That’s right, true believers, new Druid form artwork! The release of the artwork! It’s begun!

/gush!

Okay, seriously, though. The artwork that has been released so far is beautiful.

Quoted directly from Blizzard;

In our next major content patch, druids will find a host of new textures for two major forms, cat and bear. There will be five different designs for each of these forms for the Horde and Alliance. Night elves can choose to change their cat and bear look at any time by visiting the barber shop and changing their character’s hair color, while tauren will be able to change which look they use by switching skin tones in the barber shop — a new feature for tauren in the next major content patch. Given that there are more hair colors and skin tones than unique form looks, some colors and tones will overlap with these new textures. The hair and skin colors chosen will, in most cases, correspond with the color seen in the look of each form. Some similar colors that may share a particular cat texture will not necessarily share the same bear texture.

We’d like to share with you this new art for each form and faction in four installments. So without further ado, our first preview is for the five new textures of the tauren druid bear form. We’ll also show the current form design so you can easily see the extra detail and textures of the new art. Work continues on new looks for the remaining druid forms and we hope to add them in future content patches.

Stay tuned for a preview of the new night elf druid bear form art coming later this week.

I’d like for you to think about how neat the concept is that they describe in that announcement.

Our Druids will shapeshift into a form that corresponds most closely with our Night Elf hair color, or our Tauren fur color.

I… I cannot in all honesty ask for more.

And the bear forms look as though they are using the richer textures with the greater detail that you find in the Northrend armor models, so we can expect a long term beauty that will help us fit in with our friends and their fancy armors.

Thank you, Blizzard. Seriously, thank you.

Here is the picture they released of the Tauren Bear forms, for your delight…

newtaurendruidartsmall

My thanks to MMO Champion for posting this up, and to Cassie, who was the first to let me know about it, and who actually sent me links, pics in various sizes, and the whole enchilada so I could post about it even though I’m at work and have zero access to MMO or Blizzard or any other major WoW website from here. Thank you both!

Updates:

Since the comments and emails are going nuts on the whole “Bear with mouth open” thing, and even though people have already cleared it up in the comment section further posted comments clearly are speaking without reading first, let me get this straightened out.

Nethaera (Blue poster) said:

Also, in the screenshots the bears are roaring, but when just sitting normally, their mouths will close in a toothy grin so to speak.

Please read what I already stated in a previous post in this thread. You will notice a more toothy grin to go with the usual intimidating roar.

No one has said anything about it only closing while sitting. :) I think there have been some incorrect inferences.

Just to clarify, when I said, “sitting around” that was in reference to idling, hanging out and being bearlike.

Tree and Moonkin forms are still something we’d like to do, but it’s something for a bit further in the future. We are aware these are things that people would like to see additional customization for.

We also would like to allow gear to affect the visual look of the forms, but this too is something that is going to need additional work in order to get it to work properly and look good.

You’ll see the further distinctions between the forms (bear and cat for tauren and night elf) as we go along in the previews.

The models have been updated and the poly count is also increased on them. So this isn’t just a simple re-skin.

And Ghostcrawler said;

They are new models and new textures. You can tell by things like how much less blocky the bear’s shoulders and rump are. There are more polys now. The difference in detail is pretty amazing and hard to really appreciate from a simple screenshot. The animations are the same as they’ve always been.

Honestly with things like this we have to be a little careful. While not many people will champion the fidelity of the old forms (because they look old!) players can get very attached to them. We were concerned that if we changed them too much (remove the horns for example), long-term druids might really feel disenfranchised. The artists did a great job of capturing the feel of the old forms while still updating them.

If you have more hair color choices than pelt colors available on the animal then more than one hair option will map to the same animal.

Having the art itself upgrade as you improve your gear is still something we’d love to do, but is obviously a much bigger undertaking. We’ll see.

And wait until you see the new Tauren cat! That was the one most in need of an overhaul, IMO.

Okay? The mouth is going to close, okay? /cry

I swear, some days I wonder if the Devs ever think of just deleting a class, and have fun announcing “Since ya’ll can’t ever be satisfied, we figured… eh, screw it. Reroll.”

What ever happened to being delighted and happy to be able to play an amazingly awesome video game? And if you’re not… why are you still playing? What do you want, a return to the pure aesthetics of Pong?

49 Responses to “Glory, glory hallelujah! New Druid Artwork!”
  1. Melpo says:

    Now if only they’d make changes to the model. Mouth breathing bear makes me sad to look at.

  2. Friday says:

    I’m so thrilled to have the new art work that I had to log on and respec feral :D Can’t wait for the patch.

