A nice surprise awaited the citizens of Stormwind and the Undercity when the new Beta build went live earlier. New, unique models for King Varian Wrynn and Lady Sylvanas Windrunner debuted in their respective cities, looking every bit as awesome as faction leaders should be. Although Lady Sylvanas received a makeover over a month ago -- changed from the erroneous Night Elf model into the proper High or Blood Elf model -- this newest iteration is more regal, more intimidating, and just more badass. Taking a screenshot proved difficult as throngs of admirers threw all sorts of emotes at the new Dark Lady from /cowers to /kisses.
King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind also received a graphic overhaul, upgrading from pre-TBC PvP Honor gear to a unique armor set with an eagle and lion motif. He also no longer dual-wields Jade Serpentblades but more appropriately what looks like Quel'serrar. So Wrynn has apparently taken care of the Onyxia problem. Twice. Alex Ziebart points out that he also seems to be wearing Anduin Lothar's belt (always thank your lore nerds!). It's a cool model except that he always seems to be scowling and occasionally yawns. But the details matter -- Varian's face is also battle-scarred -- and I want to seriously give props to the Blizzard artists behind these new models. They're just completely fantastic.
[EDIT: I probably should have mentioned this, too, since I'd already checked it out but reader RogueJedi86 called me on it -- they also updated the dragon model for Alexstraza, and can be viewed on World of Raids. She really likes her trinkets and baubles like the sophisticated lady that she is...]
In other news, this Beta build also saw the traitorious Varimathras converted into a duotone Rubik's Cube. Maybe a placeholder for better graphics or punishment for being such an arrogant lackey? If anything, however, with all these unique models coming out, perhaps it's a good time to update the other boss models in the game. Thrall, the baddest of all badasses, still looks like he's in Level 40 greens [NOTE: Reader Skeeran correctly reminds me that Thrall's armor is Orgrim Doomhammer's armor as seen in Warcraft III... but it still looks like Level 40 greens.]. Even worse off is Cairne Bloodhoof, who looks like he got all his gear from the Wailing Caverns. Since these bosses are soon going receive a lot of visitors, it's probably a good time to dress them up properly to receive them. I mean, Tyrande Whisperwind is still wearing a nightdress...