Musclier, hairier and wearing better undies: meet WoW’s new night elf

By Brenna Hillier
15 May 2014 22:42 GMT

World of Warcraft’s female night elf character model has had a bit of a makeover, and for once the process did not include “bigger boobs” or “simpering expression”. instea,d Blizzard plumped for “thighs that could probably snap your neck”.


In a new blog on, senior art director Chris Robinson explained that Blizzard wants to update all character models with new World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor, to improve their texture, polygon and animation fidelity.

Lead character artist Tyson Murphy introduced the work-in-progress female night elf model; Blizzard wants the new models to be true to the old ones while taking advantage on graphical improvements.

“We’ve made her new model a little more defined, made some of her proportions a bit more realistic, and added a bit more muscle tone. We wanted to visually communicate that she is a fully capable warrior huntress, and small details like muscle definition help highlight that,” Murphy wrote.

“We also put additional focus on her hands and fingernails, giving a very slight point to her nails to provide just a hint of a more feral nature.”

Fellow artist Tamara Bakhlycheva described the new look as “beautiful, wild, and dangerous”.

One other big change is the ears; they’re now part of the head model’s geometry rather than tacked on afterwards, which makes them look more natural. Well, if antenna-like head projections can look natural. You can see for yourself how much better the hair and clothing looks, too.

While WoW’s female character models and costumes aren’t always as representative as we might like, it’s pretty great to see a company willing to show a strong-looking female character rather than copping out with generic “booty” body types. I’m not super into living out my fantasies in video games, but if I had to choose an avatar to represent myself as a huntress, I’d definitely pick one with abs that could crush walnuts over a Jessica Rabbit-style femme fatale. But that’s me.



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