A definitive ranking of Warcraft’s updated character models
You may be asking yourself, “Why is there so much buzz about updating a character model?” and “Why do WoW nerds cry so much, you only ever see the back end of a 1-inch-tall toon in-game?” and those are valid questions. There is one simple answer to every question ever asked about players of Warcraft (or their behaviour); we nit pick. We will always nit pick and there will never be an instance where everyone falls silent and agrees, on anything. Now, let’s move on.
Before we get started with the updated character model countdown, there are a few universal points I have to make. These are things that were noticed across the ‘updated model’ board and hopefully they make it to Blizzard because it needs to change.
– Why do ALL the female character models look like they are wearing makeup? I can understand on the mortal races, but all of them? Its hard for me to get behind the idea of a female Undead getting up out of her slime and decay covered coffin to brutally massacre everything around her, only to start her day by coating the eyelashes on an eyelid that has half-decayed off her face with thick cartoonish mascara. What? They don’t even have eyeballs. Same with the Trolls – a notoriously repulsive race throughout lore. Stop it Blizzard.
– Can we talk about the male hunch? Are their rippling pectoral muscles that heavy? And for some races where the hunch makes sense, I think we have come far enough as humans to sacrifice the ideal view of a cartoon’s rack to put the female version into a hunch as well.
Let’s get this countdown started shall we?
#17/#16 – Human Female & Male
The human female model has to be the most underwhelming update by far. Even through the presentation of her updated model, her vapid expression does not change (while for other races there is a demonstration of both new hairstyles and new facial expressions; see Orc, Troll, Night Elf, etc) Both of these new models just look like a bunch of over privileged white college frat kids. She loves clubbing and puppies and he loves cheap beer and cheaper women.
#15 – Draenei Female
Space goat snooze fest this way. It is a shame that she has been reduced to being one of the 2 races that are eye candy in the game. Draenei have a lot of interesting lore behind them, yet none of it feels like it has been reflected here. Don’t get me wrong, I have always liked the Draenei, but not much feels to have changed.
#14/#13 – Troll Male & Female
The Troll male definitely feel too similar to the old model. In the example given there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of changes. Troll females, however, got smaller panties (to show off their new ass no doubt) and some warts. Even the example given – one of the ugliest Troll set-ups – she looks over sexualized. Troll females had the ability to be cute and feminine, or prune-tastic and revolting and in the new model updates we’ve lost that diversity.
#12 – Tauren Male
His hunch is too big. It just, sticks up so high… I have such a hard time peeling my eyes away from that weird and un-natural hump – which says a lot considering I’m talking about a cow-human hybrid of some sort. The fur detail is fantastic and the Tauren male has a more realistic presence about him, except for THAT HUMP. Also he really needs a chapstick for those crusty lips.
#11 – Night Elf Female
One of the few models that actually satisfies everyone is the Night Elf female. She has kept her sexy eye-candy attributes but now reflects a more complex character. She showcases a diverse range of emotions and expressions – showcasing the captivating beauty similar to Tyrande (or even Azshara) to the persistence, ferocity and intellect of Belysra (a priestess who – through the centuries – aided the Worgen and helped them realize their potential, fight off the Undead onslaught, and eventually join the Alliance).
#10/#9 – Gnome Male & Female
As much as these lil’ ones stir up buried rage from past PvP experiences, they really have come a long way. The Gnomes are now complex, expressive and quite sassy (also found in Goblins). There have been leaps and bounds made in terms of their improvement but they are, in essence, and annoying know-it-all type race and kicking off the top 10 is where they shall stay. (Shout out to the female Gnome side-eye found at the bottom right of her showcase. This may become my new image response for everything.)
#8 – Draenei Male
One of my personal favourite improvements has got to be the Draenei male model update. Previously he was just a bunch of stiff components but now… now he is all man.. goat… alien… thing? One thing that did stand out was how his chin-tacles don’t seem to match the rest of his body. They just look stuck on there. It seems minuscule but compared to the immense improvement of everything else, it stands out.
#7 – Undead Female
I really wanted to love this update, and I really really tried to – but I can’t. Not yet, at least. As a long time fan of the Undead, the female character model update is so disappointing. Looking past her apparent full face of makeup, why does she have a full pair of hooters and plump behind? Literally every other part of her is falling off or rotting to some varying degree yet it’s supposed to be believable that her boobs and ass are untouched? Another element that was lost with this update was the facial diversity – if you chose a certain face with a specific level of rot, removed her eyes… presto. She looked almost Asian. Something I absolutely loved (since there is no racial diversity in the game AT ALL – and no, a white guy with blackface doesn’t count). On the other hand a lot has been improved upon with her hair and she is more believable as a character. (Sidenote: Doesn’t she look like the new Morticia Adams? Is it just me?)
#6/#5 – Dwarf Male & Female
The changes made to these two genders are fantastic, and bring previously boring-looking characters into the forefront of the game. Dwarves have such a rich history in the lore and it is so satisfying to see that reflected in their new appearance. The men look so complex, like seasoned and grizzled fighters – the women are right on par, now relevant and as equally bad-ass as their male counterparts (because they are!). Dwarven females have always been the butt end of a bad joke, which was based on their lack of conventional sexiness. When female Dwarves are compared to concept art, however, they still come across as a little dumpy, instead of being strong and muscular.
#4 – Undead Male
My personal favourite update by a landslide. The best part has to be the loss of their ugly nose, but the creepy-meets-attractive facial update comes in at a close second. He looks withered and half preserved and gross, all absolutely perfect and appropriate for an Undead male. In addition his hair no longer looks painfully dumb and out of place. The best part – Blizzard kept the iconic qualities; his impossibly tiny waist, the unrealistic claw-like finger and toe bones, and his absolutely ridiculous protruding joints and bones (bow chicka bow wow!).
#3/#2 – Orc Male & Female
The Orc male was one of a few models showcased during Blizzcon last year so we are no longer dazzled by the improvement. If you watched the stream (or were lucky enough to attend) you got to see the art team stiffen up over his new face, facial hair, and overall weight and realism. A few things that stood out that were not addressed during that panel are his astoundingly long and hot-dog-eque fingers, and his pepperoni nipples (don’t write when hungry). The Orc female on the other hand, is perfect. She went from being a small Orc male with boobs to an incredibly strong and independent character. Her post-update model looks nothing like the pre-update version, and she now has an aesthetic worthy of the Orc females before her – she is as attractive as she is strong and imposing. There is a quote from A Warrior Made pt 1 that perfectly sums up this update, “…she had cast off her childhood frailty to mature into this… this vision of female Orc perfection.”
#1 – Tauren Female
So many of you are going to jump at me for this but the Tauren female has to be number one. Even though she is seriously ugly and looks like an abused cow-version of Trevor Phillips (from GTA V), we all can’t deny that it’s better than what she was. I don’t know where to begin with her pre-update model. The body shape, the fur texture, that face. At least now she has a look that is equivalent to the male Tauren and we all can begin to forgive Blizzard and take her seriously. It will be a long journey, but these model updates show that Blizzard is trying to mend their ways and I think we owe it to them to find forgiveness in our hearts.
**This is an incomplete list because the Night Elf male has yet to be released, and the Blood Elf male and female are being released after the launch of Warlords of Draenor. **