Tales from the Smithy: Reforging the Orcs
A rugged, hardy people known for unbridled ferocity in combat, the orcs of Warcraft III dress in simple furs and spiky hide armor. When reforging the heroes and units of the orc army, the Warcraft III: Reforged art team strove to capture their raw strength and valorous battle scars. “Our artists take the epic quest to add to the hallowed pantheon of Orc heroes as a sacred one,” says Lead Producer Pete Stilwell. “The challenge is to do justice to millions of players who know every tusk, whisker, and wrinkle on their faces.”
Blademasters from the Burning Blade Clan are the orcish Horde’s most skilled and seasoned warriors.
Warcraft III: Reforged introduces multiple models for the Blademaster, including the white-haired veteran Samuro (who assists Thrall and Rexxar in Frozen Throne’s single-player orc campaign) and a hulking chaos orc—though the art team has taken great pains to ensure that the silhouettes of both Blademasters are recognizable, so that players can understand the foes they face at a glance.
These powerful shamans ride into battle astride snow-white wolves.
Particular attention was paid to replicating the decorative feathers that came to define the blind farseer Drek’Thar’s garb in World of Warcraft. Drek’Thar serves an important role both in Warcraft III’s orc single-player campaign and in multiplayer, where (as the Farseer hero unit) his spellcasting abilities can be put to devastating effect.
Cairne Bloodhoof (Tauren Chieftain)
Elder Tauren warriors lead their tribes in daily life as well as battle.
The Tauren Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof was instrumental in the orcish Horde’s survival during Warcraft III’s single-player orc campaign. As with many heroes, multiple Tauren Chieftain models will be available in multiplayer. Significant detail has been added to each model’s twin totems and ceremonial warblade.
Vol’jin and Rokhan (Shadow Hunter)
Reclusive, mysterious Shadow Hunters support the Horde with cunning voodoo magic.
Troll Shadow Hunters like Vol’jin and Rokhan are powerful allies to the orcish Horde in Warcraft III’s single-player campaigns. Rokhan’s reforged model retains his signature beard, but gains an imposing mask and more detailed wooden armor. Vol’jin’s reforged model adds fearsome war paint fitting of a Darkspear chieftain.
Grunts are the courageous backbone of the orcish Horde.
When it came time to reforge the orc army, the art team began with the most fundamental orc unit: the Grunt. Modeling this iconic warrior laid the groundwork for everything else. For inspiration, the team turned to the 2012 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Cinematic Trailer.
“The origin of our whole look was the stylized realism of Mists of Pandaria,” says lead environment artist Dave Berggren.
This artistic direction is clear when you examine the Grunt’s new model, which features stylized colors and proportions, but realistic flesh, clothing, and metal textures.
Orc Shamans are dependable spellcasters who draw their power from the natural world.
When reforging the Shaman’s model, the art team sought to balance the number of bones and other details against the need for an instantly recognizable silhouette.
We hope you enjoyed this look at the reforged Orcs. Want to see more of the new models? Check out our previews of the Night Elves, Undead, and Humans!
Warcraft III: Reforged launches January 28, 2020, and there’s still time to prepare to join the fight on launch day. Pre-purchase now and gain instant access to the multiplayer beta!