Whelpling Model Update

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Zabladius
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Whelpling Model Update

Post by Zabladius » January 4th, 2019, 8:15 pm

When are the old whelplings like Crimson Whelpling and Dark Whelpling going to have their models updated like Dream Whelpling and Thunderscale Whelpling? We know the model exists, because Sir Galveston has a dark whelp with the new model, but is Blizz going to ever update the old models?

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Tekulve2018 » January 5th, 2019, 5:00 am

This is a legitimate question. Even players who don't seriously collect pets for battling love the whelps for companions or for mount matching.
We saw how urgent it seemed for devs to change smoochums' model (which had mixed reviews). This would suggest it isnt that taxing to renew a model.

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Gráinne » January 5th, 2019, 11:30 am

Please, please, please keep those people away from existing models.

All models. Mounts, pets, characters, everything.

IMO, they do a lot more harm than good. Actually, I'm struggling to recall anything that I consider good in model updates. I know they went way overboard hiring graphics types, and probably feel pressured to give them something "easy" to do. But a Job Creation Scheme for distressed graphics types who want to overwrite someone else's superior work has bad effects.

I can barely look at one of my favourite pets, the Emperor Crab, any more, after the way they totally screwed it up.

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Gilneas » January 5th, 2019, 1:51 pm

I don't think they are likely to do it, since they've already updated the models (in Legion) and didn't touch the originals. They have updated some of the very out-dated pet models over the last couple of expansions (e.g. prairie dogs), but with the whelps they seem to be putting the updated models on just new iterations of the pets (e.g. Emmigosa).
Gráinne wrote:
January 5th, 2019, 11:30 am
Please, please, please keep those people away from existing models.

All models. Mounts, pets, characters, everything.

IMO, they do a lot more harm than good. Actually, I'm struggling to recall anything that I consider good in model updates. I know they went way overboard hiring graphics types, and probably feel pressured to give them something "easy" to do. But a Job Creation Scheme for distressed graphics types who want to overwrite someone else's superior work has bad effects.

I can barely look at one of my favourite pets, the Emperor Crab, any more, after the way they totally screwed it up.
This is a bit of an over-reaction.

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Quintessence » January 5th, 2019, 2:16 pm

While I don't mind updated models, it should be noted that sometimes updated models can botch up the appearance of the pet.

Examples are Macabre Marionette and Young Mutant Warturtle. Both base models were updated (skeleton and turtle), however the assets attached (the Marionette's hat and maracas, and the turtle's bandanna and swords) were messed up and do not sit properly on the new models. Summon them in-game and you'll find they don't look right at all. WarcraftPets currently still uses the older appearances for these pets until we can sort out whether or not to use "fixed" versions of the new looks, or showcase them as they appear in-game (which would include broken assets).

In some cases, it might be better if Blizzard preserves older models not only for posterity's sake, but also to make sure the entire pet doesn't get messed up.
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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Gráinne » January 5th, 2019, 3:19 pm

No, not an over-reaction. My post was restrained. Very restrained. Too restrained, perhaps. What this issue deserves is much more vigorous than anything I would post here.

I can accept that developers, and artists, make mistakes. Perhaps they take on changes they find themselves unable to complete well, but are committed to make updates that bring more downsides than upsides. I also know that people working in a team are limited in the time they can take, and the resources they can access. Nothing is perfect, and none of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes, and do less than stellar work. We do our best with what we have, and there's no point in pointing fingers every time something doesn't come out well.

Deliberate destruction of the identity of a character or pet, though, deserves a different level of condemnation.

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Gilneas » January 5th, 2019, 5:54 pm

Insulting the artists and developers in any degree because you don’t personally like something is not any amount of restraint.

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Tekulve2018 » January 6th, 2019, 7:01 am

Of course, you can both be right here...

Grainne can be upset about the new models for all the reasons Quintessence listed and any other reason that a person's aesthetic sensitivities allow.

Gilneas can claim it's an over-reaction to criticize the graphic artists. Simply because the importance of the matter in the overall scheme of the game is subjective.

There are some truths that are inarguable:
- the battlepets were meant to be seen- we can summon them and many are animated
- since some pets were remodeled, the visual aspect is an element that Blizzard revisits( to some degree- for better or worse)
- some members of this site care deeply about the look of their battlepets
- everyone makes mistakes- this is a subscription based game and the subscriber has a right to judge the game's content

Check youtube, reddit, trade chat or any other public forum. WoW is fried and refried for any number of 'transgressions', oversights and perceived slights. Opinions matter, I feel it is important to hear everyone's opinion to better understand all aspects of a case to see if a change is needed.

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Gilneas » January 6th, 2019, 12:54 pm

Grainne can be upset about the new models for all the reasons Quintessence listed and any other reason that a person's aesthetic sensitivities allow.