  3. Melpo says:

    That said, huzzah for the changes! I don’t want it to seem like I’m not grateful for the work that they’ve done. I just was a bit sad when I saw the interesting new texture, but the model made me think they could be even cooler.

  4. Relevart says:

    Woot! I love that they are throwing us a little aesthetic love, but I do hope it doesn’t come as a trojan horse acting as the cover of some yet to be disclosed bad news.

  5. Talonkylor says:

    dang, so no tree or boomkin variations i guess…

  6. Sharvhan says:

    I was just about to send you this link, but Cassie beat me to it! My main alt now is a boomkin/feral druid, so I’m totally psyched about this news. I’m not sure if I like Andrige’s bears better, but the top middle one I like quite a bit.

  7. Melpo says:

    and I just read this.

    “Also, in the screenshots the bears are roaring, but when just sitting normally, their mouths will close in a toothy grin so to speak.” – Nethaera

    So it sounds like there is a change to animations? Do bear mouths close now?

  8. Nonprophet says:

    Never any love for the trees.

  9. Bobbo says:

    It’s a completely new model (not just a re-skin), so, yes, as Neth stated, the mouth will close.

  10. Melpo says:

    One last comment. It looks like the models have indeed changed. Some spots I’ve noticed.

    1. The nose is now broader than the old one and I think it’s the polygons, not just the texture.
    2. Rear claws. Hard to tell, but I only see three in the old model and four in the new. I imagine the old one has four as well, but they appear to be spaced closer in the new model
    3. The horns now have more polygons/are smoother and point up a bit more than out.
    4. More polygons in the front shoulders than before, smoothing out the look.

    Overall, I think the changes are really nice and if they’ve animated the mouth, it makes the roaring posture cool…

  11. Redauroa says:

    I think this is the greatest thing ever!! The fact that the slacked jaw is going to change is the best! I never minded it as long as I was fighting but running around town I always changed forms because of it. All the druids will be partying tonight!

  12. Kayeri says:

    ::clapping happily for the ferals:: :)

    At least there is hope that us trees might also get some love in the near future… :)

  13. Moondancer says:

    Great news for sure… The Tauren bear forms is an improvement.I cannot wait for Patch 3.2 so my Druids can have the updated look. The old look didn’t stop me from playing them but the model changes are appreciated. I have two Ally Druids and one Tauren Druid. I’ll be curious to see how they change the Tauren cat. I imagine we’ll see that update soon. I cannot wait to see the Alliance bear form. :)

  14. Veyska says:

    Nominally disappointed the colors seem to be hard-linked to caster colors, kind of fond of my brown bear and black cat and the logic of “Well it makes sense for your other forms to be similarly colored” doesn’t hold much water when I’m a blue-haired purple elf… :-P

    That being said, looking forward to seeing the rest of the revamped models. :-)

  15. bigbearbutt says:

    Now that just makes me cranky. You haven’t even seen the night elf stuff yet, and you’re complaining?

    Okay, moving past that. As an occasional writer of fantasy, how does it not make sense if YOU are shapeshifting into an animal, that the hair/fur colors would correspond to your characters’ natural colors? How? How does this not hold water?

    I’ve never imagined that we were trading spaces with an interdimensional bear, and when we switch to bear our body goes to some outer limbo (gear and all) and some brown bear gets swapped back in. I can see where, if that’s your understanding of the process, that you’d be miffed at having corresponding colors.

    But I’ve always imagined that my druid is changing into a bear, and the literature I’ve read seems to support that.

    I have never quite grasped any explanation for where the gear goes, although some folks suggest that the totemic spirit of the great bear (and cat, etc) is more powerful than the mundane enchantments of gear, so the very gear gets melded into our blood and bone when we shift.

    Regardless, I go by the idea it’s the elf changing into a bear or a cat. If I have white hair on my Nelf, the idea that I change into a white-furred cat is awesome… it’s more ‘me’, and less generic cat #432. I wants it, my precious, and I mean right god*%^ now.

  16. Orbitz says:

    It’s awesome, I can’t wait for the other Druid Skins, I defiantly look forward to being a lovely purple tree. :)

    GRATS ALL YOU TANKS AND KITTENS OUT THERE! :D
    (And people should seriously stop complaining… be greatful you get a change at all. Sheesh…)

  17. Melpo says:

    I must apologize bear for my initial take on the changes. I realized after I posted it that I failed to express my fondness for the new skins. It also took me a bit to notice that they have indeed made model changes (that it seems a lot of the official forum goers have missed too). This isn’t just a change in coloring (as various posts seem to indicate), but rather the model/skin update that has been in the works.

