Monday, September 28, 2009

Sword designs: an epic fail

Fact: Blizzard doesn't know how to design swords. Ok, let me get some explanation because the statement is too simple.

I should say the weird design affects almost every object class, specially weapons, but I find the swords the most poignant. Maybe because I love swords, both in game and real life. I find they have some kind of inner beauty despite they're designed to kill. Or at least they were, hard to see people carrying swords nowadays :)
So, take a look at classic WoW designs. Most of them are quite simple but they look good. There're some exceptions, like the Blade of the Titans, that looks like some weird tool to put bread or pizzas in an oven, but the rest of them look very real. We get from european straight-bladed swords to curved blades like katanas and scimitars. Even most high quality swords look simple in design, and this probably was the ignition point where Blizzard decided to go into the land of the wild dreams and start producing the weirdest looking items I wouldn't call "swords" even in my most twisted nightmares.
Starting with The Burning Crusade swords start looking odd and lacking all balance between the handle and the blade. And after practicing 3 years of ken-jutsu with a bad balanced katana I can tell you how important is balance in a sword. If the blade weights too much it costs more to swing and strikes aren't so precise. And if the handle is too short the grapping of the sword becomes a nightmare. Ok, this is a game, so it doesn't need to reflect real world 100%, but at least I'm expecting some simple logic in designs. And another thing it really bugs me out: Blizzard started making all rare/epic swords pointless (as in "no point at the end of the blade"). Take for example Brutal Gladiator's Greatsword. Holy jormungar's tits, Batman! Do you really expect somebody to go around with such monstrosity? And where's the pointy end of the blade? What to you expect? To hack your foe like you're using an axe? Why do they call it a sword then? Just say you're wearing an axe or some kind of short-handled glaive and you'll be closer to what it looks. And WotLK swords are even worse. Uncommon quality ones look sturdy and with a broad blade that looks like made of stone instead of metal. Come on guys! You can make it better. Classic swords looked great. Just add some fancy decoration and you'll get good-looking swords. Take for example Quel'Serrar. Ok, blade is too wide, but it's one of the best looking swords in the game. In the other hand take the Claymore of Ancient Power that drops from the Four Horsemen in Naxx10... ye Olde Gods!! It's awfully heinous! I had this blade (it's still lying in my bank) and it makes you look like some silly jester, not a bloodthirsty destruction machine.
I've seen a lot of comments about the robes designs (all cloth chest items look almost the same, all dark and simmialr since the patterns aren't noticeable) but I think the case of swords is just worse every time. And I fear the worst to come with Cataclysm :_(

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