updated, though. Hopefully, druids will see some loving before the next expansion (post-Wrath). From there, it wouldn’t be too hard to start semi-customizing pets one could hope.

  7. Pete says:

    I suspect what’s happened, for it to take this long, is that there’s somebody high up in the art/content department who doesn’t want it to happen. Maybe they designed the original skins and refuse to see that there could be anything better.

  8. Rahl says:

    According to blizz they will be implemented after WotLK release.
    We were going to get minor glyphs, but instead they will be added to the barbershop.
    No time frame has been given for this but hopefully it will come as soon as poss!

    But for me dual spec is my most wanted feature so that i can have a pure DPS Kitty (and leveling build) aswell as an all tank build! If this comes out soon im more than happy to wait for new skins.

    Im alliance so atleast i get the nicer of the kitty models for now 8p

  9. Mama Druid says:

    Maybe they’ll include them in the “paid character customization” system?

  10. Ranak says:

    I was finally going to post a response for the first time, but Lazaros beat me to the response! :-)

    In any case, I echo what he said — it is a very sticky issue to take game ideas, art, or any other outside content for games. In all my dealings with legal departments, it is crazy how byzantine the issues are. Every time I try to apply logic to a legal issue it results in an epic fail.

    It is also quite possible that Blizzard does want to do their own original art anyway… Most game companies (and even game teams within game companies) have a “not made here” attitude outside of any legal issues.

  11. Myria says:

    Honestly I’d tolerate staying with the same ugly models (and my druid is a Tauren, so that’s saying something), if they could just fix two things :

    1) The %#*#(% mane on Tauren kitty — hint, Blizz, female lions don’t have manes! God I get sick of this. I go to Netherwing Ledge, I turn into a male Orc. I wear the disguise to go to that tunnel in BEM, I turn into a male space goat — despite the fact that (unlike Netherwing Ledge, how do those guys reproduce, anyway?) there are females there. Even without the mane thing, the number of sex changes every female character goes through really gets trying. A couple of times and you just shrug, after a while, though, you wonder if Blizz is even aware that women play this game, given that the default is nearly always to turn you into a male no matter what. Tauren kitty just adds continuous insult.

    2) Bear form camera. It’s bad enough that “Bear Bum”, as my husband terms it, takes up half my screen, but having to fight the camera just gets downright annoying. Situational awareness is a huge part of good tanking and that means swinging the camera around a lot to make sure everyone is where they should be and the healer isn’t about to get one-shot by an add. After bear tanking for a couple of years I was shocked by how much easier it was to get the camera where I wanted it whilst leveling a pally and war “insurance” tanks. Feral form cameras are mucked, but it’s really only tanking where this causes problems. Yes, it can be worked around, but, like so many other things, only bears have to and there’s no good reason some thought couldn’t be put into improving it.

  12. Arghor says:

    What about the tauren normal flight form? It has the same ELF EARS until now!!! And i had to live with that until i learned swift flight form. And Blizzard didn´t do anything to change that!

  13. Tesh says:

    Oog. I hope not, Mama. As much as I like the idea of monetizing the game via customization and bling (that doesn’t alter the game play itself), it would be sad if new Druid forms had to go that route.

    I’ve got to second TigerFeet, too. I’m a technical artist in the game industry, and even a simple retexture wouldn’t take more than a day. Animations wouldn’t have to change, and if the model changes, it’s pretty simple to rebind it. The only trouble is if they change the skeleton, but I don’t see a reason that they would have to do that. It’s just a low priority for some reason.

  14. Azleus says:

    I do love Andrige’s model edits, and would be using them for a while now if it wasn’t against the TOS. My thinking on why Blizzard turns down these skins is that they do not conform to the WoW aesthetic. When you see a WoW screenshot you know it’s a WoW screenshot, even if you don’t play the game, because WoW has a very strict aesthetic. Andrige’s model edits stick out to me, specifically, the colours used just do not gel with the game’s aesthetic.

    Also, regarding when we’ll see Druid form customization in game, I took from GC’s comment about “after Lick King” that as soon as they’d finished everything they’d promised for the Lich King box that they’d move on to Druid forms. So, given that the Dance Studio and Dual-Speccing were pushed back to patches, I’d imagine (and hope) that once these features have been addressed, we’ll see Druid form customization.

