Does WoW Need a Graphics Update?

Your orc could look like this!

I’ve heard the idea expressed a lot over the three (ish) years I’ve been a WoW player. The game originally released in 2004. It stands to reason the graphics might be showing their age a little bit.

But, for all of these complaints, I’m really not seeing it. WoW’s art style is so stylized that I actually think it’s aged quite gracefully. I mean, okay, water will look nicer in cataclysm. That’s about it, though. Character models are about perfect, right now. They’re not ultra HD but they look realistic within the style they’re shooting for.

And I like that.

It’s become more apparent to me over the years that I really prefer stylized graphics over the realistic. Even LotRO, for as much as I love it, falls into the uncanny valley a little too often for my tastes. Stylized games don’t have to worry about that. Like a well drawn comic book, they’re perfect, they’re fitting, just the way they are.

So, whenever I hear someone complain that the graphics in WoW are no good, I have to shake my head. Why exactly? I wouldn’t mind if they left the graphics the same for the next two expansions while they worked on new content. Why mess with a good thing?


  1. Professer

    Stylized graphics definitely have their benefits. They are simple yet effective. I still prefer a more ‘realistic’ style.

    I really like the art style of games like EQ2 and Vanguard. It allows me to feel a higher sense of immersion in a game.

  2. Chris

    I’m with you, for the most part. I always found LotRO to be extra immersive because of how realistic their environments were. Vanguard I also loved, but everything on the newbie island seems like it’s wrapped in plastic.

  3. Scarybooster

    I think WoW found a perfect artstyle that doesn’t stress computers, but doesn’t ever look retro. The more realistic the graphic, the faster the games age shows because of it competing with console games artstyles.

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