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WoWJul 12, 2022 10:00 am CT

An early look into the Dracthyr character customization options

The Dracthyr race is coming to World of Warcraft in the upcoming Dragonflight expansion, and it’s looking like it might end up featuring more character customization options than any other race yet.

As we wait for the ability to tinker with all of those options in an actual alpha or beta client, we can take a look at what we’ve already seen — and there are several things to talk about, as well as a very ripe field for speculation.

Dragon form customization options include a multitude of colors, horns, scales, claws, and more

In combat, all Dracthyr characters will assume a dragon form. As is to be expected, based on how dragons have historically looked in WoW, there’s no sexual dimorphism: the same dragon shape is shared by male and female characters.

The main draw of the customization here is the ability to pick which color of dragon you want to be — which, as we know, has many implications on the fantasy of how you imagine your character acts and behaves.

We can’t really tell if they all share the same pair of wings, and if those will be customizable or not. Tail length and shape, however, is a distinct possibility: races like Tauren and Draenei already enjoy that option. It’s not hard to imagine that the general pattern of the scales throughout the body will be customizable as well.

In a recent preview, Blizzard showcased all the work that was done to the Dracthyr models since the initial reveal — and we can say that we’re very impressed with the sheer amount of options this race will be able to choose from. A staggering amount of colors, as well as horns of all shapes, scales, snouts, eyes, and more has been added to them.

All the existing dragonflights — and then some

The art above shows the five classic dragonflights: black, bronze, blue, green, and red. But we have already seen that those won’t be the only options: colors such as grey and purple have already been showcased by Blizzard as well. You might end up being able to tint your scales to conform to the dragonflight — imagining your character as belonging to the brood of Alexstrasza or Nozdormu — or you might simply pick a color that suits your fancy, unrelated to those original branches.

We can also see many different head shapes in there, with longer or shorter snouts, as well as a few eye colors, and a large variety of horns, changing in shape and color as well — which is not a surprise, considering that’s the gamut of options other horned races in WoW usually enjoy. There’s definitely the possibility for more here, like accessories or jewelry — who wouldn’t love those Alexstrasza-style horn adornments? And it’s also feasible to imagine that we’ll get to customize those details such as the small horns around the eyes and jaw, the scale patterns, markings, scars, etc.

Female humanoid form customization options are scaly, too

While out of combat, Dracthyr characters will be able to assume a humanoid form as well — and here is where we have distinctly different bodies between male and female. So far, it looks like this switch will be similar to the one that Worgen characters currently have: you’re free to swap between forms only when not fighting, while being locked to your dragon form in combat.

Many of the expected customization options apply here: skin tone, hair style and color, and horns with all of their varying degrees of shapes and colors. We also see that the scales have multiple patterns, being more prominent on a few of the models, and more discreet in others. Those scales have multiple different colors as well — and we assume that they’re independently changeable, rather than being tied to hair color or skin tone.

An interesting thing to note here is that there are several different types of underwear — something that WoW has never allowed players to customize before. Some of those tops look fancy enough that a character might want to use their “hide chest armor” option in the transmog pane, and build an entire look around them.

Facial scales, unique hair colors, and enough gold to fill out a dragon’s hoard

Given what we’ve seen from some of the most recent hair styles that have been added to the game, we can expect some truly beautiful options here. But besides customizing the style and color of your hair, you’re definitely gonna be playing around with horns, earrings, and other accessories like necklaces and those really fancy tiaras and headbands.

We also see some distinct facial structures, eye shapes and colors, and those facial scales. It’s possible that we’ll get some makeup options, like Human females currently have. There’s always a chance we might get scars and tattoos as well, but they haven’t been seen as of yet — perhaps the art team might decide that they don’t fit the general “noble” aesthetic that they’re trying to evoke with the Dracthyr.

Male humanoid form customization options include underwear options

Much like with the female humanoid form model, you get the expected options like skin tone, scale pattern and color, as well as all the different hair and horn styles. The males seemingly get to customize their underwear just like the females.

One thing that has been missing from these humanoid models is tails. It definitely sounds like the Dracthyr are picky with which of their dragon features they bring with them to their humanoid shapes, and while horns and scales are okay, tails and wings are probably out of the question; they’ll probably end up looking more humanoid than races like Draenei do.

Fancy hair isn’t just for the ladies

A very exciting feature for the Dracthyr is that their hair can have more than one color, and players will seemingly be able to pick each of them, creating many different gradients for that ombré hair look.

Other than that, we see the usual choices in eye colors, earrings and other accessories, as well as facial hair. In fact, some of these beards and mustaches look considerably better than the ones that Blood and Void Elves currently have in the live game.

You’ll be able to adjust your body type, from lithe to bulky

Several players offered feedback that the initial Dracthyr form that was showcased was perhaps too lithe, or slim, and that they’d prefer to play a “bulkier” character — more akin to the Drakonid, for instance. Thankfully, the WoW team took that feedback to heart, and introduced the option for you to adjust your Dracthyr’s body type.

Initially, the preview shows four different types, starting from a very slim shape, up to a far more muscular one. This is a change that pleases me greatly — I definitely feel like the bulkier models fit my concept of a humanoid dragon character much better.

What else is missing? And what is feasible to do?

The dragon form of the Dracthyr will get a limited amount of armor showing. The latest update showcased a few different models including helms and chest pieces, which are customizable like other features of the model — while you’ll be able to show the shoulders, tabard, and belts that you’re actually equipped with. We don’t have confirmation if that’s the extent of the armor we’ll be able to show in dragon form, so we can assume it’s still a work in progress.

Some of the features players would like to see would require an immense expenditure of time and resources, to the point of near infeasibility. For instance: I really wish that Dracthyr characters got the option to stay in their humanoid forms while in combat, but that would require a lot of work in animation and spell effects, since several of their abilities will directly use their draconic features like their wings and tails. So that seems unfeasible as well.

What is feasible, however, is for them to give players the ability to automatically toggle out of dragon form as soon as they drop out of combat. Given that players will be spending so much time and effort customizing their humanoid forms, it’s likely that they’ll want to enjoy those forms as much as possible — an automatic toggle would be nothing but a quality of life change.

Originally posted April 20, 2022. Updated July 12, 2022.

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