Gilneas can claim it's an over-reaction to criticize the graphic artists. Simply because the importance of the matter in the overall scheme of the game is subjective.
I agree completely. I think you nailed the point of contention. Totally fine to not like something. Attacking others (such as the creators) over a matter that is purely one of opinion is what crosses the line.
for all the reasons Quintessence listed
I think those examples are outliers, as those were clearly unintended changes. Those pets seem to be unique in how they are handled compared to most pets. The warturtle, for example, was clearly not specifically touched. They just did a pass on all the turtles, and in doing so, forgot that there was a single turtle that has accessories attached to it's base model (and thus, those accessories were not considered when the update was done). I fully expect things like that to be fixed when time allows, because they are contrary to the goal of model updates, which is to make the older, lower resolution pet models look better.

Probably why the whelps are not a big priority in the way the crabs, rabbits, frogs, turtles, etc. have been. The original whelp models were vastly superior to the various critters, because they specifically wanted them to be rare/desirable. Obviously, the new ones look better, as seen on the Dream Whelp, Emmigosa, the Thunderscale, etc. But the disparity is not as great. Some of the old critter models were really, really bad (because, I assume, they were never meant to be something people focused on quite so much when they were designed back pre-2004).

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Gráinne » January 7th, 2019, 2:35 am

The devs decide to add more pixels. The reasons for this, the decisions why to add pixels at all, where to add them, which models to add them to, how many to add to balance perceived demand vs. internal demand vs. resource cost, are not fully understood by us, or even by the participants in the decision process. Individual decisions are made independently, though within an overall system in which senior team members and ultimately senior management must approve them, or at least not countermand them.

In most cases, the general policy of adding more pixels results in ... adding more pixels. Just that. Models are made smoother, more polygons, more fluid movements. We players pay for this in heavier resource costs. We lose FPS. I have known several in-game friends who can no longer play because their PCs could no longer keep up with the game. That is a cost. But the models themselves are recognisable as the same entities, just with a higher resolution.

Sometimes this goes wrong. Sometimes, as with the examples Quintessence points out above, they try to improve the quality of the model, but introduce new problems in the process. This is inevitable in development. We can and should ask for a fix, and if it happens too often, questions might be asked about competence, but mistakes happen, nobody intended it, and it is mean to try to focus blame on the people in such cases.

Sometimes, however, this process is abused. Instead of a good-faith effort to upscale the resolution of a model, some graphics worker will try to remove the model and substitute his/her own. This is a deliberate act. When this changeling is accepted and replaces something to which people have formed and attachment in game, it is appropriate to call it out as a deliberate act.

How can we know which is which? I'm not sure there is a full operational definition, but these questions are the start: 1. Is this new model clearly the same entity as the original? 2. Was it possible for a competent practitioner attempting to perform a good-faith improvement to retain the character of the original model?

Smoochums was an interesting recent case, more interesting because it was a new pet. Why would Blizzard have wanted to spend money and time changing a model just a few months old? This was not a 2004 prairie dog that looked inpired by a Euclid theorem. There were no problems with the model. Nobody was complaining about it.

When a project manager is assigned new people, the first problem is making them useful. Even when they have superior skills, they will be unfamiliar with the processes, tools, standards, and integration contstraints of the environment. Blizzard famously cited this as a reason for issues during Warlords. I understand this. It's well known in the business that adding more people to a late project makes it later. And, of course, by definition, most people don't have superior skills. So a team lead or PM will assign newbies to small, confined projects that will have minimal impact on others. Often, these projects are effectively make-work, that serves mainly as training rather than output. Perhaps Smoochums was such a case, though even that is odd; surely there were other more deserving targets?

As a former team lead/PM/director myself for decades, I am very familiar with the syndrome. Often, new people want to make their mark by showing off that they can do better than their predecessors. And often, they fail.

In any case, what happened here was not a good-faith upgrade of the model. Smoochums was removed, and replaced with something entirely different.

Smoochums happened to get the Twitter-mob treatment, and Blizzard backed down fast, with Lore finally posting a #Justicefor Smoochums tag.

Here's a case that didn't get the Twitter-mob treatment:
https://eu.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/17620702030
First day I played this game back in April 2008 I was made so happy by the cat lady just outside of Northshire Abby cus I was able to buy a silver tabby. Thing is I turned to Warcraft to try and cheer myself up cus my real life silver tabby had just died. Suffice to say the 38 silver was well invested cus that cat pretty much has been by my side the whole game.

Sadly I had to give up my female human characters cus they changed the appearance and I am now unable to play the old character model. Anyway... I logged in after the patch and shock horror they have now gone an fluffed up the silver tabby to the point I no longer relate to him. Worse, he now doesn't run he glides and I noticed tonight he doesn't even leave footprints in the snow anymore.

I keep looking at him and am bewildered why the change. Its like he's a fluffy toy now and not the lovable silver tabby I had by my side for the last ten years.
There is all the difference in the world between a good-faith model update that did not go well, and a bad-faith misrepresentation of a replacement as an update.