    My apologies if I seemed ungrateful (wasn’t the intent).

  18. Tigerfeet says:

    The old bear only had three claws on each paw. New bear? Not only will we have four claws (as is proper) but we’ll have a paws full of FREAKING KNIVES! Seriously! LOOKIT THE SIZE OF THOSE!

    I’m very excited to be able to change my fur color (in Tauren form) A dark grey cow made sense when I was called Coal, but now I cringe a little bit every time I see a dark grey Tigerfeet.

    Am I praying for Tauren cat-form to have a stripey option? YOU BET I AM!

  19. Blacknimbus says:

    still can’t close your mouth, though…

    ;)

  20. Kattrinsaa says:

    Hm.. with these changes, I might just set my offspec back to feral after all. put the katt back in kattrinsaa… Bear with me folks, drove 7 hours yesterday, still under the effects of highway hypnosis..

  21. Veyska says:

    Hardly cranky. :-P Just attached to my current NE appearance. And in any case, if I’m turning in to a I’d expect to look like that animal and not a purple (or whatever) recolor. You could argue we’re turning into NE- and Tauren-druid species of cats and bears, which then might be expected to look more like the humanoid forms, but I dunno… Guess it’s more a generic approach to shapeshifting than a WoW-specific one – I picked WoW up because I liked shapeshifting, not the other way around. Unless I have to pick some horrid shade of hair to get nice skins I am wholly looking forward to this revamp, just that’s the one potential issue I’ve got with it is all. :-)

  22. Veyska says:

    Wups. Misread the first line of your comment. Not really complaining, at least not seriously. Quibbling, if you will. Definitely excited, just don’t want to graphically rob Paul to pay Peter, if that makes any sense.

    Hm. And on random tangent, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the new NE cat model and skins, the wobbly antenna ears and pupils (they’re cross-eyed and it’s the only form that has ‘em) have annoyed me since they were added. >->

  23. Rowtan says:

    I can foresee a major problem with this … I’m gonna be at the hairdressers more regular than in real life, just to play with all those skins! *sigh of bliss* – its just like shopping for shoes …

  24. Leah says:

    OMG… that white bear skin will be mine, yes yes /nods

    I don’t even care about the open mouths – since I generaly only go bear when I’m tanking which means – I’m all fierce and roary :)

    I so want the white kitty….

  25. Gauntlet says:

    Yay! My wife and her best friend will be very happy.

    Sadly, a druid is one of the 2 classes I don’t have lying around (the other being shaman). It’s my fault for having 2 paladins and 2 hunters, but there are 2 factions, and it needed to be done!

  26. Tenebra says:

    Imagine being a white bear, in the upper reaches of Northrend, followed by http://www.wowhead.com/?item=44819

    Thanks Blizz :)

  27. Oteo says:

    I will kill something in excitement if the Tauren cat forms let us differentiate between male and female (being a female tauren with a male lion’s mane makes me a sad cow :'( ) but I can still hardly wait for the previews ITHINKIAMGOINGTOEXPLODE
    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  28. Sumadhi says:

    These changes are very awesome. And even though it’s been said the bear model will be able to close it’s mouth, I’m not sure why people are complaining. It seems if the bear model wasn’t able to close it’s mouth, it would represent some of these players that complain about everything very well :)

  29. Greysmoke says:

    Oh, Blizzard. Just when I’ve gotten out you find a way to pull me back in. *faints*

  30. Adso says:

    The idea of these changes, was to show your armor in shapeshift form.. i.e. your in cat form, and you have some graphics from your shoulder piece, or helm etc.. its very Voltron.. but it gives a sense of fashion to a feral/moonkin/tree.

  31. Furiursa says:

    This news pleases me in ways I can’t adequately describe.

    I and my fellow druids (my guild has a metric TON of druids in it, in fact it was founded as a druid only guild back in 2004) are totally floored by the fact that we will indeed have NEW BEAR and CAT forms now! (pinch me, I’m still not sure this isn’t a dream!)

  32. gt says:

    I for one will be a happy cat druid. I will also look forward to not confusing myself with my cat druid friends when we are all up a raid bosses butt. >_>

    Mainly I am glad they are raising the polygon count. The low poly cat compared to everyone’s shiny t7-8 always bummed me out.

  33. Tagrath says:

    As a Tauren Bear druid, I am so excited about these new models. I love being a Tauren bear, but this patch is going to make me love it so much more.

  34. Jez says:

    Definitely something to see in motion..

    And while I appreicate new Bear and Cat, 5 years is DEFINITELY long enough to have done all the reskins..

