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World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: Uncanny Valley or Paradise?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,572MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In our latest WoW Factor, we take a look at the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion to World of Warcraft and its art direction. Does it stand up to the rest of the game graphically? Well, you be the judge after you read The WoW Factor.

Looking at the screenshot below I'd say it was some new game altogether if I didn't know any better.  Well, it is technically a new game if we're counting the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion as such, however, my point was that it simply doesn't ooze "WoW" like most WoW screenshots tend to. 

Read more of Joe Sanicky's The WoW Factor: Uncanny Valley or Paradise?

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • AsamofAsamof La Canada, CAPosts: 738Member Uncommon

    anyone else think it's sad that even runescape has chest and leg armor models while WoW still doesn't??

    well it took falling sub numbers until blizz decided to remodel the old races, so maybe we'll have to wait until the numbers are really low until they pull out those big guns

    also not sure if I agree with the article, the female pandaren look pretty weighty to me. they're not as fat as the males sure, but male and female humanoids do have different anatomy (I know that claim sounds a little ludicrous considering it's fantasy furry pandas and all, but there has to be some consistency, right?)

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    meh

     

    They are adding some interesting new features but the pandas are a turn off.  It might be fun to see them running around in the game but it doesn't inspire me to go back and play again.  Maybe if they had updated and added more human and elf faces I might be tempted.  I just can't see playing a panda though.  

  • NBlitzNBlitz ZwollePosts: 1,904Member

    "Is there some innate social mechanism oppressing female Pandarens everywhere or do males just have the ability to be crazy ninja monks with a fifty pound gut? "

    I hope MMORPG.com touches on this in another section. It's not only male Pandarens but you can find it in all the games. You can't make anything short of a supermodel. Excluding AION (that I remember!) where you could really make a chubby looking female if you so pleased.

     

    You had me at "and sultry yet unnerving grin unhinge my senses." image

     

    Uncanny valley? I find it more jarring looking at the Pandas and then the old models. And those old gear models, unf.

     

    Not that I was actively looking for spelling mistakes but I did notice one. Exagerrations = exaggerations.

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,404Member Uncommon



     

     



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  • jell0rjell0r poolePosts: 5Member

    thats easy for you to say!

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,404Member Uncommon

    ive been playing beta for kicks n such free notery- and if you feel that ozzing flames and shinny water makes a whole new gaming experience then youre still living in vanilla wow.

    yes nice new farming creatures (like insects n such) new architexture (asian) and easier uie system...but once you hit level 10 and choose you rfaction = your back to origami looking textures and flat dimension on why WoW looks so dated.

    WoW really needs a facelit ala joan rivers. to keep up with todays new games. i really wanna like WoW again but it feels like an atari pong game.

    I recall the best moments for me in WoW was the Dranei Starting - goblin starting zone-and Northland- but iam not sure they can keep up with todays graphics by over laying on top on old ones.

     

     

     






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  • floreairfootfloreairfoot Nashville, TNPosts: 59Member

    Originally posted by Asamof

    anyone else think it's sad that even runescape has chest and leg armor models while WoW still doesn't??


     

    What are you talking about? Of course WOW has chest and leg armor models.

    Maybe you're thinking of rings and trinkets?

  • expressoexpresso mePosts: 2,183Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by floreairfoot



    Originally posted by Asamof



    anyone else think it's sad that even runescape has chest and leg armor models while WoW still doesn't??






     

    What are you talking about? Of course WOW has chest and leg armor models.

    Maybe you're thinking of rings and trinkets?




     

    He's kinda right WoW does not have models for chest armour, just textures, does have leg armour models e.g http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091028150555/wowwiki/images/e/e4/T10_Death_Knight_Official_Sample.jpg -  Mist adds real belt models though.

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member

    what is this i dont even?  lolwut?  something like that?

    looks an awful lot like a big pile of WoW to me.

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • KhayotixKhayotix Somewhere, FLPosts: 220Member Uncommon

    our esteemed Article author uses the term uncanny valley incorrectly in this article. sadly panda's are exempt. The uncanny valley is a hypothesis in the field of robotics[1] and 3D computer animation,[2][3] which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The "valley" in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot's human likeness.

