A new interface for World of Warcraft.
The pre-patch for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight goes live on October 26, featuring brand new skilltress for all classes, reworked professions, and an all-new UI. To keep you up to date on what has changed, you can read the article below!
The look and feel of WoW
As part of the profession update, Dragonflight is expanding the concept of profession equipment to fishing rods and inventory items such as blacksmith hammers. In the new system, most professions have three slots for stuff: one tool slot and two accessory slots. These slots provide a special place to place players’ professional gear. “We really wanted to bring some of the fantasy of professions into the UI itself.” Said Joanna Gianulis – UX designer. The game has had these amazing crests in the past to represent factions and classes, but never had anything to represent professions until now. The designers were largely inspired by the game accessories, which Joanna and her team brought into the user interface to represent each profession. “Our goal was to have each weapon display the tools and items with a sense of mystery that makes you want to explore your profession and see all it has to offer!” continued Joanna. Express yourself with new trades When entering the Dragon Isles, players will find new crafting stations for crafting trades they currently don’t have, including all crafting trades with the exception of cooking and blacksmithing. The purpose of these stations is to increase the immersion and imagination of the professions chosen by players and enhance the social experience. Jordan Powers, Prop Supervisor: “Professions have always been near and dear to my heart (I’ve collected almost all the Engineering schematics with my Gnome Warrior on Classic) so when I got the chance to work on new art for them with our Professions update, I knew I had to go all out.” Jordan and his team’s goal for each table was not only to build a crafting space unique to each profession, but also to make it feel “home” for those who identify themselves as a master craftsman first and foremost – and really lean into that fantasy with the designs. “I wanted to sprinkle in as many cool visual hooks as I could for each profession, as well as a few Easter eggs for each one, too, such as the Runed Copper Rod for the Enchanting Table, or the Arclight Spanner for the Engineering Table .” Power shared.
The Herbalism set you can see above is designed to look very ordinary and something an average gardener in Azeroth would wear, not too high fantasy. Sukjoo Choi, Senior Character Artist behind this set, said, “We have beautiful armor enchanted with magic in WoW, but I always enjoy making simple gear like this. I hope players live out their fantasy of being a spice-gathering explorer in Azeroth with this set!”
There are already many types of rods in WoW, but a goblin rod is a brand new addition to a mechanical theme. Goblin’s Mechanic Engineering is a very advanced technology in World of Warcraft, so combining it with the skill of fishing would make players feel like they have reached a high level of fishing expertise. Customization is a fundamental craftsmanship. The aim of this concept was to give players specialized in customization a visual identity. So this concept is a set that depicts a beautiful Warcraft style craftsman.
“The tailor’s scissors are inspired by an anime, I can’t remember the name, but one character used split scissors as a weapon. So I thought it would be cool if this was a special weapon just for the tailoring profession. The robe is inspired by the clothing of a medieval royal tailor.” said Jay Nam, Character Artist behind the artwork for sartorial clothing.
Talentree & HUD UI Concepts
Dragonflight introduces major updates to World of Warcraft classes, centered around the reintroduction of talent entrance. The new talent system allows players to make creative and meaningful talent choices without compromising their effectiveness – and most importantly, it gives them meaningful options at every level.
It’s been an exercise in making sure the new UI isn’t too overwhelming for players, while making some important quality of life choices at the same time. Some of these quality of life updates include a new loadout system and search bar.
As for the backdrop (seen above), Jeff Liu, Senior UX Designer said, “We purposely chose artwork that would represent the player’s chosen class with a sense of epicness. We want the art to make you super excited to play your character!
The goal of the designers was to ensure that the talent trees still had a familiar feel, yet a fresh and exciting feel for players.
The user interface is also getting its first major overhaul in 18 years and will improve the design to make it more attractive, accessible and customizable.
Players can expect a tidy appearance, with a larger minimap and health bar for convenience. The HUD has also been improved and players can now move selected elements around the screen which can be saved, edited, copied and named.
One of the most notable new UI changes that players will immediately notice is the HUD (heads-up display), which is now customizable instead of being locked in one place. This gives the game a modernized feel to its layout and rendering, while retaining the charm and personality of the OG design.
Casey Graham, UI artist revamping the HUD art, commented on the change: “My main goal with revamping the HUD art was to modernize the overall functionality and aesthetic of the UI. We’ve made plans to free up the play space and bring more visibility to World of Warcraft.”