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WRUP: Why the ugly face?


Every week, just at the start of the weekend, we catch up with the WoW Insider staff and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" -- otherwise known as WRUP. Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game, and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

This past week, someone filed a complaint on the official forums about the WoW character models -- specifically the Orc -- not being up to Cataclysm standards. Ultimately, blue poster Nethaera responded to the thread:

orc needs (model) buffed
We often see people request for model updates. This is something we'd definitely like to do at some point in time, but time is a very limited commodity for our art team. We also have to be very careful about what it means to "update" a model. We've made changes in the past to various characters and had some people be a bit upset that it was changed on them as they had made very specific choices about the look of their character. We try to be as sensitive as possible about these types of things.

Who the heck are these people who would riot in the streets if they changed the original WoW character models? I mean, nostalgia is one thing, but have you ever looked at your character's hands? Or a Human male's face? Yikes.

This week, our WRUP is all about in-game models. In addition to the usual What are you playing? question, I asked our columnists: What in-game model would you most like to see retired and why?

Allison Robert (@AllisonRobert) This weekend it'll be Allie and Allie's Little Brother versus Hurricane Irene, which should be fun. As for new models -- dear God, will someone please replace the goddamn wyvern?

Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) I am spending my weekend hammering in the kitchen and doing my best not to break anything, including me. New models? Both male and female Orcs, male Humans, male Night Elves (they are so ridiculously lumpy in a Liefeld kinda way), and give female Trolls some more face options because everyone goes with the "pretty" one anyway. Oh, and Dwarf males. ...oh heck with it just update the polygon count on all vanilla models and smooth out all the harelips and strange muscles that shouldn't be -- BE/Draenei/Worgen/Goblin are fine.

Daniel Whitcomb (@danielwhitcomb) ( I'm only a couple rares away from Professor, so I'm definitely finishing that up. Also, still farming purple Judgement, though now I'm leaning toward the DK starting zone gear for my transmog set. As far as models, Human males, please. We look like shaved gorillas. It's even more of an insult with how awesome, say, human Arthas, or Kalec's human form, or Vrykul look. A close second is male Night Elves for looking like ungainly, flipper-handed freaks.

Fox Van Allen (@foxvanallen) ( I've spent this past week dogsitting my parents' new puppy down here in New Jersey. It's super-adorable and really excited to be alive. I've been keeping busy over the past week despite my extended vacation state, and I'm going to keep that trend going into the weekend. I'll play a little bit of WoW, and then switch over to Zelda: Ocarina of Time if the hurricane cuts out power around here. I'll also do some more 8-bit art painting. Earlier this week: Boo (see right). This weekend, I'll be starting a nine-piece series from Mega Man 2.

Joe Perez (@Lodurzj) I will be playing some more League of Legends and preparing for my big move next week. Still have so much to pack up. As far as retiring models, I think there's a few extra skins for just about every race that looks very similar to other ones. Dwarf males for example have a couple skins that are almost identical in coloring, and some of the faces could be removed. I can only hope for an updated polygon count on the classic skins and maybe some embellishments, like facial tatoos for my Wildhammer shaman.

Josh Myers (@Elamqt) Still no internet, so I might finally break down and go buy a PS3 game and reap the benefits of having a roommate who plays console games. For remodeling, I'm a fan of seeing the environment touched up, with trees being my main concern.

Kelly Aarons (@Cadistra) Life is keeping me very busy, but I want to work on some achievements for WoW and keep playing Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom. New models would make me so happy! All of my female Tauren would really like some teeth. And better hair. And a rounder, more defined snout. And ...

Lisa Poisso (@emused) ( This weekend, I'll be poking through all my old gear and figuring out who'll be wearing what old sets. Delicious! As for remodeling, I'm all for focusing on the overall polygon count, better Night Elf hands, and maybe a closer look at the flow of robes and capes -- things that I actually notice from behind while I'm playing my character.

Mat McCurley (@gomatgo) ( Getting ready for Hurricane Irene by playing League of Legends and WoW. World of Warcraft is in desperate need of a model revamp, and more people would come back to the game for that than anything else Blizzard could do, period.

Matt Low (@Matticus) Deus Ex! I'm actually going to be taking a break from it. In fact, I'm going to be playing everything since by the time you all read this, I'll be in PAX! The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, and League of Legends: Dominion will just be some of the games I'll be merrily feasting my gaming hands on.

Matt Walsh (@Rhidach) I've been talked into getting this game, Sword of the Stars, or something like that. Some kind of space 4X. Looks interesting. Otherwise, I'll be working on my Bastion New Game Plus and finishing up the achievements there. I just want Blizzard to fix male Blood Elf shoulders. Everything else is gravy.

Michael Gray (@writegray) ( This weekend, I'm getting ready for the new episode of Doctor Who and ... uh. Dodge the hurricane I guess. I think the boomkin model could use some love, I guess. In terms of the races, I think remodeling them would be almost a little masturbatory since most of the models are covered up by armor and gear anyway, so I'm not sure what model changes they could make that isn't just, yanno. New gear. And since people are clamoring to go back to old gear-looks anyway, I don't understand how remodeling the races will suddenly change the world. If we're doing real remodeling, I'd look to all the dated trees, mobs, and stuff like, not things that get model upgrades every tier anyway.

Robin Torres (@cosmiclaurel) ( Animal Crossing. I got The Spawn hooked and now I'm rehooked. We're playing the original GameCube version for now. Otherwise, I'll be looking for my sanity, since it seems to have gone missing these last two weeks before the start of school.As far as upgrading the looks of my characters, I want more customizations. I want scars and piercings and hair styles and noses and more face choices. I also would like body types. It doesn't have to be at the level of the superhero MMOs, but I would like to have at least some chance of my character not looking like hundreds of other characters.

The weekend is the perfect time to kick back, relax and enjoy some game time. Are you an achievement junkie? Can't get enough raiding? Rolling a new alt? Considering taking the leap into roleplaying? Whatever your favorite way to play World of Warcraft, let us know in the comments what you're playing this weekend!

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