Blizzard, Your art style is perfect! Don't change it

I was pleasantly surprised that they returned to the Warcraft atmospehre. Warcraft looks like a dark fantasy again, not like in WoW. I really really like it.

Cant wait to see other units and maps, and oh god I cant wait for the cutscenes.

That said, I hope the blood and gore of W3 will remain, and to be at least a little bit negative, I feel like some models could be looked on and polish/improve them. The 3 heroes we were shown (Uther, Arthas and Jaina) could use some work imo, the textures are kind of blurry sometimes, Pauldrons look maybe too big? Another post suggest to increase the size of Jainas bosom, and even little things like this make the difference. I am certainly not the only one that remembers Jaina having two absurdly huge blocks as breasts in W3. Hope they will stay true to that.


I agree with what you said. Realistic art style is better. But Spellbreaker Helm REALlY sucks.


I support the OPs point 100%

Blizzard has had a very interesting artstyle in its games that trends the line between cartoony and realistic, and for the most part they do well. I do love the more realistic look and feel of these new models. I hope that Blizzard sticks to them.


I like it! This new realistic style gives me the vibe and feel of warcraft 1 & 2.


Warcraft… a DARK FANTASY?

WTF lol


I agree, it looks amazing. Keep doing what your doing blizz. Can’t wait for this game!!!


The units like the grunts and footmen look great. But the heroes kind of look unfinished. Maybe the missing glow. Or Hair is a bit off… i think they can styalize the heroes a bit more to make them feel more heroic.


I really do enjoy the higher polygon models, but I also see the point that is brought forth about clarity in recognisability, and after some consideration I have to agree that Warcraft’s style is iconic in its comic book flavour. Their argument that they changed it because so many other titles do it is fair, I guess, however they are that way precisely because Warcraft 3 made it so popular. I can only assume they were afraid of being accused of copying their successors on the market, which is a shame but is probably an undeniable truth.

On the other hand, they made that decision to go into a more cartoony style back in Warcraft 2 due to technical limitations, so they made their weakness a strength. Now, the technical limitations are non existant, and they can finally give this franchise the lick of paint they believe it deserves.

And “paint” is probably the keyword that a lot of people are looking for here. Whether it’s cartoony or stylised or what you want to call it, Warcraft has always had an illustrated look to it. They did make a great job re-building the iconic units into this new look, however they went away from illustration and paintings, towards a true plastic replication of these characters. I do not want them to completely abandon their high polygon models, because I always thought it was a bit of a shame how many sweet details were straight irrecognisable due to being mashed into the textures, however I believe applying textures that invoke the painted/illustrated feel more or to apply a filter over the existing textures as to make them appear more like a drawing will be a large step to appeasing the traditionalists while allowing the team to really make use of their new powerful tools.

On that note, I just watched wtii’s reaction video on the panel, and one point he brought up really struck a chord with me. He talked about how there’s not enough of the actual player colour on some of the models, which is especially notable from the zoomed-out isometric view. This is, most likely, due to the fact that they did try to be more faithful to the equipment and materials. In my oppinion, this would also be solved by more illustrated textures, working to use colours that imply materials rather than realistically visualising them.

I would also like to state the obvious and say this: The game has been worked on for a long time, but they did release the Culling mission as well as those panel screenshots and videos with the clear intent of putting together the earliest presentable version to the audience to spark interest. I expect a lot of polishing and work to come even if they stay the course with their current visual direction, which could very well optimise the current look with barely any actual changes.


But actually the white line on the footman shield, Grubby was mentioning is the steel outline of the shield. They just didn’t have the tech back then to make it look like metal.
Also usually armies wear similar armor right? This is how you mainly know someone is in your team and not playing for the other guys. So it makes sense that Footmen, Knights and Pally have similar armor.

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Sure it makes sense, but does it work from a functional standpoint?

If Knight armor, and Militia armor, and Footman armor are all shown with the same textures and reflections, that makes it harder to distinguish between them at a glance during a large battle in the game.

That’s the biggest thing I don’t like looking at Reforged so far, to me it seems like they took a step backwards as far as functionality of their graphics compared to the original Warcraft III because it’s harder to tell units apart at a glance.


Yeah but the knight is on a horse, militia has a different shield and gambeson , and the hero is 2 times the size of a footman :P, and the footies have ponytails.