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  • sanman7890sanman7890 Medina, OHPosts: 96Member

    Originally posted by Saryhl

    our esteemed Article author uses the term uncanny valley incorrectly in this article. sadly panda's are exempt. The uncanny valley is a hypothesis in the field of robotics[1] and 3D computer animation,[2][3] which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The "valley" in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot's human likeness.




     

    I invoke my right to artistic license.

    Pandarens are humanized pandas, characters of fiction and the original creators imaginations, and the effects the uncanny valley place upon people when viewing "human replicas" can not only be felt and experienced outside the express definition of the term but logically correlate with becoming disgusted or reviling something because it is obviously humanoid in nature yet defies our natural sense of what humans should look like.

    Thus the odd and somewhat disturbing grin of the pandaren falls under the domain of the uncanny valley, in my opinion.

    Textbook definitions are hardly ever the end of the line when it comes to defining terms. :P

    And if you don't like that explanation, here is the definition of "uncanny valley" from the very site you used to cite definitions, which you accept readily, so you must also accept this definition!

    "A range of appearances, mannerisms, and/or behaviors subtly different from humanoid in an otherwise humanoid figure that may cause negative reactions, such as fear, discomfort, or revulsion."

    That definition is open to interpretation if I've ever seen one that is before. A "range" of things, eh?

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  • evilastroevilastro EdinburghPosts: 4,270Member

    I honestly do not understand all the angst about Pandaren. Is it childish? Yes, but so is the entire setting of World of Warcraft. I wouldnt even look twice at seeing a Pandaren standing in the middle of the other cartoon races. If anything it looks less rediculous than the space cows.

     

  • katriellkatriell UTC-8Posts: 989Member Uncommon

    "possibly just an increase in polygon count on every texture in the vicinity of my adorable, pudgy panda?"

     

    Textures don't have a polygon count--models have a polygon count.

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    In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on August 13, 2008.

  • Rollcage8Rollcage8 SydneyPosts: 63Member

    Its pretty obvious blizzards will not be doing a major graphical update to the game, they are opting down the path of slow progressive updates to bits and pieces of the game.

    This makes sense to me from a business perspective as radically changing models within the game when you are dealing with 10 million customers could have disastrous consequences.

    Eventually the game will look quite different, although the screenshots don't convey this but they also updated their lighting and shadows technology. It's been revealed to be quite a bit darker in the world of Azeroth at night. The moon is also quite bright.

  • DeathofsageDeathofsage Winston, PAPosts: 998Member

    First, I understand that WoW is an old game and there's only so much they can/will do in regard to updating that.

    Still, the reviewer gives these graphics far far more credit than they deserve and to say that they approach a level of realism is ludicrous.

    They're very cartoony. I have never thought "Whoa" or even "wow" when looking at this game in the past 5 years.

    Spec'ing properly is a gateway drug.
    12 Million People have been meter spammed in heroics.
    Placing bets Blizzard's "Titan" will be a wow-clone.

  • sanman7890sanman7890 Medina, OHPosts: 96Member

    Originally posted by katriell

    "possibly just an increase in polygon count on every texture in the vicinity of my adorable, pudgy panda?"

     

    Textures don't have a polygon count--models have a polygon count.




     

    Caught me, I'm stupid.

    Thanks, appreciate the insight.

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  • AmjocoAmjoco Layton, UTPosts: 4,774Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by evilastro

    I honestly do not understand all the angst about Pandaren. Is it childish? Yes, but so is the entire setting of World of Warcraft. I wouldnt even look twice at seeing a Pandaren standing in the middle of the other cartoon races. If anything it looks less rediculous than the space cows.

     

    Totally agree! I don't care if it is a stick person as long as the gameplay is good and WoW has always had that.

    Death is nothing to us, since when we are, Death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.

  • JinxysJinxys TinkerTownPosts: 393Member Uncommon

    As much as I've enjoyed WoW over the years. I really don't think this expansion will bring me back. I am not impressed with the character models of the Pandaren at all. I actually do love Wow's art style and have done since release. Just something about these Pandaren I don't like. Oh well to each their own I guess

    And yeah I agree with the other posters the graphics are looking dated and a bit bland in some areas, would love to see Wow get that Joan Rivers facelift lol.

