The World of Warcraft capitals are all iconic, but the best (for the Horde) has always been Thunder Bluff. Built on a series of towering mountains jutting above the pastoral plains of Mulgore and connected by rope bridges, Thunder Bluff is truly stunning. Or, to be more precise, when I first started playing this game more than a decade ago. Today, Thunder Bluff—while still majestic—shows its age alongside most of World of Warcraft’s oldest zones. So it’s really cool to see 3D artist Aleksandr Timoshenko give Thunder Bluff a realistic makeover in the Unreal Engine.
You can see the work of Timoshenko in full HD in their portfolio, but I’ve included some screenshots below. Everything is made using the Unreal Engine with Megascans Quixel Plugin. It’s a pretty cool tool that gives artists access to a ton of ultra HD photos that can be used as textures in materials for 3D environments. It’s often used by big-budget studios, but it’s great to see how solo artists can take advantage of it too. The scene, Timmoshenko explains, even has dynamic lighting—even though the screenshots he shares are all set at roughly the same time. Would love to see a nice Thunder Bluff sunset.
It’s a pretty amazing modeling job, especially when you see a side-by-side comparison of Timoshenko’s work to what Thunder Bluff actually looks like in the game. While everything is mostly in the right place, the lack of color and harsher contrast gives Timoshenko’s version of Thunder Bluff a decidedly sombre vibe. That’s definitely a huge difference from how colorful and vibrant this city is in World of Warcraft. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it, but it’s always nice to see someone reinterpret a setup I’ve spent hundreds of hours on over the years.
If you want to see more of Timoshenko’s stuff, you can check out their portfolio here.