  15. Andrige says:

    Yup, I’m not them nor did I really try to be with this pack.
    It was strictly personal work at the beginning.

    P.S I’ve gotten some help now so the pack is available soon again, although without the other optional forms since I need to adjust all of them first and that’s gonna take too long to do at once.

  16. Pixiedark says:

    Wowhead’s got three new minor glyphs under their recently added section. It seems they added back the Lynx, Black Bear, and White Bear… but I’m not sure I’ll believe it until I see it. I LOVE Andridge’s skins… what an artist! =)

  17. Scartoth says:

    My only thought to that is that yes they have a lot of glyphs and it is personal prefrence. I would like a new skin, however do I want to use the skin over the other minor glyph options (Glyph of Thorns as well as glyph of Unburded rebirth (sp), that would mean I have 1 spot available for either the diffrent bear form or diffrent cat form (however I want both, without sacrificing a spot) /pout.

  18. ARA says:

    Yeah it will be nice to have new forms, but I dont blame Blizz for taking a long time to get to it. I just suspect they have more important stuff to do. Personally I dont like Andrige’s cat forms too much. The little ankle bracers look weird to be and definitely non-blizz designs…. which is fine when its a pet project for fun, but I woudnt expect Blizz to incorporate a fan’s work. I dont want to play a game partly designed by fans.

    Being “promised” stuff is a bit of a weak argument imo (cf ret pallies whining). Sounds more like a spoiled child bawling and throwing his toys out of the stroller coz he doesnt get what he wants. (more directed to pallies than to druids, lol – we’re a good bunch in general)

  19. Barkley says:

    I would like to see the skins changed but guess we will just have to wait for blizzard to pull their fingers out. Agree with the previous poster about the camera angle being a real issue at times, I remember tanking nightbane the first time with my back to the outerwall having to have the resto Druid in raid help position me like a parking attendant as I couldn’t see enough screen through my fat ass. If the two spec system is tied to glphs as well (read somewhere, can’t remember where) then I don’t have an issue using one glph in each spec to change the way I look. But all said and done the base skins need updating and if they let us dye our fir in the barber shop or add a bandana or distinguishing feature to us at least in raid you could tell two ferals apart.

  20. Kuh says:

    One of the things I read somewhere was that Blizz didn’t think we should have to waste a glyph slot for cosmetic purposes. Rumor has it that form alterations *might* be available via the barbershop at some point in time (like the next xpac )

    Personally, I think that figuring a way to incorporate portions of our armor would go a long ways towards letting us distinguish ourselves. It doesn’t even have to be anything ornate, I would be happy with something like markings (purple, blue, green for item level) with different designs (like we see with the glyphs) just for a little flavor. I really do like the idea of differentiation between the sexes. Size, hair patterns, etc could be pretty cool.

    Of course, the one downside to this is that you don’t really know what a druid that stays in feral form is packing (in PVP anyway), which could be an advantage to us. Now that I’ve said this, I’m *sure* Blizz will incorporate my idea : )

  21. Andrige says:

    @ARA: I’d like to just mention here that I do know that stuff are just… weird… but that’s because I can only work with reskinning the models, not create new ones or even add polygons to the existing ones. If Blizzard allowed players to modify their stuff, they would, and I for one wouldn’t settle with the glued-to-body ornaments that I added since I felt like it would be a nice touch after so long of basically nothing to indicate your players culture. The models are outdated and the methods to create your own model isn’t as easy as everyone thinks, there’s hardly any custom made model in the MMOwned forums and those who have can only make static objects.
    I’d love to work more on the models, that’s why I’m even taking a gaming designing course and plan to go for gamedesign as my profession, but the stuff I have worked into the pack so far… can’t do much more to improve them.

  22. Tesh says:

    Ah, modeling and texturing. That’s the bulk of my job. Andrige, if you can eke out something that looks good with a low poly mesh, you’ll be in much better place to work with high res meshes if you can get them. I’ve seen way too many meshes that could be chopped down without losing visual fidelity as long as the texturing is smart. From what I see of your work, you make the WoW meshes work better than they have a right to. It’s better in the game industry to work that way, squeezing the absolute most out of your polygons and your texture.

