If you know anything about me, one of the things you know is probably that I don’t play MMOs. It’s not a matter of taste, though. It’s more like I just haven’t been able to get into any of them and that I probably wouldn’t have the time to play the way those games need you to play them. That said, I did play Warcraft 3, and I loved it. Not only did I think the game was amazing, but I also fell in love with the artwork and design. In all honestly, if I ever got to produce some artwork for Blizzard, it’d be a dream come true for me.
During last year’s COMMISSIONATHLON, most of the commissioned artwork I was working on was for people’s World of Warcraft characters. Faced with each individual character’s description, I’d look up the actual armor pieces on the WoW website and try my best to draw each piece accordingly. It wasn’t exactly my dream of working as an artist for Blizzard, but it was close at least in terms of what I’d have to draw so I enjoyed it tremendously. But still, the armor took a bit of getting used to. For me, it’s not a matter of practicality, it’s a matter of design. Big, huge, bulky, over-the-top armor sets are just and essential part of the Blizzard Style, and that’s just fine. But along the way, as I studied the armor sets and worked them into my own artwork I had to admit it sometimes became difficult to imagine how it was that those things actually worked.
If you look at the design for Dwarf ever since we started this new storyline, you’ll see that I gave him bigger shoulder pieces – and they have been hell to work with. They’re just too big and I like to move my characters around just too much. Every time Dwarf raises his arms, it’s a problem. I seriously can’t imagine what it would be like if I started drawing an armor set on him like the one portrayed in today’s comic. He does actually look unmovable, which is probably appropriate for his characters – but he also looks like you could tip him over and he wouldn’t be able to get up. Heck, I’ve read that medieval knights in full armor couldn’t get up if they fell, and their armor wasn’t even half as bulky.
Both Dwarf and Weretiger’s armor designs in today’s comic are based on actual WoW high-level armor sets that I saw on their website. In Dwarf case I checked out warrior set for dwarves and in Weretiger’s case I checked out hunter sets for Nightelves. I modified somethings though, because due to some of the graphic limitations of the game there’s a lot of parts in the armor that end up looking weird and as if they had just printed armor on some clothes, but other than that it’s not really all that difficult to look at the sets and see which ones I based them off of.
In any case, I still enjoyed drawing the armor a lot. And I still wish (upon a star) that I could draw for Blizzard some day. So I truly hope that I get plenty of WoW characters to draw in my commissions during this year’s COMMISSIONATHLON (in a couple of weeks). But that doesn’t mean that a part of me won’t still be chuckling at how ultimately unpractical they are.