Seven Unused Models in World of WarCraft’s Files

I love to search through the game’s models with WoW Model Viewer to learn more about the pieces that make up World of WarCraft. Over the years I’ve found some interesting discoveries inside. Fully (and in one instance partially) complete models that despite being finished are nowhere to be found in the live game. It’s fascinating to see what could have been, so I’ve picked out seven of these unused models (and one bonus, a cut character customization option) to share today. See them all after the read more button!

“Ancientofwind”

Added in: 8.1

Ancients of Wind were night elf buildings from WarCraft III, and while many other types of Ancient from III would go on to appear in WoW this one did not. That changed with the introduction of the Darkshore warfront in patch 8.1, where Cloudsong <Ancient of Wind> can be found at Ashwood Depot. Despite this new model being added in the same patch, Cloudsong uses the Ancient of Lore model and this has gone completely un-implemented. Was it just an oversight? A technical issue that someone more versed in programming would have to speculate on? No matter the answer, I hope it gets fixed as unlike the others on this list, there’s an NPC ready and waiting.

“8fk_forsaken_archway01”

Added in: 8.1

Another addition that came from 8.1 and likely for the Darkshore warfront. This ominous archway was probably intended to be part of the Horde base. Perhaps Bashal’aran may have been planned to have more a more imposing and “built up” design at one point. Since the rest of the Forsaken architecture added in the patch consists of tents, scaffolding and simple walls, I would guess the art direction changed early on. Maybe they didn’t have the time to create the sort of intricate structures this gate suggests. After all, outside of the aforementioned additions, most of the buildings in Darkshore are pre-existing models taken from Legion, the Horde garrison, Cataclysm, and The Motherlode dungeon.

“Darkhoundmount”

Added in: Battle for Azeroth beta

I absolutely love this Dark Iron dwarf themed mount, and would have preferred it over the core hound we got instead. As to why they went through the trouble of making two Dark Iron racial mounts, that’s actually more simple yet also more confusing than you might think. “Darkhoundmount” was added at the same time as the model for the rated PVP mount Vicious War Clefthoof. As the clefthoof’s flavor text says it was bred by the Mag’har, I think Blizzard originally intended for BfA’s rated PVP mounts to be based off allied races. But come Battle for Azeroth’s launch the darkhound is nowhere to be seen and the Alliance’s counterpart to the clefthoof is a… riverbeast? I guess the thinking was that an equally gigantic mount would be a better counterpart. With 8.1 and 8.2 adding rated PVP mounts not based on allied races I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever see this darkhound.

“Titancapturedmod”

Added in: 7.2.5 and again in 8.2

As the file name suggests, “Titancapturedmod” is a modified version of the model called “Titancaptured,” better known to players as Ra-den. This version removes the mogu shackles on his wrists and ankles, as well as replacing his open wounds with healed over scars. When it first showed up in patch 7.2.5 speculation naturally fell on Ra-den returning in the patch’s Titan-themed Whispers of a Frightened World quest. He did not. Maybe it would be tied into further story content for shamans, as the elemental spec artifact was The Fist of Ra-den? Nope. The Wound in Silithus? Nada. Things went silent until 8.2, where MMO-Champion included the model in their list of “new” models datamined from the PTR. There’s no sign of Ra-den in 8.2 either. Blizzard obviously has plans for the Highkeeper, but when we’ll see them realized is anyone’s guess.

“Felarcanegolem”

Added in: 7.1

A high polygon update of The Burning Crusade‘s arcane golem model, but only as a heavily damaged, fel corrupted version. For that reason, and the remnants of its original color-scheme under all that green, I think this was probably meant to be an updated model for The Curator in Return to Karazhan. It makes a lot of sense. The Curator is malfunctioning in the dungeon and being attacked by the invading demons would be a perfect explanation for its change in behavior. In the live version of Return to Karazhan, The Curator’s malfunctions are explained as it having “deteriorated over time” and this story decision is likely why the model went unused.

“mace_1h_fearbreaker_d_01”

Added in: Cataclysm beta

Fearbreaker is a mace given to Anduin Wrynn by Magni Bronzebeard shortly before the Catacysm. Anduin latter gifted it to Baine Bloodhoof while both were taking refuge in Theramore. Artwork of Baine produced during Cataclysm showed him wielding Freabreaker, but the in-game version went unused. In the novel Tides of War, Baine returned it to Anduin. Despite Anduin’s increased presence he has never used the in-game mace either. Fearbreaker most recently appeared in Before the Storm still in Anduin’s possession. But with Anduin also wielding Shalamayne, I doubt we’ll ever see this model used.

“Undeadnerubianbeast”

Added in: Wrath of the Lich King beta

While the other models on this list are ready to be plopped in the game at a moment’s notice, this one isn’t. Despite being fully modeled and textured it has no animations. This says to me it was intended to have a unique animation rig or “skeleton.” Rigs are the most time consuming part of creating a model (hence why skeletons are so often reused among unrelated creature models) so I imagine that’s why this beast never saw the light of day. Even understanding that, I wish it had. It’s like some kind of weird, upright pillbug! Coming in five colors suggests Blizzard planned to get a lot of use out of the model so I believe it to likely have been a creature type planned for the scrapped Azjol-Nerub zone.

Bonus: Long Tail Customization Option for Female Draenei

Added in: Warlords of Draenor beta

In various pieces of artwork made by Blizzard, female draenei are often drawn with long tails closer to their male counterparts rather than the stumpier ones they have in-game. When new character models were announced for Warlords of Draenor fan requests immediately asked for female draenei to be given an option to have longer tails. And Blizzard actually did! Female draenei have an unused customization option in the files to switch between having a short or long tail. Its fully animated and doesn’t have any issues with clipping through gear but was never been made available to players or used by NPCs. The only remnant of the tail is that its visible in a model for piles of draenei corpses used in Talador. A winged female eredar model added in 7.3 also has a long tail, but this model is completely separate from the playable draenei. In a final twist, Lightforged draenei were given the (still unused) option as well despite customization options not being shared by parent and allied races (for example, even in the game files, its not possible to select Lightforged hairstyles on a regular draenei though its possible the tail was grandfathered in). Now that we’ve seen new customization added to old races with gold eyes for blood elves, upright posture for orcs, and the night warrior skin for night elves, perhaps its finally time to give the draenei their tails.

 

 

 

Ian Bates

World of Warcraft Writer and columnist for Blizzplanet. I am also known as The Red Shirt Guy (BlizzCon).

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