  23. Rowtan says:

    I’m curious – what would the 1 hour cool down be for, on those glyphs? (that could be a silly question, I just can’t think of an answer, off the top of my head!).

  24. Andruin says:

    I like the current Night Elf skins, though I think they should add female versions. I haven’t played my Tauren enough to decide if I like those skins.

    As for the camera/height problem in bear form – gnomes have it too, in all of their forms.

  25. Bazz says:

    I have only one thing to say about new skins:

    Don’t care WHAT you do, Blizzard, but lose the damn horns.
    This is a shape-SHIFT. SHIFT! get it? Taurens have horns.. we SHIFT into a Cat. Cat’s do NOT have horns. None of mine do, at any rate, though they may just be hiding them (They are spawns of Satan, after all).

    Bears do not have horns. I have no direct experience with bears, myself, but all the pictures I have seen are very definitely lacking in the head bone extension department.

    So.. lose the horns, plz? kthxbai

  26. Tigerfeet says:

    @ Bazz

    “but lose the damn horns.”

    Them’s fightin’ words!

    Of course, that’s an example of great personal opinion, I love my shape-shifted horns something fierce, you seem to swing in the opposite direction. With glyphs or a pet salon there’s opportunity for both of us to be happy, and if I have to run around as a wingless chimera to keep my horns then I guess I’ll just have to do that :)

    PS – at least we’re not clowns with poorly-rigged backs anymore!
    http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/2455/newcatrun2qf2.jpg
    and
    http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/1821/newtaurencates5.gif

  27. thebitterfig says:

    RE: minor glyphs to change appearance: add some other minor effect, too. maybe cold resistance to bear form with white bear, or such.

    also, i’d love to see travel form be either a stag (nelf), or a stag with cow horns (tauren). that’d be cool.

  28. Pixiedark says:

    Here’s some updated info from the forums… not sure if this means no glyphs or no non-glyph related changes but I figured you deserved an update since you took the time to post the Wowhead glyph info in your blog! =)

    “By the by, quote from Ghostcrawler:

    It’s not going to be in for Lich King. Sorry. Doing an entire animal texture takes a lot more art than a hair change.

    But we all agree it’s high time for new druid form art. It’s a high priority after Lich King.

    You absolutely deserve new skins and we want to do it right, and we want to do it soon. I don’t want to promise any more specifics than that until we see what problems arise when LK ships and what we need to fix. In our opinions, Raven Lord and epic flight form set the bar

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=10043217819&sid=2000&pageNo=1

  29. bigbearbutt says:

    Pixie, that was linked to above. That entire thing is what I linked to in the statement, “Sadly, we know we’re not going to have new skins in time for the….” in the post above.

  30. NO Skin Glyphs in 3.0.8 says:

    Considering the glyphs are shown on wowhead from their tracking database and the fact that we are being reworked for the new ap and armor changes i find it completely ridiculous that they aren’t able to include the skin glyphs in this upcoming patch! The black bear and white skins are in you can even see them from in game druid npc’s such as the Ilhoof character in Ashenvale. I mean the had the very slight hump change in the tauren cat form on the wotlk launch why cant they get these skins in by then?

  31. Tigrodel says:

    Face it, blizz is just lazy. They thought they could pass off the glyph on us which would only change us into another mob anyway.. Then they didnt let us have it anyway coz it was a cosmetic change. Meanwhile mages are happily turning mobs into penguins.. because it is not a cosmetic change?? O_o

    So.. over 4 years of wow, minimal change for druid skins. They’re all clones, they’re all male, (cat)they’re all just a copy of a mob or wyvern..
    Not trying to QQ but it damn well seems not that blizz is lazy, they’ve done alot but just that they overlook or do not care about fixing what in my opinion has been the longest running cosmetic problem in wow.

  32.  

World of Warcraft™ and Blizzard Entertainment® are all trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment in the United States and/or other countries. These terms and all related materials, logos, and images are copyright © Blizzard Entertainment. This site is in no way associated with Blizzard Entertainment®