Nobody could mistake the new Emperor Crab model for the old one. The current model looks nothing like the old one. The current model is not an upgrade. The Emperor Crab model was destroyed, and this replaces it. Was there anything wrong with the original model? No. Was anyone complaining about it? No. On the contrary, I, at least, liked it; it was one of my favourites. (Yes, tastes are tastes.)

When addressing changes, and the motivations for them, it is entirely appropriate to distinguish between honest mistakes and dishonest arrogance imposing changes on people who have formed attachments. I would like to see Lore tweeting out a #JusticeFor tag for all the models that have been deliberately removed. #JusticeforSilverTabby #JusticeforEmperorCrab

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Peanutty » January 7th, 2019, 4:01 pm

Gráinne wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 2:35 am
Nobody could mistake the new Emperor Crab model for the old one. The current model looks nothing like the old one. The current model is not an upgrade. The Emperor Crab model was destroyed, and this replaces it. Was there anything wrong with the original model? No. Was anyone complaining about it? No. On the contrary, I, at least, liked it; it was one of my favourites. (Yes, tastes are tastes.)
I seriously love your post from top to bottom.

What I'd personally want to see with "updated" pet models (and will never happen) is that they only apply to new pets going forward. So using the above example Emperor Crab as a pet from a previous expansion would retain the old crab model. Crabs from this expansion such as Freshwater Pincher would use the new one. I feel that's a good compromise between old and new but the "but, my immersion!!" crowd doesn't agree.

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Gilneas » January 7th, 2019, 9:32 pm

Nobody could mistake the new Emperor Crab model for the old one. The current model looks nothing like the old one. The current model is not an upgrade. The Emperor Crab model was destroyed, and this replaces it. Was there anything wrong with the original model? No. Was anyone complaining about it? No. On the contrary, I, at least, liked it; it was one of my favourites. (Yes, tastes are tastes.)

When addressing changes, and the motivations for them, it is entirely appropriate to distinguish between honest mistakes and dishonest arrogance imposing changes on people who have formed attachments. I would like to see Lore tweeting out a #JusticeFor tag for all the models that have been deliberately removed. #JusticeforSilverTabby #JusticeforEmperorCrab
Here is the problem. You are enforcing your personal like or dislike on it and acting like they are terrible people and insulting them for doing it. The fact is that’s not true. You don’t like something, but that doesn’t mean it was bad, that it was a mistake, that it was dishonest, that they are poor artists or whatever you want to say. It simply means that you don’t like it. And that is perfectly ok. But that opinion being ok doesn’t mean you get to sling mud at them. Whether you personally like the upgrade or not, the people who did it are very talented individuals, and they certainly were doing it to improve the overall look of the game, not “deliberately destroy” something. They certainly don’t deserve the insults and derision for it.

Objectively speaking, bugs aside, the updated models are all upgrades — they have higher poly counts and higher resolution, which all allows for more detail. That doesn’t mean that anyone has to like the subjective aesthetics though. That distinction should not be as blurred as is being presented.

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Gráinne » January 8th, 2019, 12:07 am

If you define an upgrade as anything with more pixels and polygons, then you are correct.

I don't define an upgrade that way.

If, for example, a new model for Xu-Fu was a spiky multicoloured geometric shape, perhaps like one of the Spores using different colours for each spike, with more polygons, I would not call that an upgrade.

If a model replacement is clearly different from the original, I call it a replacement, and say that presenting it as an upgrade is dishonest. My personal likes and dislikes are not a factor.

There could be a case where a replacement is different, but not so different that it is clearly a different thing. That case does not apply to Smoochums, Emperor Crab, Silver Tabby and many others.

Then we come to the question of the motivation for them to destroy and replace rather than upgrade. That question goes beyond pets, and I think this is not the apppropriate forum to get into that in depth.

To get back to the OP, I no longer call for "upgrades" to be done to models, because whatever you may believe about the process, I have no confidence the results will be good.

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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Mehetabel » January 8th, 2019, 5:58 am

I honestly didn't realise that there were actually people unhappy with models being upgraded. :shock:

The pet upgrades (rats, toads, rabbits etc) and the player race upgrades are some of the best things to happen in the game, in my opinion.
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Re: Whelpling Model Update

Post by Peanutty » January 8th, 2019, 2:19 pm

Mehetabel wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 5:58 am
The pet upgrades (rats, toads, rabbits etc) and the player race upgrades are some of the best things to happen in the game, in my opinion.
The rats look faithful to original. The rabbits are seriously freakish now.

The toon "upgrades" were a mess. The player base was so divided at the time and I'd wager the fact that people aren't making a stink still is they've simply given up and accepted it, not because they like it. At the time we were told we could toggle for new or old appearances, and then that went away without a word, first for elf races, then for all races. I had to change faces on almost all of my toons, the translation was so poor from old to new looks. Some of them never found a new face and have to wear helms that cover their face now.

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