    I use the Druids of Azeroth skins, which are nice… but I guess I’ll use the update in 3.2.. maybe try and have 3.2 Cat-Bear and keep Moonkin, Tree and Travel as DoA Reskin.

    Not ungrateful… but just surprised it’s taken this long and still not all druids benefit from the change. When there’s new models and mechanics in both TBC and WotLK, you’d think they could have done druids. And the fact they admitted they don’t change the animation only the model and skin…. well… seems like they’re just being lazy.

  35. Cyrus says:

    I do worry about one thing. Will night elves with green hair turn into green bears and cats? We don’t know yet how hair color will affect fur color, but I hope it doesn’t directly correspond like that. That could be… funny at first, and MAYBE they’d make it look cool, but it seems likely that it would look bizarre. I like having green hair. It makes me look alien, i.e. elvish. But lime-green fur on a bear or cat doesn’t look alien, it just looks like some weird Yu-Gi-Oh/Care Bear thing.

  36. bigbearbutt says:

    Cyrus….

    What to you is horror, to me is opportunity.

    Blizz, let me be the first to request an all emerald green bear, and for my tummy care bear emblem, can I have a picture of a pint?

    I’ll be Guinness Bear.

  37. bigbearbutt says:

    My /dance command has to change, though. And I know JUST the dance I’d need. :)

  38. Lownwolf says:

    the new models look great, can’t wait for more previews. @anyone complaining because there is no moonkin or tree updates: They’ve said they’ll get to them eventually, the cat and bear forms are way older than tree/chicken, they’re going in order!

  39. Dorgol says:

    I think the best part of this – we will see VARIETY as Druids of all “stripes” run around our cities. No more “clone bear is clone bear”… :)

  40. Phaedra says:

    I freaked my husband out when I saw this news on the WoW site, because I started shrieking. It took a minute or two for me to calm down so that I could tell him what was “wrong”.

    I’m so excited that finally there will be differences among druids. No more raid marking our different druids to tell us apart! (as long as the other two druids don’t go all Single White Female on me).

  41. Oberon says:

    Aliance druids yes please :) !

    http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/underdev/images/druid/ss2.jpg

    I want white one … call me grampa bear!

  42. Dzur says:

    LOL, this change is cool, but honestly, there are so few bear tanks on my server that I’m unique just by existing. I think it’s neat, but it in no way changes the game for me. But looking cooler than a t8 rogue while also out dpsing him in cat spec will be fun =D

  43. Quinas says:

    While it *is* great for you ferals, please don’t say that their bear and cat models are older simply because they became druid forms AFTER release. All 4 models were available at release, it’s just that 2 of them were only for NPCs, and unplayable. And then came 1.8 and they became forms for druids. It’s great that Blizz are starting on this. But I foresee another 4 years before they do anything to Trees or Moonkins (I’m Resto/Balance); just feel a bit cheated to be honest. But I guess most people play feral.. so they’ve got to go with that.

  44. Ibarfight says:

    I would just like to say, HOLY COW taurens really got the betters bears on this one! HAH

    Secondly OMG WE GET NEW SKINS!

  45. Plainswander / CC says:

    These new looks?

    So far, they’re freaking AWESOME. I cannot wait fro the cats. I’m imagining some awesome sun-dappled lion, or maybe even something a little tigerish for us taurens. And for elves? Well, elves have always had the nicer catform, I’m hoping their is a bit shiner than ours…just for traditions sake.

    Watching the official forums fill with QQ entitled whining though makes me sad on the inside. I’m actually ashamed of my class. Here we are, handed something wonderful and beautiful and amazing that we’re wanted for years – multiple versions of it no less, and all these little misery-junkies can do is complain. It’s that kind of behaviour that (almost) mkaes me wish that druids were still gimp, just so they would all Go Away. Almost.

  46. Ribeye says:

    NEW – TAUREN – CAT. I can honestly say, I can’t think of one time prior to this that I was more appreciative of three little words (at least, when they come from the devs).

    Yay, I can has closed mouth!

  47. Bazz says:

    Hi BBB..
    YES! Love the new forms… butt…why horns?

    Colours, yes. I can see the logic. But this is a *shape change*. I’d expect the morph from upright bi-legged to quadruped to follow the original colours somewhat, but bears don’t have horns and neither do cats.

    On the bears it doesn’t look to bad, but the old cats are pretty naff looking and always have been.

    And yay regarding the mouth things.. was getting tired of wiping bear drool.

  48. KidAmnesiac says:

    Why horns? Well for one, Tauren being cattle, do typically have horns. And this does help to distinguish between the factions. I don’t mind the horns personally.

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