Please, less shoulder pads and fake cloaks, and please don’t use any character designs from WoW as reference. The fact that every armor set in WoW had to work like a lego set makes them objectively inferior to what you can do with a full body character design.

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look at warcraft II art, how footman looks. Art style was established in wc2 :stuck_out_tongue:


I seriously hope they don’t change it to the typical cartoon style all their other games have. Maybe change the tone of the game to give a bit more grim feel to it.


I couldn’t agree more. It was my dream since I was a child to play this game that would look the same as its amazing cinematics. And this feels to be exactly it. Im really tired of all the cartoony childish mess that is dominating the entire gaming industry atm. I could never get into WoW not only because I didn’t like the genre, but because I couldn’t stand the graphics. I was insanely dissappointed to learn that they’ve gone even further away from my dream to create this blocky looney-tunes skin for the best universe in the history of games.
Therefore I also beg Blizzard to continue the path that they have taken with the artstyle for the remaster. Its awesome!


I very much agree with OP. Growing up with Warcraft 1/2/3, I’ve always looked at the concept art of those games as the real indicators of the actual or natural look of the Warcraft world. I always viewed the game units on screen as nothing more than symbolic representations of the actual characters from the cinematics. So naturally, I’m very happy and excited to finally see a more realistic representation of those units in game. If the technology finally allows them to implement higher fidelity, more naturally-proportions models in the game, then why not do so?

During the Reforged panel at Blizzcon Biran Sousa mentioned that they chose this look specifically because it truly speaks what Warcraft is. Also, they saw it as a smart thing to do in today’s market in order to avoid using the same old, ultra-stylized, hand-painted, “Pixar” look that Blizzard along with so many other companies have been doing over and over again for more than a decade…

Overall, in my opinion the more realistic that they can make the art style while still maintaining readability and similarity to the old models, the better. I personally love the new look, the use of PBR, and the metal shader they currently have… though shoulder pads and hammers could perhaps be a little bit smaller : )


Personally, I absolutely agree with that.


Yea I agree the artstyle seems fine. My only complaint in that department is that some models dont look like an updated version of the old model but a completly new model all together. Like if you compared the necromancer side by side would a person be able to tell its an updated version? I dont believe so

I find this post more offensive than constructive, but understand where it is coming from. Please be more constructive than rather than attacking and degrading other people’s opinions. Art isn’t a science, one isn’t better than the other, it’s up to the eye of the beholder.

Even tho I do like HOTS art I do also like the direction the art style is going here. I think this style was chosen because they already have very approachable art styles in other projects and due to this one being more serious in story and gameplay it fits nicely in a more realistic setting.

It’s important to note that I can speak from experience this art style is significantly harder to nail which is what I think the root of most of the art topics here are about, not so much ungrounded cries for lack of toonness like this post implies. There is a level of polish that needs to be hit with this HD reforged that I don’t think Blizzard has nailed (YET) and it’s important for the community to be vocal about what details are being missed. Often for performance reasons everything is later optimized, sometimes the optimizations can leave features or details cut and degraded, if something isn’t syncing up with the rest of the composition then be vocal about it!

For instance, I don’t think they nailed the lighting at all in the game, the game play trailer specifically had some really weak lighting that made me not even want to share it with friends because it looked more like a indie machinima than a blizzard product. This is where you saw terrible reflections on Arthas’s armor because that scene was just super blown out. Thankfully it was just the trailer and not the actual gameplay but it definitely left me uneasy about the project’s position.

The level of detail on the Orcs is amazing but I don’t think the assets around them are of the same fidelity, it’s very hard to get fantasy assets of this fidelity to all match and look the same. I’d love to see all the orc builds looks as good as the Orc in the demo mission looked but it seems like they are on different levels. (seen from grubby’s play thru)

tldr; the community is right to speak out about issues with the art, not all of them are an attack on too much toon. We still need to be critical of how these textures, shaders, and animations should be tuned. It is very hard to nail a realistic style in a bright fantasy world, one of the hardest parts is consistency of fidelity between assets and asset groups, be mindful of that in your future posts.


They both look different from their original selves now, but they do look different from each other as well. The Footman has far more armour, huge pauldrons (with his team’s colour on one), a metal shield (instead of a wooden one).

Learning things anew should probably be considered a negative, and yet I doubt the units don’t look too indistinguishable if you focus solely on Reforged and forget about the original. But nobody can say for sure at this point, we need practice.