  • DreadstoneDreadstone Spokane, WAPosts: 125Member

    Originally posted by expresso

    He's kinda right WoW does not have models for chest armour, just textures, does have leg armour models e.g http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091028150555/wowwiki/images/e/e4/T10_Death_Knight_Official_Sample.jpg -  Mist adds real belt models though.



     

    I'm confused.  Was this link supposed to show  WoW doesn't have chest armor models but does have leg armor models?  

    In the years I played WoW there were many different shapes, sizes and types of chest armor.   While there were a lot of models people didn't like there was never a lack of models.  If there is some technical meaning to "models" in relation graphics rendering as opposed to the many looks and types of chest armor in the game, I don't think it will matter to most WoW players.

  • KrelianKrelian GöteborgPosts: 369Member Uncommon

    I would have preferred that they updated the ''old races'' AND ARMOR (in general) in this game, instead of adding .... ahh.... some goddamn pandas and a new panda starting point that most of us, (even when we take it easy) will whizz throught it in a couple of hours.

    ONCE UPON A TIME, THE HUMANS FOUGHT A BITTER WAR OF SURVIVAL AGAINST THE ORCS, while there was the looming threat of demons and undead hordes on the horizon....

    .........

    NOW WE HAVE PANDAS,,, i mean actually, really, without joking, we'r getting kung-fu pandas...ahhhh,, the headache just thinking about them running about in Stormwind, and etc. as if the place didnt already look ridicilous enough with the draenei etcatera as it is.... :(

    PS; as I slightly mentioned above, armor really sucks, and we really dont have anthing in the way of chest armor etc, AND EVEN WHEN WE DO (feet/arms) its just the reskin of JUST A COUPLE BASIC models..

    So, IMHO they need to focus MORE on the world, ARMOR and races THEY ALREADY CREATED, instead of going bananas!,,,, sorry, pandas!

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,896Member Uncommon

    From what I've seen the cartoonish art style leaves the game well to the left of uncanny valley, which is much better than being in the valley itself resulting in a psychological creepiness that many find disturbing.  I don't have a problem with the art style and the rendering does seem improved, but having it mistaken for photoreality (the right side of the valley) seems a bit of a stretch.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • grossman02grossman02 Milwaukee, WIPosts: 7Member

    I agree with the article, the female pandaren look pretty weighty to me. they're not as fat as the males sure, but male and female humanoids do have different anatomy (I know that claim sounds a little ludicrous considering it's fantasy furry pandas and all

  • SaerainSaerain Barrington, RIPosts: 944Member Uncommon

    I don't understand how the so-called Uncanny Valley is even close to being relevant here.

    Even people who talk about the Uncanny Valley like it's a fundamental truth about human psychology don't use it as a synonym for ‘things wot I find creepy’.

    Pretty sure you just don't like furries.

    Favorites: EVE, VG, LotRO | Playing: None | Anticipating: SC, ED, TD, EQN, CU
  • BarryManilowBarryManilow Pasadena, DEPosts: 707Member

    Improve the graphic engine of WoW, and I bet lots of people would complain they can't play the game in thier old computers.   Addicts of WoW, don't care how the game looks as much as the gameplay.   So they will tend to look pass the dated graphics.

    I mean you have to be a true believer of Blizzard and WoW to buy into playing kiddie pandas.    So how your character looks is not high on the list for your average WoW addict.

     

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,141Member Uncommon

    I will for sure return with my full set of alts to play new expansion. But that is not the only way to get subs. Subs mean also endgame. And with this I do NOT mean RAIDING. Nope, I have job and other things to do, despite I play really a lot. But can not immagine any working people and regular students, to regularly plan 1 or 2 weeks in advance next epic raid or spend without interruptions in game 6 hours or so. For me end game in Wotlk was only 5mans of all types. They got my subscription for at least half year more until next expansion. But with so many mistakes they did, imo of course, to end game, espec 5man, in Cata, I have lost completely any wish for end game in wow. Actually have developed kind of hatred. As much as I have enjoyed wotlk. Also there is fact out there are many other good games. For me this mean Rift and Swtor. When Blizzard lost me as endgame enjoyer, they it looks lost me for ever. And I guess there are many as me. Very costly mistake they did listening to very vocal minority that wanted to change completely wotlk style of end game, that actually attracted